How to prepare your resume?

Resume vs CV

  • Resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages, while a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages.
  • The CV presents a full history of your academic credentials, so the length of the document is variable. In contrast, a resume presents a concise picture of your skills and qualifications for a specific position, so length tends to be shorter and dictated by years of experience (generally 1-2 pages).

Importance of an Impressive Resume

  • Resume is the first ever document that your prospective employer is going to see before even he sees you. As you may know most recruiters and HR people spend only several seconds on a resume, so it is paramount that we grab their attention.

For achieving this purpose, your resume has to be drafted strategically:

  • A resume should be a crisp, concise and a focused draft.
  • It needs to be a 1-page word document.
  • The first 1/3 page of the resume is a very important real estate for us – it should only have streamlined information.
  • I like to commence a resume with professional title, followed by summary section by putting a tight worded paragraph.

Professional Title

  • A clear job title at the top of your resume is very significant.
  • You need to give yourself a job title that is clear and descriptive
  • Your employers should know at a glance what roles you are looking for otherwise your resume appears unfocused.

Importance of a Summary Section

  • Your summary should be fleshed out to capture your top professional strengths, to convince the reader that you are UNIQUELY qualified for your target job.
  • What makes you stand out among similar candidates?
  • What is your professional approach or style?
  • These are the questions you should ask yourself before crafting your summary.
  • The summary should be composed of powerful descriptions of your most impressive qualifications. This is one of the most important aspects of an effective resume. I recommend a clear professional title and powerful summary paragraph that will position you effectively, and include those elements of your background that make you uniquely qualified for your target jobs.

Example of a Robust Summary

“Experience of 2 years in domain of finance and office assistance with exposure in handling high volume of account payable invoices, managing account receivables with mindset of further learning and development.

Pursuing master degree in Environmental Health along with possessing post graduation in Public Health. Highly adaptable with an ability to function under stringent deadlines and work pressure. Possess strong inclination towards Public and Environmental Health issues and harnessing ability to handle multiple projects with effective communication (written & oral). Adept at assisting processes for concept building that lead to inputs towards fulfilling unit goals. Drive passion for delivering finest evidence based public/environmental health practices, commitment to continuing learning and time management. Handle multiple clients with sensitivity towards contributing strategic initiatives towards augmented efficiency in said subject matter.”

No Objectives Please!

  • Objective of any resume is clear – to get a job!
  • When this is so clear, then why to waste precious space on the resume talking about it!
  • We also discourage them because they speak of your needs rather than the needs of the reader.
  • Consider how you wouldn’t begin a sales presentation by stating what you hope to get out of the deal; rather, you want to first engage your audience with the value of what you’re promoting (in this case, your professional strengths). Therefore your career goals should be implied by your robust summary, rather than stated explicitly as an objective.

Education Section

This section should feature right after your summary. And if you have grades to boast about, don’t hesitate to feature them as done below in an example:

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Human Resources (CQPI-5.22/8), Xavier Institute of Management, Orissa, 2014
  • Bachelor of Technology – Chemical (CQPI-7.8/10), Birla Institute of Technology, Bihar, 2011

Projects/ Internship

To be able to kick start your career path, its significant to provide details about the kind of projects that you have undertaken so far. List down 4-5 most significant projects. One is illustrated below:


Change Management Initiative (3 Months)  

  • Comprehend job descriptions, select job incumbents strategically and conduct varied interviews along with sorting jobs.
  • Block calendar of job incumbents and panelists, get score card ready for each job on different parameters thereby getting final assessment done after equivalence mapping from different assessors in panel.
  • Create rationale document for each job incumbent based on scores besides sharing final documents with client.

Training and Certifications

  • It would be a great thing to include your trainings and certification that you have acquired.
  • This talks about your progressive approach to your career.

Significance of LinkedIn Profile

  • Once your resume is in place, next step is to create or to refurbish your LinkedIn Profile.
  • LinkedIn is evolving and if you are a savvy job hunter, you will seize the opportunity to utilize its new features to your advantage.
  • When looking for a new job, you might be tempted to choose the “easy” way of simply cutting one section of a resume after another and pasting them in turn into the corresponding spot on your profile. However, doing this demonstrates a failure to understand what social media is all about, and limits the information about yourself that you can convey. Both your resume and LinkedIn profile speak about you, but they do so in at several different ways:

a) Resumes are limited in length to a page or two. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn you can use a personal branding.

b) Statement that’s up to 2000 characters in your profile summary. Plus there is no overall constraint for the total length of your profile.

Significance of Cover Letter

  • A cover letter should ideally encapsulate your introduction, educational background and your skill set.
  • The cover letter allows you to target the job and the employer in a very specific way, leaving the resume to market your skills, qualities and experience as a part of the bigger picture. Your resume then needs less tweaking with each application because the letter, which must be different each time, does that for you.
  • A great cover letter should not just repeat your resume in a shorter form, but should tell the employer what it is about the job that is attractive to you and why you want to work for that employer. You will also need to include the unique skills and the qualities you bring to that job and the company.
  • It will need to be written in an engaging style using keywords applicable to the job.
  • In the letter you will need to show that you have made the effort to learn about their company by acquiring relevant knowledge before going to the interview, if you are chosen.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

  • When you apply for a job online, your resume isn’t typically going directly to a recruiter or hiring manager. It’s first being processed by an ATS.
  • The system allows company recruiters to review the applications, send applicants automated messages letting them know about their interviews or mail rejection letters.
  • These systems also save time by automatically surfacing and highlighting top candidates. In reality, ATS do help hiring professionals narrow their applicant pool.
  • A common way recruiters filter resumes in an applicant tracking system is by searching for key skills and titles.

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