30 Jun 2015 17:36 IST

Tips to draft an eye-catching resume

You will have around 20 seconds to make your resume land on the top of the pile, use these guidelines to make it there

Your newly minted MBA degree is a doorway to the professional arena but your resume is the first thing prospective employers notice about you. You will have around 20 seconds to make your resume land on the top of the pile. It is, therefore, essential to create an eye-catching resume that highlights your core skills, strengths, and professional competencies.

Here are 10 important factors to consider while creating a resume that will help you shine in the job market:

Create an employer centric career objective Your employer wants to know the skills you bring to the table and what you can do for their organisation. Avoid copying ideas off the internet. Create your own unique ‘career objective’ and show your potential employer what you can offer them, instead of talking about skills you wish to develop.

List your accomplishments List your accomplishments and if possible use metrics. Further, use action verbs in your resume to show how you drive results – use words like ‘Led’ and ‘Increased’. This will reinforce the fact that you are capable of getting the job done.

Use a target job title Many candidates often make this mistake. Use a specific job title in your resume. This draws the attention of the recruiter and will make your resume more visible in database searches.

Cite your core competencies Be specific when mentioning your professional skills. This section will help enhance your performance on search engines and highlight skills that your recruiter may be looking for in candidates.

Highlight work experience and show career progression If you have previous work experience, clearly demonstrate how you have moved up in your career. Show the trend of rising responsibilities that you handled and specify mention time periods. You can also customise your resume based on how employers prioritize and describe job deliverables. If you have no past work experience and are a fresher just out of B-school, cite your core skills and illustrate examples of how you managed a project or study assignment.

Format your resume correctly Contact details should be on the top centre of your resume. This section will include your name, address, mobile number, and email address. Then list your relevant educational qualifications, starting with the most recent ones. Follow this with your career history in reverse chronological order. Here list your job title, name of the employer, and the dates of employment. Finally, summarize your key responsibilities, skills, and accomplishments for each role.

Use the right keywords Ensure that your resume is keyword optimised. List your skills in the context of the jobs where your specific skills were developed and applied. Every time you mention a skill in your resume, it increases your resume’s ranking in a job search that uses those keywords.

Make your resume easy to read A recruiter will quickly skim through your resume so ensure that it is easy on the eye. Extremely lengthy resumes will lead to recruiters moving on to the next one for they may not know what to look for. Use the theory - less is more. Insert appropriate titles and the right keywords to make your resume stand out. Also, remember to keep the tone of your resume enthusiastic, upbeat, and professional as this will make it a more compelling read.

Ensure a clean layout Keep the layout of your resume simple with sufficient white space. Apply appropriate spacing between sections; use bullets; use bold/italics effectively; and use a readable font.

Avoid typos Lastly and most importantly, ensure that your resume is free from typos as this indicates carelessness. Make use of correct language and grammar as recruiters will overlook your resume if they find any mistake.

Your resume is a personal marketing document and you have one shot to sell yourself, so make it count!

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