Top 5 Tips on How to Write an Effective Resume

by Sandeep | Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2017

The article is written by Ms. Vibha Kagzi, Founder and Chief Education Officer,

Top 5 Tips on How to Write a Jaw Dropping Resume for College Admissions

There are hundreds of resume templates online, but how will your resume grab eyeballs? These 5 tips on resume writing make your study abroad dream come true.

By now, you must have scanned at least a dozen resume templates, including the ones inbuilt in your word-processing software. If you are befuddled by the array of options that surround you, here are 5 tips to help you draft an eye-catching resume, that does not scream out with histrionics, but calls for attention.


  1. Your Resume Is a 30-Second Sales Pitch.

Think of your resume in terms of a sales call. The tele-sales person has 30 seconds to pique the interest of potential customers. If he or she fails to hit the nail in that brief moment of interaction, the opportunity is gone. Likewise, college admissions officers are pressed for time, with the thousands of applications they have to review. Moreover, they have limited attention span because each resume sounds like a machine-copy of the previous one. So make sure your resume provides them with a complete snapshot encouraging them to dig deeper into your application.


  1. Focus on the Formatting.

Instead of using loud layouts, stick to simple, and consistent formatting with fonts and font size that are easy on the eye.  Formatting is the backbone of your resume that helps to make the content visible. Be consistent with the font, use of bold, headers and sub-headers. Formatting will de-clutter your content and render it a neat presentation. To understand the visuals, take a print out of the resume.


  1. Be Specific and Quantify Your Achievements.

While talking about your achievements, specify your function or contribution. Your main purpose is to highlight your ability to determine the cause of an issue, take appropriate measure and describe how you succeeded in the implementation. Instead of generic statements like “enabled change in the process”, say “identified gaps in the system…analysed data…increased speed” etc. Also, give facts and figures to drive home the impact of your performance. For example, instead of saying, “I supervised my technical team,” say, “I headed a group of 10 people on a $X million project.” Numbers not only add to your credibility but also speaks volumes about your potential, grit and determination.


  1. Don’t Go by the Copy-Paste Approach.

Tailor your resume to the college you want to apply to. Admissions officers can see through a copy and paste job. They definitely don’t want to induct a student who cares little about customizing his/her resume to the college of their choice. Also, make sure to draft a resume suited for college applications instead of remodeling your job application resume. For example, an MBA application resume generally needs to be 1 page long, where as an employment resume can be longer.


  1. Avoid Silly Mistakes.

Your resume is a snapshot of who you are. Though to err is human, in this scenario, an error would cost you a seat in your dream college. Silly mistakes such as spelling, grammar, wrong word or number, and the like creates a negative impression about your language skills and meticulousness. Remember that you are competing with thousands of candidates with exceptional calibre to be included in the 6%-10% of the lucky few who get accepted. To weed out errors you need to: a) proof read, b) edit and c) read your resume after a gap of 2 days, to spot the previously missed errors, and d) get it reviewed by an expert.



  1. Edit, Edit, Edit. And After That Edit Once Again.

Nobody is perfect. We can all improve. Even after the final draft is ready, you can improve the language, style, structure, and look of your resume. You’d be surprised to find the number of errors that missed your critical eye. Proofread your resume until you think it is perfect. You can also ask for insights from a close family member who can view things from a different perspective.


Resume writing is a critical step of the college application process. Make sure that you have ample time on hand to build a good resume. A rush job will reveal its tacky seams. With these 5 tips, you can create that awe-inspiring resume.


About the Author Sandeep

Hi Guys, I am Sandeep Co-founder of IASpaper and UPSCToday Staying in Mumbai (India) and pursuing graduation in Computer Science and Engineering from Mumbai University. I love helping Aspirants. You may join me on Facebook

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