Creating a winning resume can be cakewalk if you keep some simple rules in mind. Resume creation is an extremely involved process and takes a lot of time. You have to assemble things and keep all details at hand before you begin to write. The resume is an important document for any prospective employer because it gives an insight into the kind of person you are. Your resume is the first impression that can make a lasting impression on the employer.
Getting Started with the Basics
Understand that the purpose of the resume is to be a self-marketing tool. Through your resume, you are selling yourself to the employer. An effective resume will captivate the interest of the employer and he would want to set up an interview with you to get to know you better. However, a bad resume will be discarded as soon as it is received. Every job requires a customized resume. Do not even think about preparing a generic resume.
Are your contact details in place?
Your resume contains your contact information, which includes address, email, phone number, etc. Before you write your resume, decide which email address you are going to use. If your mailing address and permanent address are different then include only the priority address on your resume. Do not include email addresses that are too long or too weird. Keep your email address simple.
Brainstorming on goals
Before you even think about applying for a job you need to think about your goals. Why are you applying for that particular job? What is your main objective? Keep some time aside to brainstorm on this. Your objective should not exceed two lines. Be straightforward and precise.
Certifications and licenses
Do you have certificates or licenses pertaining to the job that you are applying for? If yes, then it’s time to bring them out. Keep all your certificates together and decide which ones you want to mention in your resume. Sometimes page limitations on a resume can prevent you from including everything. Mention only your important achievements.
What resume style do you choose?
Resumes come in three different varieties: chronological, functional, and combination. In a chronological resume, you will list your professional experiences starting from the most recent to the least recent. The functional resume focuses more on the skills that you have. Here you have to highlight your skills rather than experience. However, if you are a first-time resume writer then you can create some broad categories in your resume such as work experience, academic experience, and extracurricular activities.
Data and statistics matter
To make a quick and positive impression, it is important to quantify your achievements by using numerical data, percentages, and statistics. For example, instead of stating that you were always among the top ten students of the class you can be more precise and state that you were always among the top five percent of eighty students. Statistics such as number of employees supervised, profit earned, bonuses given, etc. can all add volumes to your resume. Have these figures with you before you start writing your resume.
What were those significant academic and professional achievements?
Provide details on each of your achievements. College and high school achievements also matter. Brainstorm on your past laurels. Think about the qualities that you can demonstrate with these accomplishments. Leadership, team work, soft skills, technical expertise, and the list of skills go on. Even if you think an achievement is not significant then make sure you consult with a senior or a mentor.
Did you ever teach some underprivileged children while you were in college? Did you make a significant donation to the nearby old age home? These are small achievements with a big impact. Don’t leave them out of your resume.
Whatever you do, never lie on your resume. Remember to be honest because one lie can bring your dreams crashing down. Before you begin your resume mentally prepare yourself and be equipped to answer any question that may be thrown at you. If asked to explain some gap in your education, you should be able to answer the question with ease. Honesty will help you get past any obstacles in the job-hunting process. Prepare yourself well before you get started on your resume.