Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things that make a resume work...

I got some questions on resume writing and how to make a resume stand out. While there’s enough information that you can get by Googling, here’s a list that I would suggest. Yes, many things mentioned below are obvious. I might sound like a broken record, but when it comes to searching for jobs, candidates end up hurrying on the document which talks on their behalf.

Here are things that might help make your resume work:

  • ZERO virus! You may wonder how that happens. But it does. Scan you resume.doc before you send it out.

  • Your career objective. Even better if you can mention short-term and long-term. If you don’t have one I’ll assume you are OK with any role we have.

  • Time periods for various positions. Previous held or currently holding. Both month & year. If there is an overlap or if you are working for different companies at the same time. Mention that.

  • Your contribution/achievement to projects you’ve mentioned in each role. NOT your team’s contribution.

  • Mention only those skills that you are confident with using / have used proficiently. Exposure to a certain skill doesn’t necessarily mean you know it in-depth! Right?

  • Contact details (phone, emails, etc,). Absolute must. If you have a preferred time to take calls, mention that. Again, if don’t tell, means you’re ok to take the call at anytime.

  • Don’t mention your blog. Please. Here’s why.

  • Any gaps/breaks taken before completing your education or even between two jobs work? Such as a sabbatical, medical reasons, etc., Mention it. Else, if it comes up during later discussions, it will look like you were trying to hide something.

  • Personalized cover letter. Please don’t send a mass mail with each recipient in the Bcc. It’s not a personal mail. It’s your career at stake!

  • Anything beyond 3 pages will not be read. So don’t waste time mentioning each and every thing you did in the last 10 years. Read the job description and then apply.

  • Read: Your resume’s got 30 seconds. Make it count.

  • Your resume font is crucial. Choose one that looks professional. Comic Sans doesn’t look professional. Period.

  • Typos. ‘Manger’ instead of ‘Manager’, ‘Martial Status’ instead of ‘Marital Status’, etc., Read thoroughly before submitting your resume.
  • Finally, keep it real.

Agreed. You are currently doing all of this and yet you’re not getting that most-awaited-for call. That’s just the way it goes. You really aren’t in control of that. But you can and must control things that are in your grasp. Your resume definitely figures on top of that list in a job search. You’ll do yourself a big favor by making sure your resume is presentable. That it has things which the employer is looking for or stuff that would at least make them consider your resume.

Post that might be helpful too: Resume Writing

Good luck!