IMPORTANCE OF A RESUME

“Your first impression is your last impression”- This is a popular saying and it goes for your resume too.  Even though you know you’ll dazzle the recruiter and hiring manager with your story, if you can’t get your foot in the door, you are wasting yours and your recruiter’s time. Your marketing documents must match your presence; if not, you’ve got a brand problem.

The resume acts as a bridge between you and the prospective recruiter. Hence the importance of a resume can never be underestimated. So, to make the first impression, it is imperative that your resume stands out from the crowd first. It is up to you how do you want to be remembered by the hiring manager? Since companies do not have that much amount of time to interview each and every candidate, they require resumes from candidate to select the best ones to work with them.

Rejection happens, and it goes on and on until they find something interesting in one particular resume. This is the time when a well-structured, clean and precise resume plays its part. There are a few points that make the resume important. They are mentioned briefly-

  • Your resume reaches the recruiter’s table much before than you do.
  • A resume tells about you.
  • It tells the recruiter about your skillset and sells you. It convinces a company that you are the one for the job.
  • It is a quick, through and lasting impression.

On average, hiring managers take about six seconds to keep or round file your resume, according to a study by Ladders, an online job matching service. So how to make a good and attractive resume? Here are a few general basic points to remember while making a resume :-

  1. FORMATTING- Your resume is a great opportunity to qualify your skills. If you mention you have great attention to detail and are organised but change fonts three times throughout your CV the employer will probably question whether you do possess these attributes. The best CVs have clear headings, are written in an easy to read font such as Calibri, utilize bullet points rather than paragraphs and list work experience in reverse chronological order. Also, don’t forget to use spellcheck! Spellcheck is your best friend and makes it so easy to pick up on little spelling and grammatical errors – there is really no excuse for spelling errors in your CV.
  1. Bullet points – When reading through a CV my eyes are drawn to two things – headings and bullet points. Bullet points are the best way to list role responsibilities and successes as they are neat and concise. I have found when candidates try and explain their role in paragraph form important points are often lost or don’t come across properly. Unless you are applying for a senior role, 5-8 bullet points outlining your role is enough to give the employer a good understanding of your experience.
  2. Length – Keep it short and sweet! Recruiters and employers often get over 200 applications for a role and if your CV is 6 pages long and goes into detail about your role as high school sport captain chances are they will end up skimming your CV. If you are light on work experience keep it to a page, there is no need to fill your CV for the sake of it. If you have been in the workforce for a number of years 2-3 pages is perfect.
  3. Skills and achievements – So often candidates use this section of a resume as a filler that doesn’t add any real value to the CV. Use this section to list any specific skills such as systems that you have used or projects that you have worked on. Qualify a skill by relating it to a specific project or KPI.
  4. Photo – This is a contentious one! Quite often a photo of yourself is not necessary however if you wish to include one make sure it’s professional! I have seen way too many selfies on CVs; selfies from a night out, selfies on your beach holiday, selfies with your friend half cropped out. Your CV is a representation of your professional self – if you wish to include a photo make sure you are dressed professionally, the photo is in portrait format and of a high quality. It is best to align this with your name in the top right hand corner of the first page.
  5. Hobbies – This is a section that isn’t completely necessary but is often a nice way to put your personality across and potentially click with the potential employer. Once again keep it professional; try writing you like working with animals rather than admitting to be a crazy cat lady. This is a section that you can also use to your advantage – if you are going for a role within a health organization; mention that you enjoy nutrition, fitness and bush walking – companies will favour candidates who support the ethos of the business.

Resume do’s and don’ts

  • DO include contact information including your updated LinkedIn profile URL at the top. 
  • Collect and display all those awards and achievements that show how you’ll bring value to your new employer.
  • DO identify the specific type of job you are looking for and a brief synopsis of qualifying skills and achievements. 
  • DO list job history in reverse chronological order, along with brief details describing your accomplishments in each position, not merely duties.   
  • DO incorporate keywords pertinent to the job you want throughout the resume so that automated screening algorithms can find you.
  • Do place a boilerplate education, certificates, and specialized training section at the bottom.

Do not include:

  • Your age.
  • Your salary history.
  • Any personal information not relevant to the job.
  • Any jobs past the last six or seven except those relevant to the position you are seeking. Omit less relevant jobs or very short-term jobs. If past job experience supports the qualifications you need for a particular opportunity, then include it, but we generally suggest no more than your last 10 years of work experience.
  • More than two pages. One page-one and half is better.  Use your LinkedIn profile to store more detailed descriptions about achievements at each job.

Article By Mahek Bajaj –

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