WHEN writing a resumé, bear in mind that the hiring manager must be able to get a quick profile of you and your work experience.
Here is how to write a professional document that allows you to pitch your skills and stand out from the crowd:
Choosing a format
A chronological resumé details your work experience in a sequential order.
The functional format is organised to highlight your qualifications and skills.
The third is the combination of both formats. It is similar to a functional resumé, with specific dates provided on a separate sheet.
Most recruiters prefer a chronological resumé as it helps the recruiter get a quick overview of the applicant's work experience. If you are a fresh graduate with very little work experience, you may send out a functional resumé as it emphasises your skills.
The right presentation
Always ensure that your resumé is clearly printed on good quality white paper, using a clean typeface and a font size not smaller than 12 points.
The use of sub-headings, such as "personal details" or "career history" will help potential employers glean the information they require with ease. There should be clear spaces between category headings for easy clarification and definition.
Include your contact details (name, address and phone numbers) at the start of the document. If you are giving a workplace phone number, add the following tag, "Please use with discretion".
Commencing with your present or most recent employer, state your career history. Then list your professional qualifications.
If you have been working for many years, list your academic qualifications. If you are about to embark on your career straight out of school, provide more in-depth information regarding your academic achievements, school projects and co-curricular activities.
Content that matters
Starting with your current or most recent employment, provide the following details:
Job title and duration you held this position;
Key tasks and responsibilities of each role, including any notable achievements while you were in the role;
Where possible, quantify your achievements with precise facts and figures. For example, say that you managed a team of five staff, handled the department budget and prepared management reports; and
Elaborate on the skills in your current job which are relevant to the position which you are applying for.
Too much information can be tedious to the recruiter, but too little can be frustrating.
Always include the name of the company you have worked for. It can lend credibility to your resumé. Do not state only the nature of the employer's business, for example, "a large manufacturing company". This undermines your resumé and experience.
Sometimes, busy employers may put aside incomplete resumés as they have to clarify or get more information from the candidate before making any decision. Resumés with complete information may receive priority over these.
It is not necessary to state the reason you are leaving your current position. This will be discussed when you are invited for an interview.
Keep details of previous employment brief, unless one appointment was more significant than your current or last position. Give an overview of your duties.
Include the months if you cannot remember the exact dates. Start with your most current position and move into the past jobs.
Resumés that start with your first job can mislead the employer into thinking that you are not suitable for the job because usually your first job is the most junior position.
Do not leave gaps in your job history unless, for example, you took a year off to travel. This may be listed under the "Interests/Hobbies" section.