How to build a strong resume?

A resume conveys two points. First, what you speak about yourself. Second, what others speak about you. The way you portray yourself, in today’s world, makes a big difference in deciding how far you go in life. Each and every human being can be marketed in a way that best suits him or her and that brings out his best/better attributes.  

MNC’s and companies with streamlined processes generally prefer resumes which are to the point. The resume, of a candidate applying for a job at L’oreal, would need to be point blank. This is because the HR Manager at these companies has to deal with hundreds of applications a week. The manager does not want to be put in a precarious position wherein he or she has to go through five or four page resumes. The resume of a well educated candidate applying for a job at L’oreal should be One page only. The resume should cover each and every aspect of the candidate’s professional career. It should highlight the main points that need to be conveyed as well.

Name: The resume must have the name of the candidate as the header in bold. The name can be at the centre or to the left hand side of the page. The resume should cover necessary details like address, mobile no. in the same area as the name. Easy access to essential information makes it easier for the HR Manager to scan and get in touch. Once you put the name at the bottom of the resume, it gives the impression that the person is not easily accessible or does not want to be approached. Thus a very important facet of building a strong resume is this: be approachable.

Educational Qualifications: Educational Qualifications for a good, well deserving candidate should be mentioned in a clear and concise manner. The school must be mentioned along with the year of passing. Junior college and college of graduation must be mentioned along with year of passing. In case of most applications and especially in the instance of candidates with excellent marks, the candidate must share his or her school and graduation score. The most important criteria for a person applying for a job is his/her MBA college and degree. This is the stepping stone to what may be a remarkable career. Hence the college along with the grade must be mentioned. The important facet of this area of a resume is that one must not go overboard explaining the different subjects one has studied through undergrad, school and other degrees. All these points can be explained at the time of an interview. Hence harping on them and cramming them into a dense resume makes no sense whatsoever.

Professional Experience: The most integral part of a candidate’s resume is the Professional Experience. A candidate who has not switched jobs frequently is preferred. A person should have atleast One year experience at a work place before switching jobs. This gives employers the trust that he will be an able part of their company for atleast a year and also make them put that extra bit of effort to train him. Traditional Indian firms with mid sized operations look at job duration as a very important criteria and especially prefer candidates with long job durations. MNC’s with large operations may not be so picky for mid and senior level employees. It is essential that Professional Experience should cover elements and skill sets accomplished during a job tenure along with managerial responsibilities. The elements must be put down in bullet form. Bullet points in a resume add power to words and make reading easy. Bullet points also make sure the person remember what the candidate is trying to convey. The best candidate is one who has worked at less than a handful of jobs in a span of ten years. Also blue chip companies and MNC’s add value to a resume in substantial ways. Work experience is the fulcrum on which all good candidates make an increment in salary or designation. It can be noted that in India, with only the top 10 B-Schools commanding an immediate salary of repute and with a system in which there are hundreds maybe thousands of B grade schools it is impossible to differentiate candidates purely on the basis of educational qualifications. Hence, Professional Experience is the key to a successful Cv.

Accomplishments/Special Interests: In keeping with the tone of the resume of a senior or mid management professional, it is essential to put down one’s accomplishments. These accomplishments should lean towards professional management awards and not sportsmanship and other awards won in school and college. Awards might include certified awards from reputed management institutions like Dale Carnegie, SHRM. Special Interests or hobbies go a long way in building a rapport between candidate and organisation. A bond can be built between two people over sports, cinema, arts, music or any other recreational activity. Hence jotting them down can do a lot of good and go a long way. The resume might or might not include a Declaration.

Thus to sum up, a professional resume must carry the first Three points which include Name, Education and Professional Experience. Other points are important but as per free will. It is essential that the entire resume is summarized in One page.