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How to craft a winning resume

You've heard so many advice on how to create a resume that stands out - sum it up in 1 page, state your achievements clearly, use spellcheck, and so on. Creating a winning resume is an art, where you weave in elements of storytelling. Since its you one chance to showcase your personal brand, you ought to get it correct.




Get the basics right

A good resume should be clearly elucidate your achievements, and state them in context. One of the most preferred frameworks to create in a fashion that appeals to recruiters is STAR or STAR-L.


Modern day interviews are also conducted in the STAR format as it helps an interviewer appreciate your achievements placing them in the right context. Thus a STAR-L format resume not only serves to showcase your achievements in the best format, but also serves as a step in your interview preparation.

Illustration:

“Achieved 2x revenue growth in a span of 2 years amidst shrinking industry sales, by developing alternate distribution channels for our high growth products”


Alternatives to STAR-L framework


RAC



PARADE




Open strong

The first 15-20 words of your resume and the first few words of your bullets are critically important. Because the admissions committee or your hiring manager needs to sift through hundreds of resumes, attention spans are starkly limited.

Craft a powerful summary of your career that is illustrated further through the bullet points. The summary should be short and crisp, able to portray the specific skills for the role you are applying.

To capture the attention of your interviewer, start with a strong action word in each bullet viz. a verb such as Achieved, Initiated, Managed, etc.

The ‘Half-page’ test can be used to check the effectiveness of the first few words of your bullets. Fold your resume in half along the breadth, so that you are only able to see the first few words of every bullet in one half. Have you or your friend glance through this half to check the effectiveness of communication.


Get your English right

A spellcheck and test for proper English language are absolute musts for your resume. You cannot afford to craft a resume that has silly mistakes in spelling or grammar. These become pain-points for the reviewer of your resume, and instantly drags you down. It also showcases your personality as a careless person, who may not be capable to handle the impeccable quality personified by top tier B-schools.

Install Grammarly or other packages in your word processor to simplify these processes.


Be selective

Don’t turn your resume into a laundry list of your achievements. Stating each and every of your achievements can be too tempting to avoid. But avoiding irrelevant items on your resume is one of the most critical aspects.

Don’t be a generalist. The world needs specialists, who are able to customise their offerings depending on needs. Portraying a laundry list of items indicates that not much effort has gone into creating your resume.

Be selective in mentioning only the achievements that fit to the role you are applying to. Order them properly keeping yourself in the shoes of the admissions committee of your dream B-school or the hiring manager of your dream firm.


Consulting resume

A consulting resume should be able to portray a balanced personality with a strong analytical bent of mind. Analytical skills help a candidate get hired for junior-mid level positions in a top tier consulting firm, while selling skills get them up the ladder. Thus care must be taken to craft a resume accordingly. ‘Spikes’ in you career should clearly come out in the resume – spikes in academics, corporate life, and extra-curriculars. Spikes are high points in your career that showcase your personal brand. Use an appropriate framework to create your story, review, and iterate till you plug in the holes.


For more details on how to craft a winning resume, personalise your resume, get in touch with us.


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