Writing your resume is an essential aspect of
applying for a job, as it requires a lot of effort and planning
on your behalf. A badly worded and poorly presented resume can
put off a potential employer totally! We intend to provide some
broad guidelines to help you write a resume that could work for
you. Work for you to achieve what it is meant to i.e. to get you
an interview call for a job. At the outset, it is necessary to
clarify that you could use the term "resume" or "curriculum
vitae" (CV), even though technically a CV is primarily meant for
job positions within the academic environment and is supposed to
be a lengthy document. The difference is not strictly followed
and it is safe to use these two terms interchangeably, but
remember that whatever word you use, be sure that you know how
to pronounce it accurately.
Your resume should be about two pages long
A resume should be about two pages long. It is supposed to be a
brief presentation of your skills, work experience, achievements
and education. Anything too long runs the risk of being skimmed
over and not read properly. Long and detailed does not
necessarily imply better! What your resume has to get across to
the potential employer is just this - you have the required
skills, experience and education to handle the job! This can be
done by appropriately focusing on the key aspects unique to your
experience, and leaving out the standard repetitive details,
which would be similar to those of your competitors applying for
the same job/position. So, try and stick to 2 pages.
Start off by identifying your job objective
The job objective is an excellent area to include in your resume
and is usually omitted. It puts your resume in the right
perspective for the reader and clearly shows where you are
headed in your career plans.The 'multi-national corporation'
phrase makes your objective generic regarding company choice. It
would be advisable to modify each resume to suit specific
companies that you apply to.
Provide a summary of your experience and skills
The next section that your resume should contain is a 5-6 point
summary of your skills and experience. That includes: * No. of
years of past and relevant work experience
* a brief description of the work done
* specific skills acquired
* significant achievements
* educational qualifications. This section is very useful, in
providing a snapshot view of what your resume contains for
situations where yours is one resume in a pile of fifty others.
It allows minimal information loss in case the resume is quickly
skimmed over and not given a detailed reading. In this section,
the skills that you present should help in answering the
question -"How can you contribute to the organization?" In case
of IT/Software professionals, the skill set could be added to
the summary. But be sure, that all the skills mentioned are
truly areas you have worked in or are comfortable working in.
Prioritise details of your past work experience
After the summary section, you can go on to providing details of
your past work experience. Leave aside the job objective and
summary and that gives you just one and a half pages to cover
the details of your work experience as well as your educational
qualifications. You need to prioritise. Decide what weightage to
give to different organisations/positions. You should not skip
any place worked at, but you obviously cannot give all details
of each position.
You could present the work experience in reverse
Start with the most recent work experience at the beginning of
this section and the rest later on. That is the organisation
where you are currently working first and the earlier ones
worked in, later in the resume. This should highlight your
relevant work experience at the outset.
Mention responsibilities briefly, focus more on
If responsibilities are similar across positions in an
organisation, try to avoid repeating the same set of
responsibilities with each position. That will unnecessarily
increase the size of your resume without giving any additional
value. Instead, try and include your different achievements at
each position, or something that you introduced or did
differently in your job. This would also hold true for
situations where responsibilities are similar across
organisations. Avoid tautology and stick to the accomplishments.
Present educational qualifications with the most recent one
When giving information on your educational qualifications in a
separate section, it is advisable to begin by presenting the
most recent degree/diploma achieved, as this is usually relevant
to the work you are currently doing. For example, if you have
acquired a post-graduate degree in management, give that
information at the outset.
If you have acquired a degree in some other country, mention a
degree that it is equivalent to which is internationally
recognised, to put it in the right perspective for the reader.
Provide information on training if it is at least 3 months or
more. Short term one week courses do not really look good on
your resume unless you do not have enough to say in 2 pages!
For a candidate applying for an entry level position in an
organisation, the educational qualifications will be more
important as there is no significant work experience other than
training. This section could therefore, come before work
experience, in your resume.