A great resume is the first step towards getting a job. It plays a vital role in deciding whether you’ll be invited for the interview or not. Your CV offers a quick overview of your education, experience, skills, accomplishments and career objectives to the recruiter.
However, during the screening process, many resumes are sent to the trash bin because they fail to stand out. According to a study conducted by The Ladders, recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing an individual resume. Therefore, your resume should be so well-written that it impresses the recruiter within those 6 seconds.
If you want to draft a compelling resume, then here’s a list of do’s and don’ts of resume writing.
• Do use a neutral font for writing your resume. While sending a resume through e-mail, there are possibilities that the recruiter doesn’t have multiple fonts installed or uses a different version of word processor. Fonts such as Arial or Calibri (Body) with font size 12-14 will be safer to choose.
• Do be specific. Write clear and specific statements by quantifying tasks with numbers. For example, if you manage a team, then mention how many direct reports you manage. Use short and meaningful sentences rather than phrases or long sentences. Use bullets instead of paragraphs to mention specific information.
• Do include your unique aspects. If you know how to speak a foreign language fluently or have studied abroad, add these details to your resume in one line. It will make a good impression on the recruiter and work as a conversation starter.
• Do list the most recent job first. While listing your experience, mention the latest employment first and then go backwards. It will help the recruiter view your current job easily.
• Do mention the reason for gap (if any) in work history. A gap between jobs will make your resume look questionable. If you mention the reason and what you did during that period, then it will look justified.
• Do proofread. Spelling and grammatical errors in a resume are not acceptable. Run a quick spellcheck and make corrections, if required.
• Don’t make your resume longer than two pages. Recruiters don’t have a lot of time to go through all the pages of your resume. Try to make it brief. Filter your details and mention only the relevant ones. Omit the information regarding your earliest jobs and the roles you played. You can discuss it at the time of interview.
• Don’t include too much personal information. Details such as date of birth, marital status, hobbies, religion, etc. should not be included in your resume unless the job profile requires so.
• Don’t use multi-coloured texts. Different fonts, underlines, coloured texts, graphics, etc. should be avoided. They act as distraction for the recruiter and show an unprofessional approach.
• Don’t forget to add your contact details. Information such as email address, postal address and phone number is necessary to include.
• Don’t use jargons. Recruiters are tired of reading jargons like team player, hardworking and fast learner. Explain everything in layman’s terms because your CV travels through the HR department and then reaches the hiring manager’s desk. So, keep it simple for an HR person to understand.
Take your time and write your resume with complete concentration. Have a clear approach and be specific during resume writing. Follow these do’s and don’ts to excel in the first step of the recruitment process. All the best!