It has been some months since I joined my new company and I forward them resumes of my friends who are so excited to join me in this great organization when I discussed with them about my experience here. Many of my friends have good technical skills, however I found that my company wasn’t calling them for the interview. Of course, it is the sole discretion of the management to call them for the interview and hire them. I began to notice this when those friends who sent me their resumes started asking me for updates on it. I don’t have the voice here to ask “what happened to the resumes that I sent” to the management or HR since I am the new guy here, and I didn’t want to get noticed for these kind of questions. So I started the investigation myself, asked about how the referral system works here to friends etc. Finally I started checking their resumes very closely. I found most people don’t actually care about writing a good and neat resume which looks so professional. And this may be the one of the possible reasons why employers reject the applicant when he/she starts reading the resume.
Before I start giving advises on how to write a good resume, let me be honest, I’ve only created two resumes till this time. Its been 6 years since I started working in computer field and I’ve written a total of two resumes for two companies till today. The first version was when I had no experience to tell other than my freelance experience. The next one, written recently for applying in this company. However, I’ve seen 50+ resumes of other guys as I was involved in employee hiring team in the old company, and of course I’ve spent time on researching on resume formats on the Internet.
Here I’ll go through the main points that you should remember when writing a resume.
This format is good for those who has work experience.
Note: There are many versions of resumes available on Internet. Most of them are used in foreign countries. It is better in my opinion, not to blindly copy those format.
1.Decide whether “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae”: Many of us think that these two are same. Resume and CV, both are different. The difference is the length(content) of both the document. A resume is a one or two page summary of your skills, experience and education. While a resume is brief and concise – no more than two or three pages, a Curriculum Vitae is a longer (at least two page) and more detailed synopsis.
Interestingly, my last resume was 4 pages and CV 10 pages 🙂
2.Give a better filename: When saving the resume, always choose a good filename. Many of my friends use file names such as “myresume.doc”, “resume(1).doc”, “resume_final.doc” etc. The recommended file name is “yourname_resume.doc”
3.Use either .doc or .pdf file format: When you save the file, be sure to save it as .doc or .pdf files. PDF format is recommended. For example, “vivek_resume.pdf”
4.Write name first: Start the page with your name as heading. You may use a large font size for this. You need to write your full name with initials. Align the text to left side of the page so that you get enough space for your full name.
5.When to capitalize: Many of us use capital letters just to make the font size bigger. Its really a bad habit and I’d avoid reading those lines. Understand when you should capitalize your words and sentences.
- The names of places. Example: Trivandrum, Kollam
- Names of the months: Example: January to March
- At the beginning of a sentence.
- Acronyms are always formed with capital letters. Examples: HTML, CSS, PHP
- When you type company names : Examples, Google, QBurst, Yahoo!, Amazon
6.Do not use “Hi”: You should not use the words such as “Hi”, “Hello” etc in your resume.
7.Write your objective: You should write your objective next to the main heading with the title as “Objective”. Do not use full caps such as “OBJECTIVE”. Write your objective in a single sentence. If you have two sentence to say, then you can connect those sentences with “and”. More than one sentence is not preferred. End the sentence with a full stop (.)
“Seeking full time job with an organization which will allow me to use my talents in software and web development and also to enhance my knowledge and make me strong to contribute towards the organizationâ€™s growth by high quality work.”
8.Professional Experience: Give the heading as “Professional Experience”. You may optionally write your total year of experience in a bracket next to the heading.
For example :
“Professional Experience [Total of 5 yearsâ€™ experience in PHP]”
Next, write your current position and the company name. If you are not working in a company then you can skip this step. For example
“Presently working in Abc Private Limited, Trivandrum as Software Engineer.”
9.Insert a table for info about previous companies: I’ve seen some guys don’t prefer to follow the table format, but in my opinion, it increases the readability and the visibility of your resume.
There should be at least two columns. 1. Company Name 2. Year. You may optionally add more columns such as 3.Position, 4.Duration, 5.Type etc if this is applicable in your case.
1.Company name: Write your previous company name. Remember when you write the previous company name, you should follow their branding style. For example
You should write “QBurst Technologies” instead of “Qburst technologies” or “qburst technologies”
You can also use “(P) Ltd” for private limited.
2.Year: Mention the month and year of joining and leaving the company. If you are still working in that company write “Aug 2009-Present”
3.Position: Optional column. If you have worked in different positions, you may mention it here.
For example : Junior Developer, Senior Developer, Architect, Project Manager
4.Duration: Optional column. If you write the duration in months or years here, the employer who evaluate your resume will be able to notice your working experiences in those companies very quickly. This is a good method to capture the employer’s attention towards your resume.
Example : 2 Years, 1 Year 10 months, 9 Months.
Remember to capitalize the first letter. If you have worked only one month in a company, mention it as “1 Month”, not “1 Months”
5.Type: Very rare column. You may not use it unless you are worked in previous companies as temporary employee or for a specific projects only. For example , Part Time, Full Time, Project etc.
10.Technical Skills:“Technical Skills” as heading, you can create a table with two columns and start writing your skills. Remember to capitalize the first letter if needed.
Tools: Photoshop,Dreamweaver,NuSphere PHPEditor,XShell ssh client, Visual Studio.NET,TortoiseSVN, LAMP
Extra Skills: Linux System Administration, Web Hosting & Domain registration, DNS Management
11.Education Details: Next, you have to mention your educational qualifications. There is a high chance that the HR will reject your resume immediately if this information is not present.
5 Columns should be more than enough. Those are 1.Year, 2.Degree, 3.College, 5.University/Board, and 6.% of marks
2009 : B.Tech Computer Science : Some College Name : Cochin University : 65%
11.Mini and Major Projects: You may optionally write this next to the academic data. But this is not really required if you are an employee who has more than 1 year experience.
12.Mention recently completed projects: I have found many applicants use 2 full pages for writing this. It is not really necessary. As the title says you’ve to write down only the “recent” projects, not all of your projects. There is no specific format for this. But I prefer this format
[Name of the project], [1 or 2 sentence description],[Language/Framework Used],[Reference site link if any]
13.Hobbies: You must write down something here if you don’t even have hobbies. You must make the employer believe that you are not a workaholic and you do spent time on other activities.
Examples: Watching movies, Playing badminton, Cricket Listening to music
14.Personal Information: Give the heading “Personal Information”. Be sure it is not “Informations”, it is “Information”
Include these columns
Name, Sex, Date of Birth, Known Languages, Father’s name, Address, Phone Number, Email, Website
Notes: You may optionally include your Mother’s name as well. You may also want to include the Landphone number in addition to your mobile number. You can ignore the Website field if you don’t have a personal website.
15.Strength and Weakness: Make a new table with two columns and two rows. In the first coulmn in the first row, write “Strength”. In the next column write down your strengths. Strength doesn’t mean the physical strength of your body, but the technical and mental strength.
For example: Honest,Confidence,Determination,Hardworking,Openness,Helping Mentality,Quick learning
Next, write down your weaknesses. You know, many employers won’t mind you being honest here. There is a high chance that your resume will get noticed if you write this field. As we are human, everyone has some weakness. So just don’t afraid opening up about your weakness, but make sure you try to convey that you are working on this to get rid of those weaknesses.
Sorry I can’t post my weaknesses here as example 🙂
16. Wrap your resume: It is the time for the declaration. Give title as “Declaration” and write something like
“I hereby declare that the above mentioned information is true to the best of my knowledge and bear the
responsibility for the correctness of the above mentioned particulars”
Finally, write down “Yours faithfully”, leave two lines below this line for signature and write down your name below.
Ok, You have completed writing your resume, But wait, check every word that you have written and make sure no grammar or spelling mistake is there.
Most importantly remember these:
- Always start the sentence with a capital letter
- Leave one space outside (after a bracket) and no space inside brackets
- There should be a space after a fullstop and before you start a new sentence
- Do not write full words in capital letters, example, your previous company name, college’s name
- Be sure to include your academic data
- Use proper structure, layout and formatting
- When making points such as Strengths and weaknesses, bullet point them than numbering
- Be honest, do not write down anything that you don’t know
Effectively writing resume is not a big task if you just remember these points. Just keep this in your mind “If you ignore your resume, the employer may ignore you”