The ultimate resume guide for freshers


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This article is intended to serve as a comprehensive guide to creating a resume for a fresh graduate. This post clearly articulates all the sections that are needed to be included in a standard resume. Each section is explained with examples. You can also find sample resumes at the end of this article. Please note that this article doesn’t cover anything related to formatting of a resume. Formatting of resume using Word shall be covered as a separate blog post in near future. Also resume formats vary from country to country. This format in particularly is the de facto standard followed by freshers in India. This article was written after extensively researching many resumes on the internet.

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The ultimate resume guide for freshers

  1. 1. The Ultimate Resume Guide for FreshersThis article is intended to serve as a comprehensive guide to creating a resume for a fresh graduate. Thispost clearly articulates all the sections that are needed to be included in a standard resume. Eachsection is explained with examples. You can also find sample resumes at the end of this article. Pleasenote that this article doesn’t cover anything related to formatting of a resume. Formatting of resumeusing Word shall be covered as a separate blog post in near future. Also resume formats vary fromcountry to country. This format in particularly is the de facto standard followed by freshers in India. Thisarticle was written after extensively researching many resumes on the internet. 1. HeaderHeader is the first section in your CV. Header consists of sub-sections: Full name, present address,mobile number and email address. There is no necessity to include the heading as “CV” or “Resume”. Ihave seen many student resumes that start with this unnecessary heading. When you forward adocument by name “resume.doc” to a recruiter, it’s obviously understood that the document is aresume and not anything else. Writing “resume” as a heading, not only wastes space but also distractsattention of the recruiter scanning your resume. o Full NameAs it appears in your 10th certificate/passport. There is absolutely no need to put your picture in theresume. Picture may be necessary for those jobs that require good looks such as air hostess or a model. o Present AddressWhere do you live NOW? Employers rarely post snail mail to your address. In any case, better to give theaddress where a post can easily reach you. o Mobile NumberThis is the second most important field in your resume. Be sure to give your updated mobile number. Ifyou use multiple numbers, give the most actively used one. One number is sufficient. o EmailThis is the most important field in your resume. That’s because this is the most commonly used channelof communication by recruiters. Mention an active email id of yours which doesn’t bounce. Emailaddress should sound professional. So, avoid informal email ids such as orimurluv@gmail.comExample: PREM KUMAR 1-2-302,Vanaz corner, Pune. 9923071216 2. Career ObjectiveThis section is optional but is typically seen in almost all the resumes in India. You may choose to copypaste an objective from your friends’ resume. No harm done. If you prefer an original objective, write it
  2. 2. on your own. Objective statement of a typical Indian student would be usually boastful with lots ofdecorative language. So go with this trend and find a bombastic objective that adds glitter to yourresume. You can write a brief sentence about your key technical skills, soft skills and name this sectionas Professional Summary instead of Career Objective. Such summary can help hiring managers to knowabout you in less than 5 seconds.Example: CAREER OBJECTIVE: Always seeking innovative and challenging career in the professionallymanaged and dynamic organization, which provides the best opportunities for the development andgreater responsibilities to contribute towards organization. 3. Educational QualificationList all your professional qualifications in reverse chronological order(latest degree mentioned first).Mention the institute name, degree name, affiliated university/board name, location, specialization,aggregate and time period. Avoid using table format for this section. Tables are hard to maintain inword, and they are not properly read by the automated job search engines such as . If youhave distinction, make it point to mention it explicitly. It adds weight to your resume. You can mention 6month diploma courses here such as “Diploma in VLSI” or “Diploma in Embedded Systems” etc,. o Masters degreeMention this sub-section if you are a post-graduate. In case you have done a part-time masters degreesuch as part time MBA, you don’t have to mention the word “part-time” unless the job posting requiresfull time graduates only. o Bachelors degreeAdd asterix * if you are currently pursuing the degree. Clearly mention the year of passing. Mention youraggregate in percentage. If your college follows GPA system, mention your GPA along with scale Ex. 6.4on a scale of 10.0 . You don’t have to mention marks obtained in individual semesters. But this is acommon trend among MCA graduates to mention semester-wise percentage in their resume, whileB.Tech/B.E graduates usually don’t mention semester marks. o PUC/12th/10+2Be sure to mention the aggregate percentage you scored in 12th exams. Many companies insist to usefigure as a criterion for screening. o SSC/10th/MatriculationMention the aggregate, school name & board of education.Example: EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: *B.Tech* (Electronics and Communication Engineering) withaggregate 7.8 CGPA(scale of 10.0) in 2006-2010 from Bharath University, Chennai. *12th with aggregate74% from Chakdwipa high school (W.B.C.H.S.E) in 2006. *10th with aggregate 80% from Chakdwipa highschool (W.B.B.S.E) in 2004.
  3. 3. 4. Technical Skills o Software SkillsIf you are a bachelor of IT related courses such as CSE or MCA, this sub-section is extremely important.Make sure you mention all the programming languages, databases, software tools that you areproficient at. Non-IT engineers can mention software tools related to their branch of engineering such asCAD/CAM, Matlab software. You may mention knowledge of operating systems and other software suchas Windows and Microsoft office if you know nothing in Software. o Hardware SkillsThis sub-section applies to you if you belong to non-IT engineering branches of Electrical, Electronics,Telecom, Mechanical etc. Mention your hardware knowledge here.Example: SOFTWARE SKILLS: Languages & Skills C, C++ Operating Systems Windows 9x/2000/XPSoftwares Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel HARDWARE SKILLS: *Assembling of PC *Networking &Troubleshooting PC 5. Projects Undertaken o Final year projectThis section is quite important. Don’t write too less or too much info about your engineering/MCAproject. Write the title of your project and brief description about it in two lines. Mention thetechnologies involved & tools used. Optionally mention your role in the project. This section serves as agood ice-breaker for interviewers. They start asking you questions about the project you did in the finalyear of study. They also ask about your role in the project. Remember that they are silently evaluatingyour communication skills while you are answering these questions in an interview. o Mini ProjectsThis sub-section is optional. If you think that your mini projects are worth mentioning, you shouldinclude mini-projects. And also be sure that mini-projects that you included are relevant to the jobprofile that you are applying to. If not relevant, it would be better not to mention them.Example: PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN: Project Title: Efficient Algorithm for Terrain Simplification for FastRendering Summary: Improves the state of the art in occlusion plane detection given terrain data. Myimplementation showed a user controlled drive-through of a complex scene with real-time rendering of3 million polygons using a 16 node Beowulf cluster. A paper was published in Graphics Interface ’04. 6. In plant training/Summer training/InternshipThis sub-section may become your life saver. If properly used it may divert the attention of the recruiteraway from your poor grades. A good company name can do the job. Write the title of training, 2 linebrief description of what you learnt in the training.
  4. 4. Example: TRAININGS UNDERWENT: Summer Training at Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited, India (June2006, 4 weeks) on modern telecommunication switch systems. 7. Fields of InterestIt makes no sense to mention irrelevant fields of interest here. So mention only those interests that arerelated to the job profile that you want to apply. Don’t mention too many fields of interests, limit it to 5.Be sure that you are mentioning only those fields that you are genuinely interested in and those fieldsyou have decent proficiency in. Remember that you may be interviewed on the topics that youmentioned.Example: FIELDS OF INTEREST: Digital Signal Processing & Embedded systems. 8. Achievements/AwardsYou can report a wide range of achievements from school awards to college awards to paperpresentations to conference participation to marks in entrance tests such as CAT, MAT, GRE, TOEFL etc,.There are no rules for this section. Try not to cross 10 bullet points. A lot of people might find difficultyfilling this section up. My advice to them would be to think creatively and come up with any measurableachievement that is significant. A very interesting achievement that I found in a fresher resume was“Aggregate percentage of nearly 80% for two consecutive semesters”. So think creatively and identifyyour achievements. You can mention successful completion of courses that you were trained atcomputer training institutes. If you have organized your college fest, feel free to write a mention aboutthem. You can also add administrative roles that you played in college such as being the representativeof your class or being the member of student body at college.Example: ACHIEVEMENTS: *Best B.Tech project – 2004. Dept of Computer Science, Bharath University.*Scored 1150 in GRE test. *Won many prizes in quiz and elocution in College. *Served as joint secretaryof student body. 9. Extracurricular activitiesMention sports, social and other philanthropic activities here. NSS, NCC, NGOs etc. You can include allyour leadship, volunteer, participation activities here. A common confusion among freshers is whetherto include participations in Achievements sub-section or in the Extra curricular activities sub-section. Myadvice is to include participations in Extra curricular activities and to include participations that wonprizes or awards in Achievements sub-section.Example: EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: *Member of Red Cross society. 10. Soft skills / StrengthsMention your soft skills and strengths such as strong inter personal skills, communication skills, selfmotivated etc,. I recently saw a resume which read “Good at handling stage(anchoring)”. Cool idea. So
  5. 5. identify such strenghts and mention them. You don’t have to mention your weaknesses. A resume is likean advertisement. Does an ad show weaknesses of a product?Example: STRENGTHS: *Determined to learn with practical approach *Good communication skills*Enthusiastic and can produce results under deadline constraints 11. Personal DetailsDon’t get into too personal details such as ethnicity or religion or caste, unless the job has somereservations for specific castes. o Father’s name Or Guardian’s nameThis is a standard sub-section in India. I really wonder why father’s name is written in a resume. What doemployers have got to do with our father’s name?! o Date of BirthThis may be commonly required by all the government jobs as they have an age limit which should notbe crossed. o SexIt’s not difficult to identify gender from name in India(unless that name is strange or ambiguous such asKrishna, Kiran). As a policy, many companies have a fixed male to female ratio. They fall short of femaleemployees many a time. So if you are a female, you have an added advantage of selection. o Marital StatusThis is again one of the typical fields in an Indian resume. In my opinion recruiters give preference tobachelors over married owing to the reason that bachelors have more time to spare. Just kidding! Anemployer is unlikely to judge selection based on marital status, unless it directly affects the job in someway. o NationalityThis is for the companies to make sure that they are not violating any rules of employment by employinga foreign national. Write “Indian” if you are from India. If you have a passport, make it a point tomention that you have it and also give your passport number. This helps the companies to smoothlyconduct their background check formalities. o Languages KnownIndia is multi-cultural and multi-lingual country. Knowledge of multiple Indian languages is helpful forjobs such as counsellor etc., which involve communication with students or general public. Knowledgeof foreign languages would definitely be a great plus , thought not mandatory. Especially useful for BPO,IT industries as there is a lot of relocation to foreign countries.
  6. 6. o Permanent AddressBe sure to mention proper address of your permanent residence. This is a formality for the employerorganization to record your details for security reasons. You can safely avoid this field if your resumegets lengthy. o HobbiesMention your hobbies here. “Playing cricket and watching television” are two of the most commonhobbies of Indian students. Try to mention some creative and unique hobbies such as Stamp collectionor Coin collection instead of the most common ones. Having said that, don’t lie here. The HR managermay verify this by asking you questions related to your hobby.Example: PERSONAL DETAILS: Father’s Name Arun Kumar Date of Birth 27-02-1988 Sex Male MaritalStatus Single Languages known English, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya and Tamil Permanent Address B 33/29,Lanka, Varanasi (UP) -221005 Hobbies Listening to music, drawing, playing cricket 12. ReferencesReferences are people who are willing to vouch for you, typically your professors/lecturers, or collegestaff who know you professionally(not personally). Mention no more than 2 references. You will have tomention full name, designation, organization, email id and phone number of each references. Address isoptional, as it bloats the resume. You can avoid this section by simply mentioning a line “Referencesshall be furnished upon request”. But I would strongly recommend you to mention references as it addscredibility to your resume.Example: REFERENCES: *Prof. R. K. Ravindranath, Dept. of Computer Science, Bharath University,9352888890, *Prof. Janaki Rajagopalan, Dept. of Computer Science,Bharath University, 9354532352, 13. DeclarationInclude a sentence “I hereby declare that all the above facts are true to best of my knowledge”. This is aformality which has to be present in a fresher’s resume.Example: DECLARATION I hereby declare that all the above facts are true to best of my knowledge 14. FooterThis section is placed at the end of a resume. This comprises of sub-sections: name, signature, place &date. o NameWrite your full name here. o Signature
  7. 7. You will have to sign above your name(after taking the print out of resume), if you had included thedeclaration sentence about assuring correctness of details presented in your resume. o PlaceWrite here the name of the place where you are currently residing. If you are in a remote town, bettermention the name of the nearest city/town where you’d like to find employment. This is nothing but asilly formality. o DateWrite the date as of the day you apply this resume to a job. The disadvantage of this field is that onceyou print a few copies of resume with a particular date, you can’t reuse the resume for later dates. Thissection is to only ensure the employer that this resume was updated recently. Strictly speaking this isnot a mandatory section.Example: Prem Kumar, 21 February, 2010 Pune