It’s time of the year to start sharpening your pens (or your mouse) if you have been thinking of quoting your job for at least 6 months. I’ll take it that you have read this article before you decided that this job is not for you and one more day here is one more day wasting your talent. If it’s the case, let’s prepare your resume.
If you have been updating your resume regularly, it should be really easy to whip out your CV when the right opportunity comes by. If you haven’t, then it’s time to make it a habit. My suggestion is to update at least every six months so that your resume stay relevant and also that you don’t forget the little stuff you have been doing for your boss.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details, shall we?
Cut the Pages
Try to limit your pages on your résumés. Yes, you feel the need to write as many experiences as possible relating to your job but given the time the HR have in sorting out your résumé from the pile of 50 or more résumés from other candidates, nobody has time to read thoroughly through anything more than 5 pages. And please don’t use the smallest font size so that you can squeeze as many words as possible. It makes our eyes tired and by the time we got to the bottom of your résumé, we have already lost interest.
Summarized your content
Put in what you can do at the top of the pages after your contact details. This allows HR to quickly determine if you are suitable for the job scope and not having him or her to scroll through your résumé for keywords.
Example: I have over 5 years of management, operations and sales experience in which I have participated in numerous major projects such as xxxx, xxxx and xxxx. My sales target is 90% and I have always achieved 95% every quarter.
Tailor your content
You must have heard or read this advice before. Seriously, using a generic résumé template across all the jobs are not going to cut it anymore. You need to tailor your content to suit your audience. Even if you are applying for the 10 of the same job with the same job title, each company have different needs and very different culture. My suggestion is for you to comb through the job description, research on the company’s history and culture before tailoring your profile. A boring stiff résumé will never fit into vibrant companies like FaceBook or Google. A quirky innovative résumé will be ignored in a more traditional company.
This is not a writing contest so flowery words that speak big vocabulary will only confuse and frustrated the reader. Simple, direct and in point form will make reading your résumé easier after the 101st résumé we have read, a lot gentler on our eyes.
Do use standard formats and fonts such as New Times Roman or Arial, keeping to font size 11 or 12. If you need to highlight a title or key point, use bold and underlined. Skip the colors. If the HR were to need to print out the selected résumés for the hiring manager, it will usually be in black and white.
Please do not only give out one number. At least provide a second number where we can reach you. When we need to call 100 candidates for interview, if we don’t get through the first time, we might renegade your résumé to the bottom of the pile and call again when we reached the bottom. Calling the missed number back will only direct you to the main operator of the company. More than often, there is more than one HR who is in charge of recruiting and you might not get transferred to his or her line easily and his line is probably busy since he is calling the rest of the candidates.
This irks me to the max when I see résumé with email addresses such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Use an email address that reflects your name or your initials. This way if you replied to our mass email blast, we can easily identify you and tie in with the résumé you sent in.
Using numbers in the end is a big no no. It either shows that your preferred email address have been taken up and you are not creative enough (or lazy) to think up of a new one that suits you, or it just reflected the year you are born, or it represents the year you set up your email box. Whatever it is, it is just plain unprofessional.
I’m on the fence here whether should I include my photo in. Why? Because first impressions are lasting and I don’t want my first impression with the interviewer based on one photo, I rather give a lasting impression face to face. So unless it is absolutely a requirement, I usually skip the photo portion.
If you really have to use a photo, please use one that is professionally taken. No cut off arms and half bodies appearing in your headshot. And please, don’t use your driver’s license or passport photos. A good professionally photo will last you through many years (or many jobs) so it’s worth of the investment.
It is crucial to have a good cover letter. Write the cover letter tailored to the job you are applying for. If résumé is showcasing your skills and talent, then cover letter is how those skills and talent you mentioned ties into what the company is looking for.
The above tips are just the basics of writing a good resume. I wish you best of luck in your endeavors!
So have you come across horrible resumes? Please do share your stories at below comments.