Are you a student applying to colleges and universities to study abroad? Or are you a professional looking for a job? Then, you have reached the right place. Considering an SOP and a resume being the most important and crucial documents to be submitted while applying to colleges or while looking for a job. This article gives you a detailed insight on a solid SOP and Resume and why you need them to get into your desired college or company. So, grab your tea or coffee and dive right into this in-depth, step-by-step guide.
What is an SOP?
An SOP, that is, a statement of purpose, is a long piece of text written with the purpose of applying to any college or university. It notifies the admission committee who you are as an applicant, what are your personal and academic interests, why you are a good candidate for the applied program and university, and what are your short-term and long-term goals. In fact, SOP is the bridge between your previous experiences and future aspirations, making it one of the most important documents deciding your path. The SOP not only reflects who you are as a candidate but also demonstrates your writing and research abilities.
An SOP is a deciding factor for admission committees to accept or reject an application. So, it is highly critical to have an SOP that stands out from the rest of candidates applying for the admission.
Why is SOP so important?
The SOP plays an important role in your admission application, as it helps the admission department to truly determine whether you are a good fit for the program or not. It also helps you to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other candidates applying to the same program and university. Even if an applicant has a comparatively weaker scholastic profile, a well-written SOP can increase the chances of getting admission. It provides the essential fluidity and flexibility for you to tell your story your way. Everyone has different strengths and different experiences to share. In an SOP, you have the space to ensure that these points get the consideration they deserve. Thus, you have to pay great attention to writing a good SOP irrespective of your academic and professional achievements.
Tips for writing a stellar SOP
1. Keep it simple and interesting
The key to writing a good SOP is to sound interesting while also making sure to communicate clearly and effectively. Although your words must stand out in the mind of the reader (remember that your language skills are getting evaluated too), they should also be simple and easy to understand. If you can read your SOP to a friend without feeling that it is pretentious and boring, you are good to go.
2. Be genuine and honest
Being honest is the first quality that every university wants from its students. Do not include anything in your statement of purpose that is not genuine. Making false statements will only create a bad impression of you and will get you rejected right away. So, authenticity and genuineness are the hallmarks of the content of your SOP. It is all a matter of fact that how you present that content.
3. Maintain a proper flow
Maintaining a story-like flow while writing your SOP can make it more readable and interesting. The most basic way to create such a flow is by talking about the things you have done in chronological order. Make sure that your ideas are flowing smoothly while moving from one paragraph to another. Try to maintain this flow throughout your statement of purpose.
4. Show your motivation
The recruiters or the admission committee want to know your underlying motivation to learn more in the chosen area and pursue a particular research experience. They also want to understand why you are interested in getting admittance into their university only. Hence, you should thoroughly explain how the program and university are going to help you in becoming what you genuinely aspire to be in the future.
5. Do the necessary research
A lot of people do not bother to read the instructions and use the same statement of purpose while applying to every university out there. You should understand that every university is looking for something different from its applicants. So, you need to do all the research about them and write your SOP according to their requirements.
5. Build a connection
Being familiar with the university curriculum and facilities along with being aware of the student programmes, faculty, internship opportunities, student societies, and traditions sets you apart from others. It shows you are interested to study in the particular university at a deeper personal level. Your motivation to study at the selected university should be clear and evident. Also depicting how with your talent, previous experiences and interest, you can contribute to the university you are applying at. You need to highlight how you will be able to contribute to the university community, via sports, volunteering services, or societies and clubs.
Format to follow while writing an SOP
While formatting your SOP, you can structure it into the five main points given below. Each point can be covered in one or more paragraphs but try to cover all these points in your statement of purpose.
Make sure your SOP is to the point, relevant, engaging and neither too lengthy nor too short.
1. Catchy introduction
Your statement of purpose (sop) should begin with something that makes the reader curious to read more about you. You can start your first paragraph by mentioning any unique characteristics about you that they should know. You may also talk about your personal qualities and your interests within the professional field. Do not forget to mention how much and what kind of remarkable experiences you have gained in your life.
2. Education and work background
Information about your previous education and work background is mandatory because it shows what you have learned and accomplished in your journey so far and how these experiences have led you to apply for the chosen program. Keep in mind that all your previous experiences should be coherent together and with the program, you want to study further.
3. Why this program and university
Stating your reason behind choosing the particular program and university helps the reader to understand why they should select you. It also shows them that you are clear about your goals and have done the essential research. You can mention all the things that directed you towards studying this program and how it will help you from a long-term career perspective. You can also talk about the program curriculum, academic facilities, or any other thing that you like about the university.
4. Career goals
You should clearly explain your career goals and objectives in your statement of purpose. Discuss your plans about whether you want to take up further research or end up with a job. This section is quite important because it signifies that you are precise about what exactly you want from your career and are determined to work towards achieving your goals.
5. Convincing conclusion
Ending your statement of purpose with a convincing conclusion is as essential as starting it with a catchy introduction. Your last paragraph should be able to convince the reader that you are a worthy applicant for their university. In this paragraph, summarise what you have written throughout your SOP or write a powerful statement about how you can contribute to their university.
6. Personalized touch
Writing an SOP that is too formal can appear bland and boring. Make sure when you portray your skills and background you add a personal touch to your SOP like mentioning an experience or sharing some challenge you overcame to accomplish your goal.
Looking at how important an SOP and understanding its deep impact, let’s move on to the next most crucial document – a Resume.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a formal document that sums up the qualifications of job seekers. A resume, bespoke for the job position they are applying for, is better than just the prototype. A typical resume, ranging from 1 to 2 pages, contains a summary of relevant education background, work experience, and skills, which helps the employer to identify whether one is suitable for the role. When applying to a company, a well-structured resume holds power to land you an interview. In addition to the potential employers, a resume can also be used while applying to a graduate school or seeking scholarships and professional references.
How crucial is a Resume?
A good and crisp resume is your golden ticket to an interview as it showcases your professional capabilities to the employers. It is your first chance to catch your employer’s attention and get a step closer to your dream job. Remember that employers spend only a few seconds looking at your resume, and you need to stand out from all the other candidates. You can consider it as a timeline of the greatest and most relevant accomplishments that employers are looking for in their ideal employees. Therefore, never underestimate the first impression you will make by crafting a well-tailored resume.
Tips to a Professional Resume
1. Make it easy to read and understand
A lot of people think that using fancy and complicated words will make them look fancier in front of the recruiter. But in reality, using complicated words can make it hard for the reader to understand your thoughts properly. The language of your resume should be easy to read and understand, without any hassles, so that your reader does not have to take the help of a dictionary or read a sentence twice to understand your point.
2. Be consistent in content and format
When it really comes to the visibility of your resume, you have to make sure that you are consistent in your content and format. Do not use any tables, columns, or even graphics in the resume. While these things look great on your resume, the problem with them is that they will not let your resume get past the applicant tracking system. So, make sure that your resume is clean and sophisticated.
3. Write to express rather than impress
The main purpose or goal of your resume is to impress the recruiter and hiring manager so that you can get the selection. However, if you write with the motive of only impressing them, your focus instantly shifts on the reader’s mind instead of your actual experiences and thoughts. That is why you should only focus on expressing yourself to put your true self on the paper.
4. Customize according to the job profile
Your resume should only comprise the most relevant experiences for the job profile, which means that you have to tailor your resume according to every single position you apply for. Customizing your resume is essential because recruiters don’t have much time to go through everything. You seriously might have put all your efforts into crafting a single resume, but when it goes to the recruiter’s desk, they only want to know if you have the qualities that they are looking for.
5. Use the right keywords
Many recruiters scan for certain keywords and experiences to filter for the qualities they want in their potential candidates. According to a study, an average job description includes around 43 keywords, but most candidates could not match with them on their resume. To overcome this, you can use any online word cloud tool to identify the most frequent keywords in the job description and try to include them organically while writing your resume.
Remember, your resume highlights all your professional and educational experiences and learnings so make sure it is written with great care and motivation.
Format for a Catchy Resume
There are five main or key sections that you should include in your resume. But remember that there is no specific rule to craft a perfect resume, and you are free to edit it any number of times according to your preference. This is where the tailoring comes in—understand the job requirements and structure your resume accordingly.
The first section of the resume should include your full name and an objective of 2-3 sentences. The objective states your professional goals and shows why you are interested in the particular job. Now, you must be guessing about how to write an objective that will make the recruiter read your resume with great interest. The best way to write a crisp objective is to leave this section and write it after completing other sections to get some clarity about your goals. Remember to include some keywords from your search about the job requirements.
2. Contact information
Contact information is an important part of your resume. Otherwise, how will the recruiter contact you if your resume gets shortlisted? So, do not forget to mention your current contact details like phone number and email id below your introduction part. Most hiring managers and recruiters do not print out a candidate’s resume until an interview has been scheduled. Make sure to hyperlink your email, website, LinkedIn, and personal portfolio so that when they view your resume on the computer, they are only one click away to delve deeper into your professional background.
3. Work experience and professional achievements
In this section, you should include your work experiences in reverse chronological order. Also, highlight your achievements rather than duties while listing your job descriptions. This is because hiring managers are not interested in your previous job duties. They are a lot more interested to know about the achievements you made. You can also skip this segment if you are a fresher and don’t have any type of work experience. Include internship experience, if you have any, in such a case.
4. Educational background
The education section should be the top priority of the people who don’t have any previous working experience. It includes a list of your education degrees and marks obtained in reverse order, like graduation, 12th, and then 10th. For freshers, you can utilize this section by talking about all the projects and internships done during your graduation, through which you have gained valuable lessons.
5. Skills and additional information
This section in your resume can make a huge difference in your job profile. But surely keep in mind that you should only include skills and information related to the job you are pursuing. List your most relevant skills first and make each entry brief and specific. Do not list character traits along with skills. Although qualities like hard work and dedication are necessary, only listing them will not be enough. Instead, you can highlight these qualities through the tasks and achievements of your work experience.
Do’s and Don’ts of SOP and Resume
1. Get professional help
If you have never written a statement of purpose or resume before, or are unable to do so, you should seriously consider seeking help from professional writers to write your statement of purpose and resume. By doing this, you can just sit back and relax while an experienced writer will do all the work for you. Moreover, a professionally crafted SOP will enable you to outshine your competitors and secure admission to the college or university that you always desired.
2. Use a conversational tone
It is difficult for applicants, especially first-time applicants, to know if their writing is striking the right tone. Some try to use a very formal tone, like that in an application, while some use a very informal tone, like that in an email. The right tone for most statements of purpose and resume is to be conversational. Your resume should be written in a subtle formal tone, which also has a bit of originality and creativity. To do so, the best approach is to listen to your speech in any text-to-speech tool that is available online to know how your writing will sound to others.
3. Look out for word and page limits
You should always watch out for the ideal length limit while creating your SOP and resume. Usually, universities and companies specify the word and page limits. In case they haven’t, you can write an SOP of about 800-1000 words. On the other hand, a perfect resume should be short but concise, ranging from 1 to 2 pages. In any case, never let your SOP or resume exceed two pages, as it will only exhaust the reader.
4. Proofread thoroughly
Always proofread your SOP and resume thoroughly before submitting to correct any mistakes. You should read your statements repeatedly to check if there are any grammatical errors or typos in the draft. You can also show it to your seniors or professors to get their honest feedback. Proofreading will help you in making a good impression on the recruiters by showing them that you have put in your sincere efforts while writing.
Always remember to research on the university/ course/ job you are applying to then prepare your documents. And be sure to make it relevant, in the trend and up to date so your application can get accepted instantly.
1. Grammatical mistakes
The most crucial thing that you should take care of while writing is grammatical errors. This is the factor that shows how serious you are about your application to the other person. If you are giving your draft with grammatical errors, it increases your chances of getting rejected easily. That is why you should always use some good grammar tools to rectify your grammar mistakes before submitting the final draft.
Plagiarism, intentional or even done by mistake, in SOP or resume, is considered very wrong and cannot be justified. If you think that copying from the internet will help you in getting selected, then you are digging your own grave, as the university or company will check the document on their system to detect any plagiarism. You can simply avoid this issue by using online plagiarism checking tools to check your drafts before submitting them.
3. Repetition of words
It is natural to inadvertently repeat a few words when you are writing a long piece of content. But, overdoing it can make your thoughts unclear to the reader and make the document monotonous. You should be nicely able to express yourself clearly, without repeating the same information. You can simply avoid this mistake by replacing the repeated words with other synonyms. It will show the recruiter that you have great vocabulary and language skills, which makes you an efficient communicator.
4. Florid language
Although you should take care of any writing and grammatical mistakes in your SOP and resume, you have to also simultaneously remember that it is not a language test unless you are applying for a language program. You are completely wrong if you think that ornate language will impress the recruiters. Using words that are difficult to read will not help you in any way. Rather, you should focus on conveying your message more efficiently.
5. Unnecessary information
Make sure your documents are crisp and only include relevant information. Don’t beat around the bush or make them too lengthy trying to include every information about you possible. Keep them concise, clean, sharp and easy to read.
Best SOP and Resume writing services in India
Below are some of the best writing services in India for students who want to get into their dream college or job. These writing services will prepare your SOP and resume such that you get accepted by the admission and recruitment councils around the globe.
1. Write Right
Write Right is the highest-rated content writing agency offering the best SOP and resume writing services in India. With over 6 years in the market and 50 plus dedicated experts, it provides the best-experienced professionals for your writing needs.
Taletel is another leading writing agency that provides top-notch quality content to its customers. It has a team of 20 plus expert writers who will create exceptional SOP and resume for you to fulfill your professional goals.
Estorytellers has been a popular writing services provider in India. Their writers are well known for creating SOPs and resumes that not only increase your chances of getting selected but also help you to stand out among the crowd of applicants.
4. Kalam Kagaz
Kalam Kagaz is a writing agency that is famous for its SOP and resume writing services. Right from designing your resume to writing your statement of purpose, their brilliant writers will make sure to deliver their best and get you approved by the selection committee.
Bloggism is yet another well-recognized creative content writing service provider in India. Client satisfaction is the foremost priority of their professional writers. Their written SOP and resume surely have the strength to get you closer to your dreams.
SOP and Resume have become mandatory requirements for getting admission into prestigious colleges or universities all over the world. By following the above mentioned guidelines, you will surely be able to build your SOP and resume that will propel you towards getting approved by any recruiter. Before moving further, remember that every format has its charm and there is no single rule that will help you to secure the position. So, take your time and do what you think is right for you and your application. So, take your time and do what you think is right for you and your application and then proceed further.