Monday, July 20, 2015

Resume - How To

Not only readers ask me questions related to QTP or Software testing, but I receive many emails now and then, in which readers ask me to help them with their resumes. So I thought of writing this post which gives general idea about how to write a resume or you can say tips on creating a resume. This post not only shows you tips on creating a resume but at the end you can look at some of the resume examples also.

Resume is used by people to show their background and skill sets. Mostly resumes are used to secure new employment.
Resume draws attention to your achievements/accomplishments to show a probable employer that you are qualified for the work you want.
Main idea of resume is to get you an interview.

A great resume doesn't just tell them what you have done but makes the same assertion that all good ads do: If you buy this product, you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career.

Sections in a resume
Sections which people more or less include in a resume are Name& Address, Objective, Summary, Technical Skills, Experience, Education, Achievements/Certifications/Interests, and References etc. Other things like passport number, expected salary etc. may or may not be included. Expected salary can be a part of Cover Letter or email for example.

Name& Address: should be neat and clean, without any unnecessary information, easier for recruiters to read and should have a professional look and feel. There are people who use just simple name and there are others who write complete address along with name. Some include only email and phone number with name. Do add logos if you want. Below are few examples:

Objective: should be clear and straightforward, should not be confusing and noticeably state what you can offer and your aim/goal/intention. Make statement clear, concise, and to the point for example "I want to get a job." is a bad objective and "To attain an internship in the computer industry." is a weak one, but "To attain an internship in the computer industry working with database or network security." is good. Avoid being overly specific to single company like "To attain a position at 3M Pharmaceuticals working on …". Objectives from the company’s perspective are always good like "To attain a web application programming position where knowledge of Java and the Struts framework will add value to the overall development process." Below are few examples taken mainly to show different styles/formatting:

Summary: include this mainly if you have 3 or more page resume. It can be summary of your complete experience or summary of your skills or learning's from your experience depending on what you want to highlight more. See example below with more elaborated and less elaborated summary:

Technical Skills: just be truthful, not only with skill sets but with each and every word in resume. Better if you can tell your skill from a scale of 1 to 10. See examples below:

Experience: company name, little bit about company [optional], [just 2 to 3 lines would do], your responsibilities there, projects you worked on, your duties in certain order, dates [joining-leaving]. Be sure to not leave gaps. Highlight specific work experience. Highlight marketable skills. Below are few examples:

Education: year and marks/GPA score are good to show. Below are few examples:

Headers and Footers can include stuff like page numbers, name, logo [of certifications, membership companies etc.].

After above examples let’s have some general tips on creating resumes:
1. First impression is the last impression and people are mostly busy, so your resume needs to be presentable in 30 seconds or less. Put the hot stuff in the beginning, and all less exciting information afterward. Focus on whatever is strongest and most impressive. Put the most important information on the first line of a writing "block" or paragraph. The first line is read the most.

2. Each resume will be designed according to the specific employer's needs.

3. Be truthful with your scores, gaps (if any) in job experience or education etc.

4. Verify your resume n number of times to avoid any typographical errors. Errors in resume or resume's those filled with jargon, or that don't make sense are unacceptable. Proofread everything a hundred times and have one other person proofread it. Someone who got really good grades in English.

5. If you don't have the right qualifications, don't apply for the job. When the job listing says "summer intern," don't ask for a full time job. You're not going to get it and you're just going to waste your time. (It won't count against you in the future, of course, because your original application was deleted so quickly I'll have no memory of you when we do get a full time opening and you apply for it.)

6. While making resume "Perfection is necessary, and perfection is earned by mastering 2 things: consistency and specificity". Consistency in headlines, sub-headings, fonts, bullets, even colons & periods etc. is very important and should not be taken as lightly.

7. Consider: whether to include the information at all, placement in overall structure of the resume, location on the page itself or within a section, ordering of information, more impressive ways of phrasing the information, use of design elements (such as boldface to highlight, italics to minimize, ample surrounding space to draw the eye to certain things).

8. Try not to include anything on the resume that could turn the employer off, anything that is controversial (political, etc.) or could be taken in a negative light.

9. Spell out numbers under and including ten; use the numerical form for numbers over and including 11 (as a general rule), unless they are the first words in a sentence. Spell out abbreviations unless they are unquestionably obvious.

Some more resume tips & references
Huge list of tips for creating resume
Resume tips from a hiring manager
Tips on how to Get Your Résumé Read by Joel Spolsky
Another Resume tip for Joel
How to Write a Masterpiece of a Resume
Resume Tips

Resume Examples
A Good One Page Resume
Another 1 page resume example in word format
A green word format 3 page resume
Another 3 page word format resume with photo
One more 2 page resume for your help
How a 140-Character Twitter Resume Could Land Your Next Job

Few more awesome resume examples in PPT format