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May 24, 2021

Looking for Your First Job? How to Write the Perfect Resume

You have successfully completed your degree and cannot wait to begin your career after graduation. As we always know that the beginning is the most important part of the work. To start your journey in the job-hunting process, you first need to put together an ideal CV that can then be tailored for every job application you answer.

Give a title

Begin your CV with a title (Not Curriculum Vitae or Resume!). This should be as simple as your name, followed by your contact information below it. Hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile, limit your address to only the town or city, state and/or country you live in. Provide only one contact number.

Provide an objective

This is relevant to freshers and those without any full-time work experience. Your objective should not be a vague motivational goal but about the role or organization, you are looking to work in. For freshers looking for career options after B.Tech, the objective can be, “Looking for an entry-level opportunity in application/product development where I get to utilize my technical and analytical skills.” The objective can be tailored to fit the role or designation you are applying for. Many big companies make use of Applicant Tracking Systems that scan your CV for keywords the company is looking for before someone actually views it, so it is important to keep changing your objective to match the post you are applying for.

Format it for clarity

Your resume should be clutter-free and easy to scan by ATS or HRs shortlisting hundreds of applications. When choosing a font, make sure the size is not less than 11 points. Avoid italics and underlines. Don’t add any symbols or quotations. Do not put any data in tables or charts. While it may be easy to read, some ATS might not be able to scan the text presented in tables or charts. Your resume should not be longer than two pages. Save your resume in Word or PDF format.

Make it suitable for skimming

Use headings to separate and introduce information about qualifications, skills, experience, technology and awards. Your resume should highlight your core skills and achievements. This includes internships or group projects, any team-building activities, or any festivals you participated in or won in. For this, it is important to have had a good extra-curricular background in college.

Do something in your life to make good things happen, you will fill yourself with hope.

If your college did not have many such activities and you feel that you are lacking in important job-ready skills, then it might be best to sign up for short-term courses to get a job. Lasting from 3 months to a year, such courses give you live or classroom projects to work on along with training in communication building and job-specific technology. Some job programs like HCL First Careers also assures job to those who successfully clear the program.

Use keywords to pass the ATS filter

With large multinational and software companies relying on ATS to sort through resumes received in the first call to job applications, it is wise to use the specific keywords that the employer is looking for. Before uploading or sending your resume in answer to a job post, look up the job description and requirements and jot down the nouns they use to describe what they are looking for. These nouns could include everything from the job title (which you can add to your objective) to soft skills, profession-specific skills and software familiarity. This will help you add things you missed out in your resume. The ATS scores your resume on the keywords in your resume that match with the employers. If you feel there are many things missing from your skill set, then invest time in developing them through job-oriented courses for graduates. Time is still in your hands and it will be best for your career progress.

Run a spell check

You are likely to have typos and unintentional grammar mistakes in your resume. This will not only make a bad first impression but can also result in keywords not being scanned by the ATS, and you being rejected in the first round. Use spell-check tools on Word or online to make sure your grammar and sentence construction are correct and convey your meaning clearly. It’s best to read the resume out loud, slowly, so that you catch any errors the spell-check tool may have missed. Another tip is to read the document backward as it helps easily missed errors jump out.

Additional: It’s always best to explain any career or education gap in your CV. Simply provide the year of break and a short reason next to it. For example, “Jan 2020 – Jan 2021: Gap year/traveling/sabbatical.” You can always provide more information on it in your interview.

Your resume is the very first thing a prospective employer can see. While it is not the last or only way to create a positive impression, it gets you in the door of the company of your choice. Draft a distinctive and clear resume, and you will lock the chance of getting an interview where you can prove yourself further.

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” —Norman Vincent Peale

Vineet Tandon
about author

Vineet Tandon has over 18 years of corporate experience and has held marketing function across organizations like FICCI, Business Standard, Centum Learning and Oracle Corporation. He currently heads marketing & talent branding for New Vistas vertical of HCL Technologies. He is also India’s First & Only Musical Motivational Speaker, Author, Podcaster and a Columnist. Vineet Tandon

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