Wednesday, 16 May 2018

CAREER GUIDANCE : Powering up your resume - Increase chances of getting that call

When you are looking for a job, as a fresh graduate without much experience, it is important for your to make sure that your CV / Resume stand out. In order to do this, you must focus on a number of areas;

1. Make sure that your CV / Resume is readable and has only relevant information for the job you are applying. 

Cluttered CVs with too many information can distract the recruiter who has hundreds of other applications to check and short-list. Make his/her job easier, and you increase your chances of getting a call for an interview.

Include only the relevant academic and non academic information that will tell something about you which will make the recruiter put you on the short list.

INCLUDE : Your degree, specialization and modules that directly relevant to the job. Do NOT list more than 5 modules. No need to put the grade/GPA you received for these modules.

For an example, if you are applying for a marketing job, after stating the degree, list course modules such as Strategic Marketing, Branding, Marketing Communications, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which you completed as part of your degree. For HR jobs, highlight subjects such as Strategic HRM, Performance Management, Labour Law, Counselling, HRIS

This will show the recruiter that you have the theoretical knowledge required. Also include any significant projects, assignment, research you have done related to Marketing or HR.

INCLUDE : Any professional qualifications related to the job you are applying. 

For an example, if you have completed a professional HR qualification, a counseling qualification, a qualification in Labour Law, include that in the resume.

Include any IT qualifications you have for ANY JOB you apply. IT is becoming vital and mission critical for almost all businesses. Being good in IT has a lot of advantages.

DO NOT Include :

Part/full qualification in CIMA or CA or CIM you have when you are applying for an HR job.

This will only create confusion in the mind of the recruiter. You will be seen as an unfocused qualification collector, not someone serious about being an HR professional.

For goodness sake, don't include your OL and AL results. Seriously, you already have a degree or professional qualifications. Nobody cares about OL and AL unless you are applying for a Government Job.


These extra things are important regardless of what some people say. It shows that you are;

  • Active and physically fit
  • Had interests other than studies
  • Can multi-task by balancing studies with other responsibilities
  • A team player
  • Able to get things done as a leader
  • Trustworthy and reliable : School authorities trusted you as a responsible person
  • Can work according a plan / timetable / budget or a goal.
  • Can tolerate failure, defeat and disappointments (really important in corporate life) 

What to extra activities to INCLUDE

Sports done in the senior school (grades 8-13).

School positions such as Prefect, Head Boy / Head Girl / School Captain, Games Captain, House Captain, Sports team captain

School colors and sports honours / prizes received (for senior grades only)

Any work/projects done with social services organisations such as Leo/Lions, Rotary Club, Boy Scouts/Girl Guides, St Johns/Saukyadana etc.

If you are in/was at Toastmasters Club (Debating, public speaking skills very important)

"You get invited for an interview by showing that you have the knowledge & skills to do the job. Having lots of different qualifications DO NOT SHOW that you are good for the job. Sometimes, that many make you TOO QUALIFIED  for the job. Other times it may be seen that you are NOT FOCUSED and not sure who you want to be ......"

2. Keep things simple, clear and well organised

Your CV should have short sentences and bullet points. There should be spaces between points and sections so that it is clear and readable.

OBJECTIVE OF YOUR APPLICATION : One clear sentence explaining what you are applying for and why you are applying. Please don't copy and paste objective statements found on the internet without properly modifying them to suit you and position you are applying.

After the objective statement;

FIRST : Your degree / key subjects & modules done
SECOND : Your relevant professional qualifications / key subjects & modules done
THIRD : Internship details and any paid / unpaid work done
FOURTH : Relevant extra activities (Max 5)

CONTACT DETAILS : Your name, phone number, email address and mailing address should be clear and easily found.

REFEREES : Please include 2 Non Related referees. Make sure that you have taken permission from the referees to put their names and contact numbers on the CV.

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