A resume is probably the single most important document for your hiring plans. A good resume cannot land you a job by itself but a bad one can certainly deny you one. Resume evaluation is the first filter applied by potential employers and it works like Darwin’s principle of survival of the fittest. That is, the fittest of the resumes – not the person. Investing in this document is critical to passing the first hiring hurdle – specially for the young graduates who unfortunately treat their resume just like another assignment to be submitted.
I tend to treat developing resume as planning and developing your personal real estate – like your home or farmhouse.
Developing your personal real estate – with limited space and resources – requires specific skills and mindset. You focus on both style and substance. You plan where to put what. You choose your best items and put them in limelight. You focus on the entry points so the first impressions are good. You make sure its well-kept. You clean, tweak, prune and tend it to regularly – it would go stale if you don’t. You also make it practical and efficient. The driveways are clear. The doors are locked. The entire premises is secured. You also ensure that no space goes waste. You make your name board prominent. Also, the stylistic impressions do not interfere with the basic premise of efficient and comfortable living. You tend to hide away the not-so-presentable. Finally, while you make your small world look stylistic, you are wise enough to not give any wrong impressions – things that put you in a wrong light or give a false impression. You do not try to come off richer or different than what you are.
Developing your resume can be modeled likewise. You have a finite space – essentially one A4 size page. You want to make an immediate impression. You need to have substance, simplicity and efficiency all built into one page. You want the first impressions to be good. The administrative information should be clearly visible like the name board. The most important items should be placed prominently to attract immediate attention. There should be a logical flow from top to bottom in a resume, just like a driveway should seamlessly take you to the main door. Resume needs to be tended, pruned, cleaned and improved regularly, so it’s always in shape. And probably most importantly, every square inch of the resume real estate should be efficiently utilized and be contributing to the overall whole – whether its where the margins are, what’s the size of headings, where to put your picture and what not to put in the resume. What to eliminate sometimes is more important than what to put in. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
The single biggest mistake committed in resume writing is having the wrong mindset. Its treating resume writing as generating and stuffing content – probably like doing a semester assignment for a course whose grade does not matter much to you. Treating resume building like real estate development in a limited space can apply the right mindset and ensure that its relevant to the person reading. Remember, communication is what the listener does.
Image source: www.thearchitecturalpractice.com