A Statement of Purpose is a reflection of your personality that you portray to achieve your desired objective. Resume, on the other hand, is brief and contains a synthesis of your educational qualification, work experience and essential skills.
The importance of a Resume and SOP cannot be undermined as they help create your first impression in the mind of the interviewer and can determine the direction where the interview will flow.
Here are some tips that will guide you on how to build a Resume and SOP:
1. Brief is the best
2. Take a pass on unnecessary information
3. Make it clear and straightforward
4. It should be quantifiable – support your statements with facts & figures
6. Be professional and discreet
7. Simplicity appeals
8. Use Reverse Chronology
9. Use Action words – achieved/secured/organized/led/managed/coordinated
It is important to follow a specific order and chronology while building your resume, as mentioned:
1. Contact Information
First Last Name
Street Address, City, State, Zip
Date of Birth
2. Career Objective (typically of 2-3 lines)
Write a customized objective highlighting your short term and long-term objective and what you wish to seek from the role that you are applying for.
3. Work Experience (if applicable)
Latest Designation then a brief Job Description, followed by Highlights or Achievements
(Use Reverse Chronological Order)
4. Education Profile
Best represented in form of a table
You can remove the location of the Institute but mention the Board
Make sure that the information is easy to deduce
This refers to any academic achievement, such as – Merit Scholarship, Letter of Appreciation, etc.
6. Co-curricular/Extracurricular Activities
Co-curricular Activities refer to – Paper Presentation, Essay Writing etc.
Extra-curricular Activities refer to – Sports, Dance, any freelance work.
7. Hobbies and Interests
Mention those hobbies, which you have been pursuing for a long time and your interests in this section.
While, we saw here what is to be included, it is also essential to look at the things whose mention should be avoided while writing a Resume and SOP.
What NOT to include:
· Languages Known (unless you know a foreign language)
· Strengths and Weaknesses (do not mention these explicitly)
· Marital Status (unless explicitly asked)
· Family details
· School activities (which are outdated)
In the final leg, here is a checklist that you should be clear about while writing a SOP:
Clarity before Writing an SOP:
1. Who are you?
Mention about your Motivation, Personality and relevant Skills
2. Why are you applying?
To derive learning and exposure in the desired field
3. Why are you a good candidate?
Highlight your distinctiveness and achievements
4. What do you want to do in the future?
Mention your short-term and long-term goals
5. How will the college/organization help you in achieving the aim?
What do you wish to achieve by joining the desired institute/firm
What is under Scrutiny?
· Clarity of thoughts and purpose
· Understanding of the candidate’s life, the motivation for the chosen career path and goals
· Personal motivation that leads you to apply to a given university or firm
· How do you intend to use your experience to achieve the goal
Finally, here is a list of simple do's and don'ts that will help guide your decision:
· Keep it Simple, Concise
· Demonstrate flair and originality
· Florid language
· Lack of coherence
· Vaguely worded
· Unsubstantiated claims
· Slangs and non-standard abbreviations
· Typos and grammatical errors
· Experiment with a crazy format
The Final Review:
1. Are my goals well-articulated?
2. Did I explain why have I selected this Bschool/company/program?
3. Do I demonstrate the knowledge for the required program?
4. Did I include relevant details that prove claims about myself?
5. Is my tone confident?
6. Any typos/spelling errors/punctuation/grammatical errors?
With these tips in mind, you are equipped with the necessary know-how on how to build your Resume and SOP. All the best!