As we continue on our exploration into this important area, let’s recap the suggested changes that we highlighted in our last blog post.
1. Revamp/Target – Transform one generic resume into multiple targeted resumes.
2. Summarise the resume into 1 to 2 pages. Less is more.
3. Write an Objective Statement.
4. Condense your vast experience into one Capability Statement.
5. Work Experience – Detailed accomplishments. How to cover gaps in Employment History.
6. You don’t have to list your entire job history.
7. Write a targeted cover letter.
8. Custom Design, Material, Layout and Physical Mail in.
1. Individual Targeting & Background Research.
The main thing that we should deal with here is targeting. You should write your resume to hit the target. But as you may know, all the targets are quite different to each other, which is why you should have multiple targeted resumes prepared for each different job you apply for. You may prepare about five targeted ones. The way to this it is to go through their job descriptions in detail and word out your sentences in a way that the meet those descriptions.
Think about it. A generic resume may not work well as the target employers are all different. Then, employers or their recruiters can also be a picky bunch. What you can do to get their attention is to sound good enough to make them think you’re the one. Some background research is also essential.
Individual Targeting & Company Background Research is an essential step to:
i) Knowing what the company wants and how they want it including their future plans.
ii) Know their history, size and any potential benefits or concerns and even who’s in charge.
iii) Know whether they are ready for you.
iv) Know if you can be ready for them.
v) Building your confidence instead of walking in blind.
vi) Help you craft out what to say and what not to say.
vii) Prepare your focus well in that written resume.
2. Summarise your resume into 1 or 2 pages.
As we said, less is more. Going through resumes and selecting the candidates for the first and second shortlist is an arduously hard job. Your advantage here is to make that process easier for them. Print out that job description and study it, line by line. Look for any repetitive language or pattern and that will tell you what they’re looking for. This also means that you can leave out some skills that are not relevant to certain employers. Now, you can begin crafting that resume for that job.
Where possible, courier in physical material so they don’t have the hassle of printing and preparing.
3. Write an Objective Statement.
For an objective statement, briefly, lay down what your goals and objectives are. This allows you to tell the employer what you want at the onset and they don’t have to go through everything to make sense of what you want.
If you’ve been the sort of person who’s just looking around for any job, then your focus just isn’t there. It’s easier for you and the employer if you both know what you’re looking for.
Some bad examples:
(i) “Proven and experienced professional seeking a senior position in an FMCG industry”
(ii) “To work in a fast moving and challenging environment while using my skills as a coordinator in the FMCG industry”
The above aren’t good enough ways to write that statement. Especially the part where it says “Proven and experienced”, “fast moving and challenging environment.” Almost everyone writes like this and it’s been overused.
Instead, put it simply this way.
1. Seeking a senior manager (or operations manager) position in the FMCG industry”.
There is no need to repeat the same kind of words here and there.
4. A Capability Statement.
For a Capability Statement, Tell them your capabilities in sentence point form. This can also be called an Accomplishment Statement and you would want to write about 4-6 of these depending on your experience.
One Example: For someone in IT
1. Led a team of 5 programmers to develop an app that analysed regular customer behaviour and preferences which allowed subtle promotional activities to be conducted from our side resulting in 15% increase in repeat customer purchases.
Instead of just saying,
2. I have proven leadership skills where I worked with my programmers to do promotions and increase sales.
The first statement is certainly more qualifying and has more meat on the bones. The leadership quality is put into context. It reveals more relevant details and the results of your work.
This is what the employer wants to see as opposed to the vagueness of the second.
The second statement makes it hard for the employer to even imagine you working for them, doesn’t it? It doesn’t say much.
But the first one, yes! It has the potential to open up their mind.
This is what we meant earlier when we said “…employers or their recruiters can also be a picky bunch. What you can do to get their attention is to sound good enough to make them think you’re the one.”
So, refrain from being vague and put in quantifiable, measurable experiences of actual achievements. Also, work on remembering achievements from your work experience. A lot of people just don’t seem to remember some of the great things that they did in the past, possibly because everything is in memory and not written down.
We come now to the most important part of all.
This section will detail your accomplishments in each company that is of relevance to the job you’re applying for. If you’ve been a creative designer for the last 20 or so years, you could skip a few if you’ve been to too many places, particularly those that have short work histories like a few months to less than a year.
The focus here for the employer is the value and achievements, not the tasks you did.
For example, here’s a rather off target list
Company A. – 2017 – present
– Plan, create and execute ads and creative ideas for newspaper and web.
This includes ads, flyers, brochures as well as radio jingles.
– Lead the creative team and conduct job briefs and training to ensure timely completion of jobs to quality.
– Troubleshoot problems.
– Meet with clients and translate their marketing strategy onto visual communication to the masses.
Looks quite ok, right? But it’s not, because this is just a job description trying to look like achievements. Employers don’t want to see this so let’s change it with something in English Grammar we call Powerful Verbs.
Company A. – 2017 – present
– Managed a tight team of 4 designers and a copywriter to plan and execute ad campaigns consistently for three years. These comprised of print ads, web, radio jingles and various print materials.
– Led the creative team into customer meets for job briefs and conducted Adobe Software training.
– Oversaw and mentor designers and appraise their work to ensure timely completion of jobs.
– Managed clients’ visual expectations for their marketing strategy in regular meetups.
– ABC Bank 45 second Radio Jingle titled “Bank with ABC”- June 2011
– ABC Bank Credit Card design and launch event. Attended and launched by the Prime Minister resulting in about 12 % increase in combined customer enquiry and engagement into the bank’s products and services in the 4 month period that followed- July 2011
Now how does that sound? You can write more but I would say this is the gold in the hills. We’re quite sure that even if you have about 5 years of experience in this hard-weather Malaysian workforce, you can certainly come up with at least two jobs and have it written like so.
So there it is, you can add your education section right after this.
1. A cover letter – 1 page
2. Resume – 2 pages max
3. Copies of Qualifications and Testimonials – 2 to 3 pages
Now this post wouldn’t be a satisfactory one if we didn’t include a visual template of how this should look like.. To perfect your resume, go to https://xremo.com/login . Sign Up and our resume builder will help you craft a more powerful piece.
Here we go.