Some customer asks if format of a résumé is important?
Would recruiters not look more for content rather than the appearance?

The answer is unfortunately “no”. Presentation is also extremely important. Ask yourself a simple question. Do you prefer going to a super market with clean labels indicating where different categories of goods are stocked or one where there is no particular order. In which this is done. Appearance does matter.

A résumé is the first impression you are making on a prospective employer. Make the format of your résumé clean, easy to read and pleasing to the eye. You can always choose a format available on the web if you do not have time to prepare one. Keep it simple. Use of italics and highlighting should be limited. Inserting tables also needs to be such that it does not add to the clutter.

Remember, your résumé is first accessed by recruiters who may not necessarily have the experience and skills to pick the best and leave out the rest. You do not want the recruiter to take a look at your résumé and say ‘pass’. Make her life easy. Make your résumé easy to read and understand. She has very little time to decide whether to proceed. Let not the format of your résumé come in the way of being shortlisted

How to make a résumé?

We explain below the differences between a résumé, curriculum vitae and biodata in a simple table

Résumé
  • Skills & Competencies
  • Employment History
  • Academic Credentials
1-2 Pages Targets a specific position
Curriculum Vitae
  • Skills and Competencies - detailed
  • Extensive details of Employment
  • Academic Credentials - detailed
Can be more than 2 Pages Does not necessarily target a particular job
Biodata
Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
+
Personal Details
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality
  • Hobbies
Can be more than 2 Pages  

A good résumé should have the following details:

Chronological Résumé

  • Career Objective
  • Summary
  • Skills and Competencies
  • Employment History
  • Academic Background

Optional – can be listed if applicable

  • Certifications
  • Membership / Affiliations
  • Training
  • Publications
  • Conferences Attended

Details of References – generally not provided – but can vary depending on job geography targeted.

Photographs – Not required – though some customer prefer to provide their photographs

Personal Details- Age, Gender, Date of Birth, Passport ( and Visa details), marital status, nationality – not required though some customers choose to provide these details.

Some points to remember

Ask yourself some questions

  • Is your résumé format pleasing to the eye?
  • Is the information provided adequate? Are redundant pieces of information removed?
  • Are there any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors?
  • Ensure consistent font size and type.
  • Are words correctly capitalized?


Some things to watch!!

  • Is the résumé easy to read? Font Size? Font Type?
  • Are these too many tables and columns that do not make sense?
  • Is the flow of information logical?
  • Are sentences too long? vague?
  • Is the sentence construction good? Are there grammatical / spelling mistakes?
  • Are some sentences and words unnecessarily highlighted?
  • Does the résumé appear professional?
  • Is the line spacing uniform?
  • Are these too many pages?
  • Are the choice of sentences appropriate? Be thrifty in the use of words and sentences.
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