Writing Effective Resume
A resume is an advertisement and a medium through which you present yourself as a best choice to an employer. Through your resume you have to claim about your qualifications, abilities, qualities and achievements. You have to show yourself that your are a perfect fit for a company. An employer takes a decision about your interview call within 10-15 seconds after looking at your resume. If your resume is well written then definitely you will be in the shortlisted candidates and you will get a call otherwise your resume will become a part of either recycle bin or dustbin. Now without complicating the things, I will tell you an easy and best way of writing effective Resume. So start with me from here.....
(1) First Section:
This section will work as a header of your Resume and will have a your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. This section will be at top left corner of your resume. A suggested format is given below
YOUR NAME IN CAPITAL LETERS AND BOLD
First Line of your Address
Second Line of your Address
Third Line of your Address
Mobile Number, Land Line Number
Lets see one example now
SAKBAR ALI KHAN
304 - Small Apartments
Yellow Fort, Old Pelhi
INDIA - 1234567
Phone: 09999999999, 01144444444
(2) Summary Section:
This section will be second heading in your resume. I have seen people putting second heading as "Objective" and having common wordings like "To work with an organization and in the most challenging environment that provides me opportunities to learn new technologies and utilizes my existing expertise and skills". As per my personal experience nobody gives attention on such statements because everybody will have common wordings. So I would recommend to summaries your complete resume within this section using only 3-4 lines. And if you really want to use above wordings also then you can add that line also as an extra line in Summary section. Lets see one example below, Here I'm assuming that you have done some project work or summer training for at least 4-6 months. If you have something else which can be added like any trainings or certifications etc. then don't hide it and add it in this section.
A Software Engineer having master degree in Computer Science from XYX University in 2005. I am having six months of industry experience in implementing application software using C, C++ and JAVA over Linux Operating System. I have a very good understanding of Computer Science concepts and SDLC and OOP methodologies. Have worked with esteemed organization like ABC Ltd.
3) Education Section:
This section will be third heading in your resume. There are many organizations who give preference to your educational background. So it is important to tell about educational records in honestly manner at the first place. Start giving qualifications from top to bottom. I mean you should put your highest degree on top and then lower qualifications at lower level. It is also important to give information about your position, rank, percentage or CPI along with degree or certification otherwise many employer like my Guru Dr. Mukul Sinha will through your resume in dustbin if you don't give clear picture of your educational background . Now lets see one example on how to put educational records in a resume
- B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering (2005) from XYZ University with 8.8 CPI.
- B.Sc in Mathematics (2002) from A.B.C.D. Institutes with 57.20% Marks
- 10+2 with Maths, Stats (1999) from A.B.Board with 67.20% Marks
- High School (1997) from A.B.Board with 77.20% Marks
NOTE: If you have done various certifications and trainings then I would recommend to add a separate section for "Trainings & Certifications" just below to Educational Qualification section.
(4) Technical Skills:
Next section in your resume will be Technical Skills. This section will start with telling your major skills on which you have good command. So list out all the skills first where you are fully confident and then keep rest of the skills later. Have a look at the following example where candidate has good command over Pro*C and C but less experienced in PERL so put Pro*C and C first and PERL later. Let me make one thing clear that all the lines given below are not required in all the cases. If you know only one skill then just tell about that skill so if you don't have any experience in any protocol then don't give that line in your resume
- Programming Languages: C, Pro*C, C++, JAVA and PERL
- Operating Systems: Red Hat Linux 9.0, Windows XP and Solaris 2.0
- Tools & Technologies: Front Page-2000, CGI, J2EE, JSP, CORBA
- Databases: MySQL, Sybase
- Protocols: SMTP, FTP, PO3, IMAP
- Others: Socket Programming, Multithreading, SDLC, Data Structure, OOP, UML
(5) Projects Detail:
Next comes real things. Your hands on experience with different type of projects, people and tools and technologies. Through this section an employer would like to know what exactly you have done as a part or technical career. Every employer would be interested in knowing what were the roles and responsibilities your have taken during the implementation of a project and what were your tools and technologies to complete that project. So list out all the projects yo have done till now starting from latest first. If you have done only training project or thesis project then you can mention that project in the following format. Here I will give this example by taking two small projects
(i) Library Information System [Client Name will be given here, example National Library, NY,USA ]
Duration: Mar 2005 - Jun 2005
Team Size: 3 Software Engineers
Role Played: Developer and Tester
Skills Used:Pro*C, Red Hat Linux, MySQL
This system enables to maintain a library catelogue on electronic media and to keep a record of all the issued books in a particular day. Using this system, a user can generate a report of all the available books for a particular subject or ISBN and a report can be generated for all the issued books for a particular subject or ISBN.
(ii) Tiny Editor Implementation[Internal Univerisy Project]
Duration: Jan 2005 - Feb 2005
Team Size: 1 Software Engineers
Role Played: Designer, Developer and Tester
Skills Used:C, Red Hat Linux
This is a small text file editor utility which enables to edit any text files available on Linux System. Using this utility user can open new file in text mode and can update an existing text file and then finally those files can be saved on hard disk.
After giving a complete detail of all the projects, now you can tell about your strengths in a very honest manner. Look at the following examples. May be you don't have all the strengths so list out only those your have.
- Good Oral and written communication skills
- A high tolerance of stress and enjoys responsibilities
- Very good leader quality
- Quick learner with good grasping ability
- Action-oriented and result-focused
- Lead & work as a team in an organized way
- Very good time management skill
(7) Extra Curricular:
This section is optional because it is always not necessary that you would have been involved in some extra curricular activities. But if you would have been in some activities then don't miss this section to fill up. Some time this section may have lot of weightage specially when your resume reader and you have same curriculum. I'm giving you a simple example to list out your curricular activities
- Have been a member of University Technical Council
- Won first prize for debate at inter state level competition
- Played Cricket at inter state level
- Mono acting, Singing and Reading
(8) Personal Information:
This will be the last section of your resume which will reveal all the secrets about you. A simple and easy example is given here.
- Father's Name: Mr. ABCD Prasad
- Date of Birth: 5th Aug 1983
- Sex & Status: Male & Single
- Nationality: INDIAN
- Languages Known: Hindi, Urdu, English
- Passport Number: A09384848 valid till 2010
Sakbar Ali Khan
Dated: 26th Feb 2007
Now you are done and you have a great resume in your hand. Let me put all the sections together in a word document to prepare a final resume. You can Download this Sample Resume from here and you can modify this resume based on your requirements. In fact resume building is an evolutionary process and your resume will get better and better over the passes of time. But I would recommend to go through the following tips to add lot of value into your resume.
More Tips to Prepare Effective Resume:
- Keep your resume file name short, simple and informational. A good resume resume file name could be "Your first Name - Resume.file extension". Example Sakbar-Resume.doc
- Don't use tables, images or any other unnecessary formating in your resume. Keep simple text as much as possible in your resume. Have a look at sample resume. You will find many HRs who prefer resume only in simple text format. So if you will keep resume formating simple then it would be easy to format that resume in any format.
- Don't include too many phone numbers, email addresses or addresses.
- Don't prepare too big resume. It should be as precise as possible.
- Always give a summary of the resume at the begining.
- Always give a detail of roles and responsibilities you have taken during any project.
- Make sure the resume is neat, free of typing errors, and on plain white paper. Write in clear and concise terms.
- Review your resume with your friends to find out some minor problems which you can not catch
- Never give a reason for leaving your previous job. That is best left to the interview stage where it can be explained face-to-face
- Prefer to use Time New Roman font.
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