From The Straits Times    |


It can be tedious (not to mention discouraging) to have to rework your resume each time you apply for a job, especially if you don’t end up with a favourable outcome. But there are tips and tricks you can try which will make the process less painful and your CV more concise, relevant and impressive. Time to wise up and get that job!

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Mistake #1: You’re including irrelevant information

We get it: You want to cram as much info as possible to impress your potential. However, it shows lack of focus if you include things that aren’t relevant. For example, your adeptness at singing is a great personal achievement, but only relevant if it’s related to the job you’re applying for. Your resume should only be about your work skills and experience – so don’t include information like how you headed the debate club back in secondary school.

Mistake #2: You’re not tailoring it to the job

Connecting your skills to the job you’re applying for shouldn’t just be restricted to your cover letter (if you’re even including one, that is). You should also skew your CV in that direction, too. Customise it to the new job by highlighting how your experience and skills can be translated to your prospective new job scope. This will make it easier for employers to connect the dots and allow you to stand out from the reams and reams of generic-sounding resumes. It’s also beneficial if you bear in mind and include key words and phrases mentioned in the job ad, so as to hammer home just how good of a match you are.

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Mistake #3: You’re listing every single job

That three-month stint at your cousin’s office after graduation? Skip it. That freelance gig at the theatre you really enjoyed but that has no relevance to this job? No need to mention it. Potential employers need not be informed about every measly temp job you did; indeed, having to filter out the fluff in your CV may annoy them instead.

Mistake #4: You’re too long-winded

Your resume should be as easy as possible to read, as recruiters and employers generally only give the stack of applicants’ papers a quick scan when looking for candidates. Describe your previous jobs and achievements in bullet points instead of long sentences, so that the message and your professional accomplishments are clear at a glance.

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Mistake #5: You’re just describing your work experience

You need to do more than tell them what you’ve done. Here’s your chance to ‘sell’ yourself and show how good you are at your job. State your accomplishments as opposed to merely listing down your day-to-day duties. You need to think about what will set you apart from other candidates so the more impressive you sound, the more impactful your resume will be (but at the same time, please don’t embellish the truth too much).