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When the unemployment is at its peak and demand-supply ratio is tilted in favor of the employer, it seems everybody is out to clinch the one job opening. Resume is the first interaction you can have with your perspective employer. As the number of applicants per job goes high the resume or CV becomes the first criteria for an employer or the recruitment agency to shortlist a candidate. How to write the perfect resume is a question which haunts many. People often opt for a professional resume writing services. However, I strongly feel that’s not needed, with a little effort you only can write the best resume for yourself. The purpose of this article is to guide you to write the best resume for yourself.
The process begins with identifying the correct word processor my suggestion would be the Microsoft Word, for its features compatibility and reliability. Save your resume as “.doc” that’s the format employers still prefer due to wide compatibility. Chose file name as your name and job capacity like “Martin Jones Project Manager.doc”.
Below are the further points to guide you to a perfect resume or CV:
Language: A resume is also a representation of your communication acumen make sure it has no grammatical or spelling errors. Use simple and good English, a too fancy language may put off the managers.
Name and contact details: Keep your name centered in a font bigger than rest of text. The contact details should follow the name in bold but in size of remaining text.
Logos: Any professional logos like a Microsoft Certified logo can be placed alongside the name or you may put them to headers
Format and layout: Use standard fonts and give a proper layout. Keep the font size to 10 or 11. Bold the headings. Recommended fonts are Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana. Keep everything in text; avoid tables use text in tab format. Keep everything justified.
Divide your resume into sections: Generally a resume should have following seven sections:
Summary |Certification / Awards and Honors related to your profession |Technical Skills |Professional Experience | Education | Other Information (awards recognition apart from professional / Hobbies etc.)
The order changes to some extent depending on your level of experience and nature of work.
Like if you are a fresh college graduate or at entry level with two-three years of experience or say you have freshly acquired an MBA or Master’s and have returned to job market after an academic gap the Education goes up to the slot after Summary. Hence the order changes to:
Summary | Education | Certification / Awards and Honors related to your profession | Technical Skills | Professional Experience | Other Information (awards recognition apart from professional / Hobbies etc.)
Let’s get into the details of each section and how they should be crafted.
Summary: The first impression is important and summary is first part of your resume. A summary should be created in bulleted points and should contain all your professional and academic highlights. The starting line of the summary should be such to capture the whole essence of the resume here is an example (for a Java developer) – “Sun certified Java developer with over 8 years of experience working with clients like Nike, Home Depot, Fannie Mae, Toyota Motors, and AT&T etc.” Writing something like IT professional instead of the Java Developer would divert the emphasis so why not let the spotlight focus at the right place. The whole idea is to be as precise as possible, focus on your experience & on your core skills, include points that talk about any niche skill you worked on, any achievements you had while on your projects, any on job promotion or anything which you feel a perspective employer might find of value on your resume.
Certification / Awards and Honors related to your profession: Put in all your professional certifications and awards in this section.
Professional / Technical Skills: Put all your technical, software / hardware skills in this section. Include every skill that you are familiar with. Segregate skills in groups and label them, like for an IT person, Operating system come under one head, the programming languages under one, any tools in one group.
Here is a sample:
•J2EE: EJB, Servlets, JMS, JSP, JSF, Spring, Hibernate, JDO, MDB and JDBC
•Web Technologies: XML, XSL, DTD, HTML, DHTML, Java Script
•Programming Languages: Java, JSP, VB, ASP, Crystal Reports, Java Script, RPG/400, CL/400, DB2/400, and C.
•DBMS: Oracle 10g and 9i, SQL Server
•Messaging: MQ Workflow Client 3.6, MQSeries, JMS
•Operating Systems: HP-Unix, Sun-Solaris, Windows XP/NT/2000, OS/400
•Application Servers: Websphere, Weblogic , Internet Information Server
•Tools: Netbeans, Eclipse, Subversion, CVS, RAD6, WSAD, MKS, JBuilder, Visual Age, ANT, MKS, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, Microsoft Web Application Stress Test Tool.
Professional Experience: This segment of your resume carries the most important information and hence should be most elaborate. All your assignment should be mentioned individually with detailed job responsibilities arranged in a chronological fashion. Start with the client/ company name, your job title and exact month and year you worked on it. Give the project name and a 2-3 lines description on the project. Finally put in your job responsibilities in bulleted points, mention whatever you did, each tool you used and in what capacity. It’s also a better idea to key in the technical environment of the project after or before the job responsibilities.
Here is a sample:
Goldman Sachs, New York (NY)
“Senior Developer /Architect“
Project: GSAM Compliance Tools & Maintenance
December 2007 – Present
Description: GSAM compliance IT is a division of Goldman Sachs which caters the needs of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Compliance group. This comprises of almost 18-20 tools most of them web based. These are used to consume upstream data like trades, intraday positions etc, and are used by Compliance for monitoring and raising IFAs.
• Responsible for maintenance and interacting with business user for 5 web based tools namely Positions Browser, Transaction Browser, Sentinel (Rule checks), EMT (Exception management tool) and Smartex (Employee Pre clearance tool for outside account trades).
• Responsible for developing use cases, class and sequence diagrams for the modules using UML and Rational Rose 2000.
• Developed in J2EE (JSP, Struts) using Eclipse and Jboss Webserver using MVC Design framework
• Wrote deployment descriptors like struts-config, validation files and web.xml.
• Involved in design and hands on development of Hibernate persistence design framework components
• Implemented Persistence layer using Hibernate with annotations.
• Involved in database design and writing Sybase SQL queries, triggers, and stored procedures and invoking them from Components.
• Sybase 12.5 and SQL Server 2005 databases are used as backend.
• Writing shell scripts to consume upstream data and configuring autosys jobs.
• Design of upstream data consumption and architecture of Smartex Employee Pre clearance vs trade IFAs.
• Used design patterns like DAO, DTO and Business Delegate, MVC.
• Mentoring junior developers, Weekly Status updates to Business User.
• Involved in Analysis, Design and Implementation/translation of Business User requirements
• Estimation and work scheduling to junior developers.
Environment: Java 1.5, UML, Jboss, Sybase 12.5, SQL Server 2005, Struts, Hibernate, JDBC, JSP, Servlets, HTML, Unix, Shell Scripting, DBArtisan, Eclipse.
Education: You simply need to put in details of your educational qualifications. Mention the course, college, year of passing. If you’ve multiple degrees put them in bulleted points.
Here is a sample:
• Master of Business Administration(MBA), Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA in 2002 with Concentration in Marketing and General Management.
• Master of Science in Physics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA in 1997 with Concentration in the area of Biophysics and Inorganic Biophysical Chemistry. Thesis: Mossbauer Spectroscopy of the Kinetics of Ferritin.
• Bachelor of Science in Physics(Major:Physics; Minor:Mathematics), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.
Other Information: This section should be used to highlight any non professional associations like a membership to an elite club or sportsmanship associations or any volunteer work for non-profit organization.
With these guidelines I’m sure you would be able to create the perfect resume for yourself without any professional help. Make sure you do not miss to include anything which you’ve done or any tool which you’ve used. Be honest, never lie or exaggerate, a highly exaggerated resume may get you to the interview stage but what beyond that?
Important: Recruiters often do a keyword search to find resumes, there may be several ways to mention a particular skill, there keyword search often misses out on some of them. To get the best results mention a skill in all possible ways at one or other point in your resume with proper version of the tool or skill. For example: “Microsoft SQL Server 2005”, “MS SQL Server 2005”, or “MS SQL 2005”.
Best of luck on your job search…!