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Jenny, an HR manager often sees 200 to 300 resumes a day—or perhaps ‘a night‘ would be more appropriate. Actually, her days are already so busy; she packs them into her briefcase and brings them home to read later. At around, 11:00 PM she feels free from her family responsibilities and picks up the first resume. She finds no objective statement on it, she wonders what this person wants or where he would fit in my organization. So that resume goes on the reject list. Do you know, what is the meaning of not putting an objective statement on your resume? It’s like, Hey Mr. Manager, you decide where I should work. It’s like you go to a bike dealer and say, ‘you decide which bike I should buy’.
Job seekers work hard to get a suitable job and most of them just copy resumes from friends or the internet and edit its contents to make it their own. Such resumes are called weak resumes. Because Inbox of Human Resource Managers usually remains flooded with hundreds or even thousands of such resumes per day. Nowadays, HR departments run software based filters for specific keywords to their advertised job. And guess what, if your resume doesn’t have the matching keywords related to the job applied for, you will be out of the race before the game start and all your preparation won’t be used. Thus, it becomes imperative to have a strong resume which brings you an interview call for the desired job. And a strong resume begins with a strong objective.
A resume is basically a marketing tool. And as with other marketing tools, it will require some digging to discover or uncover what the consumer really wants. A resume is not a narration of everything you have ever done or experienced with no regard for how that list meets an employer’s needs. A resume is not your entire life story because your entire life story could not possibly be relevant to the requirements of a single job. You need to ask yourself that what achievements are most relevant to the receiver.
A resume creates an image first, if that image is a positive one, it will lead to an interview. That’s all it does. A famous saying says opportunity never knocks twice, so you never know when the phone will ring or opportunity will knock, and you will be sorry that you did not start preparing an effective resume. If you have not prepared your resume, then, follow the guidelines to write an effective job winning resume.
A resume is not your entire life story, because your entire life story could not possibly be relevant to the requirements of a single job. You need to ask yourself that what achievements are most relevant to the receiver
Candidates, who wish to write their resume from scratch, are really confused that what they should write and what they should omit. So here are some brief guidelines to help newbies to prepare an effective resume.
Writing a good resume is like writing a brochure about a product, and in this case, you are the product and you need to write your brochure. And, this brochure should be attractive enough to bring customers to the showrooms. Think of yourself as an explorer, and start thinking of all the relevant activities that will best showcase you. Take a paper and pen, start noting headings like education, background, the area of expertise, extracurricular, social activities, training, learning, and other relevant activities.
Begin from your education; write the names of all the schools you attended in reverse chronological order. Write down the grades you scored; date and place of attending school, etc. Mention distinction, honors, special recommendations, entrance exam rank, or other impressive points. Write the experience of attending or delivering any seminar or special lecture or any evening class, etc. This is a brainstorming exercise, whatever comes in your mind, just convert it into words. And don’t edit, that is the rule of brainstorming. You might be thinking how your evening English classes can be counted as a learning activity. But, it counts, everything counts. During brainstorming, every idea has equal value.
Write down all the paid jobs you have had during past years. Now, clearly write the name of the company, your designation, duration of the job, and work responsibilities.
What are your strengths, write down each one of them. Your friends and teachers can also tell you about your areas of expertise. Interestingly, it’s easy to write what you can’t do well instead of writing what you can do well. It's human nature, but, you should apply the same thing in a positive direction. For example, a final year engineering student may write:
- Good Communication skills
- Moderate writing skills
- Good analytical skills
- General Knowledge
- Good knowledge of Computer and Internet
- Time Management
- Event Organizing
- Good in debate
- Convincing skills
Think for a while, have you ever done something for others. Something for the society that was a charity work. For example: Have you contributed to making a street hygienic, have you planted some trees to protect the environment, have you worked as a volunteer in a medical camp, etc.
Common, write the activities you like to do. Doing what makes you happy? There can be numerous activities like singing with friends, playing guitar, video game, internet surfing, painting, reading novels, watching favorite movies, etc.
Everybody has a dream, a dream like one day I will start my restaurant, but, suddenly you think that I am pursuing engineering, and don’t know anything about the food industry. But, it’s a dream, and you are king of your dream world. You can dream of becoming an actor, a writer, a journalist, etc.
Usually, people write about their jobs and responsibilities. But, they don’t write about their achievements during the job.
Actually, mere writing of responsibilities doesn’t show your capabilities and potential. Instead, you should use Problem-Action-Result (PAR) approach, that suggests figuring out the problems you have faced in a particular job, what actions were taken by you to get rid of those problems, and what were the results of those actions. In fact, Human Resource Manager says “Don’t tell that you have a particular skill, just show it”. Therefore, writing accomplishment is a preferred way to show your skills in a more relevant manner. Instead of writing “strong event organizing capabilities”, you should write “Successfully organized state level technical festival”.
If you have gone through all the above steps, then I must congratulate you, because you have done enough of brainstorming and finished with a useful list. It was the most challenging part of making a resume for the first time. Now, all you need is to construct a resume using all the building blocks prepared by you. Now, refer Resume Preparation page for further information regarding how to prepare resume