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How to Write Your Resume 101

Written by Qurat Zafar ·  3 min read >

It is the job hunting season and if you have been sitting in front of your computer and haven’t been able to come up with many great ideas to organize your Resume, we have some tips and tricks to push you on the right track. Without further ado, let’s get started.

“The resume is a movie trailer or 30-second commercial. Once you think of the resume as a movie trailer and you as a movie, that gets you in the right mindset. Strip everything to its essentials and just make people interested enough to see the movie.” – Joseph Wang, ex-VP Quant

Tips for Great Resumes

Show off your Strengths
There is a big difference between things that you are good at and things that you are genuinely skilled at. Start with your skills and show them what your strongest points are so that the hiring committee knows exactly how you can fit into the company. Make sure you start the resume with your strong assets. You are experienced in the field and that give you a distinct advantage, great, lead with your experience instead of letting the reader go through all the boring sections before they get to the part that really adds to your resume.

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Stand out
If your resume is different from the rest in a positive away, it’s going to be a very big plus point. Of course, standing out does not mean being flashy or lying about your true capabilities. That will probably harm you in the long run but if you can come up with an innovative way to grab your reader’s attention, you are probably doing yourself a big favor.

Include a Summary Section
Traditionally, people used to go for the Career Objectives section which isn’t particularly a bad idea but many employers nowadays prefer a short summary section which in turn also includes your career objectives. This makes the resume more interesting. More importantly, it helps hook up the reader’s interest.

Be Brief
Brevity, dear job applicants, is the key to success. Nobody likes a foot long resume and frankly, nobody has the time to go through them. At best your resume will be scanned in a few minutes and if you have written entire stories in there, hiding your real strengths within, you can basically forget it: the next time your phone rings it probably isn’t going to be for a job interview. Try to convey the maximum information in minimum words. Go for bullets instead of paragraphs. Make your resume reader friendly so that they can get the gist of it quickly.

Quantity Matters
Give actual figures to show how good you are. Quality is vague and won’t allow the reader to instantly gauge how successful you are but using figures, metrics and numbers will help you avoid the paper basket. According to this Quora answer, resumes that contain examples relevant to the business that the candidates are applying for make them stand out,

“In the three years I worked here, my personal contribution has resulted in a 34% increase in sales, totalling $567k in increased revenue per annum, over 15% more than any of my peers in a 45 person team. I’ve managed teams of up to 7 people and my average budget size is $67k.” – Sample Content for Good Resumes

Give your employers what they are looking for so that you can get your desired job.

Link to Projects
One of the best things to do is to add links to projects that are publicly visible instead of just describing them. This allows the potential employer to go through your work and understand how good you are. For fresh graduates, links to side projects can help get the readers attention. Side projects reflect the fact that you are mature enough to take some extra work, set your own deadlines and dedicated enough to see it through.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Long and Boring Resumes
A boring resume will inadvertently land in the rubbish pile as will a long one because the reader will be unable to quickly filter out the relevant information from the fluff. Save yourself some hassle and make a sincere effort to ensure that your resume is not long and boring.

Bad Resume Templates
Cluttered, unorganized and messy resumes are a big no no. Make sure you put all the relevant information on your resume in a way that looks good and visually appealing. Bad looking resumes put off the reader even before he has started reading the information that you took such pains to put down.

Listing Skills that are Barely Relevant
While Quantity matters, listing down skills that are entirely irrelevant to the job that you are applying for makes you come across as a weak candidate and also downplays your real skills. Avoid the fluff: show the company the skills which are relevant to the position that you are applying for. Fluff won’t add any worth to your resume and make it long and boring.

Still unclear about what you should add to your resume? Go through this Scribd blog and this article on What Recruiters Look for in a Resume to get better insight. Also see sample resumes here and here.Use the tips and tricks listed above to come up with a killer resume and increase your chances of getting a job.

Read also:

10 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

10 Mistakes that will most likely Mess up a Job Interview

Image Credits: Flazingo

Written by Qurat Zafar
Her heart skips a beat everytime she sees a new, beautiful gadget. A tech enthusiast to the core, Qurat loves reading, writing and wasting time. She tweets at @q_zafar. Profile