10 ways to make your resume stand out

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  • 8/10/2019 10 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out


    Aug 18 2014 : The Economic Times (Delhi)

    10 ways to make your

    resume stand out

    A sharp CV can go a long way in securing a job interview for you, says

    Devashish Chakravarty.

    Your resume alone cannot get you a job, but it is an effective tool to get you

    shortlisted for an interview. Use it if you have failed to connect with the decision-

    maker personally for an interview call.

    A resume is effective only if it is sharp and here's how you can get that edge.


    1 Make experience count

    Do not use sonorous adjectives to describe how fabulous you are. Under each

    job, highlight only your achievements and relevant skills. Use 4-6 bulleted points to

    cover important ground. Prefer measurable, verifiable numbers over statements like

    `Improved sales dramatically'. Benchmark each achievement to maximise impact.

    For instance, `Best Regional Manager for 2013 from 11 regions' is better than

    `Awarded for outstanding sales performance'.

    2 Reflect the requirement

    Do you know what the firm does and the responsibilities of the role you want to

    apply to? If not, do your research and break up the requirements into three sets of

    skills: hygiene skills, paid skills and differential skills. If you are applying for a

    consulting role, then mastery of Excel sheets and presentation are hygiene skills.

    However, the company will pay you a salary for your ability to analyse and solve

    problems and communicate with the client. The skills that differentiate you from the

  • 8/10/2019 10 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out


    other applicants may include your domain knowledge of medical devices if the

    clients happen to be hospitals. Reflect these skills in your resume through past work


    3 Game the technology

    All large recruiters use applicant tracking software to manage their recruitment

    workload. At the first stage, your resume goes into their database. Then a recruiter

    either executes a search query or manually views it to look for key words or skills

    specific to the role. Make sure that your resume contains all the key words relevant

    to you and commonly used in the industry where you are applying.

    Get the terminology right with respect to the target company. So, for chartered

    accountants, recruiters either look for `internal audit' or `statutory audit' and not

    just `audit'.

    4 Don't be a risk

    Was your designation relatively higher in your previous role? Are there too many

    job changes in a short time? Are you an on-and-off entrepreneur? Have you worked

    in a different city for a very long time? Are you more qualified than your boss? All

    these represent potential risks for the employer, who may assume that you may not

    last too long in the job being offered. In your resume and interview, do not stress

    upon those aspects of your career that convey greater risk to the recruiter.

    5 Fade out the past

    Do you have tons of experience that you are trying to cram into a 1-2 page

    curricu lum vitae? Remember that all phases of your life are not equal and your

    resume is not meant to be a balanced autobiography. Focus on recent roles and

    experiences and fade out large portions of the past into 1-2 lines each. That diploma

    in German done in 1995 is immaterial, just like the one-month internship at an NGO

    in 2002 or the 20-yearold degree in dance.


  • 8/10/2019 10 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out


    6 Rule of thirds

    Tear out the top one-third of the first page of your resume and read it. Will it get

    you the interview? The unofficial rule of thirds states that recruiters notice only thetop of your resume to make up their minds.

    Start with your name, e-mail ID and mobile number, so that people can contact you

    to convey their interest. Then either write a summary or include your best selling

    points, along with your latest job, right at the top of the first page. Shift your home

    address to the footer or delete it completely.

    7 Use subheads

    Divide your CV into relevant sections-work experience, academics, honours and

    awards, leadership roles, etc. For each section, decide what you want to in clude and

    how you will highlight it.

    8 Learn from Google

    Google makes money from strategic ad placements. They have learnt that while

    reading, the mind gives more credence to what is at the top rather than the bottom,

    and to what is on the left rather than the right, following our reading pattern. So,

    organise your more important sections and achievements accordingly, say, `Ranked

    3rd out of 150 management trainees at the plant'.

    9 Help the evaluator

    Help the recruiter read your resume.

    Use a familiar font with a 10-12 point size. Put your work experience in reverse

    chronological order and convert the resume into a pdf.

    Avoid pictures, images, graphics, etc, and declutter the layout. The only time to

    break this rule is when you are showcasing a portfolio where images can help sell a

    better story.

    10 Iterate, iterate, iterate

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    Any business school graduate will tell you that the perfect resume is a

    collaborative effort requiring endless iterations. Show your resume to as many

    friends and wellwishers as possible and use their inputs to refine it. Each time you

    customise your resume for a new role, repeat the exercise.

    This can easily help convert long shots into shortlists.



    The objective statement, listing what you seek in a job, is a hangover from the

    past. No one cares.

    Recruiters want to know what you can give them?

    So, replace it with a headline, say, `Supply chain consultant' and summarise key

    skills below it.


    A one-page resume is the norm for freshers and most professionals.

    This can go up to a maximum of two pages if you have more than 10 years of

    experience. Cut out lesser achievements from your CV. They won't get youshortlisted.


    Using your present workplace e-mail in a resume is a terrible idea since your

    employer has the right to monitor your e-mails. E-mail IDs like CoolGuy@XYZ.com

    are equally bad. Get a new e-mail ID like AmitJha88@gmail.com.


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    The recruiter receives several CVs. Calling your CV, Resume.pdf, makes it

    difficult to search it later. Calling it NehaMarketing.pdf implies you have multiple CVs

    and lack focus. Instead, name it NehaSharma.pdf


    Employers believe that if you respect yourself and really need the job, you will

    be careful with the resume you share with them. Typos and grammatical errors in

    the CV are frowned upon and routinely rejected in roles that are in high demand.

    The writer is Director, Executive Search, at QuezX.com.

    Please send your feedback to etwealth@indiatimes.com



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