7 tips for your resume that Headhunters just love

Why do you think that having a great resume is the single most important part of your job search?

The right answer: because if your resume does not excite and impress anyone, you will not be invited for an interview.

And obviously, if you can’t even get an interview you will never get the dream job. Simple as that and it can be said with these few words:

Resume purpose: To get you an interview ?

Whether we like it or not, the use of a resume is the standard operating procedure in business when it comes to introducing ourselves to a potential employer. That’s the way the world goes ‘round.

You should also pay special attention to what you call your career document, is it Resume or is it CV?

Résumé is originally a French word, meaning summary or outline. In other words, the 2-page Resume that we use to introduce ourselves to executive search firms, recruitment companies or corporate talent acquisition professionals is simply a summary of your CV.

A CV can best be described as your Career Balance Sheet, a balance sheet as we know it from accounting and finance. It’s a long very detailed document that can run up to many pages, easily five to ten.

Your CV should never be shared with anyone. It stays on your personal computer forever but from which you pick the relevant text when creating the all-important personal Resume.

Top of page 1

  • Do not bother writing the word Resume on the very top of your page. Recruiters know when we see one. Go straight to your name and so on.
  • Your name, font size 18 (though subject to the font type you use).
  • Second line shows your address but not necessarily your floor or apartment number. No one is going to send you anything; we just want to know if you are in Talingchan, Sukumvit Road or Rayong.
  • Third line, your mobile number (and no need to write the word mobile in front of the number; we know a mobile number when we see it). Followed by your email (change the blue colour to black, and remove the underline).
  • Spread out the letters by using the Font / Advanced / Spacing.

Career Introduction

  • Your first chance to impress; the upper part of page 1 which we call Resume Shop Window. This part is crucial and will determine if the recruiter will scroll down to see the second half of page 1 – and even to page 2.
  • Forget the buzz words like self-motivated, energetic, or passionate. We do not search for these self-promoting useless descriptions. Believe me, everyone use them and we skip them.
  • Instead, include functional expertise, industry and profession, technical skills and what apps or resource systems you have worked with, overseas education, international work experience in which countries, language skills if good enough to do business in, global brand name employers.

Work Experience Summary

  • Focus on your last 10 to 15 years only. What goes beyond 15 can be in one line, for example: Employments prior to 2004: Various management positions in [industry] around [region, countries].
  • Start with name of the company, bold and font size 14. No need to add Company Limited. Next line, a one-line with type of business or industry the employer is/was in (font size 9). And next line, your title in bold and size 12 followed by the work period showing years only (font size 10).
  •  Then bullet points with your successes, your achievements, preferable including numbers like size, percentages, period.
  • Do not bother writing your job description. We know what an HR does; we know what Sales & Marketing is responsible for. Focus on what you have done that people will hopefully remember you for.

Educational Background

  • No need for primary and secondary school details  – unless you are Thai and took these years outside of Thailand.
  • If you have graduated from one of the world’s top universities, and I mean the likes of Harvard, MIT, Oxford, and Cambridge, then your first line should show that. If not, then start with your degree in what discipline and followed by the university.
  • Some might know what MA or MSc means; others not. Say: Master’s Degree in this and this subject; to avoid any misunderstanding.

Personal Information

  • You may wish to present your gender, your nationality, if you are married (in bracket which nationality), any children, special language skills in addition to your native and English.
  • Do not tell us why you moved from one company to the next (keep that for the job interview); do not show compensation details; do not include hobbies, and finally do not include names for reference checking (print the names of a separate page and bring along for the job interview).

Photograph

  • No matter how beautiful or handsome you are, do not attach a photo in your resume. If you do, there is just one more reason for the reader of your resume to disqualify you. Likes and dislikes are strange animals and some just hate beautiful people. But some prefer ordinary looking, some like bald and others lots of hair. You just never know what the person, reading your resume, prefers of personality style. So don’t give them an excuse to take you out.
  • Leave this practice to new graduates, Gen Y. Ignore the request in ads to attach a photo as it is all a trick to find a reason why you are not a fit. Trust me, if you have the right qualification, right age, years of experience, education etc., they will call you no matter what.

References available – of course

  • How many times have you seen this line in a resume: “References available upon request”. Honestly, I take for granted that you will be able to provide references so my suggestion is to drop the line. Use it to say why you are special. Add one more bullet point of achievements.
  • Even worse is to include names and contact details of a few people who have agreed to talk nice about you. These names do not belong on your resume but on a separate piece of paper which you can easily forward by email once the company has met you and would like to move to the next step.

2 thoughts on “7 tips for your resume that Headhunters just love

  1. Tom, this is great and why not make it generic and omit details related to Thailand only?

    With yr byline I will use in as ref paper in my next business uni lecture module “Career planning” for MBA and BA students here in south Spain starting next week.

    brdgs,
    Anders W

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