How to Prepare the Best Resume?

A resume is a document used by persons to present their backgrounds education, professional history and skills. It conveys your personal details in the way that presents you in the best possible light. A resume can be used for a variety of reasons, but most often they are used to secure new employments. Your resume needs to be precise, accurate, highly professional and polished; because if you don't have a professional resume, your application materials probably won't get a second glance from any hiring manager. A resume is an indirect form of interview where in candidates who are interested for a particular job, submit their resumes to the human resource department of the organization and are selected on the basis of their qualification and experience. There is no particular way of writing a perfect resume; however you may come up with innovative ideas of your own to make your resume more attractive and presentable.

 A typical resume contains a summary of relevant job experience of the candidate in a particular industry as well as his academic qualifications and grades. Resume can be described as the first informal indirect interaction between the interviewer and the candidate. The resume is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes an application for employment, which a potential employer sees regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview. The resume is comparable to curriculum vitae (CV) in many countries, although in English Canada, the United States and Australia a resume is substantially shorter than a CV.  

If you are applying for a potentially lucrative job, then it is obvious that the selectors would be flooded with the resumes from different candidates and your resume is not the only one that they have to assess. Often selectors read resumes outside working hours. They may have a pile of 50 to 100 resumes from which to select five or 10 interviewees. Most of the time selectors pick up resumes in the evening and they are already tired and frustrated after long work day and if your resume is hard work to read: unclear, badly laid out and containing irrelevant information, they will just move on to the next one. Hence it is advised that you should prepare your resume with the utmost care. Also they are irritated reading same things like honest, hardworking etc. so avoid using such outdated words and make your resume interesting by adding something fresh and innovative.

When and Where a Resume is Used

A resume is the first indirect conversation of the candidate with the selector. Most of the companies these days don’t conduct direct walk in interviews, instead they advertise their posts and asks for resumes from the interested candidates and out of all the resumes that they receive the best ones are selected for the interview on the basis of the educational qualifications and related experience. Hence it is very important to mention your qualification and your experience in a clear manner. Resume is basically used when an employer asks for applications to be received in a particular format according to their demand. However you may also use a resume when you are making speculative applications i.e. when writing to an employer who has not advertised a vacancy but who you hope my have one during the coming period or in near future.

Contents of Resume

A good resume is vital when looking for work, especially when there are numerous candidates applying for the same job, obviously when there are lots of candidates applying for the same job then only best ones will be selected. There is no perfect format, contents or template for a perfect resume and each sector may require a different emphasis on a different aspect of the content, such as career history or qualifications. However it is upon you to figure out that what is important according to job you are applying for, you have to decide whether you have to focus on your education, experience or any other skill that would be helpful for you to secure a job. However there is basic information about the candidate that must be included in every resume. However the contents of a normal resume include:

  • Personal details and family background
  • Education and qualifications
  • Experience
  • Special skills or course (if any)
  • Achievements (academic, work related or even sports related)
  • Objectives
  • Personal skills and interest
  • Computer skills (very important these days)
  • Hobbies
  • Contact details
  • Proper headings, fonts and grammar

These are few things that are ingredients for a good resume, however as stated earlier, there is no single format or rule for a perfect resume and format may vary according to the type of job that you are applying for. You cannot have same format of the resume for the post of engineer and for a marketing manager. Both will have different things that need to be highlighted in their resume. Hence it is very important to understand your job requirement and focus on that portion precisely. However it is strictly warned that you should not tamper with the paper size and color, fonts etc. and should not include any unnecessary layer or color to your resume that may seem to be un-professional.

Writing a Perfect Resume

Your resume is the first impression that you'll make on a potential employee, and as the saying goes “first impression is the last”. It is all about your first impression, if your resume is perfect enough to attract them; you get a chance for the next round otherwise you may even get rejected because of your resume even if you are qualified enough for the job. Until and unless you precisely mention your qualifications and experience in your resume properly, the selector will not be able to get proper information about you. It has been observed that a lot of candidates fill up their resume writing useless stuff like hardworking, honesty and other stuff that interviewers are really bored of. These days every candidate has crammed this line that they are honest and hardworking and this dialogue has probably started pinching the ears of evaluators. At worst, a poorly constructed resume can give a potential employer a negative impression of you as a candidate and bar you from securing that all important interview. Hence don’t waste resume space with useless things, instead come up with new things, like the project you accomplished in your previous job, if you completed it before schedule then don’t forget to mention that.

These days everyone is looking out for talented individuals who have fresh ideas and innovations and your resume is a presentation of your innovative skills. Make sure that you have included in the basic information about your qualification and experience which is the most important thing to write in a resume. It is worth remembering that each recruiter's idea of a 'perfect' resume will be slightly different. Nonetheless, your resume will in most cases, be the first impression an employer has of you. Try to make most in this first impression. Indeed a strong resume can occasionally itself secure you a job. It has been observed that candidates spend a lot of time in designing their resume which is not required. Taking a little time on design, construction and wording and using the following guidelines to write and submit your resume, will ensure you promote yourself to your best advantage. Do not waste time designing fonts and formats, keep it simple and add your information in the best way to attract the reader.

Structure for Perfect Resume

A resume is kind of self-advertisement that, when done properly, shows how your skills, experience, and achievements match the requirements of the job that you are applying for. It would not be wrong to say that a resume is a marketing tool in which the content should be adapted to suit each individual job application aimed at a particular industry. It is totally upon the candidate to decide what is important to mention and what not. Mere choice of this important information makes a resume valuable or useless. If you choose to give importance to format and font size over your information and experience then of course it will make up a useless one. Be precise about yourself, don’t boast about anything and at the same time make sure that you have included in everything necessary for a job.

Structure of a resume may vary according to the job type and information that you need to convey. A resume isn't an exhaustive list. If it's too long it probably won't get read, on the other hand keeping it too short may lead to missing some important information about your qualification and experience. The best resumes are usually no longer than one or two pages. If you need to go over two pages its okay, but make sure everything you include is necessary to explain how good a fit you are for the job. A resume should be designed so that it should display your whole work as well as educational life on the sheet. The worst thing to do is to pad out your resume. There's nothing wrong with a one-page resume, as long as it has all of the relevant information on it. More is not necessarily better.

For a perfect resume start with your personal details. Full name and contact details including all useable telephone numbers. Avoid superfluous details such as religious affiliation, children's names etc but do include in a brief history about your family background which should not take much space, but just 2 or 3 lines. Make sure that the email id you provide them is a functioning one and you log in there every day. Educational history and professional qualifications should follow, including name of institutions and dates attended in reverse order university before school results. Along with your educational details don’t forget to mention the grades that you scored in your different classes or courses. The next column should include your professional courses that you have done and along with these courses, under same column include computer skills and (genuine) foreign language skills and any other recent training/development that is relevant to the role applied for.

Then comes the second most important part of your resume, if you are non-fresher then make a proper column for experience and work details where you give in work details of your previous job/jobs and the post that you worked on and projects that you accomplished. Also mention your specific achievements at your work place if any. The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological resume. Career history is presented in reverse date order starting with most recent. Achievements and responsibilities are listed against each role. More emphasis/information should be put on more recent jobs. And after this you can mention your personal skills and achievements which may either be in the field of sports or any other field, at last also include in your hobbies and qualities at end.

Tips for Making Your Resume Look Best Among Others

  • First, find out what the job requires. If you found out about the job from a job listing, the key requirements or skills should be in the advertisement and there may also be a position description, which is a document that outlines exactly what kind of skills and experience a job requires. Make sure that in your resume you include in all the skills that you possess which are related to the job and prior experience if any.
  • If applying by mail it is advised your resume and cover letter should be submitted in a suitable quality envelope, clearly addressed, with a first class stamp. Also keep in mind to use white color for the both, as resume on a colored page is highly unprofessional. Quality A4 size white paper is best suited for resume. If applying by email, time should be taken designing and formatting to ensure your details read clearly. Send a copy to yourself to check before submitting it for a role.
  • Your resume should ideally cover no more than two pages and never more than three. Usually a two page resume is considered to be the most acceptable one. Aim to ensure that the content is clear, structured, concise and relevant. Using bullet points rather than full sentences can help minimize word usage. Give proper headings.
  • Many people think that one resume will fit all applications that they will apply for, but reality is not the same, your resume needs to be a much targeted document for the role you are going for. Do some research so you understand what employers are looking for? You need to design your resume and highlight your skills accordingly.
  • If you've done a lot of different kinds of jobs then try to list your work experience in a way that links those jobs to the one that you're applying for. You could list the jobs in related fields first, under the heading "Relevant Work Experience" and then briefly list the other jobs under "Other Work Experience".
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