A resume is not just a summary of your skills and achievements. It is the first impression based on any potential employer will make their initial judgements about how well-suited you are for the role/company you have applied to. A good recruiter can deduce many things just from a single page resume—right from your confidence to your communication skills, attention to detail, creativity and overall disposition. This makes it even more necessary to ensure that you get it right at the first go itself. Here are five thumb rules to follow while writing your resume:
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Contrary to popular belief, cover letters are still essential and speak volumes about the applicant. Just a like a book is often judged by its title, an application is judged by its cover letter. Here the potential employer sees the intention and will to be employed by the company. However good your resume may be, if you submit it with a bad cover letter, chances are that it will not be read. Do not include any negative personality traits in your letter and end it by acknowledging the employer for taking the time out to read your cover letter.
Nobody wants an under-confident, or over-confident person in the company. Therefore, ‘assertive’ is the key. Your resume should show that you are aware of your strengths and not look like you are asking the employer for a favor. Words like ‘hard’, ‘need’, ‘myself’, ‘me’, ‘chance’ and so on increases your rejection probability. Instead, use words like experience, project, management, development, business, skill, team, professional and leadership. The aim of your resume should be to show the employer the depth of your potential.
A resume describes your skillset that makes you the best fit for the given job. Do not distract the potential employer by highlighting unnecessary details. It is time to take down winning your school debate event from your list of accomplishments. Adopt the KISS method: keep it as short and simple as possible.
Order details in your resume in such a way that the employer reads the best things about you first. This means that you need to include a summary of your skills and state your objective higher up in your resume. Statistics show that 100 words of summary and 30 words of an objective approximately trigger the selection process. The content of the objective should be crisp and captivating such that the employer feels ‘Yes! This is the one’. On the whole, a resume should not be longer than 550 to 650 words.
You do not have to be a pro at Photoshop or a massive design software to have a good looking resume. A simple resume which has the right font sizes, formats and alignment is also attractive. It tells potential employers that you are serious about your work and professional presentation.
No one creates a perfect resume at their first attempt. Writing a perfect resume is a messy process, but the easiest way to start is by simply getting the mindset right and putting pen to paper. Keep trying until you reach the best version of it.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)