A resume is a brief summary of your skills, accomplishments, experiences and education, designed to capture a prospective employer’s interest. The purpose of a resume is to secure an interview. It should give an impressive picture to the employer. So, don’t get panicked if it takes several drafts to prepare an effective one.
Preparing An Effective Resume
You must identify your skills, abilities and special needs relating to the work environment, salary, geographic location, and people. This will help you to develop a career objective. This exercise could be performed in the following way:
. List at least 10-12 skills which you have in each of the following areas: work/ education/ internships /extracurricular. Use action words to develop one-liner summaries.
. Now circle those you think suitable for your employment. If there are other talents suitable for the job then add them to the list.. Now rank these skills in order of those you most want to use.
. Make a list of five great accomplishments in your life. What personal qualities helped you reach each goal?
II. Analysis of your skills and the career requirements:
An extremely important step is to collect information about the required skills and qualifications of the fields, which interest you. This would define whether these requirements relate to your skills or not.
III. Resume Writing:
While organizing the information in your resume, keep in mind the needs of the employer who will be reading it. Consider what he is looking for in a candidate and make it easy for the reader to pick out those skills by selecting appropriate categories, using underlining, boldfacing or capitalizing and presenting relevant experience and skill areas higher up on the page.
Guidelines for building of your resume:
The right approach:
It is a sellers’ market. You got to sell yourself through your resume. Organize your skills and abilities in such a way that at first glance it should create a good impression on the employer.
Use active language:
Develop marketable skills that would be required through your position.
Example: organized xy events, run abc marketing campaign, company increased sales by 5% with in a period of 6 months.
Consistency in presentation:
Consistency is required in formatting and presentation of information on resume e.g. formatting, highlighting etc.
Reverse chronological order :
It should also be within categories. List education and work experiences starting with the most recent first.
Spell & grammar check:
Misspellings and grammatical errors communicate negative impressions about a candidate.
Resume should look appealing:
Choose high quality paper in white or off-white and get the final version professionally printed.
Make Your Resume different from others:
You can create your own categories to highlight your experiences and skills. It is frequently useful to separate your related or professional experiences from your other work experience by creating separate categories for these content areas.
The following are Some Examples you can use for the categories:
· Computer Skills
· Teaching Experience
· Related Experience (You could express like business/sales experience etc.)
· Experience With Children
· Professional Affiliations
· Certificates and Awards
· Related Courses
· Volunteer Work
· Workshops and Conferences Attended
· Technical Skills
· Special Skills
· Language Proficiencies
· Additional Information
Do not over decorate your resume and remember that it should look simple and professional.
Categories for resume:
The following categories can be used as guideline to assist you in organizing a resume. In making a rough draft, do not be concerned with length, you could add and drop the categories in the final draft. There is no perfect way to organize your resume.
Name, Address and Telephone:
Present yourself with the name you use in your personal and business life. Also, always include phone numbers if you can. If you have an e-mail address, you may include that as well.
The objective is one of the most important parts of a resume. It should be very specific, not vague and meaningless. Objective should reflect the employer’s perspective, not the jobseeker’s, and should tell what the jobseeker can contribute. An objective should demonstrate the value the candidate will add to the organization. It should be as concise as possible and sharpen the focus of your resume.
· To manage people, interface with customers, and work with highly technical software or hardware applications.
· A position within a financial institution requiring strong analytical and organizational skills.
This category is particularly important if you have not had a great deal of work experience. Remember, your most recent educational experience should be listed first.
Include your degree, specialization, institutions attended, date of graduation, subsidiary subjects studied, and any special workshops, seminars, related courses or projects.
Be sure to include all significant work experience (internship, training etc.) in reverse chronological order.
You should include: (1) the title of your position, (2) name of organization, (3) location of work (city), and (4) dates.
· You should describe your work responsibilities with an emphasis on achievements to communicate your skills. List the most important and related responsibilities first.
· Identify the most relevant work experiences and describe them fully. Omit the irrelevant experience.
Example : September, 1999 to August, 2000 ABC Co. Private Ltd.
(Media planning, developing advertising and promotional campaign, coordination between the client and creative department, regular follow-ups and event management.)
This category is useful for displaying information that doesn’t fit in any other category. Although Computer Knowledge can be separate category especially if it is very strong, it can be listed here as well. Languages spoken, or any extra, relevant bit of information can be placed here as well.
Here you can mention about your hobbies, interest and activities.
· Interests : This is sometimes used to evaluate your “personality type”. But go a little easy on this, if you have to include it at all, unless there is something really special or in some way relevant to the job you are applying for.
· Activities : Honours, and Leadership are also important categories to include. If the activities involved work responsibility, mention that. The employer is interested in the skills you have developed whether through volunteer or paid experiences. If you were elected to offices or committees, mention it. Recognition and demonstration of leadership roles are valuable.
You should provide references only if it is a requirement other wise just state at the bottom of your resume ” Would be furnished on requirement”.