Writing a resume is often the most arduous activity of the entire job application process and one which requires painstaking attention to detail. EnglishMate, English speaking institutes from Hindustan Times, lists a few points that one should consider while writing their resume.
How long should a resume be?
Most recent graduates should confine their resumes to one page. If your resume goes to a second page, make sure your margins are not too wide (no more than 1” left and right and as little as ½” top and bottom). If the headings are on the left, stack the words (e.g. “TEACHING” with “EXPERIENCE” under it, rather than next to it).
What should one include?
- Name: Start with your NAME (we suggest upper case bold for name only), and complete contact information (address, phone and email address).
- Certifications: List professional certifications and licenses with dates received. (Chronological Order)
- Education: Summarize your education in reverse order, starting with your last degree or the one you are working on now. Include school name, city, state, degree, major, date degree was – or will be – conferred and honors.
- Courses: To tailor your resume to a specific job, you may include a list of “relevant courses.”
- Honors/Awards/Activities: Use one or more categories as appropriate, highlighting achievements such as scholarships, Dean’s List, leadership roles in clubs, campus/community organizations, sports or other accomplishments.
- Research: If applicable, you may include special projects or research, highlighting significant relevant classroom learning experiences such as research projects, independent study, special presentations, and major papers.
- Experience: Your experience, regardless of how you acquired it (full time or part time jobs, internships, and community or college service) is usually of chief interest to the reader. For each position, include: Job Title (followed by dates of employment), Employer, City, and State. Emphasize (put first) either employers or job titles, but be consistent! Describe responsibilities, duties and accomplishments, preferably using list format with bullets.
- Skills: Of great interest to employers! Indicate computer hardware and software knowledge, fluency in foreign languages, or other technical skills. If you have several of each, use separate categories.
- Interests: List interests only if you are really knowledgeable about something or very good at it.
How do you make your resume look professional?
- Include no personal information: age, health, marital status, height, weight, religion.
- Never use the first person “I.” Do not use full sentences. Eliminate all unnecessary words (a, the).
- Never lie or exaggerate.
- Add to the eye appeal of your resume by varying the typeface for emphasis: bold, underline, italic, UPPER CASE, etc. (Use italics for emphasis only – perhaps your job title – never for the entire resume.) Use an attractive legible typeface such as Times or Arial, not an old-fashioned font such as Courier.
- Use “bullets” (•, ♦, *, −) for listing items under a heading description, such as experience.
- Proofread carefully. Grammatical, content and typographical errors may eliminate you immediately from consideration for an interview. Ask others to proofread the resume as well.
What is the most important feature of a successful resume?
Here are some pointers:
- Use action verbs to describe your duties and accomplishments, depicting yourself as someone who gets the job done: one who “created . . . published . . . solved” – not one who merely “participated in” or was “responsible for.” Avoid using “assisted” – say what you did. Vary the vocabulary. For present jobs, use present tense verbs and for past jobs, use past tense.
- Emphasize skills and experience related to the job you want and to the employer’s needs.
- When describing your experience, use detailed descriptions that give the reader a picture of you as an individual (“Adapted lesson on dinosaurs to learning styles of autistic children”) rather than vague descriptions that make you sound like everyone else (“Followed the curriculum of cooperating teacher”).
- Quantify accomplishments by citing numbers, percentages, etc., where appropriate.
- Put the most related and impressive accomplishment first within each job description.
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