How do I make my resume stand out? What experiences should I include? What rules should I be aware of? And specifically, what should be the length?
Are these some of the questions that keep you up at night? Fret not, we will answer them all for you. Here’s our handy guide to resume writing with common stumbling blocks and finer pointers to be kept in mind.
1. Tailor Your Resume
Your resume should not comprise every project you have ever been a part of. Regard your resume as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job and not as an exhaustive list of your impertinent career history.
Ensure that you highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. It does not have to include all your work experiences.
2. Mention Best Stuff at the Top
A hiring manager usually scans a resume for about 25 seconds. So make sure you mention the best and most pertinent accolades and experiences at the top. This top section will not only make an impactful first impression but also will serve as a hook for the employer to continue reading.
3. Maintain a Reverse-Chronological Format
There are several ways to arrange the information on your resume, but the traditional reverse-chronological resume is the most widely used resume style and certainly your best bet.
In a chronological resume, your jobs are arranged in a reverse chronological sequence with your current, or the most recent job first. Do not forget to incorporate a resume objective or career summary before listing preceding work experiences along with education, certifications, and areas of expertise.
4. Keep it to a Page
No matter how well-worded your resume is, it will not get a second glance if it is poorly organized and lengthy. Try to tell the same story in less space even if you genuinely have a huge number of relevant experiences, internships, and other credentials to showcase.
Ideally, a resume should be one-page long so make sure the sentences are crisp and well-written. Limit yourself to a maximum of two pages, but at the same time do not cut the meat out of your resume.
5. List Your Skills
Include a section that mentions all the pertinent skills and any industry-related certifications you have for the position. If you have plenty of skills pertaining to a position, you can split the skills section into categories like ‘Language Skills’ or ‘Software Skills’.
You can skip skills such as using email or Microsoft Word as everyone is expected to know them. As a matter of fact, listing them can make you seem less technologically savvy.
6. Keep It Simple
The fundamental principle of a good resume is simplicity. The focus should be on readability. Use a basic but modern font such as Arial or Century Gothic, and font size between 10 and 12 as that will be easy to read.
Leaving a significant amount of white space on the page is a good idea. It is fine to use a different font or typeface for mentioning details and resume headers but always keeps the page clean and consistent.
7. Go for Succinct Bullet Points
Mention as many facts, figures, and statistics as you can in the bullet points. How many people were a part of the team you were leading? By what margin did you exceed your last target?
Quantifying your accomplishments lets the employer assess your abilities based on your previous achievements. Remember to stick to five to six concise and impressive bullet points in a section. Writing more than that can make the employer completely omit them.
8. Update Your Resume Regularly
Update your resume on a regular basis. Adding all the new relevant information such as courses, certifications, and other academic qualifications that you have pursued on the way is the best way to keep a track of everything. It is a great idea as it ensures that you do not end up sending an obsolete resume to the hiring manager.
9. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Needless to say, ensure your resume is devoid of typos and grammatical errors. Do not just rely on spell check and grammar check. Consult family or friends, ask them to browse through it, and work on their suggestions.
Indubitably, we all understand the importance of curating an effective resume in getting shortlisted for an interview. It can be quite a challenge to make an impactful one. We hope this compilation helps you craft a solid, winning resume and make you land that dream job. Wish you the best!