Monday, November 15, 2010

Impress your prospective employers with your resume | Resume writing advice from career experts

Career Event's Impress Your Prospective Employers with Your Resume will be held this Saturday. We might as well spend today talking about its potential. In the first place, we've long reserved Mondays for discussing the learning aspect of career. The fact that we haven't written anything thorough about resume writing since ages is another trigger.

Not that we're lazy to give the topic of job hunting a full shot (we do recognise the potential for discussion this topic offers). Just that everything's pointing towards that route of discussion. Everything's broad in the realm of career, anyway. It takes full, undivided attention to discuss all the points the facilitator has in his agenda. We have to give the curriculum justice; an approach too broad won't give it any good in that department of making tributes.

...and we hate failing people. Much more a career expert. You do the math.

One thing we've learned in all these months of writing for this blog: you can't impress everybody everyday. But it's possible to do the job one day at a time. And that's the philosophy we're using to back this choice up.

Is the scope of the seminar really wide? Allow us to throw you back a question. Haven't you read its feature page?

As is the standard for Career Events, this seminar on resume writing is an ambitious one. From formatting to content writing, this career workshop (to be facilitated by career counselor, Wong Kok Wah) will teach you everything. That is, all the things you need to know about grabbing the attention of top employers and recruitment companies. Just to give you an idea on what today's discussion will circle around, the course outline goes...

  1. Effective Parts of a Resume and a Cover Letter
  2. Understanding Job Requirements, Personal Competencies and Transferrable Skills
  3. Accentuating One’s Strength in Relevance to the Job for each part of the Resume
  4. Winning Format of a Resume and a Cover Letter
  5. Common Mistakes to avoid in a Resume

Attending? Taking note of what we'll be writing here will give you an advantage. You'll find it easier to understand the points to be discussed. As for those who haven't listed yet, you can still do so. But if you really can't come, probably due to a scheduling conflict or whatsoever, feel free to use the information we'll be sharing here to construct or edit your resume. After all, it's not us to invent things. Visit Career Advice too for further reference.

Anyway, let's start with tackling the outline, shall we?

A standard resume can be divided into three parts: personal information, work experience, and education. To make an effective resume is to add more to the line up. Inserting a career objective is one thing you should consider doing. Last Thursday, when we paid tribute to Katherine Hansen, we tackled the difference between having such a thing in one's resume and not having it. As you may remember, Katherine is not totally in agreement with the idea because it poses the danger of inconsistency in personal brand. Failing to commit to the objective will do that to you, which in turn, will lessen your chances of getting the job.

It takes proper understanding to make adding this part work for you. If you're sure you can stick with it until the end of your job search, do so. Here's Katherine's idea of an effective resume with a career objective: "Objectives should reflect the employer's perspective, not the jobseeker's, and should tell what the jobseeker can contribute. An objective should demonstrate the value the candidate will add to the organization."

Adding a cover letter to the entourage will do you the favor of 'having initiative'. If nothing else, it'll show that you're really serious with the job application. But just like the case with adding a career objective, there are things you need to take note of in order for this move to work. Our editors back at have posted an example of a cover letter that works. Please ponder on it before you make yours.

Dos and Tres
If nothing else, run of the mill is the most useless approach in job hunting, so stay away from it. It may be troublesome, but make intelligent job applications instead. It'll prove to be worth the time and effort. One thing we've learned from career expert and regular, Sandra Sandu-Reeves that's worth repeating over and over: "Aimless applications can frustrate the job seeker as much as recruiters". To accomplish this, read the job requirements in the job ad as well. This will help you know which from your personal competencies and employee skills you should highlight to get the maximum possible results. If you're contemplating of adding a career objective in your resume, the more resume you should take this seriously.

If you've built your experience with temp jobs, here's what you should do according to Katherine:

  • list as your main employers the companies for whom you actually did the work
  • avoid the word "temporary" altogether
  • don't list all temp jobs on the resume unless they are directly related to the position
  • list the knowledge, skills and abilities of the temp work without listing all of the temp assignments
  • use a format that combines jobs by function

Nothing's fixed in the realm of resume writing, so to achieve your winning format, you'll need to do some self assessment. Combine all the things you've learned from us from the first three pointers to get 'your' winning format. Here's the thing: An effective resume is a play of complements. It goes with the conventions of professional presentation, but stands out with what's written as a content.

We like talking about resume writing, but even more so if it's regarding the commonly committed mistakes. It's not surprising why many commit mistakes in this department of job hunting, given that it's very tricky. But as stressing as this task can be, it's not entirely impossible to avoid the pitfalls and prosper. You just need reminders. Here are pointers from our friends from Adecco Singapore:

  • use a font size that is no smaller than 10pt
  • avoid large and fanciful fonts as they waste space
  • maintain consistency by using the same font throughout your resume
  • use action words that are results-oriented
  • highlight your competence and accomplishments
  • avoid using text boxes or columns as often they do not show up well on other computers
  • leave white space or use bulleted text to increase ease of reading
  • read, read, take a break and read your resume again
  • include only information that is relevant
You can find the complete versions of the career articles we've cited here, including the cover letter sample from our editors:

Resume Errors Can Damage Your Employment Prospects

10 Steps in Creating an Outstanding Online Resume

How to build a temping resume

Should You Use A Career Objective On Your Resume

Interested to sign up for the seminar? Please call Pei Yan or Linc at 6861 1000 or email us at Website here:

Can we interest you with more training opportunities? has a powerful line up for the coming weeks. Here are some highlights:

19 Nov -- Achieving Peak Performance by Improving Your Memory with Nishant Kasibhatla
19 Nov -- Mind Mapping at Work with Sandra Sandu-Reeves
24 Nov -- Negotiating to Win with David Lim
24 Nov -- Activate your Listening Skills with David Goldwich
25 Nov -- Win-win Negotiation Skills with David Goldwich
25 Nov -- Public Speaking as easy as ABCD with Michael Podolinsky
26 Nov -- Dealing with Difficult People and Situations with Christian Chua
26 Nov -- Personal Excellence in the Workplace with Pamela Wigglesworth
26-28 Nov -- The Millionaire Mind Intensive with T. Harv Eker

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***edit. Because we just have to ask. How did you fair with your job hunting last week? Did our update on Singapore jobs help you? Which part of it did?

Whether it did help you or not, can we interest you with more jobs this morning? Find Jobs has just received new Finance Jobs, Hotel Jobs, Engineer Jobs, IT Jobs and Accounting Jobs in Singapore.