Effective Resume Writing
A resume is a medium for advertising yourself, its the first most means which you use to present yourself and try to claim that you are the best choice to your prospects employer. Through your resume you have to showcase your major assets like −
- Capabilities, and
You have to prepare your resume in such a way that it gives impression in first look that you are a perfect fit for the job you have applied. An employer hardly takes 10-15 seconds to make a decision about your interview call after looking at your resume. If your resume is well written then definitely you will be in the shortlisted candidates does not matter you have required potential or not but you will get a call otherwise your resume will become a part of either recycle bin or dustbin, again it does not matter if you are Einstein or Newton.
The first draft of your resume may not be so impressive because a resume is always an evolving document which improves over the period of time, so keep modifying and improving it after its first draft and keep its different versions with you.
Now without complicating the things, I will take you through step by step to create a great resume for you. I'm assuming you have Microsoft Word to write your resume, so now just follow the following steps −
This section will be on top of your resume giving a detail about your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Keep this section left aligned and put a bold line below to the section to separate it from rest of the document as follows −
JOHN WILLIAMS Kondapur, Hyderabad - INDIA Contact No: +91 2295103049 Email Id: email@example.com
If you are currently working then you can specify your company name just below to your name as follows −
JOHN WILLIAMS IT Tools India Pvt Ltd Kondapur, Hyderabad - INDIA Contact No: +91 2295103049 Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
This section will start with a heading called Summary and followed by listing down your over-all experience, achievements, certifications and positive attributes etc. It is very similar to a movie trailer where editor keeps all great scenes from the movie and after watching that trailer you get excited to watch complete movie. You will have to choose attractive & heavy words while documenting this section.
To draft summary section you will have to think a while with peaceful mind, jot down great points about yourself on a plain paper and check to make them more impressive and effective. If they are not leaving any impact on the reader then there is no point in including those points in the summary section.
If you are a fresh graduate then you should specify about your small but impressive projects you have done at university, highlight your achievements and project capabilities etc.
Let's look at one example which lists down few points about a telecom System Software Engineer, in your case this list can go from 2-3 bulleted points to 8-10 points.
Because you already have given summary of your experience and achievements, so now let's start telling about our educational background. There are many organizations who give lot of preference to your educational background. So it is important to tell about your academic records. You should put your highest degree on top and then lower qualifications at lower levels.
This is extremely important to give information about your position, rank, percentage or CPI along with degree or certification otherwise many employers would throw 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.
If you have done various certifications and trainings then I would recommend to add a separate section for Trainings & Certifications just below to Educational Section.
Next section in your resume will present your Technical Skills. This section will start with telling your major skills on which you have good command. So list down all the skills first where you are fully confident and then keep rest of the skills at lower levels. 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. This is important to note 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, for example if you don't have any experience in any protocol then don't give that line in your resume
Here comes real story and this is really important to show your all the projects, assignments etc. Reader should understand what exactly you have done in past. Here you will put hands on experience with different type of projects, people and tools and technologies. You have to be clear on what was your, organizations, year of the project, roles, responsibilities, value add, achievements etc. on each and every project or position. You should also mention about what were the tools and technologies you have used during that project.
If your experience is not project based then you can simply name this heading as Experience Detail and list down all the experiences either in buletted form or in simple & short 2-3 paragraphs.
You will start with the most recent project and continue listing down all the projects till the oldest one. If you have done only training project or thesis project then you can mention those projects along with your University projects in the same format. Here I will give examples of two projects −
1 - Library Information System [National Library, NY,USA ]
This system simplifies day to day operation of a library which enables you to maintain library catalogue 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.2 - Tiny Editor Implementation [Aligarh University, UP, INDIA]
This was a small but useful text file editor which enables you to edit any text files available on Linux System. Using this editor user can open new or an existing file in text mode and can update its content and then finally that file can be saved on hard disk.
After giving a complete detail of all the projects, now you can tell about your major strengths. Look at the following examples, may be you don't have all the strengths so list down only whatever you posses −
This section is optional because it is always not necessary that you would have been involved in some extra curricular activities same time for various roles its not required to have any extra curricular. 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 down your curricular activities
This will be the last but mandatory section of your resume but will provide all important information about you. A simple and easy example is given here −
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 Sample Resume from here and you can modify this resume based on your experience, skill etc. In fact resume building is an evolutionary process and your resume will get better and better over the period of time.
I will recommend to go through the following tips to add lot of value into your resume.
Keep your resume file name short, simple and informational. A good resume file name could be like JohnWilliams-Resume2013.docx
You can keep a small passport size photo at the top-right corner of the resume but this is really not required.
Don't use various unnecessary formatting 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 beginning.
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.
Never give a reason for leaving your previous job, your salary expectations, your current job challenges etc, and better to leave such points to be discussed at the time of interview if required.
Hope you enjoyed reading all the above instructions and we at tutorialspoint wish you very best of luck.