A resume is a concise document widely used in the recruitment process. It is usually a one-page document that highlights the career progression summary of a person. But, people often use CV and Resume interchangeably. Is it right? No! And what about using same resume format for multiple companies?

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Is that correct? Of course, No!

A lot of people continue to struggle with resume writing and consult many people on how to write it that can stand out.

No matter whether you’re a fresher, or an experienced professional, resume writing is always a challenge when you are hunting a job, or applying to various companies.

You have to customise the career objective, experience, skills, etc. based on the job profile and the recruiting company.

That is the precise reason why so many job portals provide you with an option to upload multiple resumes. This option allows a candidate to customise its profile synopsis based on various job profiles and companies.

Let’s look at each component of a resume format and understand how to customise it based on the employer intent.

Resume Format

A resume format is nothing but the layout of the document. Since it is a professional document, there is a requirement of minimum information which is vital for a recruiter.

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Think of it is a snapshot of your career in a nutshell. Remember, you are not applying for a thesis or a research job where somebody would be interested in knowing your life story, and academic accomplishments. If yes, then you should consider a CV or Curriculum Vitae instead.

A resume should be loaded with punch points and highlights, to catch a recruiter’s attention in the least possible time.

Whenever the recruitment process starts in any company, the recruiter wants to shortlist the best guy. So, they look for job profiles on various job portals such as Indeed, Naukri, LinkedIn, IIM Jobs, Monster, etc.

Thus, it is essential for an applicant to get into the leads of these recruiters or even human resource outsourcing (HRO) providers.

How to do that? The answer is simple: Create an outstanding Resume and complement it with a robust LinkedIn profile.

Below is the layout of a typical resume format:

  • Contact Information
  • Career Objective
  • Education – With or Without marks information
  • Relevant and Customised Employment History
  • Related Skills and Achievements

Contact Information

This is a no-brainer. But you should know what to write in this section.

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  • Name – Your name should be in Bold and in the middle.
  • Email ID – As the process of hiring requires professional conversations between an employee and employer, email is the best portal for formal communication.
  • Address – If a recruiter liked your resume, he might wish to speak to you, and based on your location, a recruiter can decide whether to go for a skype call or personal interview
  • Contact Number – Undoubtedly, your contact number is the most critical contact information as it allows the recruiter to contact you. Make sure the number is your primary number. Also, if you are busy in your day job then mention preferred time to call.

Career Objective

First things first, please do not copy-paste any sample career objective from the internet.

Recruiters receive thousands of resumes on a day-to-day basis. It will not take them more than a minute to question your originality. It’s good to take ideas from the internet. But, plagiarism in any content is never appreciated.

Try to make your career objective as short and crisp as you can. This is the only section where you have the luxury of writing a paragraph. Make it count. Some points to keep in mind:

  • Make a story – Try to think of it: ‘What is your career objective?’ You will get brownie points for writing an interesting career objective. It works like an ice-breaker too, since a recruiter may ask his first question after seeing your career objective!
  • Give a personal touch. Use ‘I’, for example, ‘I am a Web Developer with five years of experience in XYZ industry.’
  • Use niche keywords – read further to know more
  • Mention your alignment with the company and the job profile – This is the most important thing to keep in mind. If you are going for a profile change, you may state the reason for it. You may like to tell the company about your interest in the field. Or if you are looking for a particular role in an organisation, you can mention it here.

Education

Your education details are essential for a recruiter. Qualification of any employee in the company matters a lot. Since good peer group is what makes great companies like Google and Facebook.

So, if you’re from a good college, flaunt it. If not, then try to compensate it in your Job Experience details or through Achievements and Skillsets.

You may also choose whether to put your marks/grades details of High School, Undergrad or Graduation. If you are going for a technical interview, then marks do matter. The recruiter gets to know whether you know the subject theoretically or not.

Otherwise, if it’s a non-technical interview you’re going for, or have 3+ years of experience, marks do not make any difference. So, cut-it-out!

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Also, follow a reverse-chronological order while writing education details in a resume. Meaning, your latest education should come first, followed by the previous one.

Lastly, don’t forget to mention the dates or timeline. It enables the recruiter to understand your progress over time.

Job Experience

Well, this is the most crucial piece of information in resume writing as each recruiter reads this part meticulously.

One wrong information or One mistake in job experience can affect your chances.

Some basics of providing job information:

  • Follow a reverse chronological order – Current or Last Company should be the first sub-heading
  • Write in bullets. I’ve seen people writing paragraphs explaining their work. There’s no need!
  • Provide relevant keywords like ‘web development’, B2B Sales, ServiceNow, Data Analytics, etc. for any recruiter to understand your expertise. This also helps the recruiter when they search for their open job profiles on various job portals like Naukri, IIM jobs, etc.
  • You may choose to provide passport details if you are applying for a profile abroad

Achievements & Skills

While Education and Job Experiences tells a recruiter about your career path. But, when you provide your achievements, extra-curricular activities, skills, etc. The recruiter gets to know you better.

If you have won any awards in your professional life, it will be an add-on to your candidature. Flaunt it in this section.

Companies love passionate people, so don’t forget to write about some achievement in an extra-curricular activity, or maybe social work.

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This is also where you talk about your technical or non-technical skill expertise. Mention the tools, software, or frameworks you worked on. You can even write any relevant training or course you underwent during your education or job.

In short, let the recruiter know that you’re skilled enough for the job in all aspects.

Remember the three Cs in Resume Writing

If you ask experienced professionals on how to write a resume, you will get various key pointers. I have organised all the possible suggestions in three key elements and named it three Cs:

Crisp

An average attention span of any recruiter on your resume will not be for more than two minutes. Therefore, Make it Crisp:

  • Write in bullets – Because nobody wants to read a paragraph
  • Write in Numbers – Mention the number of projects, number of training, number of clients you handled, revenue generated, or any other relevant information you can provide in numbers. For example, ‘Conducted 15 pre-sales orientations to generate $1M revenue’
  • Use Action Verbs – In fact, start all your bullet points with action verbs like ‘Handled a Centre’, ‘Managed a team’, ‘Developed XYZ tool’, ‘Generated $100K revenue’, etc.
  • Make it a story – Don’t just provide information, try to create a story. As they say, the first impression is the last impression. So, let’s say, if you changed your sector, you could mention a bullet point in a few words about the shift. Or if you are applying for a different profile, mention it in the ‘Career Objective’ section.

Concise

The impression of a one-page concise resume cannot be overstated.

  • If you are going for a technical interview, your experiences in non-technical jobs are not of much importance. Delete it or shorten it
  • If you’re not a fresher, or going for a non-technical interview, delete the marks.
  • Remove the old internships/training/certificates
  • Don’t put any irrelevant information like hobbies, or languages known, if it is not a factor of consideration.
  • Try to cover each sub-heading in three or four bullet points.

Customise

Customisation is the key when you applying for different jobs or positions. A single resume cannot cater to all types of positions and job profiles. No matter if all are from your domain of expertise.

  • Change the Career Objective, Education, and Job Experiences based on the job profile and company
  • Make yourself look aligned to the profile. If you have handled a team and the job requires team-handling, then make it count. If the position requires you to work across-functions, there’s no harm mentioning that you have handled cross-function work or would be interested in doing.
  • Don’t overdo. Nobody likes over customisation. Plus, they understand when you are faking it.

So, use these tips and tricks as much as it is fair enough for you to get a job.