You have made the decision to take the next step in your career, and one daunting task looms ahead of you immediately: updating or rewriting your resume. Whatever stage of a career you’re in currently, writing or updating a resume is a challenge. Questions will probably come up such as: what experience should I include and in how much detail? What format should I use? And how can I make my resume stand out from others? 

And these are legitimate concerns - resumes are one or two written pages that aim to summarise all the experience, learnings and accomplishments of your career. The way that a resume is structured and the way it presents your career information can make the difference between whether or not a hiring manager or recruiter will spend a few extra seconds reading through your qualifications for open job vacancies.

If you're lost on where to begin, consider using a resume template as a starting point. The ideal resume will be easy to read, well-organised and highlight experiences in a way that is easy for the hiring manager to digest. Here are three free resume templates you can use for any stage of your career, to take the next steps for your 2020 job search in India. 

1. Chronological resume template

This traditional resume style works particularly well with those who have a shorter career history, or for those who have held multiple roles within one organisation. This resume style ensures that potential employers see your work experience in a quick, easy to follow way, working backwards from your most recent experience. It should include your education, work experience, and other information that can be easily and quickly digested. If you have a few chronological gaps, see this article on how to handle employment gaps

2. Skills-based mid-level resume

This resume is good for those at the managerial level and above. Once you have a significant amount of experience, it might be tedious and time-consuming for a hiring manager to read through every position you’ve held – this gives you the chance to highlight your most relevant experience and skill sets. Focus on the roles that are most relevant to the role you are aspiring to, and those in which you've felt you've given the best performance. 

3. Executive-level resume

This template is ideal for director level jobs and upwards. This executive-level template focuses on what you have achieved and how you achieved it. Overall, it is very results-driven. Additionally, the format leaves room for you to highlight any position you hold in other organisations or boards, and professional groups you may be a part of.

Use the template, then add your touch

Use these templates as a starting point for your resume, but then don’t hold back on customising and personalising the template to suit the role, your experience and personality. A well-organised resume is the first step in getting noticed in the pile, the second step is to let your experience and achievements shine, and the final step is to let a bit of personality show through. 

What skills should you highlight?

In 2020, there are two types of skills that employers are really looking for - transferable skills and soft skills. Transferable skills are especially important if you’re looking to switch to a new industry, or a new type of role, and have experience that isn’t directly related, but that can transfer. Examples of transferable skills are communication, team work, project management and technology or software knowledge. 

Soft skills are important because in a competitive job market,  these are the skills that will differentiate between candidates with similar or equal technical competencies and experience. Soft skills influence how you will fit into the company culture, how you work with others and how you will lead a team. 

Take the opportunity to highlight both of these types of skills within your resume.  

The next steps

When your updated resume leads to an interview, start preparing for it by practicing your answers to common interview questions, along with coming up with your own to ask the potential employers. Starting reading up on questions to ask in a job interview to prepare for the next step. Being well prepared will help you stand out from the other interviewees, all vying for the same job. 

Meanwhile, why sit around and wait for the call? Check out more available jobs in India. Your dream job is nearer than you think. 

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