Well, we all know that your resume is going to be the first piece of impression the
employer is going to have of yours. It’s important for you to craft it well and ensure that you have added all your relevant experience and achievements.
Resumes are still very valuable in spite of candidates having LinkedIn profiles and recruiters make sure they sift through each and every resume document to eliminate the ineligible candidates. Therefore drafting a correct and perfect resume becomes imperative.
Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to follow in order to crack the formula for the perfect resume. Treat them as resume writing guidelines that you should follow.
1. Use A Template
You will get a lot of resume templates online and you should definitely think over of using them to draft your resume. This actually saves time and gives you a ready-made blueprint to work on. They come in various formats and are requirement based. A designer’s resume and a engineer’s resume template format will be different.
2. Keep It Concise
You can’t possibly drone on in your resume about your achievements. It’s not for storytelling purposes. You need to be very crisp with your information and all the descriptions should be succinct. You should aim to cover your resume in about one page or maximum two. Anything more than that won’t be seen.
3. Add An Objective Statement
Add a resume objective followed by a summary of your experience, ambitions and
achievements to give the recruiter a first-hand idea of what to expect in detail below. This is a great way to pitch the best of you at the start itself.
4. Add Power Words
A judicious mix of power words can do the trick for you. They are action keywords which bring about a powerful impact on what you want to convey. Words like ‘Assembled’, ‘Obtained’, ‘Defined’, ‘Devised’, etc. are some examples of such keywords. But remember to not overuse them.
5. Include Numbers Wherever You Can
Doesn’t saying ‘Successfully completed the training in 4 months with a 89% pass score’ sound better than just writing ‘Completed ABC training successfully from January to April’? That’s why numbers are important. They will stand out in between words and you can use them to highlight specific achievements.
6. Include Contact Details
Adding your primary contact details is important. Email id and a phone number is a must, additionally to which candidates are now also adding their social media profile links. Adding your address is not at all needed, but make sure you mention the city of your residence.
7. Be Sure to Copy Check
Not proofreading your resume before hitting on send is a grave error that could cost you your chance of landing your dream job. Avoid typos and grammatical errors in your resume and make sure you are proofreading it several times. A single mistake can really leave a bad impression on the recruiter.
8. Include Soft Skills
These skills are taken for granted and candidates don’t bother to add it on their
resumes. You should add these skills to show your strengths and where your comfort level lies. Communication, positive attitude, time management skills, good work ethic, etc. become important soft skills which improve your credibility.
9. Include Volunteer Experience
It’s a great thing if you have devoted time to any non-profit causes or have done social work and it will help your candidature if you add it to your resume. You might have definitely learned something there which could come of use in the job you’re applying to.
1. Over Format
Don’t get too creative or artsy with the fonts and colours on your resume, unless of
course, you’re a designer making his portfolio. Otherwise you need to stick to basic fonts styles and sizes and opt for formatting that is easy to read and understand. The formatting is the whole first look a recruiter will get, hence it’s as important as the content in your resume.
2. Save And Send It As .docx
Always save your resume as a PDF document before sending it. PDFs are non-editable and they preserve your formatting as it is. If you send in a word format, there is a chance of formatting getting messed up.
3. Add Random Hobbies
It’s good to have hobbies but don’t put in something that is too mundane or normal. Watching TV, playing sports or talking cannot be hobbies. Watching a specific genre of TV serials, or playing a particular sport or even collecting stamps or reading can be significant hobbies to add.
4. Mention Obvious Skills
Now it’s a given that you know MS Office and its applications, or even using and
browsing the internet. Mentioning such skills will have a negative impact. Moreover, it only takes up more space. Add more unique skills or special skills which you’ve acquired to make your resume stand out from all others’.
5. Unnecessary Information
There might be certain confidential work you might have done for your previous
organisation. You don’t need to mention it on your resume or if you want to, you can be honestly discreet about it during the interview. Even personal information like food tastes, political inclinations, marital status, whole address, etc. need not to be mentioned at all.
6. Use Multiple Fonts
Two fonts are all that’s needed to ensure that you have a presentable resume. Avoid using Comic Sans, or cursive fonts or even stylish fonts. You need to keep it formal and legible. Prefer using the Sans Serif fonts. Trying various combinations of these fonts also won’t look good. Stick to one or maximum two font styles.
7. Include Irrelevant Work Experience
You may have interned as an accountant before your marketing job profile, or you may have been into customer service before an accounts job, but that’s not vital information for the recruiter to know if the job you’re applying is not related to it. Exclude experiences which are not aligned to your long term work goals.
8. Include Entire Work Experience
Job switches can be a bit of a mess to show on your resume. If you have changed
multiple jobs over a span of a few years, then mentioning all of them isn’t a good idea. One, it will take up too much space and second, it may give off a really bad vibe. Unless the company is very strict with gap policies, you don't have to include every place you’ve worked for.
9. Underestimate Honesty
Lying on your resume about your passing grades or about your previous job roles, or even achievements can prove to be detrimental. Stick to being honest and avoid getting into unnecessary complications. If you’re caught, you’ll stand to lose whatever much you have gained.