Nobody can discount the importance of a first impression. And when it comes to landing an interview, or converting one, much rests on your resume. According to various statistical sources, most recruiters spend only a few seconds to go over a resume. Hence, it is imperative that it creates a good first impression. With that said, we have few important points that we believe you should bear in mind, once you start drafting your resume.
1. Format your resume to make it easy to read: Imagine a recruiter holding two resumes in his hands. In one, he has a resume with endless text, no defined sections, three or possibly four different font sizes and styles, and inconsistent or virtually no spacing among paragraphs. In the other, he holds a resume which is in chronological order, has clear and consistent sections with defined headings, font size and style. Which one would he prefer to read first? It is the same as walking into an interview. No matter how technically strong or confident you are, if you walk into the interview wearing an outfit which is too jarring or unprofessional, it would fail to create a good first impression. So, suit up your resume format, and see how it creates an advantage for you.
2. Create section headers that properly segregate the resume: It is extremely important to classify the resume into appropriate sections so that it is easy to read. Even more important is to choose relevant Resume Headers which help the recruiter gain an idea about what to expect in a certain section. For example, you might be proud about debate competitions that you might have won, but creating a section titled, “Debate competitions where I reigned supreme” is not really wise. Another point to consider is to write relevant information under every section. For example, if you are going to write about co-curricular achievements under the Education section, it won’t sit well with the potential recruiter. Ideally, a resume with 3–5 relevant and well-framed sections is considered to be most appropriate.
3. Write professional and relevant content: Content is King! That adage is true for everyone, from the person trying to promote their website, to the person vying for a job. And the content gains even more prominence if it serves as the primary driver to potentially land an interview. With that in mind, you must follow these few points while writing your resume:
· Do not write paragraphs. Use bullet points in the 3–5 sections that you have created.
· Keep the resume concise. One page is regarded as adequate for an undergrad resume.
· Do not make spelling errors in your resume as it shows lack of professionalism and can be a huge turn off for any recruiter so make sure you spell check.
· Personal pronouns like “Me, Myself and I” should be avoided while writing a resume since a resume is considered to be a genuine and factual description about you, not by you.
· If you wish to use technical jargons in a resume which have recognizable abbreviations (GUI instead of Graphical User Interface), use its expanded form and mention its abbreviation alongside.
4. Keep your resume language in check: It is critical that the language used in the resume is professional, specific to the mentioned tasks, fact-based and action-oriented. What you may lack in terms of experience can be compensated by the competence you show in your resume and during interviews. This is achieved by using phrases like “provided relevant information to various consumers during internship”, rather than the phrase “answered phones during internship”. Another important aspect is to not use elaborate or ornate language. Each statement should add value to the resume rather than simply occupying some space to make it look more cluttered. It may serve you well during a thesaurus contest, but a recruiter sees right through it. And at last make sure there is no grammatical mistake.
5. How to mention experience: We do understand that any experience would be tempting to put on a resume in order to attract a recruiter but it is not advisable unless you have relevant experience to prove why you deserve that job. A resume may not necessarily include everything you have ever done rather it should be a reflection of what is relevant to your desired field. If you lack in experience, then say, for an undergrad, Position of Responsibilities, accomplishments in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, research projects and internships can be the replacements that help beef up your resume as well as provide an assessment of your skills.
While these tips may not lead you to land every interview that you desire, however, they are few of the most important aspects that convert a good resume into a great one. Every recruiter wants to hire an employee that can be the desired part of the whole that makes a team. And a good resume helps him determine that to an extent. The job you apply for, on an average attracts 250 resumes. For you to be the one in the 250, your resume is the crucial first step.
Originally published at blog.vmock.com.