Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bullet proof your resume / How to write an effective resume.

Resume personalisation explained further. Because it's as fact that more recruiters prefer personalised resumes over generic.

"Wrong." We'd heard our calendar call, just as we were about to write "resume writing is hard but manageable" onto this space, and before we knew it, we'd found ourselves cursing, and hitting the backspace tab furiously. That was a good ten minutes ago.

Ugh, don't give us that frown. Seriously, the realm of career is filled with interesting things. Plus the fact that a large part of our functions is based on a mailbox that works 24/7 and keeps on receiving career questions on job searching, job interviewing, career building, career management, and the likes. For the majority of others, it may not be the case. But you see, imagining things (and hearing voices) once in a while is perfectly understandable on our parts. We think it's also the reason why we've developed strange rambling tendencies. Like what you're reading right now.

Not that we're admitting to having a mental illness, though. Was that a bit too much for a starting joke? Even great personalities do that trick!

Anyway, before things get out of hand, the hearing voices part is just for the laughs, okay. But here's the thing, we still feel compelled to follow up on resume marketing. Although we respect our calendar as well as the value of diligence very much, it's feelings like this that make us want to indulge on sacrilege. Is that a symptom of mental illness?

Wait, you don't have to answer that. Just read on.

We know this strange need won't stop until it's been served. And so, the follow up will take place today (after all, the issue of bias has been solved already, thank you very much). The topic's intelligent, in the first place and it's not like discussing it will result to a wasted day. Call it serving a guilty pleasure or what you will, but this really must be done or else it 's going to eat us until, probably, next month.

And that's bad, considering we should always make sense.

Anyway, where did we end it? Right, the last post was about resume personalisation, particularly how to do it. The article turned out good, but it lacked specific guidelines. You know, for your easier reference and all...the motto? Because the Singapore job market is fierce and we don't want you to waste any time.

Basically, the idea is to personalise your resume to suit every job position you want to apply for, from the cover letter to the credentials section. We remember quoting career experts in our explanation to drive the point better. It went like this:

Editing your resume based on what's written on the job ad. Sound's simple, but not really. How should you go about the task?

Do the thinking for the employer. And so...

Show why you're the closest match for the job.

Focus on achievements and accomplishments, not responsibilities and tasks. But...

Don't forget to add some glee.
Now, the follow up:

You cannot do this without shifting first your perspective from "I need a job asap" to "How can I help 'this' company succeed". Although it may not seem like it, perspectives hold importance in the overall process of job search and must not be left out in the 'personalisation'.

Next is to digest everything in the job ad, so that you can show in your resume why you're the closest match for the job. Shooting off a ready made resume is nothing if not wasting time, in today's healthy but tight job market. The ad's title doesn't explain anything at all, if you look at it closely. So you must go beyond it. Maybe it'll inspire you if we say that our desire to get you guys to do so is what led to the creation of the Ad preview option on Find Jobs. Sweet, right?

Now, here's the part that needs specifics. How do you incorporate the details in the job ad with your credentials? It may not sound easy, but really, it's just about weighing in skills and see which ones will give you the edge. According to what's written in the ad's requirements section, which of your skills and past successes will put you to the top of the recruiter's resume bulk if prioritised in the draft?

Expert recruiter, Jonathan Kwan, has shared the following ideas for Career Advice:

  • Your most important information should be as high up on the page and as far left as possible.
  • If education is your best strength, have that as your first section. If it's your previous work experience, then put that section first.
  • The more you can use the exact phrases that are used in the job description, the better your chances will be.
  • Don't explicitly remind the recruiter of the fact that you're not a perfect fit by giving them information that isn't relevant.
  • For every single phrase you write, ask yourself what the message is you're trying to convey, what's the point.

For career changers, your transferable skills will do the job, so present them properly in your resume. Ergo, if it's a writing job, then greater focus must be put on one's writings skills and experience in writing however little. If it's a management job, then the edits should be focused on one's achievements as a leader, from small tasks to big projects. Then there's also the option of suspending the job search for some time to attend career workshops and training seminars. It's a matter of whether or not you're willing.

The goal is not to make your resume boring, though. Adding enough glee to even out the package is a part of the process. Hobbies may be seen as skills; including good ones, so to speak, can add up to your personal brand. Not all hobbies can do so, though. Here are examples of hobbies that can spice up a resume:

Don't forget to recheck if your basic details are correct. May we remind you to update your contact info! Don't get too engrossed in your personalising and forget about this important thing.

More tips on resume writing? Please visit

We'll be presenting our latest Singapore job updates tomorrow! Are you excited like us? Anyway, don't forget to visit this blog tomorrow for prospects. In the meantime, indulge on these: government jobs, temp jobs, bank jobs, HR jobs, medical jobs and accounting jobs in Singapore. Singapore
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