Speak through your resume
A resume speaks on your behalf till you are called in for the interview. Make sure its appearance, required qualification and your uniqueness should...
A resume speaks on your behalf till you are called in for the interview. Make sure its appearance, required qualification and your uniqueness should be eye-catching A A Seeing one's career on a few pages is always a thrilling experience. For freshers, the struggle is to find appropriate content to fill; for experienced people, it is a challenge to decide what to write and what to omit. At the end of writing down the resume, have you ever satisfied with your efforts? Rarely! You often feel that something better could be done. Moreover, you are not very sure if your resume is good enough to attract the attention of the HR manager or whoever screens the applications. I keep receiving requests to review resumes and offer suggestions. In my view, the purpose of resume is not only to get you shortlisted; it needs to help you throughout the interview process till the selection is made. Even after joining, a copy of the resume should go into your personal file! Given the importance of resume, here are some guidelines. Aesthetics: Appearance of your resume is the beginning. It is the first contact point with the potential employer. In your absence, your resume should speak with the HR manager who might be screening. Imagine a clumsy, disorganised, verbose and overdressed person approaching you to develop a conversation. Would you not avoid and move away? Exactly similar is a crowded, clumsy, illogical and colourful resume. It will surely put off the person who is reviews it. Keep it simple, spacious, organised and crisp. Pay attention to your choice of words. Ensure threshold criteria: Every job advertisement specifies the minimum requirements. It is important to ensure that you match the same and more importantly make it abundantly clear on the first page itself. For example, if the minimum per cent required is 60 per cent in engineering, it is essential that you state it on first page so that the HR manager should not lose patience to check on the fifth page. Reflect you on the resume: As I mentioned above, resume should speak on your behalf till you are called in for the interview. Therefore, what you write on the resume must truly reflect you. If you are passionate person, the resume should capture examples of such passion; or for example, you characterise yourself as an innovative person, you must highlight your innovative assignments on your resume. Career Mission � you must mean it: It is usually customary to see 'career objective' or 'career mission' on the first page. A few times, I started my interview with the same. The candidate had to struggle to justify why he wrote such a career objective statement. He simply copied and pasted. Such approach should be avoided at all costs. It is a great opportunity to express your true career aspiration. Think deeply, connect with your dreams and then articulate the same. It will help to bring out your thought clarity. Be careful about what to highlight: By reading your resume, others will be able to assess what you consider as achievements. For example, what does it mean if a very senior level person writes 'attended national conference'? Is it a big achievement at your level? Do they indicate your standards? Don't you have any other achievements to highlight? Therefore, it is important to be sensitive to what you highlight and what you omit. Usual guideline is to tweak your resume as per the level and the job that you are applying for. That will make the job of HR manager easier instead of reading, interpreting and judging on the suitability. Differentiate from the crowd: Imagine an HR manager who screens hundreds of resumes every day. What are you doing to make your resume stand out from the crowd? While you must ensure that threshold requirements are met, you can also attempt to highlight any other factors in you that will add strength to your candidature. For example, for a marketing job, MBA in marketing is a threshold. At the same time, your ability to organise and your outgoing personality could be added. Finally, it is important to visualise the day when the interviewer has your resume in hand and asks you questions. You must stand 100 per cent by what you wrote on your resume.