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Your Resume Is a 1 Minute Sales Pitch. Don't Mess it Up!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
By Vibha Kagzi, Founder,

Think of your resume in terms of a sales pitch. You have 1 minute to impress your resume reader (mostly your future employer). Lose that precious 1 minute, and you are lost in the infinite world of resumes!

Recruiters are pressed for time; with the hundreds of applications they have to review. Moreover, they have limited attention span because each resume sounds like a machine-copy of the previous one. So, here are top 5 mistakes to avoid while crafting your resume.  

Avoid Loud and Bad Formatting
Instead of using loud layouts, stay simple, and use consistent formatting with fonts and font size that are easy on the eye.  Formatting is the backbone of your resume that helps to make the content visible. Be consistent with the font, use of bold, headers and sub-headers. Formatting will de-clutter your content and render it a neat presentation.

Avoid Dumping Tons of Data on Your Page
Your resume has precious little space to waste. Even if you think that the hundreds of awards and certificates are worthy of mention, restrict them to the best few. Find the right hooks to win your recruiter. Put yourself in the shoes of the reviewer and ask, “Why would I want to hire this man/woman?”
Remember that your recruiter has no time to scan through tons of data to pull out relevant ones. So you have to make the extra effort to showcase only that which is meritorious and relevant for the job you are applying to. Always ask yourself: Is the information you are providing helpful for the job you are applying for?

Avoid Going Over 2 Pages
This is a tough one, especially for applicants with tons of experience. You may have the temptation of wanting to list all of your relevant experience, but nobody reads more than two pages. So make sure that you don’t go over 2 pages, no matter how much experience you have. Find a way to cut it down.

Avoid Silly Mistakes
Your resume is a snapshot of who you are. Silly mistakes such as spelling, grammar, wrong word or number, and the like creates a negative impression about your language skills and meticulousness. Remember that you are competing with thousands of candidates. To weed out errors you need to: a) proof read, b) edit and c) read your resume after a gap of 2 days, to spot the previously missed errors, and d) get it reviewed by an expert.

Edit, Edit, Edit. And After That Edit Once Again
Even after the final draft is ready, you can improve the language, style, structure, and look of your resume. You’d be surprised to find the number of errors that missed your critical eye. Proofread your resume until you think it is perfect.

Resume is the place for you to shine and come across as the winning candidate. Before hitting ‘send’ on your computer, make sure to avoid these 5 mistakes. Before you go for the interview, research all that you can about the company, and the role you are seeking. Know your resume inside-out, so that you are able to articulate all that you put on paper.

The writer is a study abroad and career advisory. Vibha holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors from Carnegie Mellon University.

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