Are you new to the job market or hoping to embark on a more challenging career adventure for the nth time? Let's clarify one thing first: Expecting your dream job to fall on your lap is never going to happen ever. There are others who are just as qualified who covet the jobs you want. To gain the upperhand, you need to stand out from the crowd. And one way to do that is to finetune your resumé. Here are 13 tips every jobseeker needs to know about creating a resumé that's guaranteed to pack heat.
1) Don’t forget your contact information
According to Mark Nichol T. Turija, JobStreet.com's content marketing specialist, there are only three things you need to put on your resumé for contact information: your full name (no nicknames or aliases), your current address, and the mobile number and email address through which you can be reached. Everything else is irrelevant.
2) Avoid abbreviations
Commonly used abbreviations such as Mr. for Mister, Dr. for Doctor, St. for street are okay to use for the sake of brevity. “However, do not use contractions and conjugations (Jan for January, for example) on both your resume and cover letter as it lessens the formality of your documents,” says Turija.
3) Be creative with your objective
You can include an objective as long as it’s personalized and fits the job you are applying for. What you need to steer clear of, according to Turija, are the varied "one objective fits all" statements that recruiters abhor and instantly junk. “Please do not put run-on-the-mill, canned, generalist statements that have been used for decades and sound like they are still included in the word processing template. Objectives like, ‘A career that will utilize my skills to the betterment of the organization’ will surely get your resumé trashed."
4) There is no need to place your entire academic history
Fresh graduates are allowed to place their educational attainment in the upper portion of their resumé. Aside from your school information, be sure to highlight your on-the-job/internship experience, part-time jobs you've had, and extra-curricular activities. Those who've had full-time jobs, meanwhile, are expected to showcase information of their actual work experience first.
5) Write chronologically
For Turija, it is better to put your current or newest job experience first, describe them in threes (subscribe to the Rule of 3's below), move on to your second-most current job, and so on.
6) Remember the Rule of 3’s
Always describe your job experience using the Rule of 3's, accentuating, for example, a skill you've learned, a program you've mastered, a project you've organized, etc. “Make sure that your descriptions fit one line and start with a ‘powerful’ word (avoid using general, hollow words that lack punch like ‘did,’ ‘told,’ and ‘got’ and instead use‘achieved,’ ‘advised,’ and ‘generated),” Turija shares. Don't use all your three points to just describe the job; rather, use one for your achievements, the other to describe your role, and the last to define what you actually did during your stint.
Customer Care Representative, WeCare Solutions (May 2016 - Present)
* Responsible for providing excellent customer care to clients on the phone, coordinating with stakeholders, and following up on unresolved issues.
* Achieved a 98% C-SAT (customer satisfaction) score after only two months of actual call handling, with a CRT (call resolution time) of 4:20.
* Awarded Best in Customer Service during the months of July, October, and December 2016.
“You may have achieved more on the job or would like get more detailed on your responsibilities, which is why you have to decide on which three things you would want to highlight,” says Turija. “Editing is a key here.”
7) Stick to one to two pages only
A one-page resumé is most ideal for fresh graduates and junior executives (or employees with less than five years' work experience). Applicants with more than five years of experience can submit a two-pager at most, though it's not a requirement. Don't forget, it's the first page of your resumé that matters. “A recruiter only spends an average of six seconds on every resumé that goes through them,” says Turija. “Also, do not waste money on paper and printing costs when recruiters will most likely browse on your resume's first page only.” Once you are up for an interview, you may want to submit a more detailed version that exceed one page.
8) Strategically place keywords
Keywords are signifiers recruiter looks for when reviewing your resumé. Your keywords must be specifically pertain to job requirements, skills, software and technology competencies, relevant credentials, and previous positions and employers. For example, putting the keyword "customer service" would be an added plus if you're applying for a call center job. “Through keywords, resumes get screened faster and disqualified applicants are eliminated right away, which in turn also makes it easier for recruiters to do their job,” Turija adds.
9) Don’t write your hobbies and interests
Keep things professional. Hobbies and interests—unless related to the job you are applying for—need not be shared.
10) Remember the other sections
For fresh graduates, trainings and seminars are recommended. Professional certifications and technical skills and proficiencies (languages, applications, and programs) may also be included for those with work experience already. If the space allows, advocacies and voluntary memberships may also be mentioned.
11) Ditch the "References: Available upon request" line
It's a waste of space, says Turija. If you’re including references, don’t forget to write their names and contact numbers after they're informed that you will include them in your document and they have consented.
12) Cover letters are okay, but not required
“It is advisable to have a cover letter should you apply for specialized positions or if the employer tacitly requires one,” says Turija. If you are applying online, a cover letter is not required. Also, if you’re including a cover letter, avoid making a one-size-fits-all cover letter that you will use for all your applications. “The person reading your letter will sense it and you may say goodbye to your chances of getting hired,” Turija shares.
13) Creative resumés are for those applying for creative positions only
Design and creative elements on resumés should only be limited to applicants for creative positions. If you are applying for a corporate job, these will only cost you more and thus, will only waste your money. Turija adds: “Please do not use expensive paper that would be hard to print on and will only incur you additional costs. And please, no scented paper. “