Writing an Impactful Resume
Writing an Impactful Resume is an Important skill that needs to be mastered by everyone in order to get recognized for an appropriate job. In order to get identified as a promising professional and receive interesting offers to work in reputed organizations, one must ensure that they create a resume that is meaningful and interesting in a manner that an employer feels immediately impressed by looking at it in one single glance. In order to make an impactful resume, one must understand and prioritize the information that needs to be included in their resume and which information can be easily ignored/eliminated from the resume. Let us first understand the process involved in making an impactful resume by understanding what a resume essentially comprises of.
What is an Impactful Resume?
An impactful resume is a document that represents the different skills, competencies and experiences inherent to an individual. It also represents the overall characteristics of an individual and how is one’s personality in an overall sense. Therefore, the resume could be inferred to be a personal advertisement of an individual that covers everything from their educational qualifications, work/professional experience, acquired skills, overall personality traits and characteristics. The information in a resume is arranged in a manner that should speak for itself in a manner that one is mirroring an image of the individual in front of themselves.
While it is important to stay transparent and completely honest about one’s experiences and internships, one must also not attempt to include every single bit of information about themselves in a resume.
Let us understand some important rules in order to write an impactful resume.
Rules to Write an Impactful Resume: Do’s and Don’ts
- It is essential to understand that one must not go overboard as a matter of describing their skills and competencies in their resume. One must observe concision and briefness in their description of their skills.
- While explaining the key responsibilities and duties of your work experience and internships, one must manage to explain the key points of importance rather than explaining every small bit of the work executed.
- Never lie or boast about possessing any skill or experience that you have not acquired or are accustomed to. This might appear superficial but it might affect one’s overall impression at workplace, especially if one has been hired on the basis of claiming to have the relevant experience/skill.
- Use power words in your resume that might make a difference such as “conceptualized”, “executed”, “formulated”, “facilitated” rather than simple verbs.
- Use bullet points/numbering lists to describe your work experience or key aspects of any event relevant to your job profile to avoid adding irrelevant information.
- Ensure that you update your resume every now and then, by including each new internship, certification, honor and awards that you must have received/pursued before turning in your application for any new job/internship.
- Understand the key differences between each category such as educational qualifications, honors and awards, campus involvement, volunteering, publications and work experience. Do not include information in each of these categories by randomly dividing your skills and experiences.
- If you face issues in organizing your resume in an overall sense, consult a trusted professional such as college counsellors, college/school professors with whom you are closely associated.
- Double-check each qualification with the start date and end date and do not make any spelling or grammatical errors.
- Do not use fancy templates or different colors in your resume. Employers are not looking to see how much efforts you made while making your resume.
- Stick to a particular formatting style throughout your resume. Do not interchange text position, font size as well as font style.
- There are certain font sizes and font types that are universally accepted across organizations and universities for college applications. These include a font size ranging between 12 to 16 and larger font sizes such as 18 or 20 for your name. Acceptable font types include Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, Helvetica and Geneva.
- The name should be typed in bold and everything else apart from the key category headers should be in normal text without bold, italics or underlined formatting. Acceptable color alternatives to black text include dark shades of blue, but it is always recommended to use black font color throughout the resume.
- Do not mention your entire postal address in the resume, simply include name of city, state and country along with your postal code.
- The format of mentioning the timeline of start date and end date of educational qualifications, certifications or work experience should appear like this “first three letters of the month in capitals accompanied with the year and a hyphen separating the start date and end date in the same format. No words are allowed in the timeline apart from using “Present” as an exception in case one is pursuing the given role while applying for any other opportunity. Example: JUL 2022- OCT 2022/ JUL 2023- PRESENT.
- Include the telephone number that is used the most by you and are available directly on it when approached by any organization.
- Include the full name of the organizations you worked in along with location of city and country.
- The email address that you include in the resume should be professional including your name and a combination of numerals and should not have any fancy names or codes in it. The given email address should not be used for any personal communication processes or shared with anyone else apart from employers and educational institutions.
- Use desirable writing software to create your resume such as MS Word, Pages or LaTeX.
- An ideal resume should be of one or one and-a-half page length to the maximum, it should not exceed the given limit. No employer would want to invest time in reading lengthy resumes.
- Do not include all minor certifications and awards received during schooling or college education. Ensure to include those relevant to your existing skills and job profile.
- Any significant co-curricular activity pursued during college or before or after it should appear on the resume as a matter of showing skills such as leadership, teamwork, planning and execution, management as well as organization.
- Ensure that you build the timeline of your work/certifications/awards/publications in a descending order that reflects the most recent activity as the foremost with older ones succeeding it and the earliest appearing as the last in the category.
- Save your resume document in a PDF format. Never turn in or upload your resume or work profile documents in .doc or .docx formats to avoid getting edited by someone else.
Building an Impactful Resume
- Broaden your professional network by meeting new professionals and industry experts in your relevant career pursuit.
- Secure certifications and internships in your relevant field to build relevant skills and add experience to your profile.
- Attend online courses and workshops to unleash your potential to the maximum.
- Organise and facilitate college/school-led events to add in to the co-curricular activities aspect and gaining professional experience at the beginning of your career.
- Interact and work closely with faculty members and other teaching professionals at your institution to gain hands-on working experience in research and other aspects of your field.