Resume Tips

Kalpesh Chauhan, (Tax Assistant (Accounting Technician CA FINAL CS PROF. PROG. B.Com))   (8310 Points)

27 July 2010  

Resume Tips

Is a “Curriculum Vitae” different from a Resume?

While preparing to write a resume one must have often come across the term “Curriculum Vitae”. Just another synonym for resume? Not really. At least not when it comes to the U.S. of A. In America the resume and the C.V (as it is commonly known), are rather different from one another. Well, then what exactly is a “C.V” in the American sense of it? The term "curriculum vitae" translates as something close to "course of life"-- a detailed, lengthy and structured listing of education, publications, projects, awards and work history. Curriculum vitae can sometimes run into ten or more pages. Remember, it is “detailed” information.

Who needs a "C.V."?

A C.V is required for certain positions, most common of them being educators, scientists and other academia related specialists. Job seekers with extensive academic and professional credentials applying for positions in education or research need to possess a C.V. .A CV is appropriate for PhD's, M.Phil’s, MFA's, and MA's seeking teaching or research positions. Colleges, universities, and research institutions generally require a CV. It is essential for academic as well as administrative positions in education-related careers. In applying for positions in higher education, the CV generally takes the place of the printed application form. Typically, one is expected to submit a letter of application(detailed), a CV, a writing sample and other supporting documents.

Where is a “C.V” not needed?

Be sure that you give a “C.V” only where it is necessary to do so. It may work against you if a resume was actually expected. Most employers –private business, government and the like, any day look for a brief one-page account of your proof-of-worthiness.

What should be included in a “C.V”?

Name, address(es), phone number(s), e-mail address
Objective: What postion exactly are you applying for?
Educational background: Academic preparation - College degrees with details
Relevant work experience : position-related
Specific skills: Computer programs, lab techniques, etc.
Publications/ exhibitions/ performances papers etc. submitted for publication
Current research interests
Paper/ posters presented at conferences
Grants received
Honours, awards and fellowships
Professional organisation memberships
Professional services
Languages known and/or other skills
Personal interests

What to exclude?

Personal details must be strictly excluded from a C.V. Such as age, s*x, marital status, race, ethnic background and religion, personal preferences, biases and political leanings etc.

Condensed version

“C.V” is nothing but a “Condensed Version” of you and your achievments.So it must effectively summarise all of this information.However, unlike a resume your “C.V” can be much longer. The CV generally ranges from two to dozens of pages in length, depending upon factors such as the extent of one's research record or the stage of one's career.

Outside the U.S, resume and C.V are synonymous the world over.So use your discretion and prepare a resume or a C.V accordingly, depending on the position and the location you are applying to.

Happy job-hunting !

Resume Writing Tips

A resume is as good as an advertisement for oneself. Ensure that you market yourself well
It's your resume, so make it as professional as you can
The sole purpose of your resume is to ensure that you are short-listed for that much-wanted interview
It is advisable to hand over your resume directly to the person who will be doing the hiring
Avoid making a flaashy resume. Keep it simple and precise.
Avoid using coloured envelopes or papers
Get your resume proof-read! There should be NO mistakes! It reflects carelessness
There should be no misspelled words or incorrect grammar.
Print your resume on quality bond paper. Do not use dot matrix, it is not only outdated, but does not appeal to read either. Instead, use a laser print.
Use clean paper devoid of smudges, marks, or creases
Your resume should be easy to read. Using "bulleted points" is helpful.
Keep sentences short and concise. Use action verbs.
Avoid the usage of: I, me, my, and "Resume of."
Use text formatting utilities like bold, underline, or italic to emphasise relevant sections in the resume.

Possible sections on a resume include:


Summary of Qualifications


Education & Training

Work Experience

Other Experience

Related Experience


Computer Skills

Additional Information

Awards and Merits



Left and right margins should be no smaller than one inch
Make sure that the document looks balanced and attractive
Use a conservative, pleasant, and readable font

Highlight your skills and characteristics on the resume and cover letter. Examples:

Honest Dependable Excellent interpersonal skills
Team oriented Organised Manage time well
Work well under pressure Flexible Quick learner
Leadership skills Enthusiastic Assertive
Friendly Presentation skills Sincere
Thorough Tactful

Remember, it takes time to draft a great resume.
Good luck!

Resume Tips

Your Resume - 5 Minutes and 5 Minutes

If you spend 5 minutes building a resume, the chance of it being rejected within 5 minutes by the employer is very high. Thus, the time you spend to build OR create your resume is directly proportional to the time the employer would take to reject the resume.

You must view your resume more as a marketing tool, where you have to sell your skills to a person who has no clue about who you are. Remember he has to go through thousands of resumes, so what is it that you can do which will catch his attention? To find out how you can make your mark, stay with us. Our panel of in-house experts will guide you at every step of the way. This section will feature articles, opinions and interviews from the top management circle. Not only do we cover general resume concerns, but focus on functions and designation resumes. For instance how to write marketing or a finance resume or how to write a resume of a brand executive or general manager of HR.

The best resumes are those, which can capture and present your strongest skill sets. Our resume builder has been specially designed for this purpose of being able to grab all your skills, including soft skills. I would recommend that you use our resume builder to create your CV because it is specially designed keeping employers and their needs in mind. As a result your CV is created in a way that would appeal to them.

Look out for articles tailored to meet the needs of the Indian professionals working in various industries.

The Art Of Resume Writing

A resume has to be compact in style and organised in presentation; It is not an autobiography. Therefore, it is important to identify relevant details from the heap of information. Academic qualification, professional experience and current job descripttion are of primary importance.

Resume has to be simple and lucid in appearance. Avoid high-sounding and formal language. Do not fill it with ins and outs of work life. Give a chronological pattern in case of a continuous career. Go as per skill-sets, if otherwise.

Here are a few pointers to drafting a resume:

Name and address: Write the first and the last names without indicating marital status. The contact address must have residence telephone, fax and e-mail and not office numbers. Specify if somebody else's facilities are being used.

Work experience: List the assignments beginning with the latest. The challenges faced must reveal your forte. Divide the experience in each organisation in to tenures and list the accomplishments in a way that brings out the managerial expertise picked up by you while on the job.

Education: Give the academic qualifications especially if you are from prestigious institutions and have had an exemplary academic record. Briefly mention scholarships and medals. This is at the junior level. At the senior level, give the details of professional qualifications attained.

Personal information: This is optional. Do not go over board on hobbies. This gives an impression that personal interests supersede the professional ones.

Additional information: Details that might be relevant to employment objectives but do not fit in any category are to be given in this.

Focus on the following :

Depth and range of work experience
Variety of projects undertaken
Proven skills
Type of companies worked for
Current job profile

Strictly avoid :

Reasons for leaving the current job -you can talk about it in the interview only when asked.
False information on the resume, you are likely to get caught.
Personal beliefs on communal and political, racial and gender issues.
Present and expected salary details
Spelling and grammar mistakes
Verbose style

Program Your Resume

The good old paper resume is a trustworthy ally in any job search process. You can check its contents over and over again to ensure that everything is all right. You are certain that it will reach the employer with the same contents.

With electronic resumes, however, you cannot be so certain, for they are quite unpredictable. For all you know, they may end up on the employer's system as a tangled web of pictures, graphics, and undecipherable characters. You are blissfully unaware of what has happened, and are pleased with your neatly formatted work of art.

What can you do to minimise such mishaps? Just minimise the beautification. Those of you who have spent a lot of time in doing exactly this, worry not! You can use this formatting for the paper version. The beautified resume can be sent as a word attachment to employers who accept them in such a form. However, when pasting into your e-mail or into a form on the company's website, formatting is out!

Some Tips on Formatting :

Don't use tabs, as they don't appear properly on e-mail. Your resume ends up looking scrambled and the alignment disappears.
Left alignment is perhaps the best and simple solution to your formatting problems. Your resume appears professional and neat.
There is no need to use special fonts or font size. Irrespective of how you format your file, the font is likely to be the same for all of the text. The reason is that text font is generally determined by the employer's e-mail reader.

How do you differentiate different sections in your file? You can use capital letters or hard returns ("enter" key on your keyboard). Capitals are easily translated in e-mail, while hard returns provide spacing between paragraphs. You can use capitals to indicate the titles and sub-headings.

"Pop" Up

A multitude of companies advertise openings on the net. The jobseeker may feel that there are several companies, which accept resumes by e-mail. In reality, however, the response rate for such applications is dismal.

You can however, beat the system to some extent by using the right keywords. With the right arsenal of keywords, your resume can pop up on the employer's screen. How does this happen? Most of the job sites allow employer to search for resumes based on their requirements. Based on the search word used, a list of resumes is displayed, as in any other search process. For your resume to appear in such a list, it must contain the keyword used.

Keywords are the common words, which may be used by an employer to search for resumes. How do you identify the keywords? The best answer would be the advertisement. Include as many words from the advertisement in your resume as you can, blending them meaningfully with the body of the resume.
More importantly, be honest to yourself. Do not include terms and words, which are not true to you! With the right combination of keywords, you may just grab the employer's attention. So, just go ahead and put in the magical word!

A Résumé that Talks Turkey

Whenever you see good potential opportunities what do you do? Incorporate subtle changes to your existing resumé and send it to the employer? Its time we got out of the conventional way of writing a resumé. A brief, concise resumé that is not contradictory is what is needed. A resumé reflects what you have accomplished so far. Make your resumé in accordance with the job profile you are applying for. Companies invest quite an amount in recruiting people and would expect a detailed resumé profiling all that they are looking for.

It is not very interesting to go through a four-page resumé no matter how many achievements you have to your credit. Nobody will tolerate a CV more than three pages long!

Tips for an effective resume

'Resumé or 'Curriculum Vitae' nicely centred at the top of the first page. (What else can it be!)
Do not begin any statement with the word 'I'
Avoid using bright, eye-catching paper - red, pink, yellow, or green or a quaint font to print your resumé. It does not look attractive!
Do not tape or staple the resumé to the inside of the envelope so that it won't `fall out.' It can be very irritating!
Ensure the inclusion of address and telephone number on your resumé, and in case of a change of address do mention so but not by writing on the resumé or on the back of the envelope.
A clear, descripttive resumé puts you across as a good communicator. Be specific in what you need to tell to your potential employer.
A resumé is not just a document of credentials, it is the most powerful channel between you and your potential employer.
It should tell him everything that you want him to know about you without making it sound dull.
A resumé should cover everything about yourself that is relevant to the job on offer and just touch upon your skills in other areas.

As a professional you will be responsible for strategic decisions and activities, and it is imperative that your resume reflects this. Ensure that your resumé has the readability factor and is information packed.

Congratulations, you've just been offered the job!

Walking tall and standing apart
Curriculum Vitaes are a cinch!

EVERYBODY tells you to write a fresh Curriculum Vitae every time you apply for a job and to update it every couple of months, perhaps assuming that you will whip it out the moment a likely employer heaves to on the horizon. I can think of nothing more tedious than composing paeans about oneself month in and month out! However, over the years I have managed to develop a method that is nearly painless. One essential factor needs to be fixated in your mind. To make a CV readable and interesting, it must stand out from a crowd of CVs churned out by hundreds of other applicants. I’m not one for the Mission/ Vision/ Objective statements at the beginning. Everybody does that and it sounds so incredibly fatuous that as an avid CV scanner myself I find myself zipping through the rest with a cursory glance. You need to be clear, concise, and businesslike and put all that down in an attractive format that doesn’t jar the delicate sensibilities of the hiring authorities! To do this and to ensure getting your CV to the top of the heap you need to make certain you follow these pointers:

Getting it right

There are two types of CVs. One is ideal for professional butterflies who leap about from career to career with the occasional employment break. Hirers are, at least in India, not overwhelmed with long breaks in employment and the best way to downplay such breaks is to create a functional CV. In such CVs, you describe your skills in categories [Automobile engineer, institutional manager, finance professional] and list the designations you have had lower down. This provides a clear, unequivocal overview of what you are good at and how former employers valued your services. For those of you with steadier career paths, and whose employment gaps have been insignificant or non-existent a chronological CV is the best bet. In these, you list your jobs and the designation you held in reverse chronological order. The same format can be followed when you mention your educational/training background. This is the way dyed-in-the-wool HR functionaries like to see things, as they tend to be sticklers for form and tradition.


When you construct the chronological CV do make certain you describe your experience, education and skills telling the reader what it is that you have achieved thus far. Please remember that the functionaries that sift through the mounds of CVs that cross their desk like to make very light work of them. Therefore if they cannot immediately understand what you have to offer, they’ll summarily shred your CV. On the other hand if they are able to instantly see what they are looking for, the CV will make its way up the corporate ladder! You must understand that the average time for reading a CV is about a minute and a half, so if you fit the job, say so at the outset, or indicate it right upfront! While work experience precedes education, in the event you are applying for your first job, your education should be showcased first. Work experience or education; list them down in reverse order of chronology. Do not clutter a CV with details of your consuming interest in bee-keeping and the like, save it for when they ask you at the interview about your interests! I am often asked if CVs should talk about the division or class of educational qualifications. There is no hard and fast rule about this but if your scraped through, waxing eloquent about your division may not further your case too far, on the other hand, you might like to mention the fact that you received a gold medal or a merit scholarship if in fact you actually did. A top performer can usually be depended upon to be consistent and is generally a safe bet with any employer. If you haven’t been formally employed as yet, it may not be a bad idea to list down any relevant experience you may have in the functional area required. This could be in social service you may have undertaken at sometime during school or college. Computer skills are another nice thing you might like to include, and if you have written articles for a paper or anchored a TV show, do mention it. Language skills are a major draw, so you may like to mention them too.

The Look and Feel

We have talked above of the way a good CV needs to be organised to be noticed, but if it even looks tatty, the busy HR executive will not give it the time of day! Bottom line? It has to be attractive and spending time on formatting will pay dividends.

The Format: Lotus SmartSuite and MSWord have CV templates. While they are attractive and do present the material well, please remember that hordes of other applicants will have thought of that too, and in using them reduced your CV to the boring sameness that will tire the person who looks at it. It is normal human tendency to assume that a similar looking document has the same contents, so if the screening executive sees a dozen similar formats, he is likely to give yours a cursory glance instead of the attention it deserves. This does not mean that you embellish your CV with fancy fonts and colourful pictures and graphics! Simple and easy-to-read should be the effect to strive for. Do not be too lavish with bold print and avoid italics as far as possible. Bulleting is a good way to make a list but keep it simple and do not fall into the trap of having a varied series of them. Pointing fingers, graphic arrows and check marks are best avoided.

The Paper: This is important if you need hard copies of your CV. Today, despite many Indian corporations going electronic, HR departments still prefer having their records on paper. To be noticed, your CV needs to be ‘good-to-the-touch’. This does not mean that you etch your CV on beaten silver but the quality of paper matters. Go in for thickish executive bond paper (75 gauge) or, better still, royal executive bond (100 gauge) that looks great and takes computer printing excellently. Avoid writing your CV or typing it out on a manual typewriter. This is passé and will not get a second glance. Please remember that your CV, cover letter and the envelope should match, since these are often clipped together when ‘moved up’ the HR ladder. I have always felt that paper that is not pure white attracts more attention, so using ivory or cream textured paper will at least cause your CV to stand out from the motley pile. Besides, print stands out well on ivory and cream.

Fonts: If your CV needs to go in soft copy form, remember that some e-mail packages may not recognise your choice of font. They may even insist on text font CVs that will play havoc with all your careful planning. The font must necessarily be plain and easy to read. The size should not be larger than 12 points except for the header, which includes your name. These can be bold as well. The best read fonts are Arial, Tahoma or any other uncomplicated sans serif font that will come out much better if they are scanned or faxed as they are likely to be when your CV moves up to the next level. Avoid Times New Roman or Lucida Handwriting. Even sans serif fonts like Comic Sans are not recommended.

The Meat of the Matter

Having ensured that your CV looks good and is well organised we come to the meat of the matter – what to put in it so that it holds the attention of the people who will read it.

The Long and Short of it: If you are a fresher or a person with about 5-10 years of experience, keep your CV down to a single page. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned professional with 15+ years of service some of them in senior positions keep it to two pages at the outside. For one thing it is quick to read and if the salient points are clear, it is all that is required. It is not a bad idea to have a detailed CV saved on your system from which you can cut and paste as required to suit the job profile for which you are applying.

Proactive Prose: Grammar sometimes needs to be modified to suit the need. Start descripttive sentences with active verbs like ‘Advised the Managing Director’ or ‘Supervised the conduct of the session’ or ‘Trained new entrants’ etc., This gives an impression of activity and high energy. Even something like ‘Exclusively responsible’ will catch the eye. This advice may not thrill grammarians, but hey, you’ve got to get that tired HR executive to take notice, right?

Figure it right: If you need to quote numbers or percentages or statistics, do so. Nothing catches the attention like a series of figures. There seems to be a magic associated with numbers that fascinates often even if the numbers are not substantiated in the text. For some reason, people generally feel that numbers cannot lie so by association the text that accompanies the numbers must be worth reading too!

If you have managed to incorporate all the suggestions above, your CV must be really something that will aid your immediate employment! You can be reasonably certain that it will be read and with interest that may prompt them to call you for an interview. Once there, you will have the task of living upto the standard of your CV, so stick to the truth and memorise everything so that you aren’t caught off guard when they ask you about an entry in the CV. Never forget to carry an extra hard copy of the CV when you go for the interview.