Making An Effective Resume
A well-drafted and nicely structured resume speak volumes about your personality. Although a resume is generally a non-obligatory part of the application, it gives an opportunity to the student to highlight their past successes and accomplishments and effectively showcases their endowments and abilities. Resume gives a platform to an applicant to talk about their projects, courses, work experience, co-curricular and extracurricular activities. As resume is not a compulsory document for many of the universities, one must make sure that all important facts are stated in their SOP and LORs.
Important features of your Resume:
1. Purpose of your resume: The purpose of your resume is to form that initial good impression that would have a lasting effect on the minds of the admission committee. Your resume must have an eye appeal and must kindle interest in the admission committee to know more about you. It must construct a positive image for you and make you come across as a person with well-organized personality, high integrity and high standards.
2. Content: Content of your resume must always be customized according to the university and the course applied for. Just blindly sending a standard format with all your applications may look like an easy way out but may weaken the possibilities of your resume being noticed. Create a model resume and tailor it according to universities applied to. Always keep updating your resume as and when you acquire any new skill set or gain fresh experience.
3. List your achievements: You are selling yourself before the admission committee and always remember to put your best foot forward. Resume is much more than a simple bio-data. Remember while talking about your achievements do not go over the top using high-sounding technical jargon. Rather than using words such as meticulous, imaginative and hardworking, try and quantify these qualities with examples of your work by including accomplishments which highlight your abilities and portrays an all-inclusive image.
4. Length: Ideal length of a resume is one page and in any case should not exceed two pages. You must take care to put the important information first and be able to creatively put all the facts in the least possible words. The challenge is to put only relevant and helpful information and not make it look like a story.
5. Fonts: Fonts should be readable but not very big. You can stick to standard Times New Roman, or Arial and font size could vary from 11-12 points.
6. Language: It is wise that you write your resume in simple Business English and try not to amaze your employer with your verbose language. Try and avoid using slang and jargon. Always write the full form, no sms lingo and abbreviations.
7. Right text and space balancing: Make sure your resume does not look overfilled. In a bid to accommodate more text in fewer pages, you may try to decrease the font size to 10. Please remember proper text and spacing balance are very important. This only makes your resume look tidy; it also increases the legibility and clarity of your resume.
8. Structure: Your resume must be structured very carefully and look logical. Information should not be dispersed but should make sense and should be sequentially presented. One must be able form an overall impression by just having a fleeting look at your resume.
9. Formatting: Your text should always be equidistant from left and right margins. Always use wide margins and consistent format. Neat typing and clear heading are indispensable in making a resume readable. In order to highlight important information and swiftly guide readers eye to the text, apply bold and italic typeface to the particular text. Always use sub-headings and bullets to bring out important information such as accomplishments. Refrain from using first-person pronoun in your resume. Avoid using flashy background and images on your resume to make it look more impressive. You must never make it look gaudy with colored pages or decorative fonts. Make sure to keep some white space between paragraphs and ensure that the margins are not very thin. Choose the layout carefully and ensure that it remains steady all through.
10. Proof Reading: The admission committee is going to glance your resume and take less than ten seconds to size you up. You have very little time to win over them and, therefore, be on guard not to commit any grammatical errors. Proofreading your resume is as important as drafting it. Watch out for consistency, grammar and spellings before you send it out.
11. No false information: Lying about your credentials and achievements is a complete no-no under any circumstances. It is not only unethical but is also unlawful to furnish wrong information and facts.
12. No unnecessary personal information: Your personal data ought not to be mentioned in your resume. Your picture, weight, height, marital status and date of birth have got nothing to do with the admission committee’s decision of taking you in.