“Never judge a book by its cover” — this age-old adage is put to a serious test when it comes to job hunting. Your resume is the prelude to your job interview, especially in a scenario where recruiters will spend no more than a couple of minutes to size up a new candidate. Since the business of recruitment is decidedly time sensitive, recruiters do need to scan through hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. Hence, zeroing in on appropriate resumes in the minimum possible time is crucial in a recruitment life cycle.
An attractive resume is not about splashing colors or throwing in graphics or images. Rather, it is about being simple, free flowing, and to the point, yet capable of showcasing everything about the candidate in minimum number of pages. Whether you are writing your own resume or getting it crafted by a professional, you need to include the following basic information, along with a very brief paragraph on why you fit the target role.
To craft a great resume, you need to provide your professional experience, specifying your current and past companies and their URLs, your job titles, and your tenure with each company. Also include very brief job descriptions and achievements for each of these roles, preferably tailoring them to relate to the target role.
Document your online presence
Do not forget to include your online professional credentials as LinkedIn. For online CV you could possibly place a link but for print you could add a QR code. Recent studies point out that recruiters prefer looking up a candidate online before interviewing them. You can also provide your personal website or blog link, if any. Include your Facebook or Instagram link only if your work involves photography or social media.
Educational qualification and technical proficiency
Record all your academic degrees, the graduation years, the institution you were affiliated to, and their location. For technical proficiency, mention the platforms and tools you are certified in, and how they are relevant to the target role.
Being multilingual is a great advantage, so if you are proficient in more than one language, do mention them, along with your proficiency level for each. Most corporate today look for staff who can travel globally and can handle clients in diverse location – knowing an additional language definitely gives an employee and edge.
These are the best areas to showcase your versatile personality and so include any voluntary work or social initiative you are engaged with.
General look and feel
For a perfect resume, use short, simple, and grammatically correct sentences with pointers. Recruiters don’t have time to go through long paragraphs for hundred odd resumes. For sure it does score a lot of negatives if there are glaring grammatical errors. Also, avoid formatting errors like font and color mismatch and misaligned sentences. Remember that if it turns out to be ugly and monotonous at the first sight, a recruiter might not even want to go through it at all.
As for highlighting your achievements, you can use bold fonts sparingly, but not colored fonts since the resume needs to look professional and not a child’s artwork! Arrange your educational qualifications and your relevant job experiences, starting with the most recent ones. Delete all unnecessary jargon and language ornamentation — your resume should highlight your relevant job skills and not your writing prowess. And, most importantly, do not forget a spellcheck.
Add the right references as they validate what you have put on their CV and told during interview to be correct. Among other things the right references which are pertinent to the industry will help the CV to stand out.
The art of writing a resume has been a topic of debate for long, and you must remember that your resume is your most important tool for the job market. Therefore, create a dynamic resume and keep evolving it with every new job interview or in every stage of your professional life.