That one company I was looking for has posted a job opening and this time I should not miss this opportunity. I need to update my resume and send it as soon as possible. I am just not understanding how do I change and make my resume. If all this is happening with you then you have landed at right place. I believe most of you are here to understand how do I create a resume to apply for a particular job. Just a small part about myself you must know. I have been making resumes since I was in my bachelor(under graduation studies) days. I was fortunate to have a desktop computer at home and I used to work on preparing field reports for my studies. I gained good grasp on MS Office skills in very early stages. Before applying for my Master’s degree, I did apply for some local small jobs. I prepared my own resume. I used to read my father’s printed resume which he used to post on mail. I started making resume for my friends, my elder brother. Here, my formatting skills were improving every time. My friends were from diverse field so I used to sit with them interact with them on what job are they willing to apply and so on. Post my Master’s degree, I had already published my internship project. By now I was well versed on my formal writing ability. I made resume for myself and my friends and resume made by my has 100% success rate. Later I started working of freelance projects online. At this time during the break time form G.I.S. projects, I used to take small resume writing projects. My condition to make resume was I used to give them multiple versions but used to tell them that pay me when you receive an interview call. My clients have happily paid me for my job.
Basic information must on the resume in a sequence
Before going into technical aspects of preparing a resume let us first understand few aspects of resume. First and foremost, important is you are introducing yourself to an organisation or to a person who will be checking if you are the most eligible and available candidate for the role. This blog or article will be useful for any sort of resume that you are creating. There are hundreds and thousands of creative templates available for free on the internet which you can use. Templates are available but how and what to present is very important. Let us go step by step. Resume needs to speak about
- Who are you( full name as on passport with title)?
- Where are you(location and not exact address)?
- What is your educational qualification?(in a sequence of descending order, degree, subject of specialisation, university name, year of passing, grade/GPA)
- What are additional skills (supportive and relevant) that you have?
- What is your experience in the field? (It is OK if you do not have experience as a fresher. Still having an internship project on your name will be an additional advantage.)
If all of the above questions satisfy the job description, how do we contact you?
Why not static resume?
Now, first you need to understand is for any given person there cannot be one static resume that you send it to every job opening. Even though all the above questions remain same. For example, you and your friend you both had gone to same school, same high school, further you both did same degree as well. Here, all the above questions will have same answers. Just your contact details and scoring will be different. For an instance let us consider there might me thousands and thousands of same resumes in the e-mail list of recruiters. So how do you stand out in the crowd? Remember even if your information is same, it is how well you present yourself on a piece of paper. I would give you one more example for why you should not make a static resume to be posted. Suppose you are a teacher and looking for a teaching job. Your personal details and basic skill sets will be same in all the versions of your resume but, if a particular school or HR requires any specific skillset along with your education. This becomes an opportunity to mention it. Say you are science teacher and good at sports. Here you stand out with the unique combination what you should be presenting in your resume. While if other school needs only subject teacher. Your resume should picture that you have the exact skill, that a job description/HR is looking for.
06 second test
There is a 06 seconds opportunity that your resume will go through. If a recruiter opens your resume, he or she must be able to read those key words combination that he/she is looking for. If he/she sees them in your resume you will be certainly shortlisted. I would strongly request you, do not fake any of your education or skill set or certification. It is very easy to be filtered out in the process. So first have the full education, certification, experience and only then mention them in your resume. It is OK to have poor scores and stuff like that. I am not promoting to have less scores. Face it but do not fake it! You can still learn, perform better and gradually prosper. At the same time if there was a huge lay off in your previous organisation and you have lost the job in it. It is OK to have that gap. Try to be genuine with your dates of starting a particular job and finishing the job. It will be always mentioned in your release letter or experience letter. Also, if there is a gap in your career you can always give an exact reason for career gap without modifying it. This topic I will cover in interview skills make sure you do read it. Why I am mentioning this point here is whatever you mention in your resume must be genuine and nothing fake. As in personal round you might be asked on the things mentioned on your resume.
Title of the resume
People stress on title of your resume is most important part of any resume but before your resume is actually opened and checked. Recruiter or HR managers do not go on with checking one resume at a time or stuff like that. Title of your resume is important but it comes after getting shortlisted. They buy resumes in bulk from the service providers or job portals on basis of terms or keywords. Many times if the HR has asked for resume, they get huge amount of spam emails. Here, they use direct filters to find the relevant resume using keyword search and not actually go directly open and read the individual resume. On job portals there are basic three types of profiles.
You can upload your ready made resume in .doc or .pdf format or whatever is required or allowed. This is more a static one. If the job portal allows multiple versions to upload. Please upload multiple versions of your resume as you never know which keyword might struck luck to your resume and your resume may get shortlisted.
Next, they have forms that you can fill it with details right from education details to work experiences and so on. Sometimes these forms have auto-fill option as they can fetch information from your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you recheck this auto-fill created profile again as I had seen it had created disastrous information sometimes.
Third one is mostly you are redirected on company website and fill in all the information that can be kept in their database. You can just make small changes every short interval say once in two months and so on. Dormant or unedited profiles get deleted from the server automatically from the company websites. It is bit herculean task to keep filling full information with all the details again and again. Here you can create a static resume and just copy paste all the information in the relevant places. This is going to save your lots of hard work and make it smart work.
Title of job is important when you are applying for higher position jobs in any organisation. Firstly, your resume should get shortlisted and purchased by the organisation. The static resume for form fill resume should help you do that. Later in 06 seconds test your resume title can attract the eyes/attention. For example; 5.5 years Chief Executive Manager in Drilling Technology. Here reading one line can give complete information of your experience and create that required information. There is always debate on should the high-end professionals provide education details in their resume. I would say, Yes! The reason behind is many organisations have their basic requirement of education. Like say any positions the organisation fills in only the people holding Master’s degree or doctorate. In such a case, if you opt to not to mention your educational details. Chances of your resume getting shortlisted will be comparatively less. Your resume will not be shortlisted in first stage itself. It is now made fashion kind of approach of not to mention education in resume for higher profiles but it really matters where and what is your education standard.
Most important will be all the information that you submit should be correct and updated and matching on all the sources well. Especially dates and e-mail addresses. Use one common e-mail id as point of contact. One trick is on all the job portals use same login id password as well. That simplifies your life a lot. While you are searching for a job desperately you may not even remember login credentials as you will be registering your self on so many job sites or portals.
Standout in presentation
Now that we know important key things that shall be present in the resume. Let us understand how do we present ourselves better in the resume. For an instance let us consider that there is a job opening that you found on a job portal, where you feel you are eligible and should apply for it. First thing most of the people do is they just look for number of years of experience, salary package, location, find the contact persons e-mail ID and just send the static standard resume. The chances of your resume getting shortlisted will be there but if you have done following things it will be highly assured. Read the job description well. Try and understand what the job requirement is looking for. Check who is posting it. If you have supporting information of know someone in the organisation you can just have a quick word with the person and understand what is the organisation planning. One tip here is, keep in touch with all the people on regular basis. Even when you are not looking for job. Also, be helpful to good freshers whom you have worked with and be helpful to them as well. Have a good active network with people in your field of work. It will not appear that you are just appearing when you need something. It should be also when others need your help. It is always, give and take balancing work relationships. It can also be, give and take of some kind of technical knowledge. Now a days on the job portals you can see the statistics and comparison with other people who have already applied. See what skills they have or how are they presenting their skills. If you have well read the job description your e-mail body, cover letter if they have asked and your resume should speak with those key words. Many recruiters mention what all documents they require while they want candidates to apply. Sometimes they do mention the file formats, name formats of the file. SO carefully go though all the details they want from you. If they say resume, you write resume. If they ask for cv, you say cv. Write about a project that is similar to what they are looking for in your resume, if you have worked on it. Giving more explanation on what was your role. This was our team strength; how did we approach? what was your key contribution in it? How did that help team and so on? Keep it short and simple. Now many times recruiters shortlist these types of resumes and send it to project head who has requested to take new candidate. So, if the information matches, to what they are looking for you might be called for an interview. It is as simple as that. Here the key was you studied the job description well.
Now suppose you are not having particular project experience; then how should your approach be? Here do not explain projects that you worked on where there is no keyword matching to what they are looking for. Here you can mention key skills so and so software knowledge. Mention that you know the skill. If you have not done that kind of project, they will see that you know how to handle that particular software and still your chances of resume getting shortlisted and sent forward are more.
I would quote you one more example to understand why reading job description is very important. Recently I was looking for a classical dance teacher. I found a specific group and posted my requirement saying. I am looking for online dance teacher. Message me with details. Now in reply to this I got more than 40 comments from different individuals. With due respect to all the teachers who approached me. Most of them posted a comment saying this is my WhatsApp number contact me. It may appear a correct way but if you are a real good teacher in need of students, who are willing to pay for online classes you must have a smarter approach here. Do you think I am really going to talk 40 teachers on WhatsApp? Well it can still be possible but not an ideal situation. Just to grab this opportunity, any teacher would have mentioned me in message, I am so and so person, I have Master’s in dancing in the year 20xx. Practicing for more than so many years. SO, far I have taught these many students. You will learn this this from me. You will also appear for test. This is link to my performance. This is link to my student’s performance and so on. This is exactly same thing I am stressing upon read what is job description and let your resume create opportunity for yourself.
Coming down to formatting. Few people can make a page setup and present a nice resume. If you are not having great skills on formatting it is still fine. Use these steps and you will be fine with your resume.
Open a blank document in word.
Setup page size to A4. If you do this later your all formatting goes in to toss. Do it first.
Type everything that is necessary.
Sequencing should be
Introduce yourself first.
- Write name as it is on your passport.
- Date of birth: DD Month, YYYY
- Phone number with country extension,
- Skype ID, gmail id (keep this as simple and not fancy)
- Current address/permanent address (mail address is important)
- Objective in career how do you see yourself performing. Write two lines not more than that. It should show your attitude towards, learning, seeking, understanding, being team player and so on.
- Latest work experience first followed by older experience in chronologically descending order.
- Highest education first, University name with pass out year (GPA/Grade optional to put).
- Then you can start with education details.
If you are good in making table and formatting you can do that or just write one line. Masters of science – Geology, Pune University, India – 2007. Avoid using short forms like PGDBA, MBA, BHMS and so on. Write full form of your degree. If you are fresher you need to write percentage you scored. If it is specifically asked to mention final percentage or GPA you must not forget to mention it. Write in chronological descending order. First appears is your latest work experience then year wise older experience and later continued to education. First highest degree of education and then gradually to older. Your degree, subject of specialization, university name or board name, and year of passing is important to be mentioned.
After this you put publications or any other work that goes on your name as achievement (If the achievement is work related put it in work experience and not in this section). Try to give a chronological sequencing to it. Sometimes publication might come immediately after education or after certification. Or certification may come in the middle of the work experience. How the chronology help you is, suppose you did some two to three years of a job and you feel you might need to learn certain skill in order to grow. When you put all the information in sequential order. It gives a great attitude to your resume. It shows that you are a person who feels necessity to learn new things and you do it at right time as well. So, you are a learner. Just maintain the sections accordingly. Do not put one section work experience then one line of certification. Go with sections separately. If you are sending resume directly to HR or recruiter directly you can smartly highlight the skill that you have and skill that the job requirement is asking for.
After this you can mention certification courses that you have taken. Mention them 247 hours Business etiquette/ Personality development course from so and so institute 2013. Remember if you are using descending order for work experience use same for education, certification and so on. I prefer latest first and then follows to older. If you are applying for technical job do not mention you did glass painting course and so on here. Make it more relevant for recruiter to connect that you are most relevant candidate for this job.
Name of previous organisation (Write it as it is in your appointment letter/release letter). Use proper caps as it is on your documents from the organisation. Last designation, Month DD, YYYY either last date of previous job or joining date since and say present job.
Roles and responsibilities, here you need to use keywords what they are looking for if you have. If you have references mention it that you may provide them if and when asked. If you have special achievement e-mails or awards on certain projects do mention it in roles and responsibilities.
Level of skills should be properly mentioned like Hands-on this software or beginner in language and so on. You always have to create opportunity for yourself.
For higher job profile generally, there is a direct phone call to the candidate on which he or she has set the favorable time. In such a case have some organised questions ready in mind. Ask for who is calling, full name? Organisation for whom the requirement is and what is the criteria they are looking for? Note it down somewhere. It will show how organised your thoughts are. At the same time do request them to drop an e-mail and get the confirmation if they have your right e-mail id. Do request to mention the job description in details. Few of the highly paid jobs are having god forbidden locations, odd working hours, extreme living conditions, which appear with very nice lucrative perks but comes with lots of hidden rules and regulations of signing bonds. Making sensible move in career is always important right from the beginning.
In the end line you may mention extracurricular activity or hobby or interest. In one line. Try not to copy paste, hobby interest from friends resume or fake the information. Sometimes people just take resume from friend who is applying for same job. Just change few key points as your identity and keep this same as it is and here you both are caught. Your fiend has written that he/she can play guitar so it can be registered in mind by recruiter and you can be easily caught. That you are not making efforts to make your own resume. Here either of you will face the consequences or both of you will face the consequences. Now that you have read this article/blog by now you should have confidence that you have all the skills and you want to present your own personality in better ways. Mostly if you say extra curricular it means while doing your studies, what other things you like to actively participate in. For fresher there can be extra curricular activities in resume, but for a working professional you must say hobby. This part actually highlights your attitude towards life. Which is part of your personality beyond education and work.
Once the typing part is done. Read it again and again and read job description simultaneously. See if your resume is in accordance with the job description. You can give it to read to any of your family member and get suggestion on it. Once typing part is done then comes text formatting part. Select all text and make it size 11, font use Times New Roman. This is basic that is used for any formal writing. Then identify headlines and you can increase its size by to 12 or 13 depending on sub headings. Bullet it if you have enlisted certain things.
If they have asked for photo. You can add a photo in the resume or can attach it in email as per their requirement. Make sure that your face appears proper, both the ears appear clear. It should not be very old picture. Do not put any fancy picture from any party or picnic. It is not what you like about yourself. It should be presentable. Keep a mild smile on face in picture. Picture should not be in dark and red eye. Better if plain background with white light on face.
After formatting it should not go beyond one page. At the best 2 pages not beyond that unless they have asked for specific explanatory information. You can insert a table and write in each cell so that space utilization can be done. Later you can hide all borders of table. Sky is the limit in formatting.
In the end you can mention key important people references. Or you can say ready references available. For references these can be any people whom you have worked with. Who knows how skilled you are? How they can endorse your skills. You provide their Full name, Name of organisation with designation they are currently working with and contact number and email id. Remember, if you are mentioning ‘X’ persons reference in your resume that ‘X’ person should be aware that you are giving their contact details in a job application. In case of an international job opportunity if you mention cellular number give a time zone and a best time to reach the person.
Interactions on Social Media
Lastly name the document appropriately. Name_XYZ-Job-Opening.doc. Few more tips before we conclude. Do not use latest file format of word, you may use 98-2000. Check if the posting has asked for file.pdf file accordingly attach and send the relevant file. Your data in resume and in LinkedIn or any other job posting should match exactly. Be more professional in maintaining LinkedIn profile. Avoid interacting on the post irrelevant for the space. Big organisations do check how is your attitude on social media in public platforms. You can arrange public view settings accordingly. Be sensitive towards, on what you are interacting and how you carry yourself or how is your attitude on a social platform. Interacting on a funny cat’s video on Facebook might be still fine than doing it on LinkedIn. Use of particular platform should be smartly used, still on user discretion.
Certain times there is requirement of an introductory video. I will write a separate blog or article on how to make this introductory video. At times we feel very odd to post such introductory video where you have all your relatives or friends following you. Thanks to format of social media you can either load it in the drive and share the viewing link to limited people. At the same time, you can upload the video and allow its viewing to custom audience only. To know more details do follow and read my other blogs which might be useful for your career growth in all different phases of career.
Remember these basic steps
First update your LinkedIn profile. Then write down a draft of your resume what all information you wish to present in your resume? Make a organised document of all the relevant information. Keep your supporting documents and information ready. Make a local drive and a drive associated with your email that has scan copies in .pdf format. Keep one email id to manage your all the applications and conversation or communication details.
How to compile and email draft for application?
Once your basic steps are in place and you have created your resume. Whenever there is a job post relevant to you. Read it carefully. Study it well. Write your email like a letter writing.
HR recruitment team or if you know the full persons name of person, Full name of organisation, Designation, Location,
Subject: Application for vacant position of job title.(Copy paste same subject in subject of email)
Quick synopsis of who you are(name with title as on passport)? Where you are? Residency validity status if you have any international visa? How and where did you come across this opening? (In detail – if you saw an advertisement in news paper say xyz news paper, published on DDMM, YYYY, weekday on this on page that is under this section) and express your willing ness to apply for the said position. If this email is coming after any conversation or if some one has asked to send you resume personally it should start with the reference. As discussed over phone, here is my cv with all the details that you have asked. Let me give you quick introduction about me and so on.
In next paragraph you mention all what they are looking for and your skillset in short. Email should have requesting tone. Please have look at my cv/resume/ LinkedIn profile for all the details on my career and education details. Feel free to ask for more information on my career profile. You can play with words in short and simple ways you like.
Keywords should be present in resume as well as email body of the email. Mention that you aw willing to or have successfully done and so on. If you are fresher mostly use willing to do this willing to do that or wish to participate in so and so. Try to accentuate your profile with words and skills that you have relevant to job. Experience professional if applying for bigger firms then mention how good leader you are and still a good team player. Second last paragraph should not be just sweet coated but try to pen down your real skills in own words.
Last paragraph should be asking your willingness to meet the recruiter or manager in person and discuss on the role. Also mention that you are witting for the response from them.
Read the email again. Certain spelling mistakes or grammatical errors may not be caught despite of all the facilities. Try to read as recruiter or HR. Ensure you have all the details mentioned. If there is references required then do mention before last paragraph. If there are lots of documents that needs to be attached. Then enlist them in email and attach them in the sequence. As mentioned in the list. Check email ids who should be in To and who should be in cc. Once you are done checking, finally send the resume.
Tips and Tricks
You can always make a rough draft email ready and keep. It should be like fill in the blanks. So that every time you wish to apply for a job your base format is ready and you don not miss any information that is needed to be sent.
With the current state of pandemic, there is lots of job cuts, pay cuts, cost cutting or stuff like that. For you key is not to sit and worry. It is to think and work on all possible options. Think there might be a right opportunity waiting for you. If you have skills nothing can stop you. Make your perfect resume and apply for that right job. Once you apply for a job and you get a call for interview. There will be lots of next level questions coming to your mind. I am posting all the blogs explaining on how you can handle each situation. How to prepare for an interview? What should you discuss in an HR round? How you should you conduct yourself in a job from fresher to experienced professional. Make sure you follow my blogs and stay updated.
What has happened in past is fine but you can always focus on future and work in present. Make your own resume and apply for the dream job. I am sure you might be having questions on how do I write an e-mail body and what all should I include in cover letter. Is my LinkedIn profile giving all the relevant job information? I am sure there will be lots of questions in your mind. I kept on receiving lots of different queries regarding my field G.I.S. Geographic Information System. For few years I could respond to many of them but one fine day there was a guy whom I was having some conversation while over LinkedIn chat. In the conversation he mentioned me that there is one person in California he is a recruiter, he recommended my name so at that point in time I was really confused. I did not know this person and why has he suggested my name to the person to ask technical query. I wrote to the guy just as a thanking note in LinkedIn chat saying thanks for referring me. That time he mentioned, my profile always turned in the top searches in G.I.S. professional on LinkedIn. Which was more relevant with skills, he added. Name and all the information if perfectly placed it can happen to you as well!
Please do read my connecting blogs for the same. I have written resume from $15 to $300 for several individuals or free for friends and family. Many of them also wanted me to map their LinkedIn profile and resume both. I have enlisted all the tricks that you can use in resume writing. Feel free to post queries, feedback and suggestions in comment section. I will try to answer and help you. Hope you find what you want to achieve in life!