Employers & recruiters get inundated with resumes, and they need to filter the eye catching resumes within a short period. So, resume writing is a skill & an art to get more interviews. Here are 5 key points to keep in mind.
#1. A boring and lengthy resume
It is important to understand that reading others’ resume is a very boring task. Mostly the first-page is read, and the remaining pages are scanned. If the first page is not interesting enough, then the remaining pages might be skipped. If you have vital information scattered throughout a lengthy resume, move the key selling points to the first page. A resume is not a laundry list of tasks you performed and responsibilities you held. It is also not a history of your past. Think of your resume as a series of carefully chosen highlights about your work history that provide your prospective employer a snapshot of your ability to succeed in a particular role. It is a marketing document to sell your personal services. Your first page needs to be targeted to the job specification. Refer to sample Java resumes. Perform the would my first page stand on its own test?
#2. Not being different from others to get noticed
If you use the words and phrases routinely used by other applicants like
1) “my responsibilities included….”
3) Team player
5) excellent skills and ability, etc
you will fail to create a “unique” resume because it will look the same as others. These are fluffy statements. I often see leads & architects going Blah Blah when resumes with lots of fluff. You will find 22 eye catching Java developer resume phrases that will make your resume look different.
Instead of saying ….
My responsibilities included design and development of the payment and claims module.
Say with action verbs and quantifying
Designed and developed the payment and claims module, which is capable of handling 180 requests per second in a clustered environment and runs as a 24 x 7 mission critical system.
Isn’t the second sentence more interesting to read?
Instead of saying ….
Developed a Java based commission runs batch job.
Say in a results oriented manner
Reduced the monthly Java based commission runs batch job execution times from 3 hours to 40 minutes at XYZ Bank.
So the employers are interested in the impact you made. Your resume needs to be targeted to the job specification. In a competitive world you are most likely to be competing with candidates with similar experience, skills, and qualifications. If you want to stand out from the pack, you need to have an effective resume that will address prospective employer’s needs NOT yours.
#3. Not having the relevant experience or keywords on your resume
Employers favor on the job experience to academic qualifications. It is hard to write a good resume without much relevant experience. Prolonged gaps in employment can be looked at unfavorably as well. If you have little or no paid industrial experience, then you need to prove that you have the potential to fulfill the employer’s needs based on your academic achievements, contribution to open-source projects, self-taught projects, part-time employment, casual employment, and voluntary work. If you are an experienced professional, then you need to draw on your relevant experience to convince the prospective employer that you have the knowledge, skills, capabilities, and experience to add value.
Good hiring managers won’t care about whether or not you know the flavor of the month technology/framework, but these good hiring managers are a minority. Some projects require professionals to start contributing from the 2nd week onwards. So, most recruiters and hiring managers do keyword searches based on technology lists, and if you want to work with them, you need to play their game. You need to get at least the sought-after technologies/frameworks/tools on your resume.
Do not clutter your resume with irrelevant technologies and skills. Remember that you only have 10-30 seconds to convince your prospective employer. If you do not address the employers’ real needs, they will not respond to your resume.
#4. Presenting yourself just as a techie
The increased global competition and the changing nature of most technical jobs have made soft skills more than simply “nice to have”. These skills are “must have”. It is harder to work with people than with computers. In larger organizations, skills and responsibilities are scattered, and you need to work with cross functional teams to get things done. You may need to work under tight deadlines. You may need to lead and mentor others. You need to break up a complex problem into smaller and more manageable tasks. You may have to look at the bigger picture and prioritize tasks, and the list goes on.
Technical skills alone can be easily replaced, but hard to find good well rounded techies who get the job done. If you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, you need to make it a point to sell yourself as a well rounded professional. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in selling yourself as just a techie.
#5. Spelling mistakes, bad formatting, and not being credible, etc
Your resume must be easy to read without any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Never lie in your resume. Don’t have any sensitive information in your resume that might turn off your employer. Get your resume properly reviewed by others.
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