“The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story of what you want to be, but it is a story of who you want to be “– Oprah Winfrey.
When you look at the resumes presented by fresh graduates you will be surprised by the format and layout used one will think the resume was written by the parent of the applicant, graduates still use formats of the 80s. Universities and colleges are not doing enough to guide them through the job hunting process and not gearing them with relative tools or expertise. When young professionals join employment they do not update their resume to show change in their professional experience and end up using the same resume to apply for jobs.
The following tips shared will be able to guide young professionals to update their resume to a powerful tool to market themselves and advance their professional growth.
1. Basics tips: Ensure that the document is not in pdf format, your picture is not necessary, avoid using colours, mention relevant hobbies only, avoid typo and spelling mistakes, use uniform fonts and when you decide to use a template tailor make the template to suit the job opening you are applying for. Try to make it fit in one page, do not highlight anything and do not lie.
2. Professional Statement: At this level of you career you have some basic experience in form of internship and employment. You should have a professional statement rather than a career statement. Career statement is mostly for those you who are still in college. The professional statement summarizes what you will bring to the organisation and it should have keywords which are mentioned in the job description, roles and responsibilities of the open position you intend to apply for. The professional statement is the focal point that most recruiters read before dismissing a resume. This is the centre piece of your resume, it should mention your objectives, strong traits and experience. Give the statement a professional title i.e. Experience Sales or Operations Executive
3. Education: You should always start with your current academic achievement mention the college, years and degree. It is not necessary to mention you grades or course breakdown. Remove your primary and secondary education, they have been overtaken by events.
4. Professional Qualification: You should mention your current certifications and training starting with current achievement. This shows your technical competence and never exaggerate any information. Whatever you quote here you should know it well as there is a high chance that you will be asked about it to confirm your knowledge during an interview.
5. Experience: This should start with your current job or attachment. You should clearly mention the post, organization and the period and be followed up by breakdown of the roles, responsibilities, who you report to and who reports to you during the mentioned period. This clearly gives the level of accountability that was entrusted on you while been employed.
6. Projects: In this section you should state the key project even if small that contributed to the development of the organization, school and community. Give a short concise description of the project. This section is to show your leadership skills and major achievements. If possible you should mention numbers i.e. how many children the voluntary project served, how much the project contributed to cost saving etc.
7. Awards: Mention the awards or certificates that you achieved during schooling and employment – like Dean’s list, best employee and certificate of appreciation etc. This section elaborates commitment and resilience skills.
8. Referees: Never use the statement “Referees to be given upon request”, as you will be giving an impression that you are holding back something. The minimum number should be three. The information should state the name, title, organization, address, e-mail and contact number. For a fresh graduate it should be your supervisor at college, mentor and an independent person who knows you well but not a relative, it could be someone in an organization where you did attachment or voluntary work. For a junior professional it should be your current supervisor followed by your previous one or your college supervisor. This list is never static it should be updated regularly.