Thou shall not ignore this article if you're writing your first resume Image: Thinkstock
Why is a resume important? Why do the well-dressed people on the other end of the desk, waiting to grill you about your credentials always insist on you carrying your resume with you? What is it about that piece of paper?
Well, let's just say a resume is to your career is what your carefully-edited, filter-added display picture is to your Facebook profile. You want people on social media to think you're drop dead gorgeous with that profile shot, right? Similarly, you want potential employers to think you're drop dead hardworking with that resume.
So just like you will never put an unedited picture of yourself, with red eye or a weird smile or bad hair out there, here are things you should never ever, ever ever ever do on a resume.
Thou shall not use coloured font
Of course, if you are applying for the position of a toddler in a kindergarten, by all means, go ahead. But everywhere else, please stick to black. Black, no grey or slate or dark blue to look cool. Please.
Thou shall not use crazy fonts
You know what makes one cool? We don't know but we're sure it's nothing to do with using crazy fonts such as comic sans or handwriting. In the job world, we tend to do things like the Romans even if we're not in Rome. Therefore, Times New Roman is your go-to font.
Thou shall not copy paste
Borrowing a senior's notes before the exams is okay but please don't borrow their resume and copy-paste their objectives. it doesn't matter if you get caught or not, the point is if you can't write three lines of original text which would probably be instrumental in sealing your fate, you are not the employee any company would want to hire.
Thou shall not reveal personal details
Here's what you need to ask yourself: Would I be okay if this piece of information was published on the front page of every newspaper? If the answer is no, then it shouldn't be on the resume. That includes your full address with a landmark or your pet's name.
Thou shall not add your photograph
When we said your resume is as important as your DP on FB, we didn't mean you actually add one. Duh! Your potential employers will get to see you in person when they call you for the interview. Leave something to the imagination.
Thou shall not state the obvious
You obviously know how to use the Internet or Microsoft Word, without that you wouldn't be writing this CV, now would you? So please save valuable space on the resume for something that's really relevant. Resumes are supposed to be short and crisp.
Thou shall not add video games as a hobby
Love playing FIFA online? Or Dungeons and Dragons? Great. Keep that for your social media profile. Don't put it on your CV, unless you're applying for a job as a video game developer/tester.
Thou shall not try to be Shashi Tharoor
You neither have to be Shashi Tharoor nor Kayne West on your resume. Just write in simple, normal, everyday English, with correct spellings and not in SMS language. Proofread your resume a zillion times and then show it to a friend or a mentor in case you missed an error.
Thou shall not lie
If you got a B in college don't write it as A. If you don't have any summer internships to include don't create ridiculous assignments just for the heck of it. Faking achievements might come back to bite you even after 20 years into your career, and then you stand to lose a lot more than just a job.
Thou shall not write too much
This is no a high school essay so even if you saved a whale from drowning, don't write a heartfelt note about it on the resume. Save the explanations for the actual meeting. Your resume should be crisp and to the point so that the relevant information can be gathered at a glance.
Most importantly, know the difference between a resume and a Curriculum Vitae (CV). A resume is a short two-pager info about yourself, while a CV is supposed to be more detailed and can be more than two pages. When you get an interview call, listen carefully what they want you to bring.
(With inputs from Somdev Mukherjee, training head and counsellor, Techno India NJR Institute of Technology, Udaipur)