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Preparation Of Your Résumé

The résumé, which is also called the curriculum vitae or personal data sheet, is a factual presentation of yourself—your personal ­history, education, extra-curricular activities, work experience, ­honours and awards and references. Normally a résumé contains:
  • Your name and address;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your educational qualifications;
  • Your extra-curricular activities;
  • A summary of your working experience; and
  • References.
MYTH: A good résumé will get you the jobyou want.
FACT: All a résumé can do is get you in the door.

Changing Trends

As employers these days have no time to scan through lengthy ­résumés, it is necessary that your résumé should be presented in a compact and easy-to-read form. Do not try to describe your history from birth or give a detailed description of your family background. Employers are not interested in your family background or your childhood affairs and achievements. Your résumé should be brief, clear and accurate. It should present you in a favourable light, tell the most important things about you that a prospective employer might want to know and it should do these things fully but with no ­padding. Accuracy of information is very essential and there should be no overstatement. Recently, one case has been reported where the corporate personnel manager of a multinational organization had to quit because he gave certain wrong information in his résumé and was selected. The company came to know about the facts after he had worked with them for more than two years, and he was asked to resign. Therefore, accuracy of information is very essential in résumés.

How Should You Begin?

The usual way is to make a draft first and list your “vital ­statistics”— name, address, date and place of birth and so on. Now you are ready to list the relevant parts of your background (as a rule lists, not sentences, are used in résumés). These are to be listed in the following order:
At the point when you begin your career, education is your chief selling point. So you must list details of your education first. This part should have two sub-headings: academic qualifications and technical experience. Give only the highest qualification you have including the name of the college, university, division and distinctions, if any, along with the year of your graduation or postgraduation, as the case may be. In describing your technical background, you should list the courses that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
Extracurricular activities
The next entry is your extracurricular activities. However, employers these days are not interested in ­detailed explanations of the games you can play or like to play. Mention only if you had the distinction of representing your college team at the state level or if you had captained your college team. If you have no such special distinction, it is better to leave them out and avoid making your résumé too long. Unless you are fresh from ­college, it is better not to mention these details.

Résumé of Working Experience

The next entry is a résumé of your working experience. It is ­advisable to enter data relating to your experience in inverse chronological ­order, that is, giving the most recent first and ­going backward in time to the beginning of your working life. Maximum details should be given of your present job. This is the logical approach because most employers like to see what you are doing now before seeing what you’ve done in the past. They are not interested in knowing what you did ten years ago. They want to know what you are doing now, what is your present job ­profile and responsibilities and whether the functions that you are ­performing in your present job match the job requirement they have for you to fulfil.

If You Have No Experience

Although your job experience may be quite limited or you may be fresh from college and applying for your first job, do not hesitate to take advantage of any entry you can make. For example, if you are a fresh graduate, mention the summer training courses you may have taken as a part of your college curriculum. Even though these jobs may not relate to the position for which you are now applying, they definitely tell something about you—that you have initiative and ­ambition, that you accept responsibility and that you have had some working experience despite your young age. This summer training or exposure will show that you were dependable, for no employer would keep you for an entire summer if you were not.

If You Have Experience

It is worth spending quite a bit of thought on this part of the résumé before you write the final draft of your résumé of working experience. Your goal is to present yourself in the best possible light—­playing up your strong points and playing down your weak ones. First list your designation and then the name of the organization in which you were employed. In preparing the job description, ask yourself: “What did I do in this job that is likely to impress the prospective employer?” Or you might ask yourself: “If I were hiring somebody for the job I want to get, what sort of experience would I look for?” Remember, your prospective employer needs you as much as you need him/her. Therefore, as has been said earlier, put yourself in the reader’s place and furnish the details required by him/her for taking a decision in your favour.


MYTH: Your résumé will always be read carefullyand thoroughly.
FACT: In most cases, your résumé needs to make a positive impression within first minute itself, only then will someone read it in detail. Moreover, it may be screened by a computer for keywords first—and if doesn’t contain the right keywords, a human being may never see it.

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