This article is written by team RecruVia.
A Resume is your professional advertisement and writing a Resume is considered a life skill, rather than just another activity in your job search. It is meant to sell to the reviewer, what benefit you are to their organisation and why they should interview you. To make a good Resume, start by creating a master Resume. From there, synthesise for a shorter Resume. Take help by getting a dispassionate assessment of what you’ve written by another set of eyes (such as, your friend or mentor), and proofread your Resume enough number of times.
So how do you ensure that your CV is read?
- Your Resume should be short and impactful – Universally, it is a common and widely accepted practice to have a 1-page Resume. Many experts agree that a single-page Resume will suffice for every 10 years of experience[i]. A good Resume should communicate precisely and to the point.
- Your Resume should be well formatted versus good looking – It may seem trivial, but from the ease-of-reading perspective, some fonts stand out against others: Calibri, Georgia, Garamond, Arial or Helvetica are advisable. Generally, it is a good practice to choose a font size between 10 and 12. Line spacing and page layout should be judiciously prepared and not end up looking crampy.
- Make your Resume a very powerful advertisement – You would already know, that a reviewer only has 30 seconds[ii] to evaluate your Resume for further shortlisting. A crisp, focussed Resume demonstrates an ability to synthesise, prioritise, and convey the most important information about you.[iii] Essentially, your Resume should be able to tie together your experience and aspirations in one common theme.
- Align your ultimate purpose in your Resume; i.e., to get that interview – Resume making is a reflection exercise and helps you identify the scenarios and situations in which your performance was outstanding. When developing your Resume and describing your experiences, focus on your highest level of responsibility in the position, transferable skills that can be used across industries, such as leadership or communication and include your accomplishments. Emphasise ways you made a difference, took initiative, and how your role contributed to the larger goals of the group or organisation.
Five Keys to Meet your Goal
- Tell the organisation why you want to work there – Your keenness should resound in your Resume, which would make the reviewer want to more than just glance at it.
- Explain why you are qualified for that role – Customise your Resume to include only those roles that are best suited to the organisation.
- Tell them why you will be a good fit – Line it up with the organisation’s mission statement by including your hard skills as well as soft skills, specific interests, which accentuate/speak about your strengths or how they add value to you, as a professional etc.
- Be clear about your intentions – The reviewer should understand exactly what you bring to the table, which clearly sets the base for them wanting to interview you.
- Do, all of the above, concisely – The lesser the flowery language and use of adjectives, the greater the impact in terms of understanding unmistakably what you wish to convey. Short paragraphs, bullet points, precise sentences usually do the trick.
It is very important to include only that content, which you can talk about honestly and intelligently in an interview. Remember, every word counts. All your information should be up-to-date and quantifiable. Also, when uploading your Resume in a softcopy, it may be advisable to name the Resume as ‘first name_last name_company name’.
It is recommended to include the following, in your Resume:
- Your full name – Avoid using initials or just your first name (unless that’s your official full name).
- Distinct headings and sub-sections – A well set-out Resume directs the Recruiter to the relevant content which is well-structured under specific headings. Paragraphs are for a book, not a Resume.
- Your valid contact information –Make sure it’s there and complete in terms of address, contact number and a professional email address. Include your LinkedIn profile, preferably.
- Introduction/objective – It sets the initial impression about you, in the mind of the recruiter and should be able to communicate effectively (in one or two sentences), the number of years of your experience, industry domain you have worked for, technical skills and your personal strengths. For the legal sector, tailor it to the individual organisation by also including your interest in the legal sector, the firm or organisation, and the specific role, applied for.
- Professional experience – Don’t just list what you’ve done, instead, highlight your contributions and/or accomplishments and show the results achieved. For lawyers, it is very important that you mention your Bar admission and/ or memberships.
- Education – Focus on what is relevant to the organisation and be honest about your grades. Omission may lead to lesser chances for that interview call.
- Other experience or interests – Make sure these have a point by delving deeper into the organisation’s profile, so that it matches up with the organisation’s structure to make you a suitable fit. Examples would include: Pro bono work, volunteering, leadership programmes, etc. Include real interests, as opposed to aspirational hobbies.
- Technical skills/ certifications – Use this section only if it’s relevant. The callous use of “proficient in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel” are not looked at kindly in today’s legal sphere.
Resume Fails – Common Problems in Resume Writing
- A meaningless introduction
- Trying to use one Resume for everything
- Not considering the specific company/role in your objective or summary
- Being too general
- Putting your key information on the third page instead of first
- Listing tasks without results
- Just listing your duties and roles instead of accomplishments and results
- Too much information
- Catch phrases-filled objective or summary statement
- Missing/incorrect contact information
- Using multiple font types
- Inconsistent formatting, uniform spaces, and indentations
- Not using a PDF version of your Resume while applying online
- Spelling mistakes and abbreviations
- Typos/ grammar/ writing in the 3rd person
- Too much use of Bold and italics
- Revealing confidential information such as a client\’s name
- Lying or fabricating information on your Resume
Finally, a good Resume is a work in progress. Nevertheless, a short, impactful Resume could catapult your current career ambitions into the next logical step in the process: the interview. RecruVia’s tailormade platform helps you by creating precise, customised, standardised Resumes, with drop down options for specific legal skills, soft skills and a section to describe yourself accurately. The process takes less than 15 minutes and the platform uses algorithms to match your interests and expertise with the job requirements listed on the portal.
To know more about RecruVia, please visit https://www.recruvia.com
[i] “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead” by Laszlo Bock, 2015
[ii] “Human Resource Management in a Business Context” by Alan Price, 3rd Edition, 2007.
[iii] Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operation at Google.