Writing Resume

There are many articles and books about writing good resumes.  So this article may already contain information that you have come across.  Nevertheless, I hope to provide some useful pointers here.

While a generic resume is good, it is more advantageous to customize one per company applied. Generally, the hiring manager will not have much time to read a resume thoroughly.  He/she may just scan for keywords or phrases that matches what he/she is looking for.  So it will be worthwhile to study the job advertisement well as it will help make your resume more relevant.  Do consider keeping your resume under two pages as it will then help you focus on the key things to attract your potential hirer.

Concerning the structure of a resume, I used to write an Objective statement but felt that it can be disadvantageous instead.  The potential hirer may want to see a candidate who is flexible and willing to explore other objectives.  Structure the resume with Contact Information, Summary/ Overview, Work History, and Education/Professional certification.  Ensure format is consistent throughout.

The Summary/Overview section gives an overview to what one can offer to the company.  Be mindful to be concise, like making an elevator pitch.

Organize your Work History in chronological order with the latest company first.  If you have lots of employment gaps or change jobs frequently, then organize this section based on Job Function.  You may want to add a section on what you do during your employment gaps.  For each item (Company or Job Function), write your responsibilities and achievements in bullets and with short sentences.   Do note that achievements need to be stated with an objective indicator to be impactful.  Use plain english, be very concise and with not more than three sentences.  Avoid using jargons and abbreviations.  Latest jobs can have about 5 bullets and earlier jobs about two to three.  Not all companies need to be included in the resume, only the relevant ones.

Ensure overall Resume does not look cluttered.  I recommend to use either Times or Arial and font size 11 or 12.  Use bold or italics sparingly and with not more than two colours.

If required to furnish references, do ensure the referee is briefed on the role you are applying.  You may need to refresh your strengths/ weaknesses to the referee.

Lastly, ensure all spelling, grammar are corrected and have others go over your resume as an extra pair of eyes for feedback.  While a good Resume does not guarantee you a job, it does help to move your opportunity one step further ahead in the selection process.

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