Do you want that dream job? A good job may sometimes attract even hundreds of applications. How do you make your resume to stand out in the clutter? The challenge is to write a winning resume, which grabs the attention of the employer, and gets you an interview call.
Here are the Ten Commandments that you must absolutely follow to design a winning resume-
- Title the Resume Imaginatively
Be imaginative in naming the resume document. A resume titled “Your Name-5 Years Sales Experience.doc” is much more noticeable than a resume titled Resume.doc or YourName.doc
- Use Keywords
Nowadays employers use career sites like Monster and Hot Jobs to search for suitable candidates. The search is made the same way you search for a topic using search engines like Google or MSN. Use of relevant keywords will make it easy for the search engines to find you.
- Objective of the Resume
The objective of the resume tells what you can do for your employer. It saves the employer the trouble of reading the whole resume, and then reaching his or her own conclusions. Does the employer have the time to do this?
- Focus on results, not responsibilities
The prospective employer is more interested in specific results that you achieved, rather than a broad description of your responsibilities. Do not say- “Responsibilities included interacting with dealers…” Instead, say- “Worked with dealers X and Y to increase sales by 25% in 3 months…”
- Customize you Resume
Beware of templates while writing the resume. Go through the job advertisement and customize your resume to address the needs of the employer. Align your resume as per the job description. Keep in mind what the employer wants.
- Be Focused and Professional
A resume is not a literary document. It is meant to showcase your professional skills and qualities. Therefore, avoid verbosity; avoid being humorous and giving unnecessary information. Do not showcase you hobbies and interests, unless they are very relevant to the position that you have applied for.
- Give Practical Examples of Qualities and Strengths
Don’t just make a plain list of your qualities, skills and strengths. Go on to tell the employer what you have actually achieved using them. Don’t just say you have “initiative”, tell them that you “convinced leading dealer ABC to switch from the competitors’ product to your product”.
- Be Honest
Your resume should contain the truth, and nothing but the whole truth. Do not get creative in exaggerating your achievements and skills. Employers can, and usually do, run checks with your references. Even if you get away with it, you will always live in fear.
- Proofread the Resume
Go through your resume to check for spelling and grammatical mistakes. These mistakes can create a bad impression in the mind of the employer. Do your own proofreading. Also get a friend or a colleague to double check.
Oh yes, go ahead and KISS! Keep It Short and Simple. The average attention span while reading a resume is two pages. Anything more than two pages is too much. Don’t make it too long by sharing your hobbies and interests with the employer. Keep the resume design simple. Don’t use colored backgrounds. Use a simple font like Arial or Times New Roman, 10 or 11 points. Don’t attach your photograph to the resume, unless you are applying for a modeling assignment.
Remember, the objective of an effective resume is to get the employer to call you for an interview. Your resume gets only a few seconds to arouse the interest of the employer.