Resume Dos and Don’ts

Talking from a point of view business Schools, a well written resume reflects that you have taken the application process seriously and that you have an ability to put your accomplishments in a decent format. Continuing from the post "Why Do Resumes Get Rejected?", today we will have a look at a few dos and don’ts that one should keep in mind while writing an effective resume.

Format- Divide the resume into five broad categories:
Educational Qualifications
Work Experience
Achievements/ Awards
Additional Information – Interest, Hobbies, GMAT/ TOEFL/IELTS’, Known languages etc.

Add your accomplishments in reverse chronological order. Recommendations are optional, add them only when asked to.

Tasks and Accomplishments- Do not talk about the tasks that you performed during your tenure in an organization rather talk about what you accomplished during that tenure.Eg.

Experience Includes
Responsibilities included writing mails, compiling track sheets of the number of queries both via phone as well as walk ins , handling marketing campaigns , performing various other duties as assigned.

Experience includes:

  • Wrote product overview mails and developed power point presentations for the chief clientele group that contributed to an increase in sales by 20%
  • Compiled and maintained query and mailing list of 8000—Kotak Mahindra Banks’ largest-ever list in a single day.
  • Handled marketing campaigns of the new products at Delhi and NCR region for corporate clients such as Nokia and Genpact.
  • Worked intensively with Rs 10 Cr and above clients to tailor corporate finance products.

Sweet and Short- It is best to keep a resume to as short as one page but if your have gained a lot of experience and have a lot of accomplishments to talk about, you can extend the resume to the maximum length of two pages. One should always keep in mind that an employer is willing to spend just a few seconds before finally deciding to give you an interview call so, simple and sweet works best.

Neat and Correct- Keep your resume sans grammatical and typographical errors. Leave atleast one inch side margins and do not use different colours, a simple white background, and black ink works.

Fonts and Bullets- Use only round bullets, don’t go for character or picture bullets. As far as fonts go, Arial, Verdana and Georgia always work. Arial – 10, Georgia -10 and Verdana – 9 for the normal text and increase the font by 2 or 3 for headings. Comic Sans MS and Papyrus fonts are a strict no.

Concise and Quantitative- Do not use long sentences and heavy accented words but don’t be repetitive in the usage of words. For example replace ‘worked as…’ with ‘collaborated…’Use numbers to show your accomplishments and answer the question ‘how much?’. A specific resume is always better than a general rounded one. For example: Designed marketing campaign that resulted in $50K in pre-launch orders for Kotak Mahindra Banks’ gold coins line. If you performed a specific task at more than one job, list it in one place only. The employer is only interested in knowing your capabilities so, do not make the resume unnecessary lengthy by adding repetitive information.

Action Verbs and Pronouns- Use action verbs to demonstrate your accomplishments such as accelerated, delivered, established, initiated , directed etc. Do not use personal pronouns such as I, me, myself etc.

Revise and Review- Edit and proofread your resume atleast twice and get it read by someone from the same industry. While editing, keep deleting all the unnecessary text because every word counts.

Think and Implement- Think from employer’s point of view and answer a simple question.

Is your resume good enough to hold employer’s attention for atleast 30 seconds?

Many a time the resumes either have too little information or too much information that within a first few seconds a large number of resumes get a trash bin treatment. So, always know your target audience to whom you would be presenting your resume. For example, B Schools stress a lot on work experience section because your work experience reflects your credibility and your capabilities. This work experience is a reliable factor that would help you in getting jobs post MBA as well.

Be Honest – Do not make up degrees, accomplishments, personal or professional facts. Your resume can always be cross checked and if caught, you would be shown the door without any hesitation. For example if you have been a part of team, reflect your accomplishments as a part of teamwork and not as a leadership quality.

A Strict Nos- Don’t add a picture of yourself, salary information, height, weight, religion, failures,the title ‘Resume’, nicknames, and reasons for leaving the previous job. In case of unisexual names, add a courtesy title before your name e.g. “Ms. Michael Scott” or “Mr. Jeriome Thomas”

Time and Effort- Writing an effective resume is a tedious task and it requires time and effort. Spend a good number of hours for writing your resume because a good resume may actually take you a step ahead in changing your destiny. In essence you have to tell your employer what you are looking for and what capabilities you have that makes you a deserving candidate.

Keep these points in mind while writing your resume and if there are any questions or queries that you would like to ask, you can ask them in the comment box; I’d be glad to clear your doubts.

Good Luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment