Written by Vedant Pathak
One of the most common frustrations at the corporate level is having to deal with a poorly written resume. Reading a bad resume makes the reader question your intellectual capacity in the business world and writing in general.
First and foremost it is essential to understand the importance of a resume. At the beginning of your career it is more academic. If you are from a good school, have good grades, and some experience in relevant projects then the resume should be sufficient to meet the general guidelines. At this time, the employer is looking for fresh and talented candidates. An intelligent multitasking candidate helps make the search easier.
As you move up the ladder, content becomes very important. A few points must be mentioned here:
Length of the resume: The resume should be about two to three pages. Anything more and the employer loses interest. One typical problem I have seen occurs when people update their resume. They do not edit their previous projects and the resume reads more like an autobiography. Please note, no employer wants to see what you did ten years ago. Technology has changed so much that the older the project the less important it is to mention. This doesn’t mean that you remove your last experience but it is important to make it relevant with your current skills.
Summary: This should define who you are. It should express your goals and objectives, but should not be more than four to five lines.
Technologies: Many people mention the technologies that they have used throughout their life. Please understand that any technology mentioned on your profile should be capable of withstanding questioning during an interview. I would suggest to only write what you can defend or eliminate that section entirely.
Projects: This is the most important section. It should include a company name, project name, description, responsibilities and technical environment.
Company Name: Please don’t include anything more than the name. The fortune 500 companies don’t need an introduction and for others, please use a web address. If the employer is intrigued, he or she can go to the website and explore more.
Project name / description: The name and descriptions of the project has no relevance. The key thing is to mention what you have done for those projects. For example, you may have worked on a web based project, but if you were involved in database development, it is not relevant. Be clear and specific.
Responsibilities: Be sure to include key words related to your field. If you mention that you were part of an architecture team, please be clear in mentioning your role. I have seen developers’ profiles without even a single mention of development responsibility. Again, be specific in mentioning the proper skills. Please note that coordinating with an offshore team or leading a team may be part of a developer’s responsibility but it cannot be the core of the responsibilities. Managers are always looking for key words. Use them wisely.
Multiple Resumes: Never keep multiple resumes. This is suicidal. Whenever an agency or employer sees two different resumes of the same person the game is over there and then. In cases where you feel the need to write further details regarding a particular job, please write a cover note to discuss the specific technology and what have you done there.
Needless to say please use spell check and correct grammar.
Understand that you may be the new Einstein but if your resume is not at that level, you may miss out on opportunity. So Keep your resume simple, clean and crisp.