We know you are worried about writing your very first resume. Don’t worry. No one expects a fresher to list a highly impressive career record. But no one wants a romantic, overdriven, hyper sounding person either. Learn the tricks
About two decades back, you could write anything you felt like in your resume and it would work provided you were qualified for the job. Employers were never too touchy about poor language and had time to read a few irrelevant details. But now, times have changed. India, especially its private sector, takes great pride in these changes. The market demands strictly conservative and professional behaviour, performance, language and yes, even resume. Growing competition leaves no space for irrelevant details in your resume.
That is why it seems strange to come across CVs written like love letters or personal statements these days. Consider this statement:
I am a man filled with passion and integrity, and I can act on short notice.
Your resume should present you as a strong candidate and not state such general facts. Besides, anyone can mention any delusions they may have about themselves. Of course, none of the candidates are going to write that they lack enthusiasm or integrity. Leave it to the hiring manager to deduce whether you have the general qualities to deliver or not.
You must tailor the CV in accordance to the imperatives of the market. Keep up with the times. Never go a word beyond what is required by a specific job especially in the personal details section. Employers are only interested in your professional qualities and not who you think you are. Here are some suggestions about what kind of personal details should be included and which are to be struck off your CV.
What not to include:
• Rambling objectives: Avoid stereotypical sentences and general statements such as the one mentioned above. If you wax poetic over your aims in life, it’ll only prove a lack of discretion.
• Prefix: Indicative prefixes like Mr., Mrs., and Miss are passé now.
• Daddy’s name: No, your father’s identity is completely irrelevant unless you are applying for a ration card. They want to know you, not your family.
• Religion and race: Tut tut! Touchy issues. Companies are prohibited on considering applications on the basis of religion and race. Your employer has no right to this information.
• Little exaggerations: No fibbing. Chances are that they will double check and send your chances hurtling down the stairs.
• Juvenile hobbies: Putting dumb charade and Just-A-Minute as your innate talents is a complete no-no. More mature and more relevant is what we are looking at. Ensure there is a connection between your interests and the current job profile.
What it should look like:
• Highlight! Highlight! Highlight! Make your qualification and achievements stand out in crisp language.
• Keywords: Make sure you use the keyboards appropriately. Résumés are searched online by help of keywords.
• Skills and Knowledge: Carefully try and fit this with the requirements of the job profile.
• Bullets are there for a reason: Don’t write an essay anywhere on that resume. Break down the points and use bullet points. Make sure what you are listing is worth reading.
• Double check: Get what you have written, reread by a professional. Proofreading is a must. Look for spelling errors, grammatical errors and syntax.
• Make it stand out: Be smart. Your resume should be unique enough to be selected from a pile of applications. Standard boring formats are an eye-sore. Be creative. But avoid being too eccentric, too verbose, too digressive. Employers take approximately 6 seconds to decide whether a resume is worth reading or not. Your prospective employer should want to know more about you after going reading yours.
For best results structure your resume around the job requirements mentioned by the employer. Stick to the necessary details. You might plan to fill in your resume with personal and irrelevant details because you do not have enough qualifications and experience because this strategy (it is hardly a strategy) never helped anyone land a good job.