Ready Reckoner: Top tips for writing a resume

A beautified CV that is weak on content has a greater chance of getting rejected, says Uday Vaidya

A beautified CV that is weak on content has a greater chance of getting rejected, says Uday Vaidya

It is the in thing today to start a CV with an ‘objective’. Employers will not call you for an interview by reading your ‘objective’. It is an unwanted statement especially for a fresher, who has low clarity about his career. Besides, most of the time, the objective statements are copied from somewhere and jargonized. While such a statement may not make any positive contribution towards getting you an interview call, it may harm your prospects on two counts.

First, the objective stated may not be in sync with that of the position for which you have applied. In such a case your CV gets rejected outright.

Second, the interviewer may ask you probing questions on the objective statement. If you are not able to defend what you have written, you are in a spot.

Most interviewers ask questions on the basis of information you have furnished. So the golden rule is that provide information which is just required and on which you can talk confidently.

Your resume should be maximum two pages. A HR manager, who screens hundreds of resumes in a day, is likely to lose interest in a lengthy resume. Effective written communication is an asset especially when you are applying for a senior level position. You got to pack all the important information in just a couple of pages.

Keep a few things in mind when you prepare your CV next:

  • Use simple language.
  • Avoid using jargons
  • Do not use fancy fonts or colors
  • Do not attach your photograph unless asked to do so
  • Do not write about your father/ mother’s name and their occupation unless asked for
  • Avoid mentioning expected salary, and references unless asked for
  • Ensure that your skill set conforms to the job description when applying in response to an advertisement.

    For example, if the advertisement mentions specific technical competencies, assuming that you have those, ensure that you mention the same keywords used in the advertisement because the employer will first look for familiar words, and if s/he locates them in your resume you stand a better chance of getting shortlisted. However, if you are going through a placement agency, confirm with them the job profile and make changes in the resume accordingly.

    Use a tabular format while listing qualifications. Start with the highest. While mentioning grades or percentage, write whichever is higher. For example, if you scored 80 per cent which translates into grade A+, mention the grade instead of percentage as it sounds more appealing. A word of caution for engineering candidates: do not mention semester wise details.

    Write about your job experience starting with the current organization. Briefly describe the organization and your job profile there in. Do mention your ‘achievements’ if any. You will definitely be asked questions on your achievements so be ready with impactful answers.

    Fresher should write about their academic projects and internship and/or summer assignments. Incorporate information on “extracurricular activities and hobbies”. This reflects on your personality. Many employers prefer extroverts. So mentioning activities like reading, listening to music, watching TV (no no anyways), reduce your chances. A positive social activity makes your CV impactful.
    The author is a Human Resource consultant and a corporate trainer

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