The resume is a succinct summary of the education, skills, achievements, and experiences of a candidate. The resume serves as a marketing document and your personal brand. For a resume to make a good first impression on your behalf, it needs to contain comprehensive and compact information on your work history, as well as details intended to promote your candidature.
Hiring managers or recruiters use the resume as a means to gauge a candidate’s potential in relation to the job openings, so it is important to objectively highlight the skills and experiences that directly correlate to the available opportunities. This article intends to clear your concepts and teach you the art of resume building within current resume-writing standards.
Importance of a good and presentable Resume
Candidates must put-in their best efforts to make a good first impression with a high-quality and error- free content. What you put in your resume, will determine the kind of opportunities you will receive. The goal should be to promote yourself as the right candidate by providing all the information that the recruiter may be looking for in a candidate while also presenting the information in a concise and clear way that correlates your specific talents to their requirements.
Difference between Resume for Summers Vs Resume for Finals
Resume of students for summer internships differs from those of senior students looking for final placements. At the time, most of the summer internship interviews happen, the students are relatively new on the B- School campus (about 3-4 months) and lack exposure to the MBA ecosystem. However, the by the time students make the resume for finals, they gain considerable experience and exposure.
Difference between Resume of Freshers Vs Resume of Experienced B- School students
B- School graduates usually have diverse experience in terms of academic backgrounds, courses undertaken, relevant work experience, age, and areas of interest. Some MBA candidates have no work experience prior to joining B- school while some others have years of experience behind them. So, the resume of both types of students are vastly different from one another and must focus on a different structure and kind of content to increase visibility of their candidature.
A situation that most students are confused about while writing their resume is “How much of Pre B- School and Present B- school component to include in the resume?” While there is no right or wrong way of writing resumes, the most effective resumes have a proper balance of both. It is only the most relevant work experience that will add value to your resume so use selective discretion to choose what you want to highlight in your resume. The information presented should help you catch the recruiters’ interest and gain an upper-hand over your competition.
5 Do’s of Resume writing
Ø Choose the right format
A good idea to make the resume appealing to the recruiters is to select the most relevant format for the resume. Resumes have three types of formats:
- Chronological – contains a list of jobs and experience in reverse chronological order. The most recent work experience is placed at the top. It is best suited for B- School students with prior work experience.
- Functional – this format is better suited for freshers as the focus here is on relevant skills and experience rather than work history and experience.
- Combination – best suited for the most versatile candidate with a vast range of skills and work experience. It is the complete list of all skills, credentials and job history.
Ø Prioritize and structure your content
A typical resume should include components such as contact details, professional summary, work experience, education, publications, skills, certifications, and references. Along with a proper structure, prioritization of the content is equally important. One must pay proper attention to prioritize the sections in the order of their relevance, importance, and impressiveness.
Ø Write a clear career objective
Career objective is a statement about professional goals aimed at providing employers with an idea of your career goals. It helps recruiters identify if the candidate’s goals are in sync with the company’s vision for the future. Use short and precise sentences to indicate what you hope to achieve and how you think this would contribute towards the company’s growth. Do not write generic things in the career objective. You don’t need to have a detailed profile section to grab the reader’s attention.
Ø Edit properly and ensure readability
Cross check for any grammatical errors in the resume. Use the same font throughout the document and be consistent in use of line spacing. Also while indenting text, ensure that the vertical alignment is consistent. Also, it is good to have adequate white space, a resume with lots of words jammed together reduces readability. A good practice is to have an adequate mix of white space and words. Ideally, most people use Serif fonts (Century Schoolbook, Times New Roman and Times) as they are easier on the eyes. You may also use boldfacing and italics moderately to add emphasis to make certain points more evident. Never use all uppercase letters as it reduces legibility. And proofread the document at least twice.
Ø Showcase accomplishments and quantify them
Mention your accomplishments. Write about your role, the initiatives that made a difference. Quantify your achievements if possible. Providing proofs in the form of quantitative evidence will guarantee a unique chance for you to stand out from the pool of other candidates. Statements like - "Increased the revenue by 20%" add more credibility to your resume.
5 Don’ts of Resume writing
Ø Do not use pronouns
It is advised to eliminate usage of pronouns in the resume as it is already evidently obvious that you’re talking about yourself in the resume. Avoid using worlds like “I”, “my”, “me” and phrases such as “My duties involved” or “My responsibilities included”.
Ø Avoid unnecessary information
Information such as age, gender, marital status, religious beliefs are considered extraneous. A potential employer is more interested in your professional profile about work experience and academic accomplishments than your personal details.
Ø Don’t talk about Salary expectations
Your resume is not the document to state your salary requirements. This topic is best addressed during or after the interview. Include details about your expectations only if an employer specifically asks you to do so. That too in the cover letter!
Ø Don’t lie on your resume
Never lie on your resume. Nothing reflects as badly and diminishes your chances at a great opportunity as a deceitful act. Recruiters read many resumes on a daily basis and can easily pick up on lies.
Ø Don’t make grammatical mistakes
Read and re-read your resume to polish all the content and make it absolutely error free. Also, avoid using jargons as recruiters may not be aware of such words and would not waste time trying to figure out what you want to say.
7 Cardinal mistakes of Resume making
Ø Going overboard with the formatting
Creating a well-formatted and visually appealing resume is recommended but going overboard with flashy fonts and misaligned text is a serious no- no!
Ø Trivializing past experiences
Not providing any or enough information about past work experience is a grave mistake and reduces the value of your candidature significantly.
Ø Mentioning hobbies
A resume is not the right space to talk about your personal inclinations and hobbies. Your potential employer is not interested in knowing if you enjoy video games over reading books.
Ø A bad picture
Putting a picture of yourself in the resume is not required. A bad picture, especially an inappropriate one can completely ruin your chances.
Ø Lack of research
Not doing background research on the company profile or fully understanding the requirements of the available job is a grave mistake made by many. Crafting and customising a resume requires time and research.
Ø Exceeding the preferred length
Refrain from going overboard with information about yourself. Use your resume to present relevant and precise information. Recruiters are busy people and they do not want to read details of your life history.
Ø Not customising the resume
One of the typical mistake made by most job seekers is that they make one generic resume for all kinds of job profiles. Not customising the resume by inserting key skills and appropriate keywords diminishes the chances of getting interview calls.