12 Resume Tips That You Should Follow Right Now
Your resume is most likely the first impression that you would be possibly making on your potential recruiter. It is very similar to putting up your best profile on a dating site where the way you present yourself decides if or not you would be finding that perfect match. Many companies today have resorted to an automated screening of resumes coming their way to minimize cost and maximize time efficiency. Your first encounter, thus, as well might be with a machine which is already bored of looping through the same set of routine keywords over and over again. How do you make your resume stand out in the crowd then? Should you or should you not use those overtly celebrated keywords and phrases and if you must how do you avoid the stereotype?
How to write a good resume?
Writing an effective resume is an art and you absolutely need to master it in order for it to get through the multiple rounds of screening, bang on the middle at the HR’s table. Here are some things you need to keep in mind while framing your resume.
- Draft a Tailor Made Application
Every job is different from every other job. It is very important that you design your job application as an effort to put your best foot forward for the particular job at hands. Make a point to study the requirements of the job you are applying for. Research about the organization, the people there, their market values, the firm’s principal vision and goals. It is always a plus to have done your homework right before proceeding to the application. Not only it helps you decide if or not you are fit for the company and its work culture, but also aids in drafting a tailor-made resume for the custom position you are applying for.
- Write a Masterpiece of a Cover Letter
A cover letter is what makes or breaks you for the recruiter. The cover letter is your proposal for the job position, a testament of the content of your resume and an expression of how keen you exactly are to work with the firm, and whether or not what you are offering is what they require.
A cover letter, being the first thing that the recruiter or the auto-bot will see about you, needs to be absolutely flawless. Be clear and precise. Put forth your proposal confidently and state promptly why exactly you want to be working for the company you are applying to. Talk about yourself and about how your experiences and skills culminate to something useful and productive for the company you are vying to be a part of. This part is mostly about presentation, so try telling your potential recruiter a story.
According to job surveys conducted on HR managers, almost 90% of the applications do not get past the cover letter screening round. The recruiters come across thousands of applications each day, and it becomes virtually impossible to go through each one of them in detail. The cover letters serve as a window for the managers to screen and shortlist potential candidates while recruiting. The cover letters that fail to tell a story are rejected straight away. More often than not, it is the first line of the cover letter that becomes the deal breaker or deal maker. So, be very careful while framing this proposal for your dream job. Strictly avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes if you don’t want to ruin your first impression. Engage the recruiter’s attention and half the battle is won.
- Avoid the use of common and repetitive keywords
When a number of resume templates for freshers are present online, it is very natural that every second resume is buzzing with the same set of keywords used repetitively. The people who are recruiting are not fools. They have been taking interviews and examining resumes from a time maybe before you even uttered your first words. And when all resumes over these years have been featuring the same keywords used to highlight the candidate’s quality, why would the recruiter give a second thought to your CV before dumping it to a pile of all rejected ones that came before you? Why would he want to go through your resume? What is so special about it that makes it stand out in the crowd?
The answer is carefully researched keywords that suit the context of your application. Use a rich vocabulary and choose your words judiciously. If you are mentioning leadership, good communication-skills, team-player as your qualities, you might want to rethink and try making these skills obvious to the examiner of your resume by the way you tell your story instead of having to exactly mention them. Avoid all the clichés of a normal resume and never try copy-pasting from the web. You won’t get through it.
- Make Use of Facts and Figures
While you can sound impressive being absolutely abstract about your talents, skills, and work experience, the figures set the records right for you. If you are telling the recruiter that you ‘led your company’s growth campaign and achieved a success of momentous importance’, instead try telling them that you ‘accelerated the growth rate of your company by 110% and helped them scale up operations in the market’. The facts help you cut the crap and put the truth forward. A fact can either be wrong or right while the abstract narration might be deceptive. A number mentioned amongst alphabets automatically draws the recruiter’s attention and reflects your honesty and truthfulness. It also saves time by providing the on point data for the recruiter’s perusal, saving his time and cementing your impression.
- Describe Your Proper Skill-Set in Accordance with the Job
As mentioned in regard to the cover letter, mention only the skills and experiences relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are a dancer by hobby and worked in your college’s theatre group, you might as well not mention it when applying for a tech startup looking for developers. But the same skills will be important if you are applying for the post of a content writer for a website that features content on performing arts. Even though the job is not exactly about dance, a knowledge of the art form surely provides an edge to your profile for the latter job, making you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
So, know the position you are applying for well and mention your skills accordingly.
- Use Precise and Varied Action Verbs for Every Bullet Point
Don’t use the same action words again and again for bullet points. Many resume templates for experienced professionals online repeat verbs while framing bullet points and following this pattern is a mistake to avoid in your resume. Instead of using ‘led’ at the beginning of each point use words like ‘spearheaded’, ‘managed’, ‘orchestrated’ in the start of different lines. Saves your resume from monotonicity and improves impact.
- Followed the Instructions in Regard to Bullet Points? Now Cut Out on Them
Don’t use many bullet points on your resume. That is the whole point of bullet points, to keep things short and crisp. Make sure you don’t use them in a counter-effective manner.
- Mention Achievements in a Reverse Chronological Order
Always mention experiences and achievements in a reverse chronological order of time, the latest achievements and feats first followed by the older ones. Similarly, mention your work experiences before your education because, in the end, that is what really matters. When mentioning your qualifications, cite your graduation grades first followed by intermediate grades and Matriculation marks.
- Keep Things Compact and Simple
Try wrapping your resume off in the matter of a single page. Nobody wants to take the pain of going through a painstakingly lengthy resume. So, keep it short and crisp. Keep the formatting simple, too. Don’t show unfitting creativity in font selection and design parts. But you might consider using info-graphics. Pay attention to the color combination that you would be using though. Go for sober, professional colors and make sure that nothing you put on your resume makes it look tacky.
- Put the Most Important of Things on Your Resume
Cut the crap out of your resume. Keep only the most important and relevant of information in there. No one would care about an internship you worked in if it is not in alignment with their job description. So, better not let it take up precious space on your resume. You would rather use that space for other important stuff like your hobbies like designing, reading (non-fiction) that might be useful and more suited according to the job framework.
- Keep it Up to date
Keep updating your resume every fortnight, keep adding new skills acquired and strike off the old, obsolete information. Maintain a master copy of your original resume and modify this copy to customize it to the job description of the post you are applying for.
- For God’s Sake
For God’s sake, please
- Remove the career objective that you copied from your friend’s resume. Nobody in this world cares or reads your career objective. Instead, use a one-line summary of who you are, so that the recruiter can quickly grasp about you in less than a second.
- Delete your father’s name, passport availability, home address, your hobby (such as browsing internet), reference available on request, and other such nonsense from your resume.
- Create a nice email id (preferably with gmail) and stop using your school day’s email ids which you had created for Yahoo public room chat. No handsome_hunk007@yahoo or pari_hoon_main@rediffmail ids for job applications.
- Learn how to change case, especially if you are in Linkedin. Please make sure the first letter of ‘Each Word Of Your Name Is Capitalized’. There is a huge difference between ajoy kumar singha and Ajoy Kumar Singha.
Getting a job is not easy, but it is not very hard either. So, follow these best tips for resume drafting and see your aspirations take shape and sprout wings to land in your dream job.