Follow these guidelines to create a persuasive resume for time- and attention-limited recruiters.
As with almost everything in Singapore, efficiency is usually the deal-breaker or deal-clincher. In the realm of recruitment, this means the candidate who can quickly and unambiguously set himself apart from the pile of applications on the recruiter’s desk will stand a far greater chance of getting short-listed.
This is all the more true given the less-than-stellar forecast from the Ministry of Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter 2013, which quotes a net employment outlook of 10 percent; compared with the first quarter of 2012, this is a decrease of 6 percentage points.
This means that it will likely be an employer’s market, which means the job-seeker has to put his best foot forward, and one of the most common complaints recruiters have is overly lengthy resumes. Here are four ways to trim it down to a crisp, compelling document.
Open with a relevant objective statement
To be honest, nobody really cares that your objective is “To achieve my goals of working for a fast-faced, dynamic industry where I can utilise my excellent communication and sales skills.”
Instead, create a compelling opening statement by associating your competencies with the hiring company’s needs: “Looking to leverage eight years’ experience in regional sales and cross-functional communications in expanding Canon’s market share in APAC.”
Small change in wording; big difference in impact.
Do not write in the third person.
Every inch of space on that A4 page is valuable, so do not waste any of it by referring to yourself in the third person. Besides, it is understood that the subject matter is you. In fact, it is not even necessary to use first person pronouns such as “I”, which is a common habit among many jobseekers.
Contextualise accordingly, but do not be excessive.
While it is necessary to give readers an idea of the sort of company you worked for previously in other countries, it is important that you do not get carried away and end up “selling” the company inadvertently – for practical reasons similar to the one above.
“ABC Company is a market leader with an estimated market share of 20 percent in America, with another 20 branch offices around the world. It specialises in a wide range of FMCG products such as shampoo, body wash and detergents, which are well-known for their organic and environmentally friendly ingredients …” can be abbreviated to the following:
“ABC, a US-based MNC specialising in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)…”
*As a rule of thumb, your resume is best kept to two pages because it is meant to be a showcase of your most sellable traits and qualifications, not an exhaustive document. Of course, should your qualifications warrant anything longer, do not compromise for the sake of brevity alone.
Avoid long, chunky blocks of text.
Make your resume as reader-friendly as possible by limiting paragraphs to no more than three or four lines. Break up text by utilising bullet points (to differentiate between job description and job achievements, for example) and white space (in between different sections), which is a key factor in improving readability and visual attractiveness.
You can also make use of bold, underlines or italics – but that’s as far as you should go with playing with fonts, and you should never use more than one function at a time, like this or this .
Nadine Yong is a CPRW-certified resume consultant at The Resume Builder .
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