It’s said- Hard work takes you places. But that’s only when you get that dream job. And what ensures a good chance of landing it? An impressive resume. You may be the perfect candidate for that job but there’s only one way they can know – your resume. It needs to be strong, effective and very, very convincing. Send in a great piece of resume and half your work is done. Here are some useful resume writing skills that will probably make you stand out from the rest of the applicants :
- Make sure you’re putting out the right information. Your name should be right at the top with your contact details. Double check every tiny little detail. A wrong email address or a missing digit on your contact number could ruin your chances of getting that job.
- Yes, it’s important to make sure your resume stands out from everyone else’s but choosing fancy fonts over bright backgrounds is not how you do it. A resume is an official document; do not make it into a greeting card. Keep the font simple. Stay off Comic Sans, come what may.
- After your name, the ‘objective’ or ‘career summary’ is the first thing an employer sees. Mostly, it is that one line that decides whether the employer reads ahead or tosses the resume in the bin. Five seconds are all you have to make an impression and you better make good use of it. The objective should be very well written, short and yet effective.
- Do not put up a picture of yourself on the resume, unless you’re looking for the job of a model, actor or a TV presenter. Your good looks aren’t going to ensure you a job anyway. It is ultimately your resume that is going to speak for you.
- You need to sell yourself as the best candidate for that particular job through your resume and pleading them to hire you will only make the chances bleak. No matter how badly you want that job, your resume should make you sound smart, not desperate.
- Do not write things you cannot answer in an interview, in case there is one. You may have boasted of the biggest names in the industry in your work experience, but it won’t take the employer too long to know how much of that is actually true. Ideally you shouldn’t be telling lies at all but even if you do, know how to tell them well.
- List down only relevant work experiences. Nobody wants to know about the school magazine you wrote for 10 years ago.
- Don’t go over the top, trying to be creative with your CV. Choose innovative headings if you must, but stick to the basic format. Your resume should always read easy. Do not make it into an advertisement that the employer finds hard to decode.
- Before sending out an email, cross check the ‘procedure to apply’ on the company website. Check if they want a PDF or a MS Word document. Nothing annoys an employer more than an application sent without reading the guidelines.
- Your profession may be really close to your heart but refrain from writing job descriptions in long, winding sentences. Keep it crisp and to the point.
- Always, always write in bullets. Avoid paragraphs at all costs. Most employers don’t read resumes, they just skim through them and you don’t want to put them off by writing essays on your resume.
- Try to quantify your achievements. Talk in numbers, statistics, and percentages. It helps the employer focus on what you’re really capable of.
- Do some research on the company and draft your resume accordingly. Your objective should read like an answer to the company’s call out for new candidates.
- While most people would advice you against it, including your extracurricular achievements could actually work in your favour. Let them know there are more sides to your personality than just a great employee. Who wouldn’t be impressed by a banker who also happens to be a professional football player?
- Never sound confused on your resume. If you’ve been switching careers, do not mention the alternate jobs you took up. Include only the relevant work experience. Nobody will take a marketing executive who also tried his hands at filmmaking before he finally gave up seriously.
And here we come to the most important tip. Don’t forget to proofread your document for formatting glitches and grammatical errors. Spelling mistakes and wrong punctuation are some instant turn offs in resumes.