Know the Basics of a Resume: Importance, Mistakes & Precautions

basics of a resume

Know the Basics of a Resume: Importance, Mistakes & Precautions

A resume is a 1-page document that highlights your education, academic background, work experience, publications, awards, presentations, honors, and additional details. We use it while applying for jobs, Academic programs, and scientific research-based positions. In simple terms, a resume carries your professional image. Here we present some of the key ideas on the basics of a resume preparation. Check it out!

Resume Vs Cv


The goal of a resume is to showcase your experience and skills to ensure that you are eligible for a job, while the purpose of a CV is to highlight your achievements in science and research fields.


Generally, a resume is restricted to a one-pager, maybe a little more if you have more than ten years of work experience to exhibit, while a CV can be about two pages long.


A resume contains your contact information, education details, and work experiences with the skill sets required for the job. But A CV displays your contact information followed by education details, research experiences, interests, awards, recognitions, and publication details if you have any.

Why should you know about the basics of a good resume?


The three main reasons for you to spend quality time in crafting (a deliberate choice of the word) an impactful resume are:

  1. For making a compelling case for yourself so that you get an interview call
  2. To highlight how you can contribute by clearly articulating the skills you possess and displaying action Verbs to demonstrate your work experience
  3. To differentiate yourself from other candidates for the same position. Here the differentiation is not so much in making a creative, colorful resume but making an effective and impactful one.

4 ways to get noticed

  1. Length And Formatting
  2. Well-crafted sections containing the following:
    a)Contact Information
    c)Educational Background
    d)Skills & Interests
    e)Awards & Recognition
  3. Action verbs to demonstrate experience
  4. Quantify to make an impact


Also read: How you can avoid these 10 mistakes while drafting your Resume

1) Length and formatting

The ideal resume length is one page. If you have more than ten years of experience, you can extend it to 2 pages. Your résumé must be concise and accurate. Do not beat around the bush. Keep it as brief as possible and choose your words carefully. Stick to fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, avoid underlining, shading, and adding text boxes. Font size should be between 10 and 12 points, and keep it consistent throughout the document. Margins should also be consistent and should be at least three-quarters of an inch in size.

2) Well-crafted sections containing the following:

a)Contact Information

Your name usually remains at the top of the page of the résumé. It should be bold and visible from a distance. Your professional email id and phone number should remain under the name. If you want to use a temporary email id or home address, you can put that on the left and right of the page.

b)Work Experience

It is the section that shows what jobs and job titles you have held in the past. This section is about demonstrating your growth in reverse chronology, listing the companies you have worked for, dates of employment, positions held, and brief descriptions of your responsibilities.

Write specifically about how you contributed to the organization- What was your role, and how important was that role. The organization or university that you apply to does not want company-specific jargon. They are more interested in what your responsibilities are in the organization.


List your education in reverse chronology. List your latest education first and then go backward. First, put the name of the degree, then the institution name and years attended. If your marks or grades are poor, do not mention them.


Masters in Business Administration
 University Name
 Year of degree

If you’re in high school, then list your education at the top of your résumé before your work experience. Let your education do the talking for now, even if you already have a little work experience.

When you are in college or have just graduated, you will generally be studying subjects that you want to take up as a profession, later on, so your education section will have more depth to it. However, you will still probably have no work experience under your belt. Unless you have substantial work experience at that point, don’t mention it before the education section. It would still be advisable to put your education first.

Once you start working as a professional, your work experience will increase in depth. Once you become seasoned in your profession, you can put your experience section before your education section. At this stage, your work experience will carry the weight in your resume, and employers will not be that interested in your percentages and marks.

d)Skills and interests

Hard Skills

Hard skills are technical skills that you can learn. Most of us learn them in schools. They are what employers look for time and again. Nowadays, we can measure these skills. Employers use ATS software to identify hard skills. These skills have a well-defined structure and therefore are easier to organize. You should list Hard skills primarily. Some examples of hard skills are computer skills, accounting, coding, languages, and sales skills.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are the ones that we can not measure. They are generally not taught in school and need to be cultivated. There is no well-defined structure, and it is very subjective. They are interpersonal skills. Even though they are hard to organize and ATS systems may not track them, they are still imperative to your resume. So you must include them. Soft skills bring out a brief highlight about what kind of person you are. Examples of soft skills are – good communication, stress management, teamwork, and adaptability.

It’s important to match your skills to the job. Most job listings mention the skills that are required.

If you play a sport or a musical instrument, are involved in any art form, and participate in community work, mention it as your interest. Especially if you are applying to colleges, mention a wide variety of hobbies and interests. Universities look for all-rounded individuals. Many companies are very involved with their local communities and like cultured individuals. When applying for a job, try and include interests that are related to the job.

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This section is crucial if you want to have an idea about the basics of a resume preparation. We know Achievements and responsibilities are two different things. Responsibilities are what you are required to do. They are the outline of your job, and we mention them in the job description. Achievements are when you do something extra and do well on those responsibilities. It shows that you have done more than your responsibilities. Employees have the same responsibilities in a company but will have different achievements.

By putting awards and achievements you will be one step ahead of other candidates. Employers can see that you have shone at your previous jobs and will think you can excel with them as well. Achievements and awards show more than just potential. They are accolades for what you have already done. This adds a lot of worth to your resume.

When you start, you will have academic achievements to show. As you gain more experience and start excelling at your job, you might start getting professional awards.

If you have excelled in any sport, make sure to write down your awards. Winning an interschool, state, or national event adds tremendous impact to your resume. State or national rankings provide an extra boost when applying to colleges. Many colleges in India have a sports quota. Drama and music can also be trump cards in your resume. If you have been part of any drama club and have won competitions, include that in this section. If you play a musical instrument and have completed exams like ABSRM/Trinity, be sure to mention that as well.

3) Action verbs

To have the most impact with your words, use action verbs. Action verbs shorten sentences, bring out clarity, and are more powerful. Passive language can be boring and result in more clutter. Action verbs can summarize a point in an impactful way. This makes it easier for the employer to comprehend.

Connect with us to find out whether you have sufficient Action Verbs in your Resume

4) Quantify to make an impact

Numbers add specificity and strength to your Resume. Add certain metrics to your work experience. That is, use numbers, amounts, and percentages (e.g., “Increased monthly sales by thirty percent,” “Supervised and trained six new employees,” “Handled daily receipts totaling 2 lakhs,” “Designed 22 costumes for local production of”). Ask yourself these questions- How did you help your company achieve a specific task? What problems did you solve for the company? Did you create any strategy that helped the organization in some way? What impact did you make in the company? For example, if you’re going to write about increasing sales or improving efficiency in the company, support these claims with real statistics and an explanation of how you accomplished these feats. Be very specific. Make sure it does not go beyond your contribution.

What not to do in a resume

  • Don’t use all capital letters – it becomes harder to read
  • Avoid using several fonts. It’s distracting. Use either Times New Roman or Arial, which are easily readable
  • Don’t use long-winded sentences
  • Avoid using fancy templates to construct the resume
  • Try not to use superlatives to emphasize your work
  • Doing it in a rush is not good
  • Don’t lie

How many resumes do you need?

The golden rule here is to follow horses for courses. It means don’t peddle the same resume for different roles. Spend time in understanding the skills required for the role (look at the JD carefully) and craft a different resume for different requirements.

A resume is required right from college through your career. Make sure you get it right!

Get Free Evaluation

After knowing the basics of a resume, such as importance and mistakes, you must evaluate your résumé. At ”Edupeer‘, we allow you to evaluate your resume for free. With 3 easy steps, you can change your perspective of making your resume. So check it out!

At EduPeer, we can help you with all your college admission needs, from choosing the right country and subjects for you to college lists, resume building, interview preparation and much more. Book a free consultation by clicking on the button and filling in the details below.