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10 Tips for Writing a Resume That Will Get You Hired July 5, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Jobhunting Pinoy Style.
Tags: , , , ,

First impressions do count in the job market. In many situations, it’s your resume that will matter the most. One view of your resume is usually the only chance you’ll ever get to get noticed as a candidate for the job. Your resume speaks volumes about you. Believe it or not, one to two sheets of paper can make or break your career. Learn the ways you can market yourself effectively by learning how to write a resume that will get you the job.

Create a resume, not a bio-data.
A resume is not the same as a bio-data, so don’t try to be funny and use them alternately. A resume is a comprehensive description of your job and accomplishments during the years you have worked.

A bio-data is simply a basic form of information about you and does not often require you to include your job description. A bio-data often comes in a pre-printed form that you merely have to fill out. The HR department usually attaches this to your resume and/application letter. The bio-data is also used as a quick reference for your 201 Personnel file should you get hired.

Do you need the opening objective?
The job objective was a big thing in the late 80s and 90s and it’s actually still being used today. However, if you take a look at other resumes with opening objectives, you will find that they are almost generic and don’t really sell the skills of the individual.

A better alternative would be a description of your skills and capabilities. Instead of saying,

‘Seeking a job that fulfills my career aspirations while providing a challenging work environment.’

Say instead,

‘Proven capability in sales and marketing, with solid background in advertising and copywriting’ or something to that effect.

The last statement informs the employer about what you can do and not so much about what you want, which the first statement reveals.

Provide an overview of your job description but only the most salient points.
Really – does your future employer need to know that you’re adept at photocopying training materials or that you write memos to your staff as part of your job? Too much info is no info. Instead, include the most important aspects of your job – the ones that define you as a valuable asset, the ones that showcase your skills.

Tell them about your capabilities.
Prospective employers want to know what you have done in your past employment that would want them to want you. So what if you talked to customers as a Customer Service Representative? They want to know how you improved the system and how many customer service problems per week you have resolved.

Tell your employers what you have accomplished in measurable terms.
Stuff like, ‘increased department sales by 210% within a four-month period’ or ‘saved the department approximately P200,000 in production expenses’ are gems that companies want to find on your resume.

Don’t be too self-important.
State your accomplishments objectively but don’t overdo it. If you come off as too arrogant or narcissistic, you could drive employers in the opposite direction.

Should you offer personal attributes?
Okay, this is the tricky part. Commonly used info such as birthdate, birthplace, age, weight, height and religion may be useful but only to a certain extent. If you’re applying for a job where these attributes are irrelevant, don’t include them. Say you’re vying for a job as an ad copywriter or production manager – standing at just 4’11” tall or being a Roman Catholic or a Mormon has nothing to do with your qualifications.

However, if the job calls for certain physical specifications, such as those required of models and actors or other jobs where your physical attributes play a part (if you will be operating a machine built for people 5’5″ in height and taller, you might think twice about applying if you stand only at 5’1″), then by all means, include the stats.

And please… enough of the hobbies and interests. E ano naman kung hilig mo mag-badminton on weekends? Will that make you a good hire? Save the info for interviews, IF your employer asks.

Your references
In resumes, complete details about references are not included. But you will have to state that they will be available upon request. If the employer asks, then give at least three.

Write clearly and avoid grammatical and spelling errors.
The higher your educational attainment is, the more people expect from you. When you’re done with your resume, run a SpellCheck to spot errors and make the necessary corrections. Proofread AT LEAST twice, then have someone review it for you. Someone who knows correct grammar, ha?

If all else fails, ask a trusted friend to write your resume for you but make sure you provide the complete information. You could pay someone to write your resume as well, although be prepared to spend. Good help is expensive.

What to do with work history gaps?
There are a number of reasons why people have gaps in their work history – failure to get a job, personal time off, went on prolonged vacation, tried self-employment, etc. If the gap is just a few months long, there’s probably no need to explain yourself. After all, if you lost your job, it could take a while to find a new one. Do not write too personal details such as, ‘Went on my honeymoon’ or ‘Spent 3 months in jail for this and that charge’. Best leave the gap alone and just include the time period when you began working again.

However, if you left your job or if the gap is at least 12 months, be ready to explain yourself during the interview.

NEVER use false information.
Don’t say you completed a college education if you dropped out during your senior year. Don’t lay claim on someone else’s work if you did nothing on the project. It’s dishonest, pathetic and reveals a shady side of your character – one that cannot and should not be trusted. Once information leaks out about your little lie, you could get in trouble.

Above all, be professional.
Frills, colored paper, flowing fonts and that weird e-mail address your Friendster friends loved so much might show your very light, colorful personality but it’s not something employers are looking to see.

A pink, marbled sheet of paper, an Edwardian Script font and an e-mail add that says: ‘sexyme,myself&i@yahoo.com’ is great if you’re sending the application to a pimp but won’t work very well if you’re trying to get that corporate job. And yes, if you’re still employed and are using your company’s e-mail add, please stop. Go open an account and sign up using your own.

Writing an effective resume means providing the means for employers to contact you but it doesn’t mean abusing the trust your present employer is giving you. Konting delicadeza won’t hurt.



1. Anirban Bhattacharya - January 22, 2009

thanx for all the feedbacks u have provided to us. i am an engineering student, currently studying in third year. our placements are gonna start by the end of April and as u know, the first impressions the companies get about yiu is vis your biodata. so can you provide me a sample pf a filled biodata including points where i can be asked questions like “why should i be hired” or “my strengths and weeknesses”. i would be greatly obliged if u send me an email in my id, some tips bout how to answer these kinds of questions.

dapinoyemployee - January 23, 2009

thank you for dropping by. congratulations on your studies! engineering is a very exciting and relevant field. there are a couple of blog entries that i have written in the past that might be of help to you:

for questions you might be asked by the employer, here’s the link:

for questions you might want to ask your employer, here’s the link:

for an explanation of what a bio-data is compared to a CV or a resume, here’s the link:

in the philippines, a bio-data can come in a prepared form that you only need to fill out with personal and professional information, such as: name, address & contact information, birthdate, birthplace, marital status and basic information about your parents, spouse or children.

it will also require you to answer important stuff, such as your education, the university you went to, your course of study and probably, the marks or levels you have received. you might also be asked to include information about any exams you might have taken related to your course of study, such as professional or technical exams.

a bio-data might also ask you to provide information regarding any languages you speak, write and read and any hobbies or interests that you have. you will also be asked to provide information regarding any work or internship experience you’ve had. you will also be asked to write your present salary, expected salary, how soon you can join the company and any other work expectations you might have.

i apologize i cannot e-mail you a copy of a filled out bio-data because the ones i have are considered confidential. there are a few bio-data you can view online, however. you could use google or yahoo to search for these using the keyword.

thanks for your inquiry and i hope this helps.

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