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Mar 16, 2004
Get Noticed! Spruce Up Your Résumé
- Anamer Menguito Email this article
Statistics aren’t needed to know that a lot of people are looking for great jobs. The competition is fierce; everyone is on the lookout for a coveted, lucrative position. Not only this; jobseekers are growing more and more resourceful, coming up with new [but not necessarily effective] means to get noticed by employers.

Knowing all this, how high do you, a competent jobseeker, think are your chances at getting a job you want? With everyone looking to capitalize on overseas employment, the bigger question is: how can you catch the eye of a foreign employer? Through an effective, well-written, and impressive résumé of course!

So how can you make your résumé interesting without being untruthful? Read on.

  • When considering the length of your résumé, the simple rule is: One page covers the last ten years of experience. A maximum of two pages, occasionally three is permissible in case the employer has specially asked you for a detailed résumé, or you apply for a senior position and you have more than 10 years relevant experience.

  • Check, check, check! Your résumé must be visually appealing and free from any spelling, typographical, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Before printing, make sure it says everything that needs to be said about you. Remember that any typos or discrepancies, no matter how minor, will be a reflection of who you are. So revise when you must.

  • Highlight your strengths and the abilities you possess positively by using action and descriptive words. By doing so, employers are given an impression of a dynamic jobseeker who knows himself/herself well. Your ability to clearly and simply describe your skills and capabilities shows that you are sure of what you can do.

  • BE HONEST. It’s okay to re-word or re-phrase some details, but more and more companies check every detail, or hire experienced outside organizations to do it for them. So don't say or claim anything you can't prove.

  • An incomplete résumé is a wasted résumé. There is a generally standard format for writing résumés because it emphasizes the information you must not leave out or forget to include. These details usually are:

    • Name and contact information: You may be qualified to replace the company CEO but without this you’re literally no one.

    • Job objective: What do you want? Be specific, simple, and clear. Orient your words to the specific needs of a potential employer. Make it clear that you are focused on helping your employer meet its goals. A rambling, wordy, and long objective tends to put employers to sleep, so keep it short and direct to the point!

    • Qualifications: If your experience is light (in terms of duration) and your qualifications are heavy, you might want to add a "Qualifications" line or two AFTER your job objective but BEFORE your experience and/or education.

    • Experience: This is often the most reviewed area of your résumé, so make and impact and use key words and terms that you think are relevant to the position you’re applying for. The experience summary should be accomplishment-oriented and provides an overview of your work experience. Most employers only spend twenty to thirty seconds reading individual résumés. Many large employers are now using optical scanning machines that are programmed to look for certain terms and phrases [usually skills, positions, or field-related jargon] to narrow down the résumé selection. [A special format called "scannable résumés" is needed for these employers].

    • Education: If your education relates to your objective and is within the past three years, it should be the first section. If not, education should follow the work experience section of your résumé. Employers are not interested in details of your primary schools, so don’t include the pre-school, grade school, and usually high school you went to. If you have a high GPA, include it on your résumé. You may want to highlight your GPA on a new line.

    • References: Do not list references on your resume. Better you state on your resume that your references are "Available upon request." Prepare a separate list of professional references (3-5), including name, title, address, and business phone number of each person who agreed to be a reference for you.

Leaving out one [or more] detail mentioned above is the kiss of death for a résumé. Even in creating ONLINE Résumés, you must try to complete everything. These online résumés are already structured to ask for the MOST IMPORTANT, MOST BASIC details, so complete them. EMPLOYERS WILL NOT HIRE SOMEONE WITH INCOMPLETE DETAILS.

In jobseeking, FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE OFTEN THE LAST. Avoid being ignored or rejected by employers by making sure that your résumé has all the details they need to know. Don’t give in to the temptation of making your résumé longer than your fellow jobseeker’s. Employers don’t have time to read autobiographies.

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