It’s a jungle out there with number of job seekers applying for the limited number of jobs. Competition is fierce and many people are looking for a job. Each day thousands of job seekers submit their resumes that find its way to the shredder. The vacancies are not filled because most of the deserving people do not reach the interview stage. Often, the reason for this is the mediocre resume that reaches the hiring desk, a resume is frequently the basis of first impression.
Importance of a Resume
The importance of a well written, concise and relevant resume cannot be taken for granted. Time is money, a hiring manager will only have enough time to glance at a resume. If the resume presented is enough to make an impression, the job seeker might get a call for an interview. The job seeker might possess the required skills for the job but if his resume is not impressive enough, that reduces the chance of being called. A resume is like an advertisement of the person applying for the job.
To understand the importance of a resume, one has to get into the shoes of a manager that has been assigned the task of recruiting. They know that many applicants will be vying for a single vacancy. It is not possible to meet them individually, interview all of them, conduct background checks on each, or call previous employers. Resources and time constraints make this impossible. The recruiter devises a system to go through the applicants. This is where a resume plays an important role. A poorly written resume with many errors whether will likely find its way to the trash bin. Those that survive have crossed the initial hurdle. The few that remain are thoroughly checked for experience, qualification, work attitude, and accomplishments. These resumes are more likely to get the interview call. This is just one step to getting a job.
It is important that the resume submitted should be made to impress the hiring manager at first glance. The manager may view that the person is responsible enough, at least on paper. With the world getting hooked to the internet, even companies looking to fill up their vacancies accept online resumes. But whether on paper or online, you still need to make a good and professionally written resume.
A great resume is the first step towards getting a job. There are a few things that are essential for any resume and must always be included. The first of these is the contact information which includes your name, address, phone number and email address. Having this information in your resume gives the recruiter a way to contact you and an idea of your organizing ability. Here are some guidelines to be aware of. These are as follows:
1. Qualifications: If a company advertises for an opening that requires someone who has a degree in engineering, ten years of experience and the knowledge of certain software tools, then these are the things a hiring manager would be looking for in a resume. A brief description of the qualifications must be mentioned right at the beginning of the resume. Any other qualifications that might add weight to the resume, can be added.
2. Experience: The next thing that a recruiter looks for is the experience of the applicant. Work experience should be included when submitting a resume. This section can include major accomplishments received from previous jobs. These accomplishments could be related to giving a consistent performance with regard to increasing sales, reducing expenses or even providing outstanding service. The accolades may not be related to the industry being applied, but it presents a valuable impression in the mind of the recruiter.
3. Education: Another essential element of any resume is the educational background. This section contains the schooling background of the candidate. Any other additional courses done with the basic education should also be mentioned here.
Layout of a resume
As mentioned before, the importance of a resume cannot be taken for granted. It is the first opportunity of any candidate to make a first impression. Caution needs to be exercised when you write a good and professional looking resume. There are certain guidelines that can be followed while writing a resume. These guidelines are as follows:
Style of writing
1. The objective: It is important to state your objective statement in the resume. This objective defines the work perspective of the applicant and also portrays his mindset. The objective statement however should not be too elaborate.
2. Quality writing: Good quality writing is essential to make an impression. A candidate might be qualified for the job, but an irrelevant and improperly written resume can ruin his chances of being selected for the interview. Moreover, the resume should not be ambiguous and disoriented.
3. Check for errors: Grammatical or spelling mistakes are a doom for the candidate as this shows his callousness. It is very important to double or even triple check the resume to weed out any such errors.
4. Appropriate categories: One should remember that the manager just has seconds to glance over the resumes. If there is information that attracts the recruiter will move forward to reading the rest of your resume. Specific skills should be placed under appropriate categories and at the appropriate place. Skills and experience should be placed higher on another page.
5. Reverse order: The information presented in a resume should ideally be made in the reverse chronological order starting with the most recent one.
Format of the resume
1. Consistency: It is important to maintain consistency in your writing style and the formatting style throughout the resume.
2. Job titles and skill headings: The skill headings and the job titles should coincide with the job being applied for. This is because quick judgments are made when the resumes. Unrelated skills or job titles create the impression that the applicant is not qualified.
3. Design and appearance: A professional looking resume is concise and provides the relevant information omitting unnecessary information. The design and appearance of the resume does matter, more important is the content.
4. Appropriate formatting: To highlight the credentials bullets can be used. It is prudent to stick to one or two pages of resume. It should be reader friendly.
As mentioned content is what actually matters. This ensures that whatever information has been provided in the resume is accurate and honest. There should be a mention of any personality traits that the candidate possesses such as leadership, independence, confidence and inter personal communication skills etc. One should always avoid writing irrelevant information as this could irk the manager. It is not prudent to list any references on the resume. One should make them available on request. This is precisely due to two reasons, the first being the time needed to inform the person that he has been named as a reference and he might get a call from the office. Secondly the applicant can ensure whether the reference is still contactable or not.
When all things seem in place, there is the need to do a final proof reading. For this the applicant can take the help of someone as another person can find out mistakes much faster than oneself.
A resume is not just one’s qualification or experience on paper. It is also his only opportunity to make a first impression. A good resume may be the one thing that determines success in getting a job. Today, with the internet seeking an entry in a variety of industries, writing a professional looking resume has become quite easy with the guidance that is available on the internet. The use of other resources is available. The making of a concise and professional resume has become easy. Many firms provide resume writing services. Therefore professional help can be taken to create a good and impressive resume.