Resume-writing, a specialised skill-set in the digital era

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As first impressions go, this one is about making those impressions with a degree of anonymity. It is called “the written resume”.

From a piece of paper, usually an A4-size sheet or a couple of them, the resume has come a long way. Now, there is often the option of presenting it in a digital format. However, technology has not detracted from the challenge of writing one. If anything, it has become more challenging than ever, as resumes navigating the digital waters have to be a lot crisper and more to the point, given the shrinking attention spans.

Though it can’t be verbose, it has to give the prospective employer a sense of what the candidate has achieved through his career – the longer the career, the more challenging the write. However, most experienced and top-level professionals choose to grapple with the task themselves, one reason being that they are likely to be known in their industry circles and also likely to receive recommendations from peers.

The professional touch:

Fresh, early-career and mid-level professionals usually need that powerful introduction, and they are said to be likely to seek the services of professional resume-writers. AvonResumes.com, a company that offers resume writing services, gets close to 10,000 registrations on its portal every day, and a majority of them are from leadership role profiles.

Professional media boost:

Unlike in the past, the resume today is multi-layered. Professional media profiles of candidates have to be factored in, while writing resumes for them.

“As hiring managers want the LinkedIn profile as part of the application, we offer services like writing the summary for the page and also providing a covering letter,” says Kumar, resume consultant at Avon Resumes.

Sharped focus:

While presenting their credentials to prospective clients, some companies usually have professionally-written resumes of their key employees, as part of the “pitch-package”.

Here is a good example.

Avon Resumes, a resume writing giant, had a recent assignment where the company that had opted for the resume-writing service, was bidding for a tender.

“The CVs of nearly 150 employees with the company had to be improved, and the work had to be carried out in a short span of time; these employees were going to be part of the project and the company wanted the skill-sets they brought to the table to be showcased prominently,”

Points to remember:

* Make sure your resume is ATS-friendly as it is the first “critic” a candidate will face after he has submitted his resume. The choice of keywords and the way in which the skills are presented are among the major factors ensuring ATS-friendliness.

* When one has had a long career and therefore the list of achievements is bound to be lengthy, the candidate has to consciously focus on writing an extremely crisp resume. For, without this rudder, the candidate is likely to dwell at length on a majority of achievements, and thereby run the risk of sounding long-winded. The best of the achievements should be highlighted, the second-and third-best touched upon, and the rest ignored.

* Resumes set in the reverse-chronological format usually work best, as they come with a sense of immediacy, presenting the latest achievements first. This format achieves immense value in today’s corporate world, as technological shifts happen more quickly than ever before. Against this backdrop, listing the latest achievement involving a more current technological skill first assumes significance.

* Data speaks a lot; and so if you are handling a project, mention its size and value.