What do you need to prepare to apply for a job? What will your answer be? We believe that you all know that you need to write a résumé. Or perhaps some will say CV (curriculum vitae). So before we go in to the main topic, let’s see the differences between CV and résumé.
The significant difference between CV and résumé are the length, content and the purpose. Résumé usually is one to two pages long while CV requires at least two pages. Looking at the length, résumé is briefer and more concise. How about CV? CV is a more detailed summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentation, award, honors, affiliations and other details. Do you need all that in a résumé? No. You only need to write down the summary of your skills, experience and education. Just keep in mind that every information that you put in your résumé must be aligned to your goal of getting the job. On the other hand, not all information in the CV is related with the goal.
You need to remember that you are building your résumé, not creating it. Why? Your résumé will get better as you gain more experience. Therefore, you build your résumé by building yourself from time to time and customizing it to the needs of the prospected company. Whereas creating a résumé means you just make it one time and you use it for every time you’re applying a job.
What are the important points that need to be inserted in your résumé? You will need heading, educational background, organization experiences, work experiences, achievements, training and workshops, skills and other pertinent information. You can organize the order as you please but we recommend to keep the heading first. The order based on the most excellent experience and for fresh graduate students, the top has to be heading and educational background.
Before you start, we want to remind you that your résumé must be straight to the point. Do not add any information that is knowable to the recruiter. For example, don’t need to write your name like “Name: Alice Wonderland”; simply write “Alice Wonderland”. Do not state your gender when you already have your picture in the résumé. It is highly advisable not to point out information that you would want to put in the cover letter.
In the heading, you need to write the most important information about you and your contact information. Start with your name, date of birth, address, email address and phone number. Since you are applying for a job, make sure your email address is professional, e.g. email@example.com. Please also keep in mind to give your active mobile phone number. Beside this information, insert your professional looking photo. We recommend to put it in the right side. No need to include information such as gender, religion, marital status or your body size.
Now, how about educational background? You need to put it in chronological order, beginning with the most recent one. State the institution name, its location (not necessary), the years you are enrolled and your major. Consider to include your GPA if requested. Only need to list your education up to high school. Unless you have gone to schools abroad or different cities, you may enlist it in your résumé.
To write your organization experience, it will be the same concept as for your work experience. Write it in chronological order, beginning with the most recent. You have to be specific. It must contain the following information: date/working period, employer’s name, job title, and brief description of your responsibilities. Don’t forget to include your experience as intern, volunteer, etc. We don’t recommend you write down all of your experiences just the significant ones (with high position for example).
When you are writing your work and organization experiences, there is a method that we advise you to apply. Use the STAR framework. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Situation and task is the background or the content; actions are what and how you say or do in response to a situation; and result is the effect of your actions. If you use this framework, it will help you because the employers will easily note your achievement.
After completing your experiences, you need to list your achievements. Make an inventory of what you have accomplished (both academic/non academic or work area). Just like the other section, please make it in chronological order, starting with the most recent. Don’t forget the basic information of your achievement, such as: the event name, year obtained, and the organizer. Note the achievement scale too; whether it is international, national, or campus.
If you have participated in trainings and workshops, please insert that information in your résumé. As always, it has to be in chronological order starting with the most recent. Input the time of training/workshop, organizer’s name, and the title of the training/workshop.
Last but not least, don’t forget to mention your skill set: computing knowledge, foreign language, and other skill. Give the detailed information and the level of proficiency. If you have a certification, name it too.
Never make a résumé longer than 2 pages. Yes, we are repeating the message because you need to know that recruiter only scheme on your résumé. They don’t have time to read in details and especially not more than two pages. Remember, your résumé is your personal branding. It is your tool to sell yourself to company. So, make it unique in terms of layout and the content. But never overdo it. A creative layout is acceptable as long as it still presents your professionalism.
What are you waiting for? Start building your résumé. Customize it according to your need and goal. And don’t forget to update your résumé each time you have new experience or achievement.