Resume: A brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupation, typically sent with a job application.
This is the North American definition of the Resume. While the title might have made everyone think that we are going to deep dive into the process of making a compelling resume but before that let's understand the difference between a Resume and a CV
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Latin for “course of life”, Resume is French for a summary. While the CV represents a full history of your academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities, a resume is a crisp one to two-page summary of your CV highlighting your skills, relevance to the role you are applying for, and your industry experience. However, the main aim of both CVs, as well as a resume, is to present you as the best-qualified candidate. The first impression is the last impression and an aesthetically pleasing and well-presented CV/resume is surely going to leave a good impression on the viewer.
During my graduation years, I sat for the placement process and got 2 placement offers as well. But there is a huge difference between a CV/Resume that is built during the graduation days and the one that you are going to use during the MBA program. Although my earlier CVs helped me initially the final draft that I submitted for a summer placement at IIM Calcutta could become only possible after following a disciplined approach. And once I was done with my CV, later on, I was able to narrow it down to a quality resume. This article is like a helping hand for all those who are still in the process and will be going through this in the coming future.
For most of the firms that visit management colleges across India, their first point of opinion regarding any candidate in the placement process gets developed when they take a glance at their resume. And a well-written resume is going to make sure that you get the preference over the others. The story might be the same but the presentation is the key to get a competitive advantage.
The first step in drafting a quality resume is to prepare your Master CV. Master CV includes all the achievements of the candidate in different fields. Everything under the sun that a person has done in their life should be there in the master CV. It needs to be comprehensive. The things to focus on while preparing a Master CV are as follow:
Academic and Co-curricular Achievements: In this section, all the scholastic achievements like ranks in schools, colleges, and different entrance exams can be mentioned. In order to show that you have been a consistent performer throughout your academic journey, you need to reflect the same in the points that you will be writing in this section. Mentioning good scores in different academic subjects not only shows the academic inclination but also helps firms making an impression regarding their aptitude. Consistent performance in subjects like mathematics and physics show that you have a strong quantitative and logical aptitude.
Internship and Projects: This section can be used to highlight the depth of knowledge that you have regarding different academic concepts. The projects that you have pursued can help the interviewer have a better understanding of your interests. The agenda of the internship is the first thing to mention in this section in order to make sure that it catches the reader’s attention. The different tasks that you have completed must be explained clearly in this section. The key in framing points is to attain balance. While making sure that you are writing everything relevant to your internship and project, you also have to take care of the fact that the reader might not be of the same background. So, the points should be technical enough to able to communicate one’s knowledge but simple enough for a non-technical person to understand. This section is of huge importance for people without work experience.
Work Experience: This section is very important as it showcases every achievement of the candidate’s professional career. The key qualities that are looked for in this section by recruiters are leadership, innovation, target-driven approach, creativity, etc. So, the framing of points should be on these lines only. All these qualities can be highlighted in the different projects that the candidate has pursued during his career. Mentioning a new initiative that the candidate undertook also creates a positive impression. The candidate should also mention different rewards and recognition that one has received.
Position of Responsibility: The key quality that is being looked for in this section is leadership. Different positions that have been holding by the candidate in schools, colleges, and organizations should be mentioned here. If any new club or interest group has been opened by the candidate then the same should be mentioned here. It is very important to highlight all the work and achievements during the tenure as well. One should highlight their team management skills over here. The framed points should reflect the decision-making capability of the candidate.
Extracurricular Activities: Human is a social being who likes to talk. This section can help in candidate meeting over a common ground with their interviewer. This section portrays all the fun, creative and interesting sides of the candidate. Points in this section can range from volunteering in NGO to playing different sports. The focus should be on the magnitude of the impact that these points create. If someone has played some sport at the national or international level then they should mention it over here. It reflects one’s passion for their interests.
Once you are done with the Master CV then half of the job is already done. Let us now focus on how to present these points aesthetically in a single-page resume. There are some rules that need to be followed in order to come up with a quality resume:
1. CVs are usually written in the third person. Personal pronouns should be avoided while writing these points.
2. Every point in the CV should start with a power verb. This helps in a stronger and confident delivery to the reader.
3. Quantify all your achievements in the CV. They not only provide strength to the point but at the same helps in measuring the magnitude of the achievement.
4. Keywords should be used as and when required they help in resume shortlisting.
5. It is very important to ensure that there are no grammatical errors in the CV. Sometimes this results in people not getting shortlisted because of the grammatical errors only.
The next job after doing all this is to ensure proper formatting. The resume needs to aligned perfectly. All points should be of the optimum length so that there is minimum white space. The font, font size, and bullet size should be consistent throughout the resume.
All these recommendations are based on my experience at IIM Calcutta. I hope that this article helps you.
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