Do's and Don't's of Resume Writing

"The average resume is reviewed for less than a minute"! So start the clock.

With over 100 resumes and name, skills summary, 30 second video, job title, history it's too much to read. By this time your resume is part of a big pile of resumes. Less than a minute, to argue your point and it is over before it began.

So how do we prevent this?

1. Target the company and its needs that you are applying for. Prove you have the experience and knowledge to be the person they need.

2. Keep it simple. If there is too much clutter, resumes look sloppy. If it is too complicated, the employer will not know where to look. Keep it simple, you have less than 1 minute.

3. A resume is not a job description; it's a tickler to get the reader to want to call you. As a result, brevity is to be desired.

4. Save in a rich or common text so nothing is lost in transmission. This also keeps it clean and professional.

5. Unprofessional-sounding e-mail addresses should be avoided. Managers have a hard time taking seriously as an Executive Manager.

6. Career paths can take an unexpected turn, in which case it is even more important for a resume to be carefully considered and modified accordingly.

Emphasize skills that obtain to this new career path you have learned or performed in previous jobs, as opposed to your

7. Personal information, such as hobbies, marital status and religious affiliations should be avoided unless they directly pertain the career being applied for.

8. Check it TWICE! It may seem like the small stuff, but typos, grammar errors, or even resume inconsistencies (such as writing out "January" then abbreviating it later) can make all the difference. Skipping this step could give the impression of a lack of detail or laziness. Do not be afraid to have other persons look over your resume, edit and critique. It could make all the difference.

9. Avoid titling your resume "Resume". We all know what it is, and if we do not, there are bigger problems at hand.

10. Show what you are capable of doing, not what you did. "Clean" "Customer service" "Computer/Printer/Copier Trouble Shooting" is not telling anything other than you are a 1980's robot.

Resumes that have real thought and time put into them shine through, and only need less than a minute to prove that you are the best person for the job.

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40 Tips on writing an effective resume

Having an effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing yourt dream job. How does one make sure that his resume is top notch? Here are a compilation of few tips from our experts that we that we have put together for the job seekers.

The 40 resume writing tips

1. Know the purpose of your resume

Some people write a resume as if the purpose of the document was to land a job. As a result they end up with a really long and boring piece that makes them look like desperate job hunters. The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will give you a chance to show your brilliance.

2. Back up your qualities and strengths

Instead of creating long lists of all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things.

3. Make sure to use the specific keywords

Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital (word specific) databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. If your resume doesn't have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will not even come up in the prelim search. So our advice is to stick to specific key words.

4. Use effective titles

Employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in the first 30 seconds. Under this time frame the most important aspect will be the titles that you listed on the resume, so make sure they grab attention. Try to be as descriptive though concise as possible, giving the employer a good idea about the nature of your past work experiences. For example-

Bad title:


Good title:

Management of A/R and A/P and Recordkeeping

5. Proofread your resume twice

It would be difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. Small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough, so do it twice, three times or as many as necessary.

6. Avoid lengthy paragraphs

No employer will have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, to use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.

7. Where are you going?

Including your professional goals can help you by giving employers an idea of where you are going, and how you want to arrive there. You don't need to have a special section devoted to your professional objectives, but overall the resume must communicate it.

8. Specify your most important information first

This point is valid both to the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the times your previous work experience will be the most important part of the resume, so put it at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first.

9. Typography

Make sure that your fonts are big enough. The smaller you should go is 11 points, but 12 is probably safer. Do not use capital letters all over the place; remember that your goal is to communicate a message as fast and as clearly as possible. Arial and Times are good choices.

10. Do not include usless information

There are many people that like to include statements like "Available for interview'' or "References available upon request.'' If you are sending a resume to a company, it should be a given that you are available for an interview and that you will provide references if requested.

11. Explain the benefits of your skills

Merely stating that you can do something will not catch the attention of the employer. If you manage to explain how it will benefit his company, and to connect it to tangible results, then you will greatly improve your chances.

12. Avoid negativity

Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews. You don't need to include, for instance, things that you hated about your last company.

13. Achievements and responsibilities

Resumes that include a long list of "responsibilities included'' are plain boring, and not efficient in selling yourself. Along with listing responsibilities, describe your professional achievements.

14. No pictures please

Sure, we know that you are good looking, but unless you are applying for a job where the physical traits are very important (e.g., modelling, acting and so on), and unless the employer specifically requested it, you should avoid attaching your picture to the resume.

15. Use numbers

If you are going to describe your past professional achievements, it would be a good idea to make them as solid as possible. Numbers are your friends here. Instead of mentioning that you increased the annual revenues of your division, give statistics. Example- You increased the annual revenues from INR 25 Cr by 25%, or there was an yearly growth of 15% post your contribution.

16. One resume for each employer

One of the most common mistakes that people make is to create a standard resume and send it to all the job openings that they can find. Sure it does save you time, but it will also greatly decrease the chances of landing an interview. Tailor your resume for each employer. The same point applies to your cover letters.

17. You don't need to list all your work experiences

If you have job experiences that you are not proud of, or that are not relevant to the current opportunity, you should just omit them. Mentioning that you used to sell hamburgers when you were 17 is probably not going to help you land that executive position.

18. Go with what you got

If you never had any real working experience, just include your summer jobs or volunteer work. If you don't have a degree yet, mention the title and the estimated date for completion. As long as those points are relevant to the job in question, it does not matter if they are official or not

19. Don't include irrelevant information

Irrelevant information such as political affiliation, religion and sexual preference will not help you. In fact it might even hurt your chances of landing an interview. Just skip it.

20. Use Mr. and Ms. if appropriate

If you have a gender neutral name like Gagandeep or Puneet make sure to include the Mr. or Ms. prefix, so that employers will not get confused about your gender.

21. No lies, please

Seems like a no brainer, but you would be amused to discover the amount of people that lie in their resumes. Even small lies should be avoided. Apart from being wrong, most HR departments do background checks these days, and if you are buster it might ruin your credibility for good.

22. Keep the salary in mind

The image you will create with your resume must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming for.

23. Analyze job ads

You will find plenty of useful information on job ads. Analyze no only the ad that you will be applying for, but also those from companies on the same segment or offering related positions. You should be able to identify what profile they are looking for and how the information should be presented.

24. Get someone else to review your resume

Even if you think you resume is looking kinky, it would be a good idea to get a second and third opinion about it. We usually become blind to our own mistakes or way of reasoning, so another people will be in a good position to evaluate the overall quality of your resume and make appropriate suggestions.

25. One or two pages

The ideal length for a resume is a polemic subject. Most employers and recruiting specialists, however, say that it should contain one or two pages at maximum. Just keep in mind that, provided all the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better.

26. Use action verbs

A very common advice to job seekers is to use action verbs. But what are they? Action verbs are basically verbs that will get noticed more easily, and that will clearly communicate what your experience or achievement were. Examples include managed, coached, enforced and planned.

27. Use a good printer

If you are going to use a paper version of your resume, make sure to use a decent printer. Laser printers usually get the job done. Plain white paper is the preferred one as well.

28. No hobbies

Unless you are 100% sure that some of your hobbies will support you candidacy, avoid mentioning them. I know you are proud of your swimming team, but share it with your friends and not with potential employers.

29. Update your resume regularly

It is a good idea to update your resume on a regular basis. Add all the new information that you think is relevant, as well as courses, training programs and other academic qualifications that you might receive along the way. This is the best way to keep track of everything and to make sure that you will not end up sending an obsolete document to the employer.

30. Mention who you worked with

If you have reported or worked with someone that is well known in your industry, it could be a good idea to mention it on the resume. The same thing applies to presidents and CEOs. If you reported to or worked directly with highly ranked executives, add it to the resume.

31. No scattered information

Your resume must have a clear focus. If would cause a negative impression if you mentioned that one year you were studying drama, and the next you were working as an accountant. Make sure that all the information you will include will work towards a unified image. Employers like decided people.

32. Make the design flow with white space

Do not jam your resume with text. Sure we said that you should make your resume as short and concise as possible, but that refers to the overall amount of information and not to how much text you can pack in a single sheet of paper. White space between the words, lines and paragraphs can improve the legibility of your resume.

33. Lists all your positions

If you have worked a long time for the same company (over 10 years) it could be a good idea to list all the different positions and roles that you had during this time separately. You probably had different responsibilities and developed different skills on each role, so the employer will like to know it.

34. No jargon or slang

It should be common sense, but believe me, it is not. Slang should never be present in a resume. As for technical jargon, do not assume that the employer will know what you are talking about. Even if you are sending your resume to a company in the same segment, the person who will read it for the first time might not have any technical expertise.

35. Careful with sample resume templates

There are many websites that offer free resume templates. While they can help you to get an idea of what you are looking for, do not just copy and paste one of the most used ones. You certainly don't want to look just like any other candidate, do you?

36. Create an email proof formatting

It is very likely that you will end up sending your resume via email to most companies. Apart from having a Word document ready to go as an attachment, you should also have a text version of your resume that does not look disfigured in the body of the email or in online forms. Attachments might get blocked by spam filters, and many people just prefer having the resume on the body of the email itself.

37. Remove your older work experiences

If you have been working for 20 years or more, there is no need to have 2 pages of your resume listing all your work experiences, starting with the job at the local coffee shop at the age of 17! Most experts agree that the last 15 years of your career are enough.

38. No fancy design details

Do not use a color or fancy fonts or images on your resume. Sure, you might think that the little flowers will cheer up the document, but other people might just throw it away at the sight.

39. No pronouns

You resume should not contain the pronouns "I'' or "me.'' That is how we normally structure sentences, but since your resume is a document about your person, using these pronouns is actually redundant. Many use third person tone which also works well.

40. Don't forget the basics

The first thing on your resume should be your name. It should be bold and with a larger font than the rest of the text. Make sure that your contact details are clearly listed. Secondly, both the name and contact details should be included on all the pages of the resume (if you have more than one).

Get professional help if you are having a hard time to create your resume.