You only have 20 seconds

  • Post published:25/06/2013
  • Reading time:3 mins read

I am sorry to be the messenger… I know this may come as a shock to you. Here goes:

Your resume will be read in about 20 seconds.

That is all you get to introduce yourself before ending up in the Yes or No pile.

You may be in another job already but wish to consider a career move should the right position at the right company become available. Or you may not be working at the moment, what we call in-between-jobs. In whatever case, you will need to register your interest by submitting a resume.885_alarm_clock_olive

You will hear some people use the word CV rather than resume when describing the document used when applying for jobs. CV is the abbreviation of the Latin word curriculum vitae. What is the difference between a resume and a CV? In fact there is no universal agreed definition and it really depends on who you ask.

In some parts of the world a CV is generally recognized as a special format of the resume for teaching or scientific candidates. Others define a CV as a detailed, lengthy and structured listing of education, publications, projects, awards and work history, a document which could easily run up to 10 or 20 pages.

For the purpose of introducing yourself to a prospective employer, it will be nothing else but suicide to send more than 2 or maximum 3 pages. That is why we use the word resume and not CV.

You will of course like to do everything you can to end up in the Yes pile by making the recruiter’s job easier, right? That could be the Human Resource Manager in the company, or it could be a consultant at an Executive Recruitment company, who is retained by a client to assist with a search for staff. This is the person you must impress.

There is one important thing to keep in mind at all times when you are preparing your sales letter i.e. your resume: it is called KISS, meaning Keep It Short and Simple.

Remember that a resume only has one purpose:

To get you an interview.

It is not the story of your life and it is not the place to comment on what you think about Thai politics, the current business climate in the country or how much you admire the company you want to work for.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.