A resume is a summary of your work history, skills, and education. Unlike a CV, which is an in-depth insight into your career and education, a resume is quite precise, consisting of 1-2 pages. People find writing a resume quite terrifying. I have seen educated, qualified personnel running after others to prepare a resume for them. But it’s just a perception. In reality, it is quite easy if you know what you are doing. So let’s move on to how to structure it right.
Generally, a resume has the following sections:
Header & Contact Info: At the top of your resume, always include a header containing your name. Your contact info should be close by as well, but not in the header or footer as it gets overlooked by recruiters sometimes.
Professional Summary: The professional summary is a brief, one- to three-sentence section featured prominently on your resume that succinctly describes who you are, what you do, and why you’re perfect for the job. It’s worth noting that a professional summary isn’t an absolute must-have.
Skills: The skills section has become more and more important as recruiters and hiring managers increasingly look for candidates with specialized backgrounds. It’s best to clearly list them. If the recruiters see right away that you have the ability to get the job done, they’re much more likely to take your resume seriously.
Work Experience: The Work Experience section should include company names, locations, employment dates, roles and titles you held, and most importantly, bullet points containing action verbs and data points that detail the relevant accomplishments of each position.
Education: Since many jobs require a certain level of education, it’s important to mention your academic credentials on your resume. Just state the school you attended and in which batch you passed out.
The Right Formatting
The content of your resume matters the most. The employer would be looking for all the necessary info. However, it is also important to give heed to the formatting of the document too. Make it easy to read and comprehend. Therefore,
- Use an easy-to-read font of no less than 11 pt.
- Add margins of at least .7 inches.
- Make sure there’s sufficient white space between sections.
- Touches of colors are fine but don’t go overboard with intricate design or decoration.
- Keep your resume to 1-2 pages max, unless you’re in a field like academia or medicine and must cite papers and publications.
Points to Remember
Short and Precise: Keep your resume short,. Don’t overdo it with excessive details that will be irrelevant for the recruiters.
Reference to the Context: While highlighting your work experience and achievements, do mention the company you worked with and for how long.
Show the numbers: Don’t forget to state data and metrics of the companies you last worked or currently work with, including (it employs, its revenues and its global reach). Also, state your role and achievements in the respective companies.
Limit the Details: Apart from the details of your recent employment, just give the name of the company and your position in the previous work experience. No need to go in-depth.
Follow by Covering Letter: Make sure you attach a well-written and conceived covering letter with the resume.