Do’s and Dont’s while preparing CV / Resume
The first step when applying for any job is to create a resume that is legal, concise, and impressive. The following outlines what to do and what not to do when creating your resume.
Here’s a list of the things you should Do’s & Dont’s on your resume.
Make a Headline
A headline identifies who you are as a professional. One example of this would be: “Research Associate–Assisting Businesses by Leveraging Data and Research.” This is completely different from an objective. An objective states why you, the applicant, are looking for employment. Your headline tells companies who you are in a nutshell.
Highlight your certifications and degrees
You worked hard to acquire your degree or certification. You should boast your knowledge! If you have an B.Tech or a M.Sc, it is best to write it out next your name—it should be the first thing a recruiter sees. Additionally, highlight the skills you have picked up either from school and/or previous jobs, such as MS Office, working extensively with Techniques, Exposures, etc.
Share important details about where you have worked
In most of resumes where only the company name is listed with the years the applicant worked and very little information about what the applicant actually did. It is important to add other details to help the recruiter and the hiring person exactly how long you have worked and the responsibilities you had in the position.
If you have achieved something amazing such as significantly boosting a department’s productivity, it also should be mentioned.
Have someone read and edit your resume
There is a rule when writing anything—read your work out loud. When you read out loud, your brain processes information differently and you will start to notice inconsistencies or grammatical errors that you did not notice before. Once you do that, have someone you trust edit the resume. If you do not have anyone, there are a number of resume writing experts online who can do it for you. If you are still enrolled in university, most likely, your school will have a writing center that can provide some assistance.
Include ways to contact you
Always include ways to contact you, such as email, phone number, LinkedIn page, etc. If your resume is a great match for a position, wouldn’t you hate to miss the opportunity just because they didn’t know how to get in touch with you? If you have a LinkedIn profile (which is highly suggested), the best thing you can do is include a direct link to your profile.
List your experience from most recent to least recent
List your most relevant experiences first. There are many reasons for this—it makes it easier for the recruiter to read, it estimates how long you have been unemployed and it provides a logical look at your development as a professional.
Do not include your picture
As a recruiter, we frequently receive resumes with headshots of the actual applicant. Although this is not illegal, it is still discouraged. Employers are forbidden to discriminate any applicant on the basis of race, gender, nationality, age, religion, and so on.
In addition to the picture, I highly suggest not including other intimate details such as religion, caste etc.
Do not lie about your experience, skills or anything
Be honest about everything on your resume. If you lie about something, it will eventually come up in the future and it will not bode well for you and for others. If you feel like you do not have enough working experience, add your volunteer experience. Also add your accomplishments from school and languages you are fluent in. Be proud of what you have done so far!
Do not add hobbies and interests (unless it’s related to the job)
Once, we received a resume for a research position in the company. Toward the bottom of this applicant’s resume was an entire paragraph of her interests—one of which included “eating nonveg.” This is not appropriate! Now, as a recruiter or as a hiring person, we left thinking she is not taking her career seriously. It’s great to have humor on a resume—but it has to be related and suitable. Instead of putting down how much she loves nonveg, it would have been more impressive if she said she enjoys traveling the world and learning about other cultures.
Avoid “references available upon request” like the plague
There is no real reason to put down anywhere on the resume “references available upon request.” As recruiters, we know that we can obtain references if we need to—regardless of what you put on the resume. If your resume is already teetering on being too long, this is the perfect place to save some space.
Don’t make the resume overly creative
If you have a creative side, by all means, exhibit it! More than ever, companies are looking for individuals with varying levels of creativity because these are the pools of people with the most unique ideas. The best way to catch a sneak peek at your creativity is through your resume. With many different versions of creative resumes floating around in the internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to live up to those expectations and to make an eye-catching resume, but it can be done. However, do it in a way that is still readable. Make it simple, legible, IMPORTANT, and inspired.
Don’t include your salary expectations
Your resume is your presentation of who you are as a professional in your field. It is a snapshot for other people to see. If you include your salary expectations, then you are portraying a false impression of yourself. Employers may think this is a hard number and pass you up, when in reality, there is usually room to negotiate. Once you get further along in the application/interview process, it is perfectly acceptable to discuss salary ranges or expectations with your employer then.
- If you speak two or more languages fluently, show it off!
- Don’t put down your high school education, unless you are a recent graduate with no working experience.
- Don’t make your name so big, it takes up half the page.
- It’s okay if the resume is more than one page—as long as it contains relevant information and it doesn’t exceed two pages.
- Don’t forget to include keywords! Many recruiters search for applicants through keywords to find a good match. Keywords are words that allow people to look for you as their potential employee—so any word that reflects your experience and your skills such as “Microbiology,” “Research,” “Dry and Wet Lab,” etc.
- Don’t bad-mouth your past or current employers—you will be seen as immature and vindictive.
- Don’t print your resume out on colored paper
- If you have volunteer experience, note that on your resume—it shows that you are a socially responsible individual—that’s the kind of person an employer wants at their company.
- Writing a resume is no easy task—there are many factors to take into consideration. Nonetheless, the time you put into writing and perfecting your resume may very well result in getting an interview from an employer.
All the best!
- Sujeet Singh