Generally speaking, the Philippine job market is a very competitive these days. Why do I say so? First, I have friends who have extensive work experience and have masters’ degrees who applied – and continue to apply – for jobs online who still couldn’t find work. Heck, they didn’t even get the any calls!
Why? It simply implies that there’s a lot of talent out there of the same – if not better – quality for much less pesos.
If you know the law of demand and supply, you know what I’m talking about – an over abundance of available labor indicates that a surplus exists.
If you don’t take my word for it, take the Social Weather Station’s (SWS). In their survey that was conducted from 5 to 8 December 2015, they found that about 21.4% or roughly 9.1 million Filipinos are unemployed. Yes, more than 9 million Filipinos don’t have jobs and that means if you’re looking for a job, so are 9 million others.
With that much competition, how can you possibly grab your desired job? The primary way is through your professional resume. So let’s talk about how to write the ultimate resume that will practically slay the competition!
A professional resume by any other format is not the same resume. This means your resume must be focused on your particular target audience. What do I mean by this?
If the job you’re applying for is one in a very formal or corporate organization, it goes without saying that your professional resume has to be very formal or professional looking. You can choose from chronological and functional resumes.
Chronological resumes are what most people are familiar with – you included probably. This kind of professional resume lists work experiences and previous jobs in chronological order, beginning with the latest. Often times too, these jobs or work experiences’ achievements, skills used and responsibilities are mentioned.
Chronological resumes are best for traditional industry employers like manufacturing and banking, when you want to show how your career has been progressing or when your employment history in a particular field is a steady one. Don’t use this type of resume when you don’t have enough experience in the industry the job you’re applying for belongs to or when your career or employment history has significant gaps.
Functional resumes on the other hand, are completely different from chronological ones in that it is focused more on highlighting the jobs or previous work experiences you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Doing so puts the spotlight on your professional skills, characteristics, attributes and experiences that are relevant for the position you’re applying for. For example, one section may highlight your skills in organizational behavior while another section may emphasize your communications skills.
Functional resumes are best used for applying in jobs where your prior jobs or work experiences aren’t related to the field, if you’re applying for jobs where skills trump previous positions held or when your employment history shows significant gaps in between. Don’t use this type of formal resume if the skills you possess relative to the position applied for aren’t exceptionally strong or when you lack the professional characteristics the job or position calls for.
If the job you’re eyeing is one that’s in a very informal or creative organization, you have to fit your perfect professional resume to the nature of the organization as well – creative and unique!
An example of this is my friend, who is a freelance events organizer. The resume he sent for a gig was totally out of the box. It looked more like a blog that featured beautiful graphics and links to his previous events managed. Because he was applying for a job in an events management company, an industry where creativity is a premium, his out-of-the-box resume caught the attention of the owners of the firm and hired him.
Examples of creative resumes include video resumes and newsletter or blog-type resumes. Again, use these with caution – make sure you’re applying in a company that’s highly creative in nature.
By well written, I don’t mean a 6-page resume. It simply means that your professional resume must be able to communicate to your potential employer – in the most honest way possible – that you’re the man or the woman for the job. How do you write your resume well enough to get the message across?
First, you need to make sure that your resume is as lean as Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds or Hugh Jackman, i.e., it should have no excess baggage. Include only the information that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you have more than 50 previous jobs or employment history, don’t include the times you worked part-time as a Bozo the Clown or Ronald McDonald when you were in university as a working student or your experience as an online entrepreneur selling deodorants if you’re applying for the position of branch manager at your friendly neighborhood bank.
When it comes to professional resumes, the more the merrier doesn’t necessarily apply. In fact, having too much fluff or “jobs” in your resume can backfire on you because unless you’re frequently pirated for your extraordinary professional skills and accomplishments, too many entries on the work experiences section can communicate to the prospective employer that you don’t have the fortitude to stay long enough in one company or worse, that you’re a jack of all trades and a master – or mistress – of none!
Second, make sure that your professional resume’s content is grammatically correct! Nothing else can sabotage your chances of slaying the competition for your dream job than a resume that are write in wrongs gramar! See? That’s my point exactly! Enough said.
Third, be specific. As much as possible, avoid using phrases like “was responsible for” or “managed the so-and-so aspect of the business” because it won’t communicate to your prospective employer why exactly you’re the man or woman for the job and not the others. Instead, specify what it is exactly that you did in the most concise way possible. For example, use “increased the branch’s collection efficiency, cutting down collection period from 50 days to only 30 days” instead of saying “was responsible for managing collection of receivables”.
Lastly, your content should be as simple and concise as possible. Instead of writing “As a branch manager, I was responsible for bringing in more customers to the bank on a monthly basis, which resulted in continuously increasing deposit levels.”, you can write “Increased customer traffic in the bank, that lead to higher deposit levels.” It’s short, sweet and clear.
Sells The Brand – YOU!
Lastly, your professional resume must be able to sell you to your prospective employers. To enable your resume to do that, it has to be very appealing visually and should be well organized.
Why visually appealing? Think of it this way – employers run through very many resumes on a daily basis and given the limited time that they have to make judgments, your resume needs to catch their attention at the onset. If at first glance your resume looks very unappealing, it’s gonna take the very first trip to the employer’s trash basket.
What makes for a visually appealing resume that stands out? Font size is one. If you use small fonts, it can make your professional resume hard to read and look so cramped. Consequently, it can be taken as a reflection of your abilities and skills. As such, your potential employer may quickly judge you as “not worthy”. Use a large enough font, but not too big, so that the information is readable enough even at first glance and avoids giving your resume that very cramped look. If it looks easy on the eyes, you significantly increase your resume’s chances of a second and more interested look from your prospective employer.
Font color is also important. For most resumes, black is the only acceptable color. But for resumes that are highly creative in nature, just make sure that the font’s color is such that it doesn’t blend in with the background so that it’s readable.
When I say well organized, it must put the content that has the highest chance of selling you effectively to your prospective employer at the start or very near the top of your resume. Why? With all the resumes that employers go through on a daily basis, they need to be able to make quick judgments as to which resume goes to the short list and to the trash. Assuming that it’s visually appealing enough to warrant a second and more thorough look, if your prospective employer finds that he or she needs to read through so much less relevant info in your resume, he or she may no longer be interested to read long enough to reach the part where your skills and characteristics are showcased.
A well-organized resume is one that puts the work experiences and previous jobs held second only to the applicant’s basic information. While most traditional or cookie-cutter resumes put the educational background first which is appropriate for fresh graduates only, resumes that are worth killing for immediately shout to prospective employers why they should choose the applicant that sent them. In other words, such resumes are those that immediately communicate to the prospective employer that the applicant’s skills, characteristics and experiences are best fit for the job.
Your Prospective Employer’s Looking Glass
Your prospective employer or their hiring manager will most probably not know you personally, which means your resume is the only glass or lens through which they can see who you are. With so many things they need to do and with so little time, it’s important that your resume makes a very good first impression – an impression that kills all competition – so that it can get a second and more thorough look from your potential employer. More importantly, your resume must be able to go all the way through and communicate clearly why you’re the man or the woman for the job.
So the next time you send your resume, make sure that it’s focused, well written, and is able to sell the brand that is you. If it’s that, you have a very high chance of slaying the competition that stands in between you and your dream job!