Writing a resume that a recruiter will notice among the many he gets everyday is a skill that can be developed. Here are some tips:
A good resume can make or break your chances of landing a coveted job. You may not be called for a job interview if your resume spots even a minor error. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while structuring your resume.
*Irrelevant qualifications spell non-focus
Mentioning qualifications just for the heck of it or to impress the recruiter about various degrees acquired won’t come in handy. It will only reveal that you are directionless and dabbling in various streams that might not make sense with your job experience.
*An initial covering letter is useful to explain a thing or two about you
If you do a good research about the company while writing out a Covering Letter and mention why you are interested in a particular job with the prospective employer, it would always be taken positively. A resume that is customized as per job requirements, always stands a good chance of being shortlisted for an interview.
*Be particular on the use of stationery, and pay attention to spelling and grammatical mistakes. These speak about your eye for detail
An A4 size white paper with commonly used fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman, of size 12, in MS Word or in a PDF file, is the norm. However a colored sheet is suggested if your CV in the current form has not been able to garner enough views. It is used to gain the attention of a recruiter. Double check the language used, incorrect spellings, and grammatical errors because these can reduce your chance of sitting across the interview table. Do not use very big and complex words. The recruiter should not have to open a dictionary to comprehend your resume.
*A big NO to a photograph, unless specifically requested
A photo is distracting and unnecessary. While e-mailing your resume, it can make your file heavy. This means your resume might not reach the desired destination as files above a certain size are rejected. Also, affixing a photograph might result in alignment problems.
Photographs are useful for applying for jobs in the hospitality sector or Front Desk jobs where looks or visible appearance is an important criterion.
*A very exhaustive resume will make the recruiter lose interest in your credentials and the CV will a find place in the junk box
The approach of being specific and concise might help the CV look lengthy. However, copying the same set of responsibilities of one role to another, and from one organization to another will dilute recruiters’ interest. In fact, responsibilities change from being executive in nature at the junior management level to operational at the middle management levels, while it becomes strategic in nature at the senior management levels.
*Too many references — sometimes even including a reference — can mar your chances References are generally required at the last stage of the evaluation process and is not required at the initial interface. At the same time giving too many references could turn against you even if one out of the multiple references does not find favor with the interviewer, because of a past experience. References should be provided only after being asked for. You should also make it a point to inform the referee that his name has been given for a reference check.
*Stereotyped adjectives like ‘dynamic’, ‘versatile’ and repetitive use of words like ‘results-oriented’, ‘self-motivated’, ‘high energy levels,’ sound redundant
Often employees go way ahead to impress their recruiters by using impressive adjectives. Words such as ‘innovative’, ‘motivated’ and ‘dynamic’ have been used so often that they’ve lost their impact. Steer clear of these words whenever possible and focus on quantifying your contributions.
*Responsibilities in place of accomplishments will greatly reduce the impact of your resume
It has been researched that recruiters often wish to understand how an employee’s role made a difference to his company. One often tends to mention responsibilities as accomplishments. Responsibilities are part of your job, whereas accomplishments are something exceptional that probably resulted in cost cutting, savings, profits, etc.
*Irrelevant hobbies can make you appear strange rather than well-rounded
Mention of hobbies/interests that show how useful you are for the job applied for, can always be a bonus. Same is the case for a hobby or passion that exhibits your versatility and adaptability. If you believe you do not have any specific hobby, it is better to avoid the section all together.
*Using an improper email address is immature and childish
It has been noticed that mentioning humorous email addresses with words like queen, princess, bond007 etc. might be fine for your personal correspondence, but not for a job application. For a professional email address, just use your name and numeric.
*Talk strategic than generic
At the senior levels the candidate should talk about the strategic nature of his job rather than about his responsibilities. A single page snapshot is sufficient at very senior levels. It should talk only about accomplishments at the organizations they have served.
*Be cautious while putting information on networking sites
LinkedIn or other professional networking sites are very commonly referred to by recruiters these days and is used in tandem with the CV while screening the application. Any information that is presented in the CV and found not matching with the profile on a networking site will make it unpleasant for the candidate, if asked to explain.
*Avoid constructing CV’s that follow a standard pattern
Notably, the CV’s that are being made by some professional organizations use a specific sequence, fonts and language that make it easy to comprehend the work of a professional resume maker.
It will be assumed by the interviewer that certain things are exaggerated and do not speak honestly about the candidate’s potential.
P.S. : this is an adopted article