Internshala Resume Guide

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What is a resume? What is its purpose?
A resume is a 1-2 page document that presents your skills and achievements and that you may use to market
yourself. The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview call.

What should it contain?
A resume should contain short summary of your qualification, experience and other relevant details which
should help your recruiter make an assessment of your suitability for the given position.
Before you write anything on your resume just ask yourself if that information will help you get an interview call.

Useful pointers:
1. While it‟s good to have an objective statement in the beginning of a CV as it sets the tone for rest of the CV, but
following things should be taken care of:
a. Avoid sugar-coated, vague, generic global objective statements. You know you don‟t mean it, the employers
know even better
b. Objective should be very specific and should be substantiated by the internships/projects done.
2. The ideal length of a CV is 1-2 pages (it‟s hard to imagine a CV longer than that even before the start of your
career), so always be prudent about the use of space & choose the font and format wisely.
3. Always follow the reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent ones first) while outlining educational
qualifications, internships/projects, work experiences etc.
4. Relevance should be the mantra while writing about projects, paper presented etc. Mention only those which go
along with the objective of the CV instead of everything that you have done till date.

5. Always mention timeline & duration of projects/ internships along with a brief description.

6. Achievements: Was cricket team captain in school, participated and won dance competition in class 8 - really?
Do not make your CV unnecessarily long by mentioning redundant information.
7. Refrain from delivering unverifiable platitudes such as “I am hard working, sincere, diligent, team player” – let
your achievements and experiences speak for you.
8. Always avoid acronyms in CV as not everyone may be familiar with them. Also avoid using „lakhs‟, „crore‟ etc. –
Internationally people understand million, billion.

Common Resume Mistakes
Following is a list of common mistakes students make in their resumes. Have a look and see how many of these
errors (if any) your current resume contains. You may correct them now or in subsequent chapters .

These mistakes have been identified and listed as per what is generally expected in a professional resume in the
industry. There may be cases where you may have to follow the guidelines issued by your placement office or
recruiting company which may be contradictory to what is written here. In such situations, you have no choice but
to follow what is asked by them.

1. The resume file is not named properly
Have you named your resume file as resume.doc or cv.doc or something similar? This is not only unprofessional
but also makes it difficult for a recruiter to identify your resume once he downloads and saves your resume to a
folder (Think what will happen if all the applicants' resumes were named as resume.doc inside that folder). Correct
practice to name your resume is First Name Last Name - CollegeName.doc. For example, if you are Rahul Rana
from IIT Madras, you can name your resume as Rahul Rana - IIT Madras.doc. Also wherever possible, always
send your resume in PDF format - looks very professional.

2. The resume runs into 2 pages or more
While there is no set rule that your resume necessarily have to be within 1 page but more often than not students'
resumes run into multiple pages either because it contains too many irrelevant details or because the space has
not been utilized efficiently. If your resume is more than 1.5 pages long, get your scissors ready. Remember, if
Steve Jobs can mention what he did in one page, so can you!

3. Resume follows a 2 column structure
At times, a few students make their resume in a 2 column structure. Please don't. Stick to a one column structure
as provided in sample resumes. Two column structures make the reading extremely difficult for a reader as it
becomes difficult to decide which column one should focus on. Plus it is highly space in-efficient.

4. Your resume contains logo of your college
There are a few colleges where Training & Placement cells make it compulsory that you put your college logo on
top of your resume - in that case you cannot help it. But otherwise, or when applying off campus, you do not need
to include the logo and make your resume unnecessarily bulky. Remember, your resume is your advertisement,
not your colleges. If you have your college logo in your resume for no reason, delete it NOW.

5. Your resume contains your photograph
Again, not required, if you have it in your current resume - please remove it. There is absolutely no need of a photo
in a resume unless you are applying for a position where how you look matters such as aviation, hospitality, media,
films, modeling etc. Else it is quite an outdated practice and unnecessary bulks up your resume file.


6. Your resume contains a very generic Career Objective statement
If you have a Career Objective listed in your resume, does it read something like this?
"To experience the challenges of a working engineer in a healthy but competitive environment of industry, enabling
to extract the best out of me which is conducive to learn and grow as professional, thereby directing my future
endeavors as an asset to the organization"
These kind of copy pasted and generic statements serve no purpose other than making it clear to a recruiter that
you have no idea of what you want from your career. You should either have a very specific objective statement
outlining your interests or have none at all (yes that is OK). An example of a good Objective statement is given
below "4th year B.Tech Computer Science student at IIT Madras with excellent academic record and keen interest and
practical exposure in the field of information security, especially web applications security."

7. In your resume, things are not listed in reverse chronological order
Look at your Academics, or Projects, or Internships, or Co/Extra Curricular section. Does it contain information in
reverse chronological i.e. most recent first order? Yes, in each section, you should mention the most recent
activity/achievement at the top and the least recent at the bottom. The reason being that employers are most
interested in what you have been upto recently and you should make it easy for them to find out that information. If
you have written it any other way in your resume in any section, please correct it now.

8. You have mentioned each year's/semester's GPA/% Marks in your Academics section.
Not required, just mentioning aggregate marks/CGPA is enough. For example, if you have completed six
semesters of your B.Tech degree, you do not have to write each semester's GPA; aggregate CGPA at the end of
6th semester is enough.

9. You have listed all the courses and labs that you have done till date
Not required, strike that section off please. At best list 2-3 most relevant courses along with your grades in those
courses (if grades were good). If an employer wants to know all the courses that you have done till date, he/she
will most probably ask for an official transcript anyway.

10. You have included knowledge of Windows in your Technical Skills section
Please don't. It's like saying you know English alphabets - it's that common.

1. What is the difference between a resume and a CV?
While these terms are often used interchangeably; the key difference between a resume and a CV is length.
A CV (stands for Curriculum Vitae meaning course of life in Latin) is a 2 or more pages (generally 3-8 pages) long
document which has in-depth details of your education, experience, achievements, awards, honors, publications
etc. in chronological order. A CV does not change with the internship or job you are applying to.
A resume is a concise summary (not more than 2 pages long) of your education, skills, or experience. It is highly
customizable document where you, depending on the type of internship/job you are applying for, may choose to
highlight one particular aspect over another.
Apparently a CV is mostly used while applying for academic positions, research positions, fellowships, grants etc.,
while a resume is used everywhere else. What most of the students write in India is a hybrid version of a resume
and a CV.

2. What all should one include in a resume?
Other than basic info such as name and contact details, whatever you think will help you get the interview call. The
secret lies in understanding what is it (a skill or an experience) that a particular employer is looking for and then
customize your resume to highlight that aspect of your credentials and profile well.
Read the job or internship description carefully to understand what skills does it demand and then write your
resume. For example, if the role requires knowledge of Java programming while majority of your projects have
been in PHP and only 1 or 2 in Java; for this role you are better off highlighting your Java projects over PHP because that is what would attract the employer.
Remember not to inflate your resume with irrelevant and unnecessary details.

3. Does a resume necessarily have to be 1 page?
It is desirable but not mandatory (unless specifically asked for 1 page format by the organization you are applying
This does not mean that you go on writing about every small school competition that you ever participated in. And
honestly, it is difficult to imagine a resume longer than 1.5 pages for a student. Remember, relevancy is the key
but do not cram your resume into 1 page if you really can't.

4. Should one have a different resume for tech & managerial job?
Ideally yes. In a technical role, focus is more on technical know-how and hence you may want to spend more
space on your technical projects, programming skills etc. While in a managerial position, your interpersonal skills
are more important (communication, ability to coordinate, lead teams etc.).
Problem solving is one skill that is core to any type of role and should be given due space in resume. For example
if you have example of this great technical project which required you to solve a complex problem by breaking it
down into smaller problems; you must retain it even if you are applying to a managerial role

Sample Templates

Download this template here.


2. Download this template here.

Recommended Articles on Resume writing

1. The Nitty-Gritty of Resume Writing
2. Five Resume Blunders you should absolutely avoid
3. What is the difference between a CV and a resume?
4. Internships: Build Your Resume. Get Hired. Earn More.
5. How not to write an Internship CV


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