How to write a good Resume

Indies is recruiting brilliant technology talent in order to serve the massive expansion and growth of the company. We have received more than 3600 applications this year so far and around 6900 in last one year. I have been directly working with the recruitment team at Indies and have observed almost all these candidates, either directly or indirectly. Indies follows a 3 stage recruitment process of written test and 2 rounds of Personal Interviews. Primary documents for an interviewer are an enrollment sheet which candidate feels, the OMR response sheet and last but not least, the Resume. These also become the primary tools for selection of candidates for PI. Normally candidates get sorted based on their performance but it is not necessarily true always. We observe resume as well. And there are cases where candidates have got selected for PI not because of their scores but resumes.

But, but, but there are very few such cases where interviewer got impressed of a resume. And that’s why I thought it would be helpful for candidates (yes I count experienced as well in this!) if I share my observations on better resume and interview preparation which I have earned during recruitment at Indies.

1)  Resume is actually the mirror of your overall personality. It shows your skills, knowledge, attitude and abilities. So be very serious for it.
2)  Customization: First thing first, you need to know for which post you are actually applying and to which company. Customize your resume accordingly. For programming jobs candidates normally write names of almost all subjects they have learnt in their curriculum (Yes experienced as well!). Ridiculous. That shows you are good for nothing. Better you customize your resume for each job you are applying. If you are applying for .Net jobs, writing something like this in skills will do miracle

Skills: Microsoft .Net framework for programming, C# scripting and SQL Server 2010.
          Familiar with AJAX and LinQ

Writing loads of buzzwords related to programming, designing and animation would not help you. If you are really good at something you should write it in a separate section.

3)  Decoration: You are wrong if you think interviewer is going to read your resume thoroughly. One will not spend more than 5 seconds on your resume if they could not find something interesting within those five seconds. And that’s why it is important you decorate your resume. Decoration doesn’t mean showing your “hand’s magic” on your resume (uh…). You should organize the objects of the resume in such a way that it is easy to observe for interviewer. Try to limit the number of pages in your resume and keep the most important information on the first page. Organize the page properly in blocks but don’t make it clumsy. Information shoul flow but not be flooded.

4)  Content: You need to decide which information the interviewer will be interested in. these are primary questions:

a.    Does she/he fits into job profile? So match each and every parameter of the job profile and customize the resume accordingly. Whenever you feel you are best fit for this specific point, write it in most eye-catching manner.

b.    Skills: explain the skill set that you really know and the company is looking for. If possible show the level of our expertise in the skill and quantify the professional work experience with skill if any. For example worked on Core PHP coding for 11 months (Truly) will make interviewer think twice or thrice before they put your resume in routine storage.

c.    Experience: customize your experience based on the job requirements. Take this example:

4 year experience with PHP programming as explained here
Company Name Job Profile and technology used Work experience
ABC PHP programmer,
JQuery, Ajax, MySQL
17 months
XYZ Sr PHP programmer
Magento, JQuery, AJAX, MySQL
21 months
OPQ PHP technologist
Magento, JQuery, AJAX, MySQL
Trainer of the fresh team
10 months

Many candidates flood the resume with a never ending list of the projects they have done. It’s good to show but not at cost of your prospective interview and job. Presenting your valuable experience in organized manner like above will push your rank far ahead of other candidates. You can attach list of projects in subsequent pages.

d.    Special achievements and awards: A really important section though for all, but specially for fresher who don’t have enough skill or experience to show in their resume. It is really useful to write things like:

i.    I have been an editor of our college weekly newsletter for 1 year and managed content and publication in that.
ii.    I got a score of more than 75 out of 100 for 3 times in mathematics exam organized by Department of mathematics.
iii.    Won Avishkar student project development award organized by Indies.
iv.    Took part in rural welfare communication service and taught Maths and English to non-school going children for 2 years

Writing relevant points on top will really help and your interviewer may assume something good about your skill level as well. For example Maths score would impress him if you are applying for post of a fresh programmer. But you will have to DO as well to write here. 🙂

At least I never get impressed of “achievements” like participated in android seminar or played Antakshari in 10th standard farewell function.

I should end here, but be learnt that evaluation is a never ending process. You can keep watching and observing yourself and others to improve your resume and get your desired job.

All the Best!

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