It is never a bad time for a student to start working on his resume. In fact, one should always plan ahead and ensure that they work in those areas that will find a place in their resume. Most students start building a resume only once their final year results are out and they are in the job market. 

Apart from students, experienced professionals who are looking for a better job also need to spend some time updating their resumes. A resume is a short document that outlines your work experience and educational qualifications. It is a must-have in today’s world.

In this post, we look at some tips for writing a great resume. Let’s get started. 

  • Be specific

    It needs to be remembered that your resume cannot be a dumping ground for all that you have done since high school. While extracurricular activities and volunteer work done in college may be relevant when you are applying to a non-governmental organization, it may be worthwhile to mention your business plan when applying to a corporate entity.

    A good resume is one that is specific. For instance, if you are a lawyer, do not just mention that you did legal aid work at law school. Instead, make sure that you provide specific tasks such as drafting bail applications for undertrial prisoners. This will be an ideal way to showcase your skills.

  • Study Examples

    If you are just starting out and you have no idea what a resume is, let alone how yours should look, the best way is to learn by studying other people’s resumes. There are two ways you can go about doing this. Asking for samples from your placement cell or your seniors and peers is one way.

    One of the other ways to start building a resume is to take a look at various Resume-Examples available online and take it from there. This is actually pretty useful if you are adept at online search and can find the example that suits your needs.

  • Consistent Formatting

    In the very beginning, decide on the theme of your formatting. This includes font style, font size (for standard text as well as headings), whether you want to highlight using bold or italics or underline and the line spacing. Once these decisions are made, make sure that you stick to the choices.

    In formatting, it must be taken care that your work experience is properly highlighted. For instance, a few things must be evident on the face of it. These are your place of work, position, time period during which you were employed, and your responsibilities. In some cases, location is also a relevant fact.

  • Customize Your Resume

    This is the biggest mistake that most people make when it comes to their resumes. They think that we need to sit for a couple of hours and make a kick-ass resume and we are sorted. All we need to do is send it out through mass emails or forward it to the placement cell of the college. This couldn’t be further from reality. The best part of a resume as against a Curriculum Vitae or CV (yes, there are differences between a resume and a CV) is that it can be customized for the position that you are applying for.

    How do you customize your resume every time you want to apply? It is pretty easy. The standard resume will not change. Your educational qualifications and personal details will stay as they are. What you need to change is the work experience part by adding or removing your past experiences depending on the job you are applying for.

  • Keep It Easy on the Eye

    This one is a no-brainer. A large number of resumes just get a 5 to 10-second glance. If your resume is too gaudy or is too text-heavy which makes it difficult to identify what you want to highlight, there is a very good chance that it might not even be read. It might not be fair, but it is what it is.

    Recruiters get hundreds of resumes and it is next to impossible for them to analyze each of them. In order to ensure that your resume is at least considered, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

    The black and white space ratio needs to be balanced and the text size should not be too small. The use of pictures and graphics should be avoided unless the position requires it.

  • Put your last job at the top

    This cannot be stressed enough. Unless you are someone who has zero work experience, your list of jobs will go first on a resume. Educational qualifications and other personal details can go later. Even though we are mentioning this at the rear end of our post, it is one of the top resume writing tips.

    Even in the work experience segment of your resume, recruiters prefer that you list out all your positions in reverse chronological order, meaning that it should start with your last job at the top and go in descending order.

Further, this segment should provide most of the relevant details about your work experience so as to enable the Human Resource Department to ascertain whether you have the required work experience for the position that you are applying for. 

At the end of the day, your resume should highlight your skills. Thus, it must be customized for each position that you are applying for. A resume should not be more than two pages. Most recruiters prefer a one-page resume as it ensures that you only list relevant information.

On a fundamental level, always think like an employer when you are doing a final review of your resume. Think about the skills that the position that you are applying for requires and highlight them. Needless to say, the use of correct grammar and formatting is a must and cannot be compromised at all.