Building a Resume: 5 Minute Guide

Resumes serve a two-fold purpose. For the Applicant, it is a Marketing tool highlighting his USP.  For the Employer, it is a Screening tool to separate wheat from chaff.

Multiple studies have shown that the average time spent by a recruiter in looking at a Resume is 5 to 7 seconds. This small window of time is enough to initiate the process of getting into your dream organization. If a resume is presented effectively, this not only attracts more interview offers, but also speaks for the applicant’s good management skills.

Here are some pointers to be considered for making a sizzling, high-impact Resume –

  1. Heading : Give your Resume a title that is not only eye-catching but is a summary statement of your candidacy.
  2. Skills : Mention your skills in brief. There are two types of skill sets – Hard skills and Soft skills. Hard skills are the technical skills and abilities that are job specific, e.g. – Accounting, Graphic Designing, etc. Soft skills are the personal skills, that make up a person’s emotional intelligence and are person specific. E.g. – Leadership skills, Motivation skills, Communication skills, etc.
  3. Social Media Link : Recruiters nowadays prefer to run through your profiles at various social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, just to get a better idea, not only about you but your networking as well. Quick Tip : Try and get more (honest) endorsements on LinkedIn.
  4. Accomplishments : Your designation and profile give an idea about your job responsibilities, however, you could add your achievements/ accomplishments (especially the tangible ones) that would make it seem more real to the recipient.
  5. Cover Letter : Add a suitable cover letter which matches your resume. This can give you an advantage over other candidates.

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Once you’ve included all this data, make sure you have the following in order –

  • Formatting : Use simple, clearly readable, formal font. Highlight wherever necessary. Instead of writing in paragraph style, use bullets and make points. Use consistent font and formatting style throughout the resume for both text and dates.
  • Use Key Words : Some companies use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to scan resumes which search for the inclusion of predefined “key words”. Studies show that ATS can eliminate up to 75% of resumes received prior to review by a human reader. So, don’t forget to add keywords and use them appropriately. Quick tip: Do not use excessive key words either (your Resume might end up as spam e-mail!). Remember to work in moderation.
  • Email id : Studies show that 76% Resumes are rejected due to lack of professional email ids. Choose an email id that sounds like it belongs to a working professional rather than a teenager.
  • Follow Chronological Order : While listing your experience and educational details, mention the last one first, that is, your recent/current experience and your highest degree should appear on the top while mentioning your work experience and education details, respectively.
  • Other important sections : After completing your work-ex and educational details, add other important sections – such as Certificates/Awards, language proficiency, details of any projects handled, etc.
  • Length of Resume : Do not follow any myth of the resume to be limited to one page or it to be as lengthy as possible. Mention all necessary details, yet keep it concise. Do not include unnecessary details. Remember to use a targeted approach.
  • Proof Read : Before submitting your resume, always proof-read and double-check it. Run spell checks and make sure there are no grammatical errors (Quick Tip : you could use a tool like Grammarly). Always send an updated resume.
  • References : Though not necessary, but it is always good to add 2-3 references towards the end of your resume. You could add their email ids as their contact information.

Remember, its the small things that can make or break your chances of landing your dream job!

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Make it!

                    OR

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Break it!

 

This article has been authored by Ruchi Malhari from Team LawSkills

If you want to hone your skills further and ace that interview, click here!

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First Job Jitters? Here’s How to Keep your Cool!

Finished your studies, got placed and looking forward to joining your first job? Congratulations! You’ve made it this far.

A new job tends to give jitters to even the most seasoned lot. Thus, when it is your first job, it’s only natural that to feel stressed.

However, the first job always has an advantage because your mind is free. It’s a completely fresh start. There are no yardsticks. There is no prior work culture experience to compare with. So, the key is that you stay positive and enthusiastic about it and bear the following in mind when you report at work. This will surely help you sail through smoothly.

  • Be Suitably  Attired: Your attire says a lot about you. Dress for success, not to impress! Your outfit may not be as per the most recent fashion, but it should be as per your office rules!

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  • Be Punctual: Keep extra time in hand. Adapt yourself to this new phase in life by practicing in advance. Change your sleep cycle, get up early, do whatever it takes to always be on time. It will always be the first impression that you make!

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  • Etiquette : Carry your etiquette along, for no matter what and how many degrees you hold, it can all go down the drain, in that one moment when you act crude.

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  • Be Confident: Be confident, in whatever you say, whatever you do.

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  • Be Honest : Being it your first job, no one will expect you to know everything. If you don’t know something – ask, be honest, for this is the one quality that will go long way.

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  • Profile Expectations : Sometimes, our job profile could be different from what we have been studying for. Not getting the desired “as studied” profile may cause dissatisfaction. Don’t over analyze it on the first day. Give it some time, settle down, find out more about what your job requires from you. Don’t judge the book by its cover.

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  • Communicate Effectively : Being a good listener is more important than being a good speaker. Listen carefully before responding. Follow the three C’s of communication – be Consistent, Clear and Courteous.

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And finally, just stay calm. Remember that eventually, everything falls into place.

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As the adage goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

This article has been authored by Ruchi Malhari from Team LawSkills.

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Law as a Career – Stride to Success

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The Indian education system, by default, creates multiple stages of stress in the academic journey of students. Arguably, the most intense amongst these is the Higher Secondary Examination (HSC or 12th board). HSC students are on the verge of choosing their life path (well, almost) after their exams. This dilemma is unexplainable – for some, it is the lack of options, and for others, it is the ocean of options to choose from. Either way, it is a huge stress on young minds.

Law as a profession offers a plethora of career avenues for students to explore and conquer. Thus, it is no surprise that more and more youngsters these days are gravitating towards law as their preferred choice of career and with good reasons. For every person with proficiency in communication, keen and logical reasoning, analytical skills and capacity to read and imbibe – legal sphere is the place to be. Law schools add on to these skills and make students legal professionals. This process has various steps.

Firstly, an entrance exam needs to be cleared to gain admission into a good and reputed law school. The most sought after ones are – CLAT (For most National Law Schools), AILET (NLU-Delhi), LSAT (scores accepted by various colleges like IIT Kharagpur’s Law School, OP Jindal Global University, Amity Law School, etc.).

Secondly, you need to know which course to opt for. The integrated 5 year graduate degree comprises bachelors of law coupled with other disciplines like B.A, B.Sc., B.Com and B.B.A.  Students can choose their subjects based on interest and proclivity and the stream studied by him at the HSC level.  The three-year law degree can be pursued by a graduate from any discipline.

Thirdly, a call needs to be taken during their final years in college, when the curriculum divides into specializations like corporate law, intellectual property law, criminal law, etc. Moreover, by this time the student is well armed to make an informed choice, having learnt the nuances of these specializations during internships.

Upon graduation, the career options available to a law graduate are –

  • Litigation – Litigators or legal practitioners provide dispute resolution services to their clients by representing them in the courts of law. They handle a multitude of matters ranging from criminal, civil to commercial cases. However, at the onset of their careers, litigators have to learn the ropes by working under senior lawyers. Thus, the salary is not very lucrative during the learning stage and can be expected to range between Rs. 15 – 20K per month. However, it rises exponentially with the level of experience and increase in clients.
  • Corporate Counsel – Corporate lawyers handle all transactions on behalf of companies either as a part of their in-house legal team or as part of corporate law firms who have been retained to provide legal services. The work area ranges from negotiating contracts to facilitating mergers, ensuring compliance of regulations, et al. A fresher starting off at a decent law firm can expect to earn between Rs. 6-8 lacs p.a.
  • Judiciary and Civil Service – Exams for entering judicial services are conducted state-wise. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts a nationawide exam for recruitment to various civil service positions in the Government like Indan Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS), Indian Police Services (IPS), etc. These are safe options for graduates desirous of a stable government job and for the ones who would like to view things from the other side of the table by becoming judges. However, it is recommended to sit for these exams after obtaining 1-2 years of work experience. Salaries for judges and government officials are revised from time to time as notified by the Government.
  • Judicial Clerkship – One can also gain experience and put his researching skills to good use by working under judges in various courts by opting for judicial clerkship which is offered on contractual basis. A Supreme Court Judicial Clerkship can pay between Rs. 40 – 50K per month.
  • Media and Publication – Law graduates can also work towards the dissemination of information to public on important legal matters by writing books, reporting news by covering courtrooms (legal journalism), etc. People with a penchant for writing, current affairs and politics will find it to be a very satisfying career.
  • Legal Process Outsourcing – By working at LPOs, law graduates can provide intelligent solutions to overseas clients like document review and support, contract vetting.
  • Academia – Another option for law graduates is to give back to the community by taking up the noble profession of teaching. However, one needs to have a Masters degree to become eligible to apply for teaching posts in colleges and universities. NET will also have to be cleared to get tenure. Salary will depend on the applicable Pay Commission. A Masters in Law (LL.M.) degree will add a ‘specialized’ status to your profile, especially when pursued abroad. Further, LL.M. in international laws like international commercial arbitration, international trade, international law and policy, will place you in the unique position to pick a country of your choice to settle in.
  • Social Work – Lawyers are, arguably, best equipped for undertaking social work as they are aware of the legal rights and obligation of all strata of society. Meaningful work can be done by working with NGOs and Government Commissions like National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, National Human Rights Commission, etc.

In today’s world, there is no pigeon-holing of careers into neat, distinct compartments. Hence, law graduates can also combine their degree with other disciplines like business administration, company secretary, etc., or take up freelancing or even work with the think tanks. They can even end up carving out new careers for themselves in the days to come.

To understand more about careers in law, you can also gain an insight from the following –

This article has been authored by Varnika Jain from Team LawSkills.

 

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Why look for Career Counseling?

lawyer-3268430_1920There are a number of misbeliefs that are widely held while choosing a career.

  • For instance, if my father, sibling or uncle is happy in a certain field, I will be too!
  • I am scoring well in a subject hence I will be successful in that field.

But the fact is that each person is unique. What works for one, may not work for another. Just because a job holds a very good place in the society, does not mean that job is right for you. There needs to be an understanding of your own competencies as well as your interests and your academic performance is not necessarily the right indication of your aptitude.

Selecting a career option decides your course of life.

While a good choice can make your life pleasing, a wrong one can ruin it.

Keep in mind that these decisions are permanent. In case of confusion it is best to take specialized help. Career counseling is probably the best choice in this case.

This article has been authored by Rituparna Prasoon from Team LawSkills.

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