It may sound weird, but I always used to compare the process of writing perfect resume against cooking. You may wonder why? Think about it, resume writing is an art, so is cooking. You prepare food mixing the right ingredients in the right quantity, and you perfect a resume by presenting a variety of facts. Cooking is a slow process and sometimes painstaking for rookies. Rest assured writing a presentation-perfect resume requires its set of skills.
Finally, a tantalizing food is a feast for the eyes. On the same note, a well-written resume would send the right signals to the receptor areas of a recruiter’s brain.
So, how to cook! Sorry, write a perfect resume?
The sole objective of a resume is to gain entry to the heart and minds of the recruiter. In the earlier days of job applications, the resume contains a list of barely essential facts. The interview was the most common mode of understanding your particular profile.
Today resume shoulders the dual burden of communicating your profile in a condensed form and a pitching document.
A perfect resume is a myth, a holy grail which is theorized, not achieved. You aim to make a perfect resume, but end up creating an ideal resume which would help you gain a job. There ends the objective of the document.
The process of writing a resume varies from one person to another, but the components of a perfect resume remain the same. Here is a look at a list of 12 factors that if combined in correct proportions would give birth to a job winning resume.
12 ingredients of a perfect resume
The heading is the area strikes the first hammer. The heading is the space which is occupied by your name and communication details. When I say communication, I mean your contact address, mobile number, and email.
Important Note: Increase the font size of your name to make it stand out from the rest of the pack.
Don’t: Never write the title of your resume as “Resume”, “CV”, “Curriculum Vitae” or “Bio-Data”.
2. Career Objective/Personal Statement
The necessity of a career objective can be determined only by its writer. The contents of a professional’s resume with solid years of experience obviate the need of a career objective.
In case you feel that a career objective is required, make sure you write it on your own. Aim for a short paragraph comprising three to four sentences. They paragraph should directly answer who you are, and what you aim.
Further Reading: Check out my other blog – 9 examples of well-written career objective for Mechanical Engineering Freshers
Don’t: Never copy the standard, jargonist career objective text from sample resume you find on the internet. They would do more harm than good.
3. Professional Summary
A professional summary should be able to capture the key features of your professional self in few bulleted points. A professional summary is a preamble to your resume. What you write here, is going to linger in the minds of the viewer.
As the name suggests, it is imperative to summarise your skills and not elaborate them.
* Never blow your trumpet in general and particularly in your professional summary
* Never write more than 8 – 10 bullet points
* Professional summary is best presented in bulleted points and not in paragraph form (although if you love writing or reading paragraphs, I won’t discourage you).
4. Key Skills
A sane mind would question the presence of Key Skills section, when there is professional summary already present. List of key skills on a resume serves two purposes.
* Helps a deadline driven recruitment executive to identify your key skills without perusing the professional summary section
* Key Skills section is also a place where you can include some critical keywords that a potential recruiter may use to search resume database
* Present key skills in tabular form
* Never include more than 10 – 12 key skills
* Exclude generic skills such as communication, team player, etc.
5. Academic Qualification
The placement and the content of Academic section depend on your experience. For example, a fresher resume would have educational qualification as a top priority, while a veteran’s profile would push the academic section to the bottom of the list.
Key things to include in your academic qualification section
* Name of the degree
* Year of passing (If you are studying write “pursuing” or “expected to complete in YYYY”)
* Exclude schooling details if you have removed the fresher’s tag (if you have more than 2 – 3 years of experience)
Internship experience and details would help an entry level professional. It communicates to the recruiter, that an entry level professional is not a fresher, and has some experience serving in an organisation. I would personally recommend not to include them if you are an experienced professional.
7. Work Experience
The trickiest part of any resume is your work experience. If you list down your roles and responsibilities from entering the office until leaving your cabin, you are in for a surprise! Your resume won’t trouble the recruiters.
A potential recruiter would love to see your achievements and not the boring list of your roles. The benefits of hiring you would be gauged on the achievements you have made in your previous organisation.
That being said, do not completely ignore your roles and responsibilities. Only include them if they are unique and makes sense to the job you are applying.
The training section on your resume communicates a very powerful message to the reader. It makes them feel that you are a complete package, which requires less grooming and hence less cost. Training is training even if you have not received a certificate. Hence list all of them on your resume.
9. Software Skills
We live in the digital age. Every graduate is expected to be a computer literate with basic knowledge in handling applications such as word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and emails. Some jobs require specialised software knowledge such as CRM, SAP, etc.
Listing your software skills on your resume is necessary if they are relevant or closely pertinent to the profile you are targeting.
If you are applying for an SEO opportunity, your knowledge of HTML & CSS will come in handy. On the other hand, the same would be unnecessary if you are applying for an Industrial Sales position.
10. Personal Information
I have seen resumes with Personal Information section filled with details such as Name of Spouse, Marital Status, Children, Father’s Name, Nationality, and some containing even the Religion.
I am sorry folks, and your recruiter would not be bothered about your ethnicity unless you are going to mention it.
Write only the needful information which includes
* Date of Birth
* Languages Known
* Passport Details
Hobbies or personal interests continues to be a contradicted subject. I recommend writing the hobbies only if they are relevant to your current profile and makes sense for the recruiter.
Let us check this example. If you are applying for a Front End Designer position in a Digital Marketing Agency, it makes sense if your hobby is a photo manipulation.
For your understanding
12. Grammar & Spell Check
Do you rely on the spell check of your word processor (Microsoft Word)? If yes, then you are in trouble. MS Word sometimes overlooks minute grammatical errors which may have a serious dent on your reputation. Use specific grammar check software such as Grammarly and make sure that your resume is free from spelling and contextual errors.
Have a comment, you have all my ears. Drop them below, I would be sure to respond.
Rate this article and you make two people happy – me and the folks at Google who created the beautiful Search Engines