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Harvard Career Experts Explain How To Write Your Resume

Posted on January 21st, 2021


Harvard Career Experts Explain How To Write Your Resume

The thought of scripting a resume itself is a headache for many. However, it does not have to be so, say Harvard career experts. According to them, the resume shouldn’t be complicated but should be simple and appealing.

Filling all the required information and excluding what’s not necessary should be the running fuel while preparing your resume. They say a resume should be like an esteemed short memoir talking about your professional experience.

The experts further clarified that a resume and a memoir are not the same exactly (resumes should not be scripted in a narrative style), however, both share some resemblances: they speak the facts, distinguish you from others, captivate viewers’ attention and finally highlight qualities that are unique to you.

Here are the essential resume writing tips from them:

  1. Tailor your resume:
  2. The biggest problem hiring managers face when scrutinizing resumes for a given post is: all the resumes look exactly the same, in fact, almost all the candidates’ resumes follow the same pattern and consist of the same jargon. Adding fuel to the fire....this practice is being followed by job seekers even while applying for different posts. In nutshell, candidates are sending the same resume to all jobs. This is what one should not stick to.

    A good resume must be customized to the job type and category of the position that one is applying for. One need not change every small detail but definitely one should make changes to that extent wherein a recruiter can gauge a candidate’s experience and skills needed for the given post.

  3. Include your contact info:
  4. According to the experts, this is 1 of the top 5 resume slipups people make.

    Always make sure that the resume has an updated phone number and email address. They say adding your LinkedIn profile URL or a webpage that shows your talent and work isn’t a bad idea.

    What should not be included:
    • References list: Don’t ever add: “references are available upon request”. As it is hiring managers will ask this, in case you move ahead in the recruitment process.
    • A photo: For many adding a picture has become the need of the hour but not for Harvard experts. They say ones’ selfie game isn’t a matter of concern at all for hiring teams. A photo added in the resume makes it unprofessional and may present unconscious prejudice.
    • Age or gender: Preserve professionalism again!!! It is a resume and definitely not your profile on Tinder.
  5. Make use of action verbs:
  6. Keep in mind, a resume is always marketing material, so stick to the action verbs. Do not use a flowery and poetic types of claims such as “results-oriented,” “excellent communication skills”, “hard worker or “team player”.

    Aim at delivering exact information regarding what you have done in your past capacities that have headed to quantifiable results.

    Here are some action verbs examples that showcase certain skills and qualities:

    Leadership
    • ORGANIZED guest lectures featuring 40+ renowned researchers in sleep medicine
    • COORDINATED online media campaigns for Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook
    • LED more than 20 design projects for social and non-profit organizations in India, the U.S.A, Mexico, Zambia, Australia and Canada
    Communication
    • PRESENTED monthly, quarterly and annual expenditure reports to CEO
    • COLLABORATED with business development heads to restructure product launch release strategy
    • DIRECTED execution of $80 million tech project for 12 key U.S. airports; augmented productivity by 12% and lowered lost baggage expenditure by 8%
    Technical
    • LAUNCHED initial paging network across India; managed and operated customer support team consisting of 60 customer care personnel
    • BUILT a new checked baggage fees structure
    • INSTALLED Android SDK for 40 new hires; trained them on how to use it and explained the organization's computer policies
    Organizational
    • LESSENED application testing time by 40% by automating shorter testing phases for off-cycle projects
    • MONITORED a $1.5 billion yearly IT budget for 2019 and 2020
    • PREPARED performance and sales activity reports; decreased response time by 50%
  7. Dress it well and make it easy to understand:
  8. A hiring manager’s time is scarce, valuable, and clustered. (S)he has no time or sees no point in going through everything that’s present in the resume. Be careful and keen-eyed to highlight needed things and activities on your resume.

    Dos:

    • Be steady in content and format
    • Make sure white space is balanced
    • Use stable spacing, italics, bold, underlining and capitals for emphasis
    • List headers in the order of prominence
    • Within headers, list out information in opposite chronological order (most recent should be listed first)
    • Ensure you are formatting your resume in a way that it gets translated properly when converted into a PDF format
    • See that it is in 1 page, although mid and late-career professionals can make it two pages

    Don’t:

    • Forget to edit
    • Make use of a narrative style
    • Make use of personal pronouns (like “I”)
    • Begin every line with a date
    • Abbreviate
    • Use a complicated template that has too many colors

Follow these expert resume-building tips from the Harvard career experts, make one and upload your resume. Let’s see why your resume shouldn’t get shortlisted.

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