How to Write a Masterpiece of a Resume

Your resume should be about the value you will offer to a company or organisation. This means and all FutureLab mentors agree that a resume should be treated like a marketing document. It should tell a compelling story that invites further inquiry. So before you start writing your resume, take up the challenge to figure out what is special about you and what your personal brand is. In the process remember that an average employer spends about 7 seconds to review it. They are not reading, but skimming. It is important you make it clear right off the bat how you add value. Now here are some tips from FutureLab mentors on what creates a great resume:

1. Keep your resume short and sweet


A concise resume containing relevant content is crucial. There are few ways to do this. Firstly, remove generic self-descriptions. Everyone uses it but it does not show much value. If you would like to show you are a detailed oriented person, strive for an error free resume instead of listing ‘detail oriented’ as a characteristic and immediately proving against it. Secondly, delete irrelevant experience. As explained later in the article, tailoring your job to a desired position is important. Question every point by asking if the reader needs to know the information. Simple and common skills can also be omitted. It is very common to see skills such as MS Office in resumes. Instead, include vital skills from the job description or company website. Finally, consider 4 bullet points per work/voluntary experience. This is a good way to keep things concise and powerful.

Speak with Mergers and Acquisition Manager at EY (Malaysia), Rishi Das


2.Customise your resume for each opportunity


There is a high possibility that if you blindly apply for a job, your resume won’t get noticed. Many large organisations filter resumes using tracking systems that scans it before forwarding the resumes on to hiring managers. The way the system scans and filters usually are through keywords. As unfair as this sounds, it is how companies efficiently use their time. Past the tracking system as well, it is a resume tailored to each employer and their goals that strengthens your chance of being noticed. So how do you effectively take into account and work on getting your resume past the tracking system and human readers? There are so many ways to find out about this now than just browsing through a company’s website and reading Glassdoor. Platforms such as FutureLab have been created to help anyone to better prepare for job applications, so utilise it. Remember, to always carefully consider the key words you are using and mirror their language and values.

Speak with Marketing Content Manager at (Malaysia), Neekita Patel


3. Quantify your accomplishments


On your resume, try to turn every work experience into measurable achievements. The aim through this is to provide evidence that emphasise the significance of your accomplishments. Solid numbers are the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule of writing a resume. For example, if you created performance reports and distributed them, how many did you distribute? If you exceed a sales target, then by how many percent did you exceed it? However, if you can’t quantify them, don’t despair. Subjective results are well accepted too if your achievements are hard to quantify. Employers merely want to know you can contribute to their organisational goals and objective. ­­

Speak with Software Engineer at Facebook (Malaysia), Aizat Faiz


4. Show transferable skills


It is common to always think about education and experience first when you are writing your resume. But the experiences you have gained outside of work could also be the key to getting a job interview. Demonstrating your transferable skills is one of the most important aspects of your resume too, in addition to all that has been mentioned. These have a big role to play in communicating the capacity of completing a task. Examples of transferable skills are desire to learn, resilience, taking up more responsibilities, navigation skills, embracing change and many more. A good way to demonstrate this is through having a skills sections and explaining where you developed each skill from. However, it is of utmost importance to remember that your resume should always be relevant to the job you are applying to. Therefore, if it does not support the work you want to do, leave it out.

Speak to Former Strategy Advisor at Shell (Malaysia), Vijay Kumar


5. Show Direction or Be Specific


Your resume should always demonstrate you are the right person for this job. The two ways of doing this is, to either include only relevant work experience or when otherwise, to specifically include aspects of the job that will add value to the position. Alongside, show direction by demonstrating how you experience align with your aspiration and again should be in line with the role you are applying too. It is okay to have bits of experience, in fact, that is brilliant. But when you write your resume, pick and choose what to include in a way that will show a clear indication of your field of interests, where your skills lie and where you plan to head at that point in time. The aim is always to get the hiring manager to say, ‘yes he/she is the perfect fit for the job.’

Speak with Continuous Improvement Engineer at Morgan Advanced Material (United Kingdom), Thatchu Selvarajan


Need help to write an impactful resume that will land you an interview? Get in touch with FutureLab mentors who work in your field of interest and want to help here. It is that easy!