Whether you are a fresher or someone with two decades of work experience, a resume (or a CV as some people like to call it) is the first step towards your job search. Writing a good resume is not an easy task. There are so many things to be careful about – what to write, how to write, which format is the best, etc. Today, I hope to make this task a little easy for you. I have tried to explain the ten most important things you should keep in mind when making your resume. So, let’s start…
1. Number of pages– Most resumes can be done in one page. You should really have a strong reason to go beyond one page, if you do, the second page is really the most you can. Reduce the margins, on the left and right as well as on top and bottom, as much as possible. In today’s day and age, resumes are never really filed so the wide margins are really of no use.
2. Format– Choose any format that pleases your eyes, however try to avoid the very common ones, unless you are appearing for campus interviews and your institute has mandated a particular format. You could take the help of some websites which suggest resume templates depending on the kind of interview you are appearing for.
3. Font– Remember that your resume is a very formal document and should look like that. Any basic, simple and formal font like Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial work best for a resume. Calligraphy style or any other fancy fonts are completely avoidable. As far as font size is concerned, depending on your selection of font, you could choose anything in between 10 and 12.
4. Reverse Chronological order– Use reverse chronological order when you write about your work experience & education, this means that the latest work experience or the latest education comes first. If you have done certification courses in addition to your core education, it’s better to mention it separately rather than club it along with your main education section. Use the timeline method to decide what comes first. For example, if an MBA is the last thing you have done, your education comes first, whereas if you have worked after your MBA then details of your work experience comes first followed by your education details. Please make sure you do not mix the work experience and education details in one section.
5. Contact Information– It’s important to have your current contact details clearly displayed in your resume. On top of the page works best since recruiters and interviewers don’t like to look for this essential info when they need it. Mobile number, email ID and your current city of residence should be adequate information to provide. If you have more than one mobile number, there is no harm in putting both. If you have an updated LinkedIn page, in which there is additional information available, you could add that detail as well.
6. Photograph– You can put a photo on your resume if you are applying for a job where looks could be important – like in the fashion or hospitality industry. If not, there is no need to put your photo unless specifically asked for.
7. Avoid irrelevant information– You might be really fond of watching cricket or playing basketball but think about whether that piece of information is really important to the job you are applying for. If not, it is better to keep it out since it will only clutter your resume.
8. Languages– It’s good to mention the languages you know towards the end of your resume. A lot of employers often look for multi lingual people and you might better your chances if you can speak multiple languages. For example, an FMCG company looking for an Area Sales Manager for Gujarat might prefer someone who can speak Gujarati. Knowing the local language might not necessarily get you the job but can sometimes better your chances.
9. Proof read & Spell check–You must proof read your resume, more than once. Even if you have used a spell check tool on the computer, make sure you do a thorough spell check manually too. A resume with spelling errors can leave a very bad first impression on your potential employer.
10. Print quality– Take high quality print outs of your resume. Carry one with you for every interview you appear for. Photocopies are avoidable since the quality is usually not as good as print outs from a good quality printer.
So try out these tips and you will have a great resume, and best wishes for that new job you have been looking for!