Resume tips: In search of a perfect resume

Everyone wants a perfect resume – something that captures the attention of guys at the other end and does magic in form of an invite for meeting.

You may have had people asking for advice:

  • What format or template should be used?
  • Should I use the color and graph type modern template or a simple template with two tables?
  • Should my resume contain my photograph?
  • How long should a good resume be?
  • What is the level of detailing expected for my past experiences?
  • Should I place my high school scores / grades, etc.

There may be many more related questions that come across at times.

Some thoughts on the above, and general advice on matters of a perfect resume. This should be applicable to most scenarios.  

  1. Templates don’t matter. Content is important. Presentation and readability of the document is important. The perfect resume needs to have a proper sequence and structure – start with an objective, present the content in a logical manner. Ensure simple clear formatting – alignment, spacing, font size. Ensure that the document has no spelling – grammar mistakes. Don’t take inspiration from Govinda’s dress code while selecting fonts, font sizes and colors. Photograph is optional. Mostly not needed. Some employers may request for the same.
  2. Length of a resume: No one wants to read your autobiography. Just like most of us – recruiters, hiring managers, and others involved in hiring process – have limited attention span. It would be wonderful if you can make a crisp document in one or two pages. If there is more to your life and work that can’t be captured in two pages – let these one-two pages give the essentials and append a story book separately in case someone wants to dig deep. This may be an option for PhD types with a strong body of work and not for managers. Making a one to two page resume does not imply that you outsmart the world with a font size of 5 or 6. That will impact content density, readability – and I am sure , you don’t want to torture those reviewing your resume. And please don’t paste yours or your bosses job description. 
  3. About detailing of experiences, degrees, grades. Look for only the essentials that may be relevant for your job. Include experiences that highlight your achievements, and capability, and size of work handled, span of control, decision making authority, etc. Grades ideally cease to be of relevance once you start your first job – unless you are looking for an academic career or one that specifically asks for grades.

If the above gyan is too much of an overload, head to MS Word, check out the good looking one page resume template, and fill in your experience, etc. Use nice words. Ensure that spelling, grammar is fine. Done.

Praveen Mishra

Praveen is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Khedge Business Consulting Pvt Ltd. He works with organisations in areas of business strategy and human-resource management. Over the last 15 years he has helped various organisations with their HR processes, structure, alignment and effectiveness; and talent strategy and processes. You can connect with him at praveen@khedge.com. 

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