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The Art of Professional Resume Writing

The Art of Professional Resume Writing
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We’re all familiar with the Dictionary meaning of the word Résumé:

“A short written description of your education, qualifications, previous jobs, and  sometimes also your personal interests, that you send to an employer when you are trying to get a job”

Now this sounds, a lot like a very formal business document, which it certainly is. But in essence it’s actually a marketing tool. You a jobseeker is advertising to offer your acquired skills and abilities to a prospective employer for a job opportunity. Since poorly formed and ill suited resumes are thrown in trash just after 10 seconds of being looked over. Professional Resume Writing takes great care, planning and consideration, making it no less than an art.

Focus

A Resume should communicate very clearly that you have the necessary education and qualifications, matching skills, relevant work experience and Professionalism suited for the job. This is a key element of professional resume writing. Also, every piece of information should be neatly labeled and arranged, in every section of the resume, in chronological order.

Length

There is no set standard for how long a Resume is supposed to be. It all depends on Education and Work Experience. For a fresher, a one page Resume is alright whereas in case of an experienced Professional, a three page Resume will not be too long. The key here is to list details which are relevant to the Job opportunity and can be backed up. Simply stating, don’t undersell your skills and abilities but don’t go overboard either. This balance, perhaps the hardest and most necessary element of professional resume writing.

Format

There are several Resume formats popular with Employers and Jobseekers. For Instance:

Chronological

a very popular format among Employers as the Resume starts with listing of Work History with most recent position listed first.

Functional

a format that focuses on Skills and Experience rather than Work History, popular amongst candidates with a gap in work history or changing professional fields or overall low on work history.

Combination

best and most popular of both formats. It combines listing of Work History in chronological order with the relevant skills listed alongside.

It’s recommended to use Professional Resume Writing templates available in popular Word Processors for consistency and format.

Professional Resume Writing Formats:

Regardless of format however, a Resume should at a minimum contain the following elements:   

Contact details: your name, email address and a contact phone number

Opening statement/Summary: brief description of self and professional history relevant to current job application

Key skills & strengths

Technical/software skills

Educational qualifications and Certifications: mention last qualification/certification first, clearly mentioning educational institution attended with years when attended.  

Employment history/volunteering/Internships: mention clearly Establishment name, Employment years and brief Role and Job Description

Customization

It is advised to customize the Resume for every Application according to the Job requirements. Especially Opening Statement, Key skills and personal attributes should be listed as per Job Description posted by the employer. Creativity , thus is also an important element of professional resume writing.

What all can ruin the masterpiece?

While it is important to understand the format and what goes in the content, equal emphasis should be placed on what should be excluded or avoided:

  • Private Information (birth date, gender, health or disabilities)
  • Grammatical or Spelling Errors
  • Graphics and Photos
  • Fancy Fonts with inappropriate sizes or styling

3rd Party Review

It’s always best to have another person, preferably an experienced professional or a career counsellor go over the Resume and give you an opinion. Also, look for some examples on the web and from peers to discover new and creative ways to tweak your masterpiece to perfection.


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