Resume is a key marketing tool in promoting your services. Most resumes fail because they
- Fail to highlight achievements.
- Fail to use action verbs and uses ordinary phrases without being results oriented and credible.
- Markets him/her as just a techie (not as a well-rounded candidate) .
- 5-7 pages packed with irrelevant and trivial information fulfilling HIS/HER needs NOT the employer’s needs.
- Starts with “responsibilities included” in many places.
- One size fits all resume. The same resume is emailed or reprinted as required. This is wasting an opportunity to present you in the best possible way.
- Important information is scattered throughout the pages in the resume.
- Starts with a standard format:
- Leaving out the objective, especially, if you are a novice or making a career change.
- Elaborate career objectives.
- Education details listing every course details and certificates.
- Employment history listing every trivial and non related task.
- Large skills list and failing to include relevant and highly sought after skills.
Comparing Ordinary Resume versus Outstanding ResumeIneffective resumes result in prolonged job searches, and very often, lower salary offers. It can also negatively impact your self confidence. When people get a poor response to an application, they think that they are the problem, but fail to think that their resume could be the problem. If you really stop to think what monetary benefits an effective resume can bring, you will be motivated to put the extra effort.
Ordinary Resume: Markets you just as a techie. What really is the big deal in being a Java guru if you cannot understand how the business works and how you can contribute to add value?
Outstanding Resume: Markets you as a well-rounded Java/JEE professional with both technical and non-technical skills. Technical skills alone can be easily replaced, but not good technical skills complemented with good non-technical skills. This is very important point not only from your resume perspective to impress your prospective employer, but more importantly, from your career progression, surviving layoffs, and probation period perspective.This becomes even more essential if you want to find your next job via networking.
Ordinary Resume: Uses ordinary phrases without being results oriented and credible. Example: Performance tuned a Java/JEE based application.
Outstanding Resume: Uses perfect phrases in a clear and concise manner that emphasise your skills and highlight your accomplishments for potential employers. Example: Re-architected, refactored and performance tuned a Websphere and JEE based online insurance application, which previously came down almost daily, became a true 24x7 application.
Ordinary Resume: 5-7 pages packed with irrelevant and trivial information fulfilling YOUR needs NOT the employer’s needs.
Outstanding Resume: 2 - 5 pages depending on how much relevant experience you have clearly addressing prospective employer’s needs and nicely formatted (i.e. easy on the eyes and easy to read) resume highlighting your key strengths and skills with achievements.
Ordinary Resume: Starts with “responsibilities included” in many places. Example: My responsibilities included development, design………
Outstanding Resume: Replaces “responsibilities included” with on the job accomplishments. Fill your resume with SAR phrases. SAR stands for Situation-Action-Results. For example:Refactored inefficient code in a test driven manner to make it more maintainable and reusable.
Ordinary Resume: One size fits all resume. The same resume is e-mailed or reprinted as required. This is wasting an opportunity to present you in the best possible way.
Outstanding Resume: Resume is made relevant to the position you are applying for E.g. senior developer, architect, team lead, etc. Resume can also be tailored to industry or domain specific like finance, insurance, retail, telecom, software house, etc. It does not take much long to produce customized resumes based on the job specification.
Ordinary resume: Important information is scattered throughout the pages in the resume.
Outstanding Resume: Important information is in the first page. Unless you impress the prospective employer in the first page, he or she may not read your remaining pages. If you are a seasoned professional, then draw on your hands on Java/JEE experience. If you have little or no experience, then draw on your academic qualifications, certifications, contribution to open-source projects, self-taught projects, part-time jobs, community projects, university projects, assignments, etc.
Tip: Don't name your resume document as just resume.doc. It makes sense to you, but when the recruiter goes through 100+ resumes, you need to name it more specifically. For example, arul-java-jee-5year-exp-resume.doc. The best tip I can give is, when you write a resume, always put yourself in prospective recruiter's shoes.
The second best tip is that if first page of your resume is not attractive enough with your accomplishments, it is most likely that your resume will not be read further. Most resumes just have a laundry list of duties. For example, my responsibilities included ...... This is not a way to write stand-out resume.
Here are some more tips on writing an effective resume: Handy resume or CV tips