“Help me write a resume!” Have you ever found yourself screaming in desperation in front of your computer frantically scouring the net for a CV sample? Well, you’re in luck! Though we will not be providing CV templates, we will dissect how a job resume should look like with the help of an expert.
What most people fail to see is that a CV (curriculum vitae) or Resume is an advertisement, a marketing tool geared towards landing you a job or an account. It is not a mere list of previous jobs and accomplishments, it is a brochure designed to sell you.
But before you can craft the ultimate marketing tool fit for your needs, you need to get over the fear and uneasiness of marketing yourself. Besides, you’ve been doing exactly that since you first started job hunting fresh out of college. Yes, every time you hand out a business card, update your LinkedIn profile or send out an application, you’re marketing yourself. So, get over it.
We interviewed Beverly Banan, a seasoned Human Resources consultant on the nitty gritty of resume writing and this is what she had to say:
1.What’s the first thing you look for in an applicant’s resume? Do the format, font and presentation matter?
Yes, usually fresh graduates use bigger fonts and big space to make the resume look long/full but it’s just a waste of paper. The resume should be concise and well presented.
2.What key elements should a good resume have?
It should highlight education, work experience and relevant accomplishments that would be useful in the position applied for.
3. As a general rule, should applicants put a picture on their resumes?
It depends on the country and culture. In the Philippines, it is required but in other countries, it is considered a form of discrimination. Each company would have their reason for requiring this.
4. In evaluating a resume, do you pay more attention to academic or professional qualifications?
It depends on the position applied for. For entry level, education is important, it has to be relevant, and there should be some practicum training which is required in schools, so it should be highlighted. For higher level positions, description of responsibilities and accomplishments should be detailed.
5. Generally, how important are trainings and seminars in boosting an applicant’s chances?
Depending on the position applied for, the trainings and seminars should be recent and relevant to the industry.
6. How many pages is too long?
Six pages and up.
7. If there are long gaps between employment, how should this be presented? Or what do you suggest as a workaround?
The applicant should be honest in presenting his resume. Usually, these gaps can be discussed during the interview but if the applicant went through some trainings, certifications, further studies or business ventures during these gaps, they should be stated in the resume as well.
8. Do you check online portfolios or do you usually rely solely on the CV provided?
This depends on the nature of business of the company and the position such as in the case of a writer where samples are essential.
9. What can you say about the recent debate over whether employers have a right to check Facebook and Twitter accounts of applicants? Some even go to the extreme of asking for the applicant’s passwords.
I can’t believe employers would go to that extreme of asking for the applicant’s password, the issue of privacy should be taken into consideration. I know of married couples who wouldn’t even share their passwords. I don’t think employers have the right to get passwords of employees and would-be employees.
They can view the Facebook and Twitter profiles of applicants so this should also serve as a wake-up call for everyone, not only applicants, to always be reflective before posting anything on their profiles. Otherwise, they must be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
So there you go. The musts of an effective resume straight from an expert. Happy job hunting!
Beverly is an independent Human Resources professional and Lecturer at Southville Foreign University.