A few months ago I had the opportunity to assist a number of students at the Indian School of Business in reviewing their resumes. In the process I noted some good-practices in writing a resume, which I shared with the entire class by way of an email. I thought that email could also benefit some others in a wider audience. So sharing those points below, with my LinkedIn network.
--start of email--
These are some things that came up when conducting the 1-to-1 reviews with the students I met. I thought I’ll write that which could be written down to circulate to all of you. Consider them as a few rules of thumb about your resume. Entertain the points below, chew on them, use them if you like, and reject them if you think differently.
1. First seek to be understood, then seek to impress. Frame every sentence and phrase in the resume with this in mind especially if your work is technical in nature. Because the work you have done needs to be understood by the person shortlisting the resume (perhaps a HR person) and also the hiring manager (the person who interviews you), and neither of them may be highly familiar with your past work domain.
2. What is the feeling about you that you want the recruiter to have after reading you resume for 60 seconds? Write down the words and sentences that describe that feeling. Write this answer down repeatedly for a few weeks, refining it and evolving it until you begin to identify closely and intensely with what you write here. Once done, consider this to be your crisp, chiseled Executive Summary/Profile.
3. The content of each of your various work experience sections must answer these three questions
A. What did I do?
B. Who did I work with?
C. Why was it important?
That's it. While it is easier to write on A and B above, C is a challenge for some students.
4. ‘Why was it important’ can be highlighted by mentioning one or more of the following about your work:
6. Ultimately the purpose of your Resume is to be a conversation starter. You can't have a conversation with someone you can't understand. And people like people who they can talk to and can understand. This holds true for recruiters and hiring managers as well. So your resume needs to have a few phrases and words that act as hooks that will stay in the mind of the recruiter for when s/he first speaks to you. These words could also be emboldened. Another way to look at it is this: The words and phrases you embolden are the reasons you want to be shortlisted for.
7. To the extent possible, complete a bullet point in one line or if the sentence rolls over to the second line then use the second line well. Don't leave an orphan word or two in the second line. You waste an entire line for one or two words if you do that. Don't use too many font variations. Stick to 1 or 2 font styles. Use italics sparingly. Prefer circular and square bullets over ticks and stars.
8. Company name, Designation, Location and Duration of employment need to be clearly and unambiguously presented. They should have enough space/line break in between them to make each of them stand out distinctly.
9. Keep healthy gaps between different sections of the resume. Mind the spacing before and after all the headings and bullet points in the resume. Make sure the line spacings and paragraph spacings are consistent and elegant. There is such a thing as good white space and bad white space. Just like the right pauses and silences enhance a piece of music, the right kind of spacings between the lines embellish and enhance your resume.
10. As a concluding point, write only what you can back up and justify. Write about the work you are proud of, or found interesting to be a part of...something that you can tell a story about. To get a shortlist is not the goal. What you want to ensure is that once you do get shortlisted, then you speak about your work with such conviction and ownership that it leaves the recruiter richer for having spoken to you.
Hope this helps.
Originally posted on Linked IN by Nishant Pandey
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
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