I have been taking several interviews and also receiving many resumes/CV through readers of my blog. There were many requests to edit their resumes through my friends and others. I’ll try to help them with my experience. In past when I was looking for change, several interviewers pointed out mistakes in my resume. I learnt a lot from this. I wish to share my experience to you.
Writing a GOOD resume is an ART. YES, this is an ART that can be learnt over period of time, but we should know the basics at least . It is not necessary to write a resume using the rules which you have heared through your colleagues or friends or from Internet. It does not have to be one page or follow a specific resume format. Every resume is a one-of-a-kind communication. If you search in Internet, there were umpteen number of tips/guidance available. I am not going to reproduce the same in this post, rather I would like to share my experiences and learning through this post. If you believe it or not your resume will be accepted or rejected within first 10-15 seconds of scanning is a truth.
- First and foremost point is ,do not send one standard template resume which you have for all the job advertisements which you feel you will fit in. Resume should match with what is job/role advertised. CUSTOMIZING RESUME IS VERY IMPORTANT. First understand what is asked, what are skill sets expected, what are the skill set desired, tailor your resumes which matches the requirements. I mean build your resume accordingly not fake your profile.
- Write your resume from scratch, do not edit your friends resume/template and fill up with your details. This is UGLY. If you do not have time to write your own resume, then how do you expect your employer to have faith in your credentials.
- First list down the points in plain paper what are expectations from the employer, asses whether you are fit for the role. Do not overlook or under-estimate. Be judicious. If position asked is for technical lead, but you have 1.5 years of experiences then it is unfair to apply. Self-evaluation is very important.
- Resume should have following details at high level
Personal details- Full contact address with accessible Phone numbers
Summary of skills (the technical page)
Work history (listing the most recent position first)
- Any achievements/additional responsibilities/hobbies etc
- Give your contact address correctly with mobile numbers which you can be reached. Many of times your mobile may not be reachable due to bad signal. HR interested in your profile and contact you but when you are not reachable, he simply dumps it and go for other. So provide a contact number which you are accessible and along with timings that help them to plan better.
- Most of us copy the career objective or summary from others blindly. We assume that who is going to read objective or asks about it. This is FALSE. I always look at the objective of the resume. One sentence to tell about your carrier. For example, when I interviewed a candidate for technical position, he said he wants to be Business analyst for that reason he is pursuing MBA in distance learning though he have enough experience for that position. I have asked then why do you put “want to be technical architect or solution engineer etc etc” in a objective. He has no answer. I rejected him. When the person is not clear about his objective, then he wont fit for the position. In other way, objectives will be drifted based on business requirements that’s true, but it is unfair to write some wrong objectives to get a job. So be cautious.
- Writing a skill set is very important. I often notice in GIS resumes with below statement. This clearly shows that person does not knows about the product which he/she worked for year or more. Most of people confuse about ESRI Products and their versions and libraries . Interviewer could clearly gauge his experience with this single line of statement in his/her resume. Avoid such mistakes.
- ESRI products – ArcGIS Desktop 9.x, ArcCatalog 9.1 and Arcsde, ArcObjects 9.0
- In Many GIS profiles comes with “having 4 years of experience in Gis” domain. Person has 4 years of experience does not know GIS is abbreviation of Geographic Information System and this should be in capital letter . These are costly mistakes. Proof read your resumes.
- Give your academic details [% of marks], past experiences correctly. Do not fake on this. Now a days IT industry is not very good, if they find you are faking you may be black listed. Give your previous employer details [address/phone number of HR/Manager] clearly so that it would be easy to validate them quickly and come back to you for faster process
- Understand the person who is taking your interview has many other works, so your resume to should highlight about the projects/technology which you have worked. On looking at the project description, I could understand what type of project and what you did. Be clear with what you did. Project has many modules but you might worked with single module which does not involve much of coding but if you added that I have used this and that library then you will be screwed up and end up in losing the offer.
- Work history should start from the recent one. List the projects and with description, your role/responsibility, team size. Try to highlight what exactly you have done in that projects. I have came across the one resume, who has given Interfaces which has used for achieving the task he mentioned. I appreciate that, it made easy for me to ask questions on the same direction. It does not mean that every resume should list all the interface. But for that resume that is very apt.
- Achievements/Responsibilities – This is like value-addition. If you have judged as MVP or awarded as best team member or any other responsibilities held please write in. These are very helpful in taking decision. If you have taken any certifications add them too. Hobbies like blogging/technical writing/special recognisation from client are well received. When two persons are selected for same position, these value-addition helps them for decision making
- Use Good fonts and draft it neatly with adequate space. Every company uses some jargon for particular job, hence it is must to use the same jargon if you apply for the particular company. First page is very important, mention key aspects there, so that it will be reviewed quickly. Employer looks for specific skill set put that in appropriate section.
- Some of us have some break in education/carrier due to some unavoidable reasons be honest in mentioning that. Do not try to cover them with unnecessary stuff.
- Finally do spell check. MS WORD comes with Spell Check option to eliminate the silly spelling mistakes. Long back I have sent an resume with a spelling mistake, when interviewer asked on this, I said whether is that so important for this job/role?. He gave one example for the importance of spelling, when a developer did a spelling mistake in his application unknowingly, client has taken that as serious issue and canceled their business that resulted huge loss. Now you say that whether spelling is an important or not?. Will you agree if someone writes your name with wrong spelling. So double check the technical words and proof read.
- Send your resume to your friends and ask to them to review. They can find lot of mistakes and we can correct it before we sent across.
Resume is a tool use them effectively. Little bit of extra effort makes your resumes stand-out among others. As I said in beginning writing an good resume is an art. I try put across the points which I feel important. Though I would not have addressed other points but I hope this would be certainly helpful for you.
If you have any specific doubts or help required please do comment on this post. I’ll try to answer them. Best of luck and Cheers!