Perspectives from ISB

Your resume would be the most important thing on your mind right now. And if you’re like me you’re not really sure how to tactically get to a stellar resume that makes you stand out, showcases your hard work and helps you show off.

After reviewing several resumes of my  classmates, a recurring pattern of five faults emerges. When I critically analysed my own resume using this checklist, I found room to modify every single point!

Here’s a quick primer on the 5 most common resume flaws and how to avoid them:

#1 Industry-specific jargon or acronyms

Tip: Look at your resume from the lens of a HR person, fresh out of college with a humanities education and in their first job. Can that person figure out what exactly you’ve accomplished?

#2 Not quantifying results

You must have numbers for every achievement. Some things may be hard to quantify but figure out a way to put numbers in as many places as possible. Tip: Look for quantity (e.g. reviewed 5000 lines of code every day), geography (treated patients from 25 cities and 15 nationalities), comparison (top 5% of sales managers who beat the targets for six continuous months), and so on. Avoid very specific numbers unless you are really sure. Give a range instead.

#3 Overflowing points

Fit each point, no matter how proud you are of it, in one line. Thumb rule: Length of a statement is inversely proportional to the impact it creates.

#4 Also-ran points

Employers value people who have played a key role in an activity (if not the principal role), and not those who just participated. Tip: If your points include words like ‘member of’ or ‘participated in’, delete or modify them. A reader should be able to answer the question ‘so what?’ after reading any point in your resume.

#5 Irrelevant information

Though you can customize your resume for every company you apply to, and this may seem like an advantage, it requires significant effort. Sometimes we miss out on a relevant point or include something totally irrelevant. Solution: In the master CV (or a document listing all resume points), use a color coding scheme. If a point can be replicated across functions and industries code it red. If it is relevant to one industry but replicated across functions code it blue, if it is specific to an industry but not to a function code it green (and so on.) This helps you pick and chose key points even at the last moment.

Hope this quick checklist helps you get one step closer to that dream interview! Huge thanks to Garima Singh (Marketing Club) for most of these points.

– Dr. Ashish Pingle
President, Healthcare Club
PGP Co2017