Get your resume proper to make that significant first impression

Abha Chaudhary

The thought of having to write a resume can be daunting for the most seasoned of players and even more in the current job market. For a fresher, who wouldn’t know what to include, what to leave out and what format to be followed, can be a big dilemma. Actually, there is no template for a ‘typical’ resume. In fact, there are many distinct resume formats. Maybe this isn’t as easy as you first thought…with so many choices how will you ever make a decision about which style and resume format is best for you?

Keep it simple & honest

Each resume is personalised and unique. It is an honest, well-tailored, well-presented documentation of ‘who you are, what you do and why you are the best fit’. You need to own the contents of your resume and the real meaning of it. A copy-paste job embroidered with flamboyant words and jargons could land you in an embarrassing position if you cannot answer questions you had not thought of. Apply highlighting your academic record (if it is good), and your personality traits like friendly, deadline-oriented, a good organiser or a team person. These must best match with the key skills required for the job. Mention specific courses or training programmes which you might have attended and which might give you a good edge over those who have only the required qualifications and work experience. Do not lie about your past jobs (even if it is a three-month assignment) or qualifications – it could dilute your integrity. Highlight the fact that you are young, raring to go and are ready to work hard to prove yourself. Many employers love the enthusiasm of the young and the go-go approach which is very good for the company. Overall, be sure that you project a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and put effort.

Highlighted headings

Remember your resume is marketing a brand called “you”. It is a tool that you could use to your benefit if it is crafted well. Resumes are usually meant to be scanned and not read in detail initially. So, highlighted heads will make the information easy on the eye. Be clear and concise. Add power to your resume with action words like developed, organised. Arrange the information chronologically. Highlight the positives. Place yourself in the readers’ shoes and visualise his or her reaction. Never include irrelevant data and details. Your resume is a formal, official document. Keep it simple.

Physical shape

Use plain white A4 size paper and formal fonts like Times New Roman, Verdana, Calibri or Arial. Use an appropriate font which is no smaller than size 10. Limit the length to not more than two pages. The recruiters generally do not like colourful or glossy paper and flashy fonts. Mentioning ‘Resume’ or ‘CV’ on the top is not required, just as when you receive a newspaper in the morning, does anyone need to tell you that it’s a newspaper? Do not add your photo to the resume until you have been asked for it.

(Chaudhary is a Chandigarh-based image and style consultant)

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