Resume Writing Tips

By: S.C. Mishra

An employer spends only 10 seconds per resume to accept / reject it. Your resume has to highlight your strengths in a very convincing manner to get selected for the interview.

Keep it brief and concise: Do not turn your resume into a tedious list of key responsibility areas. Many people even use their company jargon in writing a resume. Instead tell the prospective employer how you made a difference to your job. Provide specific examples of how the company you work for gained from your performance. Highlight any goals which you achieved ahead of time, or any special cost-cutting measures spearheaded by your department.

Your resume should answer the following questions:

What special expertise did you bring to your current job?
Attach any special praise, certificates of achievement presented to you or your department.
What were the problems or challenges that you or the organization faced?
What did you do to overcome the problems?

In all, the complete length of your CV should not be more than 2 pages.

Do not use long-winded sentences and old-fashioned language: “Sir, I would hereby draw your esteemed attention to the way my talents are in tandem with your company’s long-term goals” is a sentence most employers do not have time to read. Be specific, be direct. Which goals will you help the company to achieve better sales revenue, a new strategy to cut costs, better management of inter-department communication. Explain in a few crisp sentences what you do now, and what you aim to do in your new job.

Do not sprinkle your CV with personal pronouns: It is your CV and is bound to be about you. However, try to avoid using I, me, my in the CV.

The statement: I overshot my sales target by 20 percent and I was given a special increment by the marketing director.

Is better written as: Overshot my sales target by 20 percent, and was given a special increment by the marketing director.

Connect your skills to your job history: Your resume should record your career progression. That is, do link new skills to jobs done. Also the skills that you now have to the job you are applying for. Here is the basic resume layout:

Lead with a strong profile section (detailing the scope of your experience, skill sets, key responsibility areas)
Reverse chronological employment history (emphasising achievements in the past 10-15 years)
Education (this might be moved to the top for fresh graduates)
Other related topics include professional affiliations, community activities, technical expertise, and languages spoken.
Personal details.

Include industry keywords in your CV: With the majority of large- and medium-size companies using technology to store resumes, the only hope a job seeker has of being found in an applicant search is the inclusion of relevant industry keywords. These do not have to be a separate section; rather, they can be sprinkled throughout the resume. A good way to determine keywords is to read job descriptions for positions that interest you. If you see industry buzzwords, incorporate them into your resume.

Keep references ready but provide only if asked for: Referees (people in responsible positions who refer you for the job) are the key to get a good job. Keep at least two good referees lined up but do not list them unless you are asked for them.

Check your resume for proper grammar & correct spelling!: This cannot be emphasized enough. Poor grammar and misspelled words cause a potential employer to question your attention to detail and the quality of your work. With a sea of applicants to select from why should they bother with an individual with a poor resume? Remember your resume is your personal promotional brochure. After checking your resume for grammar and spelling have some friends or colleagues look it over, the more the better.

With each viewing and edit your resume becomes more polished and will be more successful at its purpose- bringing you to employers' attention.

Eliminate unnecessary resume details: Hobbies and other personal interests should only be included if they relate to the positions you’re interested in.

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S.C. Mishra, a well-known Career Counselor, is an expert on various Career Subjects. He has authored a book on Banking and Accounting Jobs in India. Today, a number of good Jobs in India are available and companies are looking to hire and train, young and talented interns who are enthusiastic and willing to learn and work.

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