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HOW TO MAKE A RESUME

Tips to write an Effective CV 

Job search can be a daunting task, following few basic steps can help you in increasing your chances of getting your much awaited interview call. 

Most of us get lost at the idea of writing a resume. The idea is to stay focussed on three things: Why, For whom and How. 

Why explains the reason you are preparing a resume. Keep your professional objective in mind before you start writing. Your resume should reflect that thought. 

For whom part focuses on the recruiter, who will scan the resume. Bear in mind, your resume is not meant for you to read. So make it as precise and relevant as possible to be understood even by a layman. 

How deals with how to present your facts, career history, accomplishments. Many of us invariably write only few of our achievements and overlook the important ones simply because it is out of mind. 

A simple way to address is to maintain a critical incident log book in which you jot down all the critical moments in your career which includes both your achievements and failures. This will enable you to track your professional career and will always be handy whether it is your performance appraisal discussion or time for resume writing. 

A look at the Types of Resume: 

There are essentially three types of resumes: 

Chronological CV – This focuses on presenting your experience on a year on year basis. This is ideal if you are applying within the same industry and have relevant experience.

Functional CV - If you have several career gaps or are changing industry or have a mix of seemingly unrelated posts then functional format is definitely a right choice to make as it highlights your skills and expertise and what you have to offer in totality rather than the chronology of your employment to date. 

Combined CV - It follows both the chronological and functional format, which makes the CV slightly longer than normal. It is an ideal format if you have a strong career progression with many achievements. This will enable you to sell your strengths as well as your experience. It is not suitable for those with little experience or the ones with gaps in their career. 

These are some basic steps that will assist you in writing an effective resume: 

1) Choose a good font size, font type and a relevant resume format before you start writing.
2) Keep the language simple. Use bullets and short sentences to keep your point concise. Avoid paragraphs wherever possible.
3) While writing significant contributions or professional achievements of your career, use ‘PAR’ statements. ‘PAR’ stands for Problem-Action-Results which means first state the problem that existed in your workplace, then describe what you did about it and finally point out the beneficial results. 

For instance, have a look at this: 

‘As a sales manager I was responsible for increasing the sales of ABC territory’, 

Using PAR statement:

‘As a sales manager, I was successful in increasing the plummeting sales numbers from 5% to 25% in ABC territory by adding 3 new customers , increasing sales of existing customers by 5% and offering value added services like....’. 

The recruiter is not interested in generic statements, but is on a look out for what skills you can bring to the company, what you can do and how. Your approach to handle tasks and responsibilities is critical to them. 
4) Don’t make it a never ending saga of your career. Make it precise. Most of the recruiters say that one to two pages is an ideal length for a good resume till the time it contains all the necessary information. For freshers even a single page will be ideal if written concisely.
5) Avoid mentioning hobbies unless you are sure it will support your candidacy.
6) Don’t mention about your physical attributes unless it is specifically asked. It is generally only required in industries like hospitality and armed forces etc.
7) Do not falsify your data. Most HR departments do the reference check and if you are caught then it might ruin your credibility.
8) For academic credentials, mention only the institution and the year of passing. You may mention the scores or the CGPA if they are excellent. Avoid mentioning it if there is an inconsistency in your scores.
9) Prioritize the content of your resume by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you seek.
10) Use of keywords that employers provide in job advertisements and job descriptions is a key element in creating good resumes.
11) It is always better to write about something you were doing, as gracefully as possible, rather than leave the gaps. For instance, if were doing something valuable, just mention it. It could be anything like being a full time student or a recently acquired hobby or social service etc.
12) Instead of being too elaborative in a particular section, focus on highlighting the breadth of your knowledge.
13) If you are a matured applicant seeking a job, avoid mentioning about all the jobs of your career. Previous 10 to 15 years of jobs should be sufficient and can be covered under ‘Recent Work History’.
14) Accompany your resume with a Cover Letter. A CV without a cover letter is a letter without an envelope.
15) Your resume is a mirror image that you create in the eyes of recruiter. The image you will create with your resume must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming for.
16) Proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough. You should do it twice or thrice.
17) Ask someone to review your resume to have second opinion on it and make appropriate changes.
18) Tweak and target your resumes to target the specific skills each employer is looking at. This will give you an edge over other applicants. This is that what makes you in or out. 

All the best... Happy Writing

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