Do we hear a collective groan? “Not another post of creating effective resumes,” you say?
Let us begin by saying that this post is the result of our struggles with the resumes we get for the jobs we post.
We often have to read a resume 2 or 3 times before we can decide if the candidate meets our requirements. Quite a few candidates seem to work very hard at camouflaging their qualifications or then contact information.
It is not that there is a dearth of tips and tricks for creating effective resumes. However, the number of resumes that miss the mark is significant. Hence this blog post in which we hope to recap some common tips as also shed some light on the purpose of the resume.
Read on…. and do leave us your comments!
As with any task, creating an effective resume will perhaps become easier if you are able to clearly define the purpose of a resume. So let us start there.
Ask the question What is the purpose of a resume? and the answer you are most likely to hear is Getting me a job.
Wrong! The purpose of your resume is to get you an interview. That interview will then (hopefully) lead to the job.
A resume is …
…an advertisement for YOU as a professional!
It is an assertion of what you can deliver …
…and provides evidence of this assertion by listing your experience, skills, and qualifications.
The aim is to get you an interview.
Before You Create a Resume….
- Be clear about the kind of jobs you are looking for.
- Analyse the requirements of those jobs.
- Identify what makes you eligible for those jobs.
While Creating a Resume…
Use Target Marketing. Each employer has a unique set of requirements for potential employees. Edit your resume to target the specific job.
- Research the company you are applying to; understand its business.
- Read the job description carefully.
- Analyse how your skills and experience match what is specified in the job description.
- Edit your resume to highlight relevant skills and experience.
Indicative Structure for a Resume
- Name and Contact Information. It is important that the recruiter is able to identify and contact you easily. Start your resume with:
- Full Formal Name
- Email Address
- Telephone Number
- Current Address
Most recruiters would want to know where you are located to understand challenges with relocation (such as cost of living implications), if any.
- Executive Summary. The first section in your resume should be an executive summary that highlights:
- Core competencies
- Summary of experience
Include keywords that the potential employer is looking for in this section. Remember, more often than not, your resume lands in a digital database and will show-up in results if and only if there are matching keywords.
- Employment History (in Reverse Chronological Order). Start with the most recent job and work your way backwards. For each job:
- Give a brief description of your role and responsibilities.
- Highlight any major achievements
If you can give a brief background of the company, it will help the recruiter assess the size of the organization and the environment in which you are working. It should not be more than 2 lines. Include information such as number of employees, turnover, etc.
- Professional Qualifications (in Reverse Chronological Order). Start with the most recent degree and work your way backwards. Mention:
- Formal Name of the Qualification
- Formal Name of the Institution
- Formal Name of the University, if different from the institution
Once you have > 2 years’ experience, you can leave out the Grades or Percentages, unless the job specifies certain grades as pre-requisites.
As ever brevity is the key, so:
- keep the resume short (<=3 Pages).
- write using crisp bulleted points.
Hope this post helps you fine-tune your resume!