Careers

How to make a good resume

While it’s never easy to pour out into a limited amount of space, information and qualifications that make up your resume, it is definitely something that ought to be executed skilfully. Photo: S. Subramanium  

If you’re someone who is done with your studies and are waiting to put your knowledge to some practical use, or someone who is looking for a career change, the first thing you do is either whip up a resume or update one.

While it’s never easy to pour out into a limited amount of space, information and qualifications that make up your resume, it is definitely something that ought to be executed skilfully.

Keep it crisp

It is no longer just the generation of black ink on a couple of white sheets of paper that drone on about what you’ve done, what you will do and how you will do it. In this day and age, the two-page resume which you’ve put so much thought into runs the risk of getting rejected or completely ignored for being too stale or monotonous.

Therefore, it’s a good thing that many individuals, like yourself, have already begun thinking outside the box.

It is an accepted fact that people charged with the responsibility of scouring through scores of resumes have a very limited span of attention. Whether it’s your qualifications or past experiences, key information represented in short, neat and evenly spaced sentences makes a huge difference.

Not only is this style easy to read, you also contribute by saving up on the employer’s time even as they simultaneously learn more about you.


The ultimate goal, on any day, is how the roles that you play and the tasks that you carry out will help you grow as a professional and as an individual as well. You might be sure about what you expect to learn from a particular organisation, but the organisation itself will need to know how you can help the company grow and why you should be chosen instead of the competition.

If the section on your past experiences state that you’ve either led a team or handled a project solo, instead of only saying that you’ve done that, you could elaborate on the process and share the positive outcome. Not only does this imply that you’re capable of dealing with such assignments, it also gives a clear picture of how you can contribute.Setting aside your capabilities and accomplishments, sections of your resume that at times do end up seeming similar to a contenders’ resume, it is vital to share information that is exclusive to you alone. Be it a hobby, a talent or a work experience in a field far from what you’re pursuing now, this section equally contributes in putting you on a future employers’ radar, ultimately leading to an interview call.

It might be too harsh to make a decision based on first impressions. But, when it comes to hiring, one look is all it takes to decide if your resume, and ultimately you, are worth spending time on.

This brings us to the most interesting and creative part of putting together a resume. Today it’s all about colours, optimum usage of space, design, visuals and even the medium itself. From graphical representations to pie charts, crisp tri-fold brochures to animated illustrations, video resumes to resumes printed on actual fabric; there is no dearth of ideas.

While this certainly puts life into the tedious task of compiling a resume, it is important to first know your audience. Quirky resumes might appeal to certain types of organisations while they may be deemed as inappropriate by others.

Last but certainly not the least is the task of stopping yourself from talking any more about yourself. You might wonder if the information provided is solid enough to get you to the next round, and, honestly, this apprehension can never completely be abated.

One way to handle this situation would be to summarise the facts about yourself, your aspirations and what you can accomplish. There’s nothing like a prospective employee who can get to the point right from the start. You may start your resume with this summary or conclude with it. No matter what you choose, you are sure to come across as someone who doesn’t believe in beating around the bush.

Finally, it’s your capabilities and the creative effort you put in that will help you stand out and eventually score the position you desire.

The writer is the business development lead, Hellointern.com.


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 3:20:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/how-to-make-a-good-resume/article7569375.ece

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