Your resume is an important tool for your job search and if done well, it can help you move into job interviews quickly. The tricky part is – what makes a resume good enough for an employer to contact you? We’ve put together 5 tips to help you ensure you are on the right track!
Tip 1: Provide a snapshot, not your life story
The term “Resume” is French for “sum up” or “summary”. In that light, make sure your resume is a snapshot of your career experiences over a maximum of 2 pages.
For a longer, fuller description of your career, it would be a “Curriculum Vitae ” or what is commonly known as “CV”. CV in Latin means “course of life” and it captures your full career history, including professional publications, conference participations, professional memberships, research publications. It is commonly used for application to academic roles and also for some immigration applications to aid assessments.
In Singapore and Asia, the terms Resume and CV are used interchangeably and the common understanding is that a 2 page snapshot document is used for the majority of job roles.
Tip 2: Tell them what is important to them
Recruiters and employers do not have time to read long pages about your work experiences. On average, your resume gets only about 7 to 20 seconds from them as they speed read through your resume to decide if they should consider it or discard it.
To ensure your resume stands a chance, do list out skills, achievements and experiences that would appeal to the employer. A simple way to do this is to refer to the skills, knowledge and ability keywords found in the job description and include them into the skills section, work experience sections of your resume. This should be done provided you do have have experiences in them. This practice ensures that your content and pointers are relevant to the job description. Make sure that these sections are placed on the first page of your resume so that they are not missed out.
Tip 3: Check. Check again. Avoid mistakes
Typos in your resume puts you at a disadvantage right away as it signals you as a careless and non meticulous person. As it is often hard to pick out your mistakes, enlist the help of a grammar checker software or ask a couple of friends to proofread your resume for mistakes.
Besides typos, another mistake that bugs the employer or recruiter is the inconsistent use of fonts and colors in a resume. These inconsistencies signal carelessness, possible poor judgement and puts you at a disadvantage right away.
Tip 4: Back up your resume with your stories
For each experience and skill you list in your resume, you should prepare a short story account of it, with details about how you used the skill, how you contributed and what you went through in the experience. Review your stories objectively as how a prospective interviewer might and evaluate it. Review if these listed skills and experiences in your resume helps you look more relevant to the employer or whether it should be enhanced or replaced with another story. Through this review process, you will end up with the right skills and experiences to include on your resume. It also helps you for the next stage of the job search – as a form of preparation for job interview questions where employers will ask about your skills and experiences.
Tip 5: Put your resume into the right places
All the hard work that you put into preparing your resume should be accompanied by creativity and effort to get the resume into the hands of people who would be interested to read it, not just into email inboxes of job portals and prospective employers. Doing this will greatly increase your chance of getting an interview since your resume will bypass the layers of screening and filtering done by resume screening software and resume reviewers.
Learn to leverage on your professional network, friends and acquaintances to help refer you into job roles that they have access to. LinkedIn is a good platform to help you tap on your network and crowdsource support. When going for events, training and even outings, always have a copy of your resume in softcopy, ready to be shared over email or your phone messenger.
Your resume is your source of hope for your career; it can open the interview room door for you and it represents the value you can bring to your prospective employer. Invest time and effort to prepare your resume well.
If you need guidance and support for your resume, Hatch Asia Consulting is here to help. We have a team to help you review and guide you on your resume preparation so that you can create a more effective resume. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Gerald is a certified career service provider under the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and a verified Master of Career Services by NCDA. Gerald enjoys developing career development interventions, services and consultancy to help individuals and groups with varying career needs on a systemic level. As an experienced Career Developer, he supports career needs, working with various schools, companies and non profit organisations on career development projects to support students, employees and beneficiaries.
His experiences include reviewing unemployment support policies, designing and operating career services for the public and leading a team to develop skills and training advisory services. He has deep knowledge about the career transitions and understanding how employers and job seekers need to work together to facilitate career transitions.