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A resume is the first and the most important step in the process of job seeking.

iStock_000005367365XSmallA resume consists of a brief account of your qualifications and experience. It basically showcases your skills and experience. The whole idea of a resume is to put you in such a light that the prospective employer finds you perfect for the job.

A resume should contain personal details such as name, address, telephone number, email ID and date of birth. Educational details are next. An important thing you should keep in mind is to start from the latest information and then move backwards. Start from your recent education and mention the subjects studied at your college, school, courses, etc. Similarly, start from the latest job responsibilities you are holding. Mention your job profile and what all you learned at the job instead of simply mentioning the job-title and employer. It is not necessary to write exact dates, a simple mention of months and years is sufficient. There are various formats you can work with.

The chronological format includes a job-by-job listing of your experience. It proves effective for the people who have careers moving in the upward direction. Another format is the functional format in which you highlight key skills and knowledge. It widens the scope of people who have been changing jobs often, as they can talk about responsibilities, projects and skills learnt from each job. Then you can also use a combination of the chronological and functional formats. Such a resume will mention the job-by-job experience alongside accomplishments at each job.

There are certain factors you must keep in mind while formulating your resume. The resume should not ideally go beyond more than 2 pages. Try to keep the information as precise as possible. If you have some 30 years of experience, it is not necessary to enlist all of it. The details of the last 10 years of your career will suffice and the rest of the information should be provided in a very concise manner. Use more of action verbs such as: supervised, organized, learned, contributed, etc. The freshers in the industry can highlight their responsibilities at the college/school level. Mention the extra-curricular activities that you have taken part in. You must also mention your achievements. Be careful to tailor make your CV according to demands of the employer. Use an Arial or Times New Roman font; do not go for very decorative fonts. Do write about the skills pertinent to the job, making you fit the brief perfectly. List out five or six key attributes the employers are looking for and prepare your resume accordingly.

It is important to format your resume since you are being judged by the way your resume looks. You can choose to exclude certain details such as hobbies if they are totally unrelated to your profession. However, if you are applying for a Public Relations job and your hobby is making friends, then it is sensible to include it. Do not give reasons for leaving your current job as it has a negative impact. Leave such tough questions for the interview. It is advisable to inform your references beforehand and hand over a copy of your resume to them. Last but not the least; keep updating your resume regularly.

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