Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get noticed by recruiters! Do more than write your resume: Personalise it. (resume writing)

It's a fact (a well documented one, at that. See Job Hunt Tips.) that many recruiters prefer personalised resumes over generic. It's for the same reason they prefer to do the task of asking interview questions in tricky patterns (although it takes time and concentration).

Have you been applying for jobs for quite some time now, but to little avail? Well, don't blame the Singapore job market for it or Find Jobs. We know...if it isn't so tough, you'll be at least handed some interviews. But it's not like there's no cure for a hibernating job search.

It's a matter of whether or not you're willing to do some adjustments. The job market can be bargained with, for it to loosen its belt a bit on you, through resume marketing.

Like employing edits on your resume for every job ad. Perhaps, it's time that you recognise the potential of personalisation in the resume writing aspect of job hunting. To garbage the run of the mill approach altogether, despite it being really satisfying and edit your resume to suit every job ad you think you're qualified for.

We've been reiterating this job tip on this blog since ages. And we have no qualms on sounding redundant just to drive the point home. For one position, recruiters browse through hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes. Why not do them a favor by writing your resume in such a way that it answers the job ad's queries directly?

Make yours stand out by personalising the content. What does the job position ask for? Which skills to highlight? Will a certain past work experience of yours give you an advantage if mentioned? Use those parameters to edit out the basic draft of your resume. Include a cover letter too for added appeal.

We have to admit that this career tip is a little bit complicated, but here's the thing: Many articles on Career Advice can help you with this. So you don't have to worry about committing a mistake. This post will back you up too. Because we're all for the convenience and happiness of our followers, we'll summarise what we've learned from all these articles for you guys. But first...

You may be wondering... why so serious? Something different to renew your interest. Not that our ratings have dropped again, though. In fact, they've improved these past few months.

What? We've ran out of rants to share? Partly yes. But more than that, we want to make today our most intelligent yet. We're set to talk about making adjustments in the realm of resume writing today, as you may have probably picked up already after reading the intro paragraphs. We might as well use the space to demonstrate how to do adjustments properly. We've done this before, so you probably get the drift.

So, let's start with the task at hand, shall we? We've decided to do this in a list, for easy reference. Well anyway, you can always visit the articles at www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/EN/Resources/JobSeekerIndex if you think we've summarised them too much.

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.
Get noticed by approaching the task in their perspective. "Never, ever assume that busy readers will figure out your value", according to David Perry, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0. And so...

Show why you're the closest match for the job.
Career expert and LearningDB.com regular, Sandra Sandu-Reeves wrote in her book Getting Ahead in Your Career: "Don't just shoot off a ready-made resume." If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you should know how much we agree with this statement of hers.

It's what resumes are supposed to do anyway: To show that you're worth the time interviewing. In today's job market where competition is as tough as ever, you have to be vigilant to get noticed. Show why you're the closest match for the job to ensure your slot in the interview list. But how can you do so?

Focus on achievements and accomplishments, not responsibilities and tasks.
Expert recruiter, Jonathan Kwan has screened hundreds of resumes already. An outstanding resume, in his standards, is one that literally leaps off the page. That having said, he doesn't believe that a resume is nothing more than a listing of work experiences. "What we're looking for are transferable skills, but more importantly, we're looking for your accomplishments and achievements. "

Achievements mean skills. Skills mean returns for the company. A candidate with skills and knows how to showcase them properly is what recruiters believe to be gold. But...

Don't forget to add some glee.
Adding a line or two about your hobbies is not a bad thing. In fact, it can increase your chances of getting the job. "You would be surprised the number of times people can get interviews simply because of something interesting they do outside of work", says Jonathan.

How about those who've built their careers from temp jobs? Follow those and...

List as your main employers the companies for whom you actually did the work.
Especially if you've done temp work for a multinational company. It adds up a lot to your personal brand.

If this strategy won't work, then we don't know what will. Perhaps, your industry of choice just isn't into accepting new recruits as of time. Or maybe you're being too picky and applying only to top companies? Don't.

Still, have you tried to use Job Alerts? It can keep your job hunt moving, so you won't lose motivation. Don't worry, it's free. When did MyJobsDB charge for its services, anyway?

Subscribe to JobsDB’s FREE Job Alert service and we will email all the latest jobs straight to your email. To subscribe to Job Alert, log in to your JobsDB.com Singapore account and click on the Job Alert tab.

Job Alert enables you to make your searches specific for the job positions you want to apply for. You can enter your own job keyword and/or choose the job category that matches your field of expertise. You also have the choice to refine your job matches in terms of Career Level, Qualification, Year(s) of Experience, Monthly Salary, and Employment Term.

The full versions of the career articles we've cited can be found here:

Guerilla Marketing for Jobseekers

10 Steps in Creating an Outstanding Online Resume

What are HR professionals really looking for in resumes?

How to build a temping resume

We wish you all the best in your job search!

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For career tips, we recommend Career Advice. From job hunting tips to career development guidelines, get advice from experts @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/en/Resources/JobSeekerIndex.