Resume Writing Services in India
Why You Need a Resume
Resume ls a Summary of Your Qualifications
Hi-Tech Brings New Changes to Resumes
Skills versus Employer Benefits
The Purpose of the Resume ls to Get You an Interview
Other Reasons for a Resume
Writing an Effective Resume
Chapter 1: SKILL ASSESSMENT
Your Assets I Your Skills
Deciding on a Career Goal
Taking Inventory of Your Skills
Technical Skills Areas
Major Skills Areas
Marketable Personality Traits.
Chapter 2: RESUME FORMAT
Chronological versus Functional Format
Selecting the Right Format for Your Resume
How to Organize the Headings
What must never go in a Resume
WHY YOU NEED A RESUME
In today's job market, the resume has become the number one requirement potential employer’s request.
Before an employer will take valuable time to interview you, he or she wants to meet you on paper. How you impress that employer
with your resume can, and will, make all the difference.
Without a resume, you can't even begin to compete, and an inferior resume will quickly eliminate you before you even have a fighting chance. That is why it is imperative to have a superior resume, one that effectively lets employers know what you can do for them.
A RESUME IS A SUMMARY OF YOUR QUALIFICATIONS
The term résumé comes from the French and means a "summary." That's exactly what your resume is: a summary of your qualifications,
skills, and achievements. It shows a future employer what you have done in the past. It details your skills and training, work experience,
education, and, most importantly, the accomplishments you have made with past employers.
It should also inform the employer of your career objective (the job you are seeking) and communicate in a concise manner the benefits you will bring to the job if hired.
A resume is an advertisement. It advertises you, your unique skills and qualifications, and it stresses the benefits you have to offer.
HI-TECH BRINGS NEW CHANGES TO RESUMES
Today’s workplace has become more competitive than ever before. Changing jobs has become a way of life. Many companies are downsizing to save money and as a result, more people, even those with solid backgrounds and skills, are out looking for work. Many people become quickly dissatisfied with their jobs and are looking to move into new jobs, too. On top of this, the increasing number of Internet job boards has made it possible for thousands of applicants to answer each job ad. Now more than ever, you need a top-notch resume to put you above the competition. Your resume must stand out or you will be lost in the shuffle.
SKILLS VERSUS EMPLOYER BENEFITS
One way to rise above the competition is to make sure that your resume is loaded with employer benefits, not just skills.
According to resume expert Peter Newfield, today's resumes must be "results driven” rather than the skills driven resumes of the past.
By reading your resume the employer must quickly understand what advantages you offer his company. Think of yourself as a product and the
employer as the consumer. How would you sell your product (yourself) to the employer?
When a leading soap manufacturer came up with a new formula for their detergent, they told the public they had added a new ingredient, green crystals, and mentioned its scientific name. However, ingredients and technical jargon mean little to the consumer. What sold the product was the manufacturer's claim that these crystals were responsible for getting clothes cleaner and brighter. Whether you are selling soap or your services, people want to know the bottom line: What can you do to improve my situation? What can you offer me? Or, in short, why should l hire you?
An employer is more interested in the benefits you have to offer, than in your impressive repertoire of skills. When you write your resume, make every effort to highlight these employer benefits. For example, if you are proﬁcient in Page maker and desktop publishing, do not just list your skills (such as "Mastery of PageMaker"). Translate those skills into benefits. Tell the employer what you are able to do with your desktop publishing skills (for example, "ability to produce attractive brochures at a low cost”).
Skills indicate your potential, while benefits demonstrate your actual accomplishments—what you have achieved with your skills. An employer realizes that many applicants are well-versed in PageMaker. Your job is to explain to the employer what you can do with this skill and what kind of job tasks you have accomplished with PageMaker. This is what impresses employers.
To give you another example. Let's say an actor listed his skills on his resume such as: "proficiency in character acting” or "ability to use dialects convincingly" or whatever other skills an actor may have. Chances are his resume will read like hundreds of others who also possess these skills. If this actor had won a prestigious acting award, listing that accomplishment would be far more important than a list of skills. By listing such an accomplishment, the actor is demonstrating to the employer, in concrete terms, what he or she has done and is capable of doing with his or her skills. This is what an employer looks for and this is what will make your resume stand out.
Determine which benefits are most important to your target employer, then stress them in your resume! Remember, while many people have the same skills you do, few will translate those skills into benefits on their resume. To be one step ahead of the competition, be sure that your resume highlights those important employer benefits you have to offer.
THE PURPOSE OF THE RESUME IS TO GET YOU AN INTERVIEW
Most people think that a good resume will get them a job. This is a mistake. It is rare in today's market to
find an employer who hires anyone solely on what they have read in their resume. Employers want to check you out in person before
they hire you. They want you to substantiate your resume, and see if you have the personality they are looking for. This, of course,
requires an interview. It is actually the interview that ultimately gets you the job.
But it is the resume that gets you the interview! In today's market where many companies utilize resume tracking programs, where a computer selects your resume based on keywords, you must be extra careful to load your resume up with benefits. You not only have to impress the employer, today you must impress his computer as well! The purpose of any resume, electronic or otherwise, is simply to get you an interview.
How often have you thought, "If only I had met with the employer in person, I could have convinced him that I was the right person for the job?” Your only chance is to compose an impressive resume, one that will get noticed and get you in the door so you can meet the employer in person and get the job.
OTHER REASONS FOR A RESUME
Although the main purpose of the resume is to get you an interview, there are other important reasons to create a resume:
- Prepares you for the interview. Most employers will use your resume as a guideline when they interview you. They will ask you to explain in detail many of the statements you have made in your resume.
- Organizes you. Preparing a resume forces you to assess your skills. This in turn will help you evaluate the many employment options open to you. It will also help you plan an effective job search campaign.
- Let’s employers know you are actively seeking employment.
- Gives you a sense of security. It's a good idea to always have an updated resume on hand. You never know when you will want to seek a better job or just a change. Also, in case you unexpectedly lose your job, it is wise to have your resume updated and ready.
- Can be used as a calling card. It's there when you want to conduct informational interviews to test potential opportunities.
WRITING AN EFFECTIVE RESUME
Most positions generate hundreds of resume responses. How can employers read them all? They can't! What they will do is scan the resumes. You sometimes have less than fifteen seconds to make that all-important first impression. That is why your resume has to stand out! Even in today's high tech market where many resumes are actually evaluated by a computer, when ultimately chosen, your resume will be read by the hiring manager and it must be written to impress.
To ensure that your resume stands out in the crowd, concentrate on the three most essential factors in writing your resume:
Select Your Must Powerful and Impressive Information
Selectivity is the key to writing a strong resume. You have only one chance to make a ﬁrst impression, so you have got
to give it your best shot. Don't bore the reader with endless facts about your past employment. Your resume is not an obituary or biography.
lt’s an ad. Like an ad, write to impress. Present only the most significant information about your professional experience.
What is your most significant and impressive information? What information answers the employer's primary question: Why should l hire you?
Your resume must communicate: l will be an asset to your organization. It should reveal you as a problem solver with important benefits to offer.
Be concise. Focus only on your achievements and skills that are required for the job you are seeking. Eliminate any extra information that detracts from emphasizing what the job requires. In the case of a resume, less is more.
How does one know which skills and benefits to highlight and select? Do research. Find out what sort of problems come with the job. Find out the qualifications the employer is looking for. Talking to personnel and reading the want ads carefully will give you a sufficient idea. Demonstrate to the employer that you are just the person he or she is looking for.
Write with Impact
Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Action verbs conjure up a positive image in the employer's mind and give you an advantage.
Action verbs describe you as a person who gets things accomplished.
Action verbs are also more concise and make your resume more readable.
For electronic resumes, the name of the game is "keywords." These are usually nouns, buzzwords, or catch phrases used to describe your job and level of proficiency. Chapter 13 will show you how to select powerful keywords.
Use an Eye-Catching Layout
The best resumes are one page long. If you have many years of experience, you may require two pages. But under no circumstances should
a resume be longer than two pages. The more concise the better. Your most pertinent information should stand out with either all
caps (capital letters), boldface, or italics. You may also use bullets (') to draw the reader's attention to significant information
Electronic resumes have their own unique layout to accommodate for ASCll text, which is more easily read and scanned by a computer. Today it is imperative to have both versions of your resume accessible.
YOUR ASSETS = YOUR SKILLS
Your value to an employer is directly proportional to the skills you have to offer. In the eyes of the employer, you are your skills.
Everyone has a unique combination of skills. And, in a nutshell, that is exactly what you are advertising in your resume. That's why it's important to take inventory of your skills and have a clear idea of what you have to offer before you begin your resume.
Skills are not only technical, or acquired through formal education. Inborn personality traits or self-management skills are also meaningful to an employer. Yet most people tend to overlook these marketable traits when they prepare their resume.
Skills can also be acquired through experience—and not only employment experience. Many times volunteer duties can be a source of numerous skills that should also be added to your inventory.
In recent years, a lot of attention has been given to “transferable skills." A transferable skill
is simply a general skill used in one job situation that can be transferred to another job task without additional training.
For example, teachers utilize the skill of public speaking when addressing a class. This same public speaking skill can easily be transferred outside a classroom setting and be utilized in another situation. Teachers could transfer their classroom skills to a business setting and apply for a job to train employees or conduct seminars.
If someone is proficient in a skill he or she enjoys, yet wants a change of jobs, then focusing on “transferable skills” is the answer. Finding a job that fits your particular combination of skills would offer an excellent alternative.
The first question you must ask yourself is: What job do I want? Without a specific goal or job objective it is impossible to write an effective resume or conduct an effective job search. What sort of job should you be looking for? It is important to choose a realistic job objective-a job you are qualified to do at this present time. In other words, you should be seeking a job that matches the skills you presently have. You have three choices in choosing a realistic objective, as follows.
The Same Job: You Just Left
Most unemployed persons prefer to seek the same job they held previously. They are familiar with the work and already have the skills and experience to handle the tasks at hand.
A New Job—But One That Utilizes The Same General Skills
Many persons who find themselves unemployed opt for a change. The most logical job change would be one that utilizes the same skills but in a different setting, such as the teachers mentioned in the previous section on transferable skills. In this situation you would have to prepare a resume that highlights your transferable skills and demonstrates to a future employer that you are indeed capable of transferring your acquired skills to new tasks and responsibilities. A Career Change If you want to change careers, but do not have the skills or experience needed for the change, you can still implement a plan of action:
- You may decide to go back to school or take an apprenticeship to acquire the skills you need for your new career. To do this you may have to take part-time work to make ends meet. However, if your goal is a new career, it may be worth sacrificing the present to build a more satisfying future.
- You can opt for an entry-level position in the area you desire. For example, you may decide that management is what you would love to do, but you have no experience. If you cannot go back to school to learn management skills, you could apply for an entry-level position in sales and learn the ropes while you acquire the skills you will need to move up to management.
If you are uncertain of what skills are required for a career change—do research. Call people in the position you are seeking or call the personnel department and find out what skills are required for the job. If you can demonstrate in your resume that you have those skills, then you have an excellent chance at landing the job.
If you do not have the skills required, you will not get the job and will have to implement a career plan that makes use of your present skill level.
The ultimate choice is yours. However, regardless of which plan of action you decide to follow, you must take inventory of your skills.
TAKING INVENTORY CIF YEIUR SKILLS
The following practice worksheet is designed to help you take inventory of your skills. It's crucial to take inventory now, before you begin writing. Not only will it keep you organized and focused as you write, but it will also aid you in setting a realistic career goal.
To inventory your skills, use the lists that follow the practice worksheet. The following instructions will explain how to use these lists in filling out the practice worksheet that follows.
You may want to create your own skill areas such as: Transportation Skills and list such tasks as truck driving, chauffeur, and so on.
The idea is to list all of your marketable skills—general and specific.
If you cannot find three major skill areas that you are proficient at, look at the tasks listed under each skill area. If you performed any such tasks in any of your past employment, you should list them.
Most of these are job titles. Look at the list and check off any of these positions you may have held. Be sure to include jobs done on a volunteer basis as well. If you were involved in fundraising for an organization, you may want to include skills such as bookkeeping or public relations, or sales and persuasion. The main point is to be thorough and list everything.
Next prioritize these skills. Which are your strongest skills? Which are the most important for your job objective? On the practice worksheet, under the heading Technical Skills rank your top four skills from this list.
Major Skill Areas
These are general skills used in a wide variety of jobs. These are also the type of skills that are transferable. Check off the ones you are proficient at. Again prioritize them, and choose three main skill areas that are the most important for the job you are presently seeking. Write them on the practice worksheet in the spaces entitled Major Skill Areas.
Under each major skill area, you will ﬁnd a list of specific tasks. Check the tasks you have performed. Prioritize them. Then add them to your practice worksheet. Be sure the tasks you record correspond to one of the major skill areas you have listed.
Marketable Personality Traits
What are your most marketable personality traits and self-management skills? By most marketable, we mean which of your personality traits and self-management skills are most in demand for your job goal and are the most impressive to your future employer?
If the job you are seeking is people oriented, be sure to emphasize people—oriented traits. Of course such traits as “loyal," "dependable," and "works well under pressure," are qualities that employers always seek.
Again, be selective and prioritize. It you are seeking a job as a manager you may want to emphasize skills such as an ability to motivate and get along with others, and being a team player. Accountants on the other hand would emphasize task-oriented goals since their main job is with data, not people. They may want to stress such traits as being analytical, having an eye for detail and working well under pressure.
A WORD OF CAUTION: PERSONALITY TRAITS ARE SUBJECTIVE—NOT CLEARLY BLACK OR WHITE. BE SURE YOU CAN BACK UP EACH TRAIT WITH EXPERIENCE (PROFESSIONAL OR NONPROFESSIONAL) OR WITH RECOMMENDATIONS OF OTHERS.
Once again, select your three most marketable traits and list them on your practice worksheet.
Technical Skill Areas
Assembly Line Work
Cash Flow Management
Film and Video
Police and Security
Research and Development
Major Skill Areas - Specific Tasks
Organizing people and tasks
Recruiting and hiring
Addressing the public
Directing people and tasks
Meeting the public
Setting up demonstrations
Writing press releases
Auditing financial records
Billing (A/P, A/R)
Projecting future growth
Creating new ideas
Creating new products
Creating new techniques
Cataloguing and Filing
Organizing office and tasks
Creating new software
Designing new systems
Knowledge of programs:
Languages (C, Java, etc.)
Marketable Personality Traits
Awareness (i.e., of market trends)
Commitment to growth
Eye for detail
Gets things done right the first time
Loves a challenge
Manages time efficiently
Sense of humor
Works well under pressure
CHRONOLOGICAL VERSUS FUNCTIONAL FORMAT
To help you get an idea of the two most widely acceptable resume formats used in today's market, let's look at Rohan Kumar’s employment experience.
In 2012, Rohan began working for Capital Corporation as a Sales Representative. His job was to sell software packages to high profile clients such as IBM. In 2014, he began his own business as a computer consultant. His business failed and he is now looking for a job as a computer consultant for a large ﬁrm.
Below are two ways Rohan can present his employment history:
EXAMPLE: Chronological Format
2014 to Present
- Designed and maintained hardware systems
- Evaluated and implemented program software
2012 to 2014
Sales Representative, Capital Corps
- Designed program sales packages for large industries such as IBM
- Increased gross sales by 10%
EXAMPLE: Functional Format
COMPUTER CONSULTING AND DESIGN
- Designed and implemented hardware and software systems for large industries
- Evaluated computer software programs
SALES AND SERVICE
- Experienced sales rep whose clients included IBM and McDonalds
- Developed marketing plan for Capital Corp. that resulted in a 10% sales increase in 2013
- Evaluated software packages for large corporations
2014 to Present CEO, Sungaurd
2012 to 2014 Sales Representative, Capital Corp.
Look at the examples presented of Rohan Sungaurd's work history. What are the main differences between the chronological format and the functional format? Both formats give Rohan’s background and experience. Both mention his skills and accomplishments.
The difference between them is emphasis, namely what is emphasized and mentioned first.
- The chronological format stresses:
- Time period a job was held
- Past employers
- Job titles
The functional resume stresses:
- Skill areas
Glancing at the chronological resume, we see right away that Rohan was CEO of a corporation. This can be very impressive. Also, if Capital Corp. is a large, well-known firm, seeing Rohan's relationship to that company would also be impressive. At first, you may think this makes the chronological format a good choice.
On the other hand, Rohan has had two different jobs in a short time span. Looking at his experience from a time frame does not show a strong, steady work background. If he had worked for Capital Corp. seven or eight years, then the chronological format, which stresses his ability to stick with a job for a long time, would have been preferable. But he was at his present job less than two years. Therefore his best choice is to put emphasis on his accomplishments, which are impressive. In this situation, the functional resume, which stresses his skills and accomplishments, would be the better way to present his experience and background.
One advantage of the functional resume is that Juan can not only choose which of his skills to include in his resume, but also which to place first. If he were seeking another job in sales, he would place his sales skills first, even though his last job was not in sales. In the chronological resume, Juan would have to place his last job first regardless of his present career objective.
It is important to note, however, that even in the functional format; Juan listed his dates of employment and the names of his past employers. Many who follow a strictly functional format will omit this information. Be warned. Your future employer will want to know whom you have worked for and for how long. If you do not have it on your resume, you can expect it at the interview. Worse yet, most employers expect to see this information on your resume. If it is missing they get suspicious, and may even think you are hiding something. If an employer entertains such a suspicion, he may choose not to even bother with you and refuse an interview. Employers want evidence that you have the skills you claim. They want to know where you got those skills and for whom you made your accomplishments. That is why, to play it safe, include this information on your resume.
With the functional format you still have an advantage. By mentioning your skills first, and putting the emphasis on your skill areas, your employer will be favorably impressed before finishing your resume. When he or she finally reads your chronology, it is less likely to be an issue that you have not held one job for a long period.
SELECTING THE RIGHT FORMAT FUR YOUR RESUME
To help you choose the format that best suits your needs, look at the two charts that follow. One lists the advantages of using the chronological format, while the other lists the advantages of the functional format. Read the charts. Which statements apply to you? Check them off. If you can see a pattern (most of your check marks fall in the same chart), then your choice of format is clear.
Some people have more than one job objective and find that numerous statements in both charts ring true for them. If you are pursuing a job in two diverse areas, you will need two different resumes.
For example, you may be thinking about a career change, and decide to apply for a job in a new but related field. Although you do not have any solid work experience in this new area, you do have the skills required for the job. Therefore, a functional resume that stresses your transferable skills would be the most appropriate. But, like most people, you worry you may not get an interview due to your lack of experience. Therefore, to play it safe, you also continue to seek a job in your present career. For that, a chronological resume that stresses your present job title and your most recent accomplishments would serve you best. As you can see, in this situation, two resumes are better than one.
I've held the same job for more than five years.
My employment history is one of stability. I rarely hop from job to job.
My past employer(s) is a prestigious company well-known in my field.
My job titles are impressive.
I plan to continue in the same field as my past job.
I have considerable experience but in one area only.
I have a limited repertoire of skill areas.
I am changing careers.
I have never held one job for a long period of time.
I recently finished school and don't have any professional experience.
I am reentering the job force after a considerable absence.
I am proficient in many areas and have many skills.
I have held many jobs in a variety of unrelated work areas.
Most of my work experience has been freelance or temporary.
My skills fit in better with my present career objective than prior job titles.
Before you begin writing your resume, it is a good idea to have an overview of the standard resume format that has become accepted in today's market.
The format is simple. Think of your resume as an outline of your professional capabilities. As such, the resume is divided into outline headings or sections. These standard, general sections are found on all resumes, and are used as guidelines in organizing all of your particular information.
These headings allow the employer to quickly scan a resume for pertinent information. And, because these headings have become standard protocol, employers expect to find them on your resume. This is why you should not deviate from this format.
The following chart lists and defines these standard headings. Some of them, such as Summary of Qualifications, are optional. However, many optional sections are also becoming quite common in today’s resume and it is usually recommended that you include them in your resume.
Name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
Informs the employers where they can reach you if they want to interview you.
The exact job title of the position you are seeking.
Summary of Qualifications
Short highlights of your most impressive qualifications for the job.
This can be anything from skill areas and accomplishments to personality traits.
Professional Experience—Chronological Resume
A list of all past employment, starting with your most recent employer first. Job titles are mentioned, and listed under each job title is a short description of the tasks and accomplishments you performed for each employer.
Skill Areas—Functional Resume
Your general skill areas are used as section headings.
Under each skill area list those specific job tasks and accomplishments that demonstrate your proficiency in that skill area.
Highlight your most recent degree, and the colleges or trade schools you attended.
List any awards, Dean's lists, or school projects that pertain to your career objective.
If you do not have a college education, mention your high school and diploma.
Additional Personal Information
Mention only that personal information that pertains to your job objective.
For example: Awards, Professional Associations, and Publications.
HOW TO ORGANIZE THE HEADINGS
How do you organize the headings? Which comes first, Professional Experience or Education? As mentioned earlier, emphasis is the key. What would impress your future employer more, your work experience or your education? If you are a recent graduate with limited professional experience, then your education would be more impressive, and you would want to put all emphasis on it. Therefore, the Education heading would be placed before Experience. What if you have a strong work history but your most outstanding achievements are from jobs previous to your last one? What do you stress, your steady work history (chronological format) or your achievements (functional format)? You are worried that if you follow the chronological format, and list your last job first, your more impressive qualifications will be buried. In this case, you can go with the more acceptable chronological format, but include a short Summary of Qualifications to emphasize your most impressive accomplishments and skills first, and still present your strong chronological background. In short, section headings that contain your most important and impressive information should be listed first.
WHAT MUST NEVER GO IN A RESUME
Unfortunately, many employers examine resumes in hopes of finding flaws. Due to the large number of applications, employers may use the resume as a tool to eliminate prospective applicants—as much as a tool for choosing the right person for the job. Everyone understands that a resume that fails to show that the applicant has the skills for the job, will eliminate him or her from the competition.
What many people fail to realize is that mentioning negative information, facts that rub the employer the wrong way, can eliminate even the most highly qualified applicant.
How do you protect yourself? Never offer too much information. Keep your resume focused on your skills and accomplishments. Never mention personal information, controversial information or anything negative about yourself. Never mention your race, or religion. Marital status and political affiliations are also not pertinent to your job performance. Never mention salary requirements or reasons for leaving a prior job. Although these issues may come up in the interview, the resume is not the place for this information.
- Marital status
- Reasons for leaving a past job
- Political affiliations
- Salary requirements
The fact that the resume is divided into section headings makes writing a resume easy. The headings give you a system for organizing your information and allow you to focus on the most pertinent facts.
Once you have selected your format, chronological or functional, and the order of your section headings—all that is left to do is organize your particular information accordingly.
This workbook is designed to simplify your task. It is divided into the same sections as your resume. It will guide you through each section of your resume, one at a time, and show you how to select the most important information in your unique background that applies to that section. It will also aid you in presenting your information with impact and using the right action verbs to best express your talents.
Remember, your resume must make an impact to stand out. Follow this workbook, step by step, and you will have a resume that gets noticed.
Let's begin writing.