Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Importance of a Resume Objective

A great objective gives your resume the perfect start. Since it appears just after the personal details, it is the first significant section to be read by the recruiters. The impression that the objective makes sets the tune for how the rest of the resume would be perceived. A bland and dull objective may deter the reader from reading any further or taking much interest in what appears later. A vibrant objective on the other hand, gives a strong reason to delve deeper into the resume and to take the candidate more seriously.
The ideal objective
The ideal objective succeeds in encapsulating in 2-3 crisp sentences, how the expertise and ambition of the employee are in perfect harmony with the goal of the organization where employment is being sought. A well framed objective can answer that all important question that is asked to every employee during the interview session, “What are the reasons why we should hire you?” Therefore, knowing the vision of the organization and anticipating the expectations of the employers is the key to a winning objective.
Some important tips
Many people make the incorrect assumption that objectives are a way to express personal aspirations and values. Nothing could be farther away from the fact. Your objective must give the employers what they want to read. It is more about them than about your intentions and ambitions. If you are sending a resume to multiple companies, then it would be wise to write a unique objective for each of them which is in sync with the goals of that company.
Also, if you are making a career change, mentioning it in the objective is a great way to let the employers know about it. You would need to emphasize how the skills you have acquired would suit the new position you seek.
What to remember while framing an objective
  • Refrain from making it too long and risk sounding confusing, unreadable or just plain boring
  • Mention the job title or designation that you seek clearly in the objective so that there is no scope for any misinterpretation. If you have applied for different job titles, frame specific objectives for each of them
  • Avoid using the first person pronoun “I” as it sounds full of self importance. Keep the focus on the job profile and the expectations of the organization
Thus we may summarize saying that an outstanding objective begins by mentioning the job title you are interested in, the relevant expertise you would bring along with you and how you would blend perfectly with the goals of the company and contribute towards its success.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Format of a Smart Resume

Now that so much has been written about the fine nuances of effective resume writing it is time to turn to its practical aspects – the actual components that build a resume. A traditional resume includes 7-8 elements which together create an accurate profile of you, your skills and aptitudes, your qualifications and achievements. Based on the manner in which you construct each of these elements, the reader is going to slowly piece together an impression of the candidate. Therefore you have to ensure that you pack in as much positivity as possible in as smart and crisp a language as you can.
A resume consists of the following 7-8 elements:
  1. Personal Information: This comprises of your name address and contact numbers and should appear on top of the page where it can be easily found by your recruiters. Please remember that you do not have to include any titles like Mr/Mrs/Ms and only write your full name
  2. Objective: In this section, you need to mention in a sentence or two the post that you seek, your expertise and goals and how you would contribute to the vision of the company. A well worded objective can immediately raise the recruiter’s interest in your candidature. As far as possible, be careful not to use the first person “I”
  3. Summary: Here you have to write a brief overview of your experience, skills and achievements to attract the attention of your employers and retain their interest in reading your resume further. As it comes in the beginning of the resume, it is your best chance to get noticed
  4. Skills: This is an important section which has to be tailor made to suit the position sought. You could also make use of this section to place the important keywords that would help the online software to select your resume. Be sure to add the relevant skills and also include any rare and special attributes that you may have developed or acquired through experience or training
  5. Work Experience: Here you have to list your professional experience in reverse order, along with the dates, starting from the latest and going backwards to the earlier ones. However in order to avoid making it look like a mundane account of your previous work history, you should add measurable proof of your accomplishments. This lends credibility to your claims and gives a huge boost to your resume
  6. Education: This is the easiest section where you have to add details about your educational qualifications like degree, name of institution, grade and date. Here too you start with the most recent or the highest qualification and proceed to the lower ones. If you have any special certifications to your credit or have undertaken additional training, remember to include that as well
  7. Awards/Achievements: Any recognition or merit does wonders to your image and boosts your chances of turning the dice in your favor. It is important to keep in mind that you should only include those accomplishments that are relevant to the post you are applying for
  8. Affiliations (optional): Here you could add the names of any official club or organization that you might be an active member of. Although not mandatory, this could show that you are a person with broad interests and are a productive contributor to society
Being familiar with the accurate format of a professional resume makes your task of writing one that much easier. So go ahead and build an outstanding resume that flaunts your potential as best as possible!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

How About a Video Resume?

Video resumes are an attempt to go one step ahead of the conventional paper resumes by showing what the latter cannot – the overall personality of the candidate which includes language skills, appearance and style. The traditional 'text only' resumes manage to convey all the attributes, skills and qualifications that can be put on paper. However many candidates want to add the one factor to their resume that could prove to be their trump card – their charisma and their engaging public speaking skills.
What is a video resume?
A video resume is a three minute visual snippet recorded on camera where the candidate gives an overview of his/her expertise, interests and goals. This is then uploaded on the internet and can be sent to various companies along with the job application. Its USP is that the recruiters get to see the confidence, poise and personality of the aspirant helping to create a more powerful visual impact and generate a positive impression that it is more likely to turn the dice in his favour.
Although the idea of a video resume sounds appealing on the face of it, we recommend that you think it over from every perspective. It works well for a select category of people who have the ability to project their best self on camera. You need to honestly judge whether you are one of them.

What you should consider before opting for a video resume

  • How “camera friendly” are you?  It is a well established fact that not everyone possesses a ‘screen presence’. Most people are not their natural self on camera and appear either too stiff or over enthusiastic in an attempt to seem naturally spontaneous.  They would much rather prefer face to face interactions and be able to express and convey more through personal gestures like eye contact and body language. Therefore, for those who are just not cut out for an impersonal camera recording, the idea of a video resume should simply be shelved.
  • Cannot be easily customized: It would be quite absurd to make a separate recording to match the job profile of every position or organization that has been applied to. There is no option but to send one recording for all job requests which may not seem in sync with the goals and vision of the different organizations. A traditional resume on the other hand just needs some minor modifications to match it perfectly with the different job posts applied for.
  • Impossible to predict what the viewers want to hear: A video resume just presents one side of the coin, it tells only what the candidate wants to convey and that too in his own comfort zone. The viewers may not get the answers that they might be looking for and hence the video resume could appear uninteresting and stretch on endlessly as they wait to hear relevant information. They could then simply choose to turn it off unlike in conventional resumes where a quick scan is sufficient to give an experienced recruiter a fair idea of the candidate’s background.
  • No concept of keyword search:  A video resume cannot be accessed as easily as other online resumes that contain vital keywords, which allow the automated software to pick them.  It cannot be used to advertise your expertise or market your skills on the net. Therefore the scope of a video resume is extremely limited.
It is important not to follow a trend just because it seems the most fashionable thing to do. Weigh the pros and cons of a video resume, take into account your temperament and preferences, to arrive at the correct decision and make a resume that stands for the real you. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sifting through Resume Myths

While searching for tips on resume writing, don’t be surprised if you come across diametrically opposite advice. There are several approaches to building a resume and people may have different opinions which could  be totally contradictory. These conflicting points of view may confuse you especially if you are in urgent need of a professional resume and do not really have the time to sort out the facts.
 Well, our resume website answers all your doubts to give you reliable and expert advice about the dos and don’ts of resume writing. We have for you some popular resume myths along with the correct perspective that you should adopt. It will help you to discard the misleading assumptions about resumes and enable you to build one that is based on proven truths.

Let’s bust some popular resume myths

Myth: Its fine to make one generic resume to be sent to all the jobs applied for
Fact: Sending the same resume along with every application is like trying to fit each candidate into the same outfit. Taking the trouble to tailor your resume to suit the requirements, values and visions of the different organizations you have applied to, convey a sincerity and clarity of thought that recruiters find impossible to ignore. Therefore going that extra step to create a special resume for every application would surely reap rich dividends
Myth: Mention each and every job you have done till date
Fact: Relevance is the main attribute that recruiters value the most. Therefore even if you have an array of previous work experiences lined up, they would be of no use if they are not relevant to the post applied for. They would actually divert attention away from your resume. So ensure that your employment history is in tune with the post sought and as you progress in your designation, you could slowly start eliminating the earliest jobs from your resume.
Myth: You don’t need to include voluntary work in your resume
Fact: Voluntary or unpaid work conveys a great deal about your character and shows you to be a self motivated individual driven by selfless goals. If the honorary work happens to be connected to the job you are currently applied for, then it would surely be a huge boost to your candidature.
Myth: It’s the norm to include hobbies and interests
Fact: A resume is a professional document and it is important to make judicious use of the space available to you to project yourself in the best possible light. Mentioning casual hobbies which bear no relevance to your qualifications would not help brighten your chances in any way whatsoever. However if your hobby is in congruence with your profession then it would surely make sense to include it.
Myth: You could mention salary expectations
Fact: It is best to keep mum about your salary expectations in your resume as they may well work against you. If you quote too high, it could turn the recruiters away from your resume. On the other hand a lower figure could lead you to a job where you may end up getting underpaid. It is impossible to predict the figure that the employers have in mind so your best bet would be to evade the salary issue entirely in your resume.
Now that you know the resume myths you need to guard against, go on, let your better judgement prevail to help you write a flawless resume.

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