When I go through résumés, the first thing I really look for is the professional experience of the applicant. I immediately check if they have relevant experience and if not, if we have an opening that will suit the applicant. BUT! If an applicant applies for a position that he/she does not have the experience for, I will note it down. What I’m saying is this, don’t just apply for any position just because you already have ‘professional’ experience. It has to be related to the position that you are applying for–unless you are a fresh graduate and the vacancy is open to everyone.
What else should you put in your résumé? Well, definitely not your height and weight.
Your résumé SHOULD include the following:
- Contact Information
There are several ways to contact an applicant. The most popular is via mobile phone and email. There’s no use putting in your home phone number unless you are home during business hours. A lot of employers also send out an email to applicants, that’s why it’s important to regularly check the email that you indicated in your résumé. And when I say regularly, at least once a day.
- Employment History
Do not abbreviate the name of your previous employers–spell it out. Make sure you include your position and dates of employment. Aside from those, include a brief description of the company, its services and/or products, and what you did in the company.
It will also help you in your job search if you include any key achievements or contributions. For example, you created a quality checklist that the entire company used because it helped increase customer satisfaction. You can also include relevant awards that you received (do not include ‘best in attendance’ and anything along those lines).
Again, do not abbreviate. Do not put UP, put in University of the Philippines. If your school has several campuses, include that as well. It must also contain the degree your earned (or tried to earn), any majors or minors, dates of attendance, and also any awards you received. And you can leave out your Primary and Secondary education.
- Nothing screams ‘unprofessional’ than an email address that screams ‘I created this when I was 14 years old’. There is nothing cute about email addresses like ‘email@example.com’ or nothing manly about ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Stick to your name. And if a number is needed at the end because someone else beat you to it, then make sure the numbers won’t embarrass you in any way.
- Proofread. Proofread again. Proofread the day after.
- Do not put a picture unless you are specifically asked to do so–or if you’re applying as a model or an actor. And if you need to put a picture, put in something that would pass for an ID or a Passport. Do not pose with your favorite teddy bear.
- Your résumé formatting should be easy on the eyes. It should not be crowded and with lots of different fonts. Stick to Arial or Verdana. Don’t go overboard with Lucida Calligraphy and the likes. Your resume should be sleek–thus, background theme is not needed.
- DO NOT INCLUDE references or the phrase that says ‘References available upon request’. The employer will ask for it and most often than not, they get to decide who they want to talk with. It’s not uncommon to find the spouse of the applicant in the reference list.
- As mentioned earlier, your height and weight does not matter. Your religion has no place in your resume.
- When you read a job posting, make sure you read from beginning to end and FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS.
- Do not dictate how they should contact you for an interview.
- Remember that if the employer is interested, they will reach out to you. Hold your horses and stop following up regularly.
Some other tips for your interview can be found HERE.