Create a winning resumé

Extracted from Star Classifieds, July 10 2013.

Your resumé may be the biggest factor for employers to decide whether they want to meet you or not. It is the one important document that indicates your academic background, work experience and other relevant information, allowing employers to evaluate if you meet the criteria they have set.

The usual process of applying for a job begins with sending your resumé to the hiring department of a company.

Information: Gather all the relevant information that can be used to craft your resumé. It is important to include your contact number and e-mail address. With these details, employers can reach you directly should they decide to conduct an interview.

Content: The content of your resumé should consist of your academic and work experiences. You can refer to school certificates for information you may have forgotten. Sometimes, you may find new things to include that could impress the reader. If you have testimonials, do look through them for additional points to beef up your resumé.

Format: Most resumés are written in a chronological order. This style should be used when you have been continuing in the same area of expertise and want to highlight growth and development. Even though it is easy to organise your resumé as such, avoid this format if there are gaps in your job history, or if you have changed jobs often. Research into various styles and adopt the one that is most appropriate based on your career path. As a rough guide, your information should be as follows: contact information, objective, qualifications, work experience, education, and other skills. When it comes to your work experience, always include exact details of your position, organisation, employment duration, job scope and reason for leaving.

Be different: To set yourself apart, personalise your resumé to differentiate it from others. You can be creative with your resumé, depending on the nature of the company you are applying to. Employers in the creative industry are generally attracted to resumés with unique designs. HR practitioners from financial industries, on the other hand, would prefer one that is more professional.

Details: Take note of small details. For instance, make sure that your typeface and font sizes are uniform throughout the document. Be consistent in formatting, in terms of capital letters, bullet points and punctuation. Make it easier for the reader by bolding the headers.

Cover letter

When submitting a resumé or curriculum vitae for a job application, it should be accompanied by a cover letter.

A cover letter complements your application and gives you the opportunity to promote yourself to the reader. It is an effective way for you to present your qualifications in prose, conveys a personal touch and gives you room to talk about why you are suited for the job. It also serves as an indication of your writing skills.

Additionally, a cover letter is useful to fill up the gaps in your resumé. In your resumé, you may not have the space to explain in detail your reasons for leaving a job, or why you are applying for a job in a bank when you have a degree in psychology. – ST/ANN