Resume Writing: Tips on Content, Format and how to make it Unique

Imagine I show you 3 types of boxes as depicted below and ask you to guess what might be the contents of each box.
Think about it for a moment:
Box 1
Box 2
 Box 3


Most people would come to the following conclusion:

Box 1: a gift, it may contain something expensive
Box 2: a parcel, it may contain a book or any other object
Box 3: something that is cheap and not valuable

We do judge a packet by its packaging, right?
Not to worry, t is quite natural to do so.

Our Resume is also the packaging of our entire profile that includes our experience, skills, education, etc. It is in real terms "Your Personal Brand Image" and as with the example of the boxes above, we need to make it a good image.

A resume is the first point of contact between a prospective organization and you. People with a good resume create the right first impression and have better chances of being invited for an interview.

What we have usually done is copy paste a friend's resume, or download a good looking format online and change the contents in it. The internet is full of such resume samples and templates.

While it's a good shortcut and saves time and effort, what often is missed is the personalization that makes the resume Your Personal Brand Image. And I am going to share just the thing to help you personalize what really is personal and unique to you.

In general, a resume can be divided into two parts: Content and Container (resume format)

A. Content of the Resume

If the beautifully packed box is empty you are more likely to curse the person who gifted it to you.
Hence it is important the content of your resume includes the key aspects of your profile in a detailed way.
The key elements in building this content are:

1. Your Goals and Overall Profile: The look and feel of your resume must reflect the kind of profile you are in or you want to be in. A simple text-only resume with little creativity will not suit someone from a designer profile, but for a developer, it may be fine.

2. Objective statement: your career aspirations, as well as your professional philosophy, will get conveyed through this statement Convey a “giving” not a “taking” attitude by using words like 'contribute', 'deliver', 'business results' and not using learning, enhancing my skills, etc.

3. Work experience: you can list all jobs and experiences in this, and preferably in the reverse chronological order. If you have short stints in a few companies, mention their names but exclude the duration. Try to include a few lines that show the uniqueness of each role you have played.

4. Project details: Include only a few select projects and not all of them that highlight your core skills and where you played a significant role in the delivery of the project.

5. Educational qualifications: A crucial selling point, educational qualifications must be brought out clearly and in reverse chronological order.

6. Certifications or achievements: These go a long way in displaying a person’s ability to go the extra mile in strengthening his/her technical competence and skills and must be highlighted effectively.

7. Extra-curricular activities: Hobbies are not always directly related to the job but help an individual to deal with stress and ensure the overall development of the personality. It is suggested that the applicant indicates only genuine hobbies that are unique and growth-oriented.

B. Resume Format (Container)

The key elements include:

I. Length
1 or 2 pages is the best length irrespective of the numbers of years’ experience you have

II. Format and Design
Avoid using all capital letters EXCEPT FOR HEADINGS because it takes twice as long to read capital letters as it does to read a combination of initial capital letters and lowercase letters.
Use a font size greater than 10 and font type as non-serif.

III. Spelling and Grammar
It is absolutely critical to keep a resume free from spelling and grammatical errors.  Conducting a spell check and checking with an English language expert would help in ensuring this.

IV. Use of Action Verbs
Using active, positive verbs in a resume or in an application form can give it an additional impact and make a stronger impression on potential employers. Use action verbs to put over what you have achieved in vacation jobs or posts of responsibility - not just the tasks you have carried out.


Here are a few Action Verbs to help you frame your resume content:

Devised
Achieved
Planned
Developed
Trained
Evaluated
Supervised
Co-ordinated
Managed
Administered
Controlled
Selected
Created
Instructed
Negotiated
Designed
Researched
Analyzed
Discovered
Recommended
Tested
Diagnosed
Budgeted
Monitored
Evaluated
Examined
Assessed
Promoted
Sold
Advised
Selected
Trained
Taught
Explained
Represented
Conducted
Distributed
Organized
Solved
Resulted
Increased
Calculated
Completed
Arranged
Responsible for


Again, the resume must reflect who you are so that in the interview you can build on it.

Please do share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.

Read more on:

Comments

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments and suggestions here