Resume writing for fresh graduates


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This is a deck presented at a career workshop held at IIUM Kuantan on 13 April 2014. While the content is targeted at helping fresh graduates about to enter the job market, some of the points are relevant for experienced job-seekers as well. May you find this useful. :)

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Resume writing for fresh graduates

  1. 1. + IIUM Science Students Society (SCIENCESS) Career Workshop * 13 April 2014 By Nur Haryati Hisham Former Head of HR, Mesiniaga Berhad
  2. 2. + Quick facts about the resume  Your resume has less than 30 seconds to impress any potential employer.  On average, between 100 to150 people apply for every advertised vacancy.  A resume is designed as a marketing document and NOT designed to go on and on.  Your personal profile is the MOST important part of your resume.  There is no such thing as a standard layout when it comes to writing your resume.
  3. 3. + Your resume.What’s the big deal?  The job market is hyper-competitive. Make sure your resume helps you stand out. Know what recruiters look for.  The resume is still the most important document for job-seekers. It’s the first document screened by recruiters, the first point of contact.  A well-written resume saves time and maximises your chance of success. Always have your resume with you, ready to hit “Send”.  Helps you cast the widest net in landing your dream job.
  4. 4. + The anatomy of a resume Your contact information personal profile: • A recent & decent profile picture • Email address • Contact number Your career objectives: • Clear and concise • Good for fresh job- seekers • States why the recruiter should read your entire resume Your professional experience: • Highlight accomplishments & results • Useaction verbs and active voice descriptions Your education: • For fresh graduates, list this at the top • Start with the highest level of education • Write your college/university name in full Source:
  5. 5. + The cover letter  This is also your email to prospective recruiters. Build a good template and make it work for you.  Compulsory when a written application is required.  Highlights valuable traits:  Attention to detail. Must be error-free.  Show off your writing skills and command of language  A sign of courtesy and professionalism  Ability to follow instructions  A chance to personalise your application and express interest in the position and organisation
  6. 6. + Tips for writing a winning resume  Get organised. Match your strengths with the job requirement.  Know your reader  Be clear and concise  Use action verbs and active voice  Use facts and figures  Keep it short. Follow the 2-page rule.  Pick the right format. Chronological, functional or both.  Write the resume  Get help editing your resume. Ask for feedback.  Get it out there! Source:
  7. 7. + Fatal flaws of a bad resume  Your email address and your profile picture can either seal the deal or secure your resume a one-way trip to the trash bin.  Never email a “naked” resume. A good cover email/letter is never a waste of time.  Never, ever send out a resume and a cover letter that are badly-written or riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.  Do not break the 2-page rule. Remove clutter and content that conveys minimal substance or relevance.  Leave out references until they are asked for.  Always send your resume and cover letter in PDF format. The formatting in a Word (.doc) document can and will go wrong.
  8. 8. + Putting your resume to work  Cast the widest net. Get it out there!  Sign up at all good job portals  Scan for career fairs and walk-in interviews  Scan the job ads, especially the Saturday Star recruitment section  Targeted approach vs. “flood the market”  What is your dream job?  Who is your targeted employer?  Where is your preferred job location?  Beyond the resume. Caution: common sense required.  A blog, Tumblr or LinkedIn page that highlights your career aspirations and achievements.  Do not disclose personal information. Never over-share.  Try an Infographic resume.  Keep your resume updated and ensure that the content featured is current and relevant.
  9. 9. + Conclusion  Your resume is a marketing tool to get yourself noticed and to help prospective employers match you against their requirements.  A well-written cover letter/email along with a polished resume will give you the advantage you need in a hyper- competitive job-market.  Never, ever commit the fatal flaws of a bad resume. Know what they are and be sure to steer clear off this path to silent rejection.  Like most things, landing a job requires strategy. Be prepared and think this through before you hit “Send”.  Keep your resume updated. You never know when opportunity might strike, taking you a step closer to your dream job.
  10. 10. Helping Customers Succeed