Help, my Resume screams inexperienced!

I get emails from students every day with Resume questions. Here are some common tips for all of you.

Resume is your only Marketing tool for most roles, and it should show you in the best light possible, so it is extremely important that you take it seriously and think before you write.

Think about 2 years from now, would you write your Resume the way it is? Would you list your school projects? Would you list your Education the first?

Your Resume should always reflect your experience, not education credentials (unless you are applying for graduate school or PhD where your academic work is the major deciding factor.)

Unfortunately, every single student has the same exact 1-page format:

  • Contact Information
  • Summary
  • Education Details
  • Very brief work experience
  • Brief technical skills listing every single software they worked on at school
  • Half a page school projects
  • School activities

This is an excellent format only for undergraduates and for candidates that do not have any job experience, however preparing an entry level Resume such as this is shooting yourself on the leg and does not help you at all. Check this out, it is even famous for that:

http://www.businessinsider.com/resume-for-job-seeker-with-no-experience-2014-7

So, now that the school is over, forget about marketing you as a student and think forward a few years, how will you write your Resume 2 years from now? And start doing your research on how to write a professional Resume.

1-page Rule:

First of all, forget about the 1-page Rule, it simply does not work. Employers want to see details and hands on experience, it is not possible to squeeze all that to one page on decent format.

Formatting:

Have consistent, crisp formatting. Most companies will upload your Resume to their own system, so any creative formatting, fonts, columns, shapes, pictures… will mess up the integrity of the Resume. The purpose of the Resume is to summarize your skills and experience, if the employer cannot read it then it is useless.

Logical Flow:

Your Resume should have a logical flow that is easy to follow and highlights your skills.

  • Contact Information
    • Have a local phone number and personal email address that is professional
  • Highlights of your experience
    • Do not highlight that you have 2,3 years of experience, just indicate that you have experience, such as:
      • Business Analyst with hands on experience in Health Care industry
    • The major tasks you had, such as
      • Gather business requirements from Business leads via meetings, conferences, JAD sessions.
      • Configure reporting tool to comply with HIPAA regulations
      • Develop 50+ ad-hoc reports in PL/SQL
    • Unless you have 10+ years of experience do not list vague accomplishments such as:
      • Increased efficiency 30%
  • Technical skills
    • Categorize in logical order such as:
      • Database:
      • Software:
      • Analysis:
      • MS Office:
      • Methodology:
    • List tools that you have hands on experience first
    • Do not forget MS Office and presentation tools
  • Experience
    • Write at least 10 bullets for every job you had
      • Be task specific
      • Give the reader insight of your daily activities
      • Give details of tools that you used
    • If you worked for Consulting Companies list your Clients since without your domain knowledge no one will understand your strengths.
  • Education
    • Brief 1-line information on each degree
  • School Projects: They do not need to be in your Resume
  • School activities: They do not need to be in your Resume

There are countless resources on Resume writing, take your time to make it reflect the best of you:)

 

 

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