Jan 28, 2007

Resume Doctor

A friend of mine who works as a diversity training in the management development group of a large MNC sent me her resume to see if I could help her improve the document.

Due to reasons of confidentiality, I can't share her before and after resumes. However, these were the things I asked her to incorporate:

  • Don't mention your work email on your resume/CV. This friend has spent more than 4 years in her present organization. Her work email is the one she accesses most, however, whatever the reason, do not give your organizational email on your resume. It appears really unprofessional to the recruiter. (for more suggestions about email ids read this earlier post)
  • Next thing I suggested to her was either to customise her "professional objectives" to each position that she would apply for or, simpler, get rid of it altogether. Usually it sounds vague and does nothing to grab the attention of a recruiter.
  • She had described her work in the various roles that she had done as "achievements and responsibilities" and as another friend of hers remarked, "The resume is not a combination of your year end performance appraisal and job descriptions". I asked her to cut out her 'responsibilities'. Focus on what one achieved in the role, and if you have a choice, choose the most high-impact achievements. Write something that will make the recruiter or hiring manager ask you a question (and of course, that you can answer to the best of your ability :-))
  • I asked her to cut the resume length as much as she could into a two page resume. For that I was ruthless on her work experience earlier to the current organization. She had spent very less time (<>
  • The other changes I suggested were more in the kinds of word to use (action oriented and an active voice)
  • When one works for an organization, one often uses jargon that is understood within the organization. Be careful not to use words like that in your resume. If your organization calls the six sigma certification a "hexa-S" certification, then mention it as "six sigma" on the resume. And no. That's not misrepresentation.
Ultimately, a resume is a brochure, and it's purpose is to get the recuiter pick up the phone and call you for an interview. It is not a document for you to make philosophical or political statements (use your blog for that :-) or for telling people what sports you had played in middle school.

Read more on what AK Menon, who is a professional executive search consultant in India feels about what makes a good resume.