One of the most important steps in getting shortlisted for your dream company is to make sure that your resume clears the screening procedure. The resume screening is generally done by automated systems or the HR of the company, both of which look for ‘keywords’ on your resume.
In this roadmap, we will understand how to build an excellent resume that gets shortlisted almost in every company that you apply for.
Key Components of a Resume
The following are some of the key sections that you should put as a part of your resume:
Education: This section should clearly mention your Institute’s name, City, Degree, Major, GPA/CPI and the year of your course beginning and end. Here is an example: Bachelor of Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, GPA - 9.22/10.0. Computer Science and Engineering, 2013 - 2014. It is important that you mention the start and the end year. Recruiters always would want to know when you graduated so that they have an idea of your experience.
Scholastic Achievements: In this section, you should mention your general scholastic achievements like your rank in Competitive exams, your achievements in Programming Contests (like ACM ICPC, CodeJam, etc.), any certificate of achievements that you may have won. Do not talk about ‘course-based’ certificates. Mention only general Scholastic Achievements.
Internship Experience: This is a crucial section and you should take the utmost care when writing about your internship experience. Keep the following points in mind:
Mention your internships in the chronological order only, the latest one being at the top.
For each internship, mention the Internship Type, University or Company name and the City/Country. For example, Research Intern, TU Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany.
For each internship, write 2 lines of description. The first line should talk about ‘what you did?’ and the second line should talk about ‘what tools and technologies you used?’ Mentioning the tools/technologies is very important because recruiters look for these keywords on your resume. So, if you have mentioned a Python-based Internship project on your resume, you are sure to catch the attention of companies that use Python as the programming language.
Projects: This is another crucial section, much like the internship section. An important point that you should keep in mind is that you don’t really need to have a ‘certification’ for your project. Basically, even if you did an Android App based project on your own, you surely can mention it on your resume. No one is asking you for a proof of the project. In case an interviewer is interested in validating it, they will ask you some related questions, which is enough to give them an idea of your skill. For your projects, keep the following points in mind:
Mention in 1st line what you achieved as a part of the project. This is much like how you’d have done in the internship section.
Mention in the 2nd line what tools/technologies you used to achieve what you did in the project. Again, this is similar to what you did in the internship section.
Do not write detailed paragraphs about your project. No one is really interested in reading the details.
At the very most, your interviewer may be interested in knowing more about a specific project that may be of interest to him/her.
Skills: Write skills in the order of your proficiency. Write those first in which you are most proficient. Do not write unnecessary skills like MS Word, etc. Focus on key skills - programming languages, frameworks, tools, etc. For example, Python, C/C++, Java, Web Development (Django), Android App Development, LaTeX 2ε, Bash Scripting, MATLAB, GNU Octave, Prolog.
Positions of Responsibility/Extra-Curricular Activities: For Software Jobs, this would arguably be the least useful section. Most companies do not care about Positions of Responsibility or Extra Curricular activities (talking only about Software jobs). You can, however, use this section to talk about your non-academic interests. Do not mention irrelevant skills. While you may be a great dancer, it would not be a good idea to put that on a resume which you are using to apply for Software Jobs.
Some other important points
Here are some important points that you should keep a note of:
Do not mention any ‘Objective’ at the top of your resume. Employers simply hate it because almost all resumes have the same beaten-to-death Objective
Do not make any typos or spelling mistakes on your resume. Get it proof-checked by at least 3 different people. While most employers do not judge you on your English/Grammar skills, a typo or a spelling mistake indicates carelessness, which of course, no one appreciates
When you share your resume with someone, share it only and only in PDF format. Do not send Doc/Docx resume
Do not mention irrelevant skills. For instance, if you are applying for a Backend Development Job, do not mention MS Word or Outlook. It would be counted as a negative point
Do not mention any personal information on your resume. For instance, no need to mention your father’s name or marital status
Do not add an attestation/certification statement at the end of your resume. Many students mention “I certify that the above information is true to the best of my knowledge” and add their signature. This is clearly irrelevant. This doesn’t add any value to your resume.
If you are applying for a Software Job, it is recommended that you create a resume using LaTeX. There are some great LaTeX resume templates on Overleaf and Sharelatex. You can use any of them. A widely used template is Curriculum Vitae. You can alternatively use MS Word to build your resume. However, it is generally seen that correct spacing an alignment is quite difficult to achieve in MS Word than in LaTeX. In any case, it is just a matter of choice - if you are comfortable with LaTeX, use it or else, use MS Word.
We have designed a special course on Resume & Interview preparation to help you provide end to end guidance for your interview and make sure that you get your dream job!