A resume is a document summarizing the professional qualities of a person. It highlights the skills, experience and the educational qualifications of a person. The purpose of a resume is to get shortlisted for an interview or a technical round, as the case may be. Writing a good resume is like getting half the job done through a good start.
A resume should not be confused with a Curriculum Vitae, the later being a much more detailed document that also includes certain personal information. Also, an ideal resume should not be more than 2 pages. If you want to make it more detailed, ensure there are good reasons for doing so. With increasing specialization and increasing use of the internet for recruitment, resume writing skills come at a premium and are increasingly sought.
In most professions, experience is more important than theory. To incorporate this fact while writing resume, mention your skills first, your experience later and educational qualifications after experience. This is because skills, though intangible in a certain way, are the most sought after quality. These are acquired mainly through experience and secondarily through education and hence the recommended order of mentioning.
There are no hard and fast rules on what to write in skill column of resume format. However, there can be a few general guidelines:
Integrity: Ensure that you mention those skills that you genuinely possess. If you are not sure whether you possess a particular skill, consult an unflattering friend or colleague. You can even ask yourselves the same question after taking your ego or inferiority complex out of the thinking process Depth: As mentioned before, skills are an intangible area that is not easy to grasp. Therefore, you can do well to not go to unnecessary depths. Just mention things like “good communication skills”, or “team player”, “love for detail”, “good in working with people” etc. Relevance: Ensure that the skills you mention are relevant to your field. If you are seeking a management position and are good as a dispute resolver or resource allocator, mention it. If you are a physician and have good persuasion skills, mention it If the nature of your field is such that it requires certain additional skills that are an added benefit, acquire and then mention them. For e.g. if you are working as a design engineer and have completed certifications in computer software needed in drafting, mention it.
Recruiters do not read the entire resume. They concentrate on the important aspects and go for short listing. If you can get the sequence of the content in the resume correct and be concise, more than half the job will be accomplished. Of particular importance is the skills section, because that provides the recruiter with insights on your compatibility with the vacant position.