Monday, Oct 23rd

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Resume Format for Freshers

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Most of us are confused about how a resume should be structured. Its also important as headings in a resume attract the most attention of recruiters and precise headings positioned properly, along with crisp bullets describing your role can go a very long way in creating that first impression.

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While it is very important to have a look at sample resumes when you are designing your own, it is equally important to structure your resume according to the position you are applying, your own life and achievements and highlighting your strong strengths over average ones.

An important point here - TRY TO BUILD YOUR RESUME IN UNDER 2 PAGES. Lengthy resumes bore recruiters and to be honest, who has the time!

There are numerous resume designs people adhere to, but it all depends on what points you want highlighted above everything else, and which points you want to highlight later on. We use 2 formats

  • Skills format (discussed here) and
  • Reverse Chronological format

For fresh graduates the Skills Format works best, as work experience history is minimal. This is also suitable for people entering the job market after a break, or for those who have had unsteady careers or gaps in their work (due to marriage or other issues). 

Skills Format

What we try to highlight here is the skill of the candidate. How much a candidate is capable of, what she/he can deliver and how much she/he can be relied upon.

  • The Resume should start with a brief profile of the candidate - 5-6 bullet points about yourself, your strengths.
  • An objective statement is not very necessary at this point.
  • This should be followed by the academic scores and University/College Name. (For the poor acad ones, this could come at the end; but keep in mind that HR guys WILL ask about your acads).
  • The next thing would be your skill set; the technical skills you have acquired. Try to segregate them in terms of Programming Languages, Operating Systems, Debuggers, etc. as recruiters are looking for specific skills at times. (We will have a look at some sample resumes later).
  • Follow this up with your college projects. But be brief and crisp. Let the recruiters know what you did, what the idea was and what technical skills were used. But, don't go overboard with half page descriptions. (Remember, 2 pages!!)
  • After the projects, start with your extra-curricular activities. (First co-curricular, then extra curricular)*. This is where you mention about your organizing skills and winning abilities. For the not so good acad candidates, this is where you mention your grades and then follow it up with your extra curriculars.
  • The Resume can be ended with a brief intro about your interests and hobbies.

Remember this is an entry level technical resume we are talking of here. For the non-tech guys or the techies appearing in banks and research companies, the resume would be tweaked a bit. We will discuss about that and the chronological format in the next article


*Co-curricular activities are related to your curriculum but not part of it. For e.g. a C\C++ programming contest you take part in is a co-curricular activity. You get a reward for it but no semester credits. Extra-curricular activities are completely separate from your course. Like any NGO related work or taking part in a cultural festival.

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