22 Februari 2012

Start Writing Your CV Correctly

I got this assessment from JobStreet.com. JobStreet.com is a job portal founded in 1997. Founded in Malaysia, it has expanded its operations and services to countries like Singapore, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Japan and Thailand. It is now Southeast Asia's largest online employment company, according to Forbes. So, this assessment contains 25 questions, which are based on frequently made mistakes in resume writing. This assessment helps to check the quality of your resume, and from there, identify areas for improvement. It helps to increase your chances (hopefully) of being hired. Hopefully this article useful for you who are writing your CV.

1) Do you read and study the job description in detail before deciding to apply for the job?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
It is important to study the job description so that you know what the job entails, and if it is what you are looking for. If this is not your first job, the job description also helps to see if your skills set and experience fit the job role.

2) Do you update your resume before you apply for a job?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
An updated resume ensures that the employer gets your latest information. Only with your latest information can the employer make a good judgment call on whether you are suitable for the job. Your updated resume should include details of your current or latest job, new skills acquired, new certifications and so on.

3) Do you complete your job portal resume template, even though you have attached your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Both your job portal resume template and your attached resume are sent over to the employer when you apply for a job. The job portal resume template provides a standard template which contains fields for information that employers often request for. The template also helps you to include information that you might not have included in your attached resume.

4) Do you attach a suitable photo (e.g. passport photo) with your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Use a clear photo of yourself, preferably a passport photo. Dress professionally for the photo. Do not use a photo from your Facebook profile or a photo of you with inappropriate dressing or poses.

5) Do you include details such as your religion, height, weight and income tax details, so that it is complete?
Your answer should be: No. 
Only important and relevant information needs to be put in such as full name, date of birth, home address, email address and mobile number/phone number. Always ask yourself the question, is this piece of information relevant to the job? Information such as height and weight are usually not criteria for the job. Do not use the email address or phone number of your current job, unless you are sure that it is all right for other employers to contact you there.

6) Do you use fancy emails, such as happyboy@hotmail.com?
Your answer should be: No. 
Fancy and inappropriate email addresses shows unprofessionalism. If you need to, register for a new email address. You can sign-up for a free email account with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and so on. A good email address will be one that just contains your name e.g. fauzan.alrasyid@gmail.com.

7) Do you arrange your work experience according to chronological order, from the oldest to the latest?
Your answer should be: No. 
Your work experience should be arranged from the latest (most recent or current job) to the oldest. This makes it easier for the employer to see where you are currently working or details of your most recent job.

8) Do you copy and paste the job responsibilities of your current job into your resume?
Your answer should be: No. 
The job responsibilities of your current job should only be used as a guide. You should be explaining your job responsibilities in a way that is easy to understand with additional details as well. Try to tie-in relevant current job responsibilities to the job responsibilities of jobs that you are applying for.

9) Do you provide specific details of your achievements (e.g. made $50,000 for the company, sold 85 computers in a month, brought in ROI of 75%, programmed in .NET etc.)?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
The key is to provide quantifiable and measurable achievements. You can use your KPI’s as a guide when drafting your achievements. By doing so, it gives the employer a clearer idea of your achievements. This would add a great advantage to your resume as well as it gives a "Wow" factor.

10) Do you switch jobs frequently (e.g. more than 2 jobs within the last 2 years)?
Your answer should be: No. 
Frequent switching of jobs would give employers the idea that you are a job hopper, an unreliable person or is just not interested to contribute to the company long term. If you do change jobs quite frequently, do be prepared to answer why when employers question you during your interview. Be prepared to give a proper reason and not just say "personal reasons".

11) Do you highlight any time gaps, promotion or change of roles that you have gotten within the past 5 years?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
If it is a noticeable time gap, it is good to include the reason. Highlighting promotion and change of roles helps to give employers a clear view of your career progression.

12) If you have worked at a particular company for a very short period (e.g. for a few months), do you highlight your reasons for leaving the company?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Giving a good valid reason will ensure that the employer does not view you as a job hopper or an unreliable worker.

13) Do you highlight your managerial or leadership strength in your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Highlighting your managerial and leadership strength gives the employer room to consider you for a managerial position or a position of leadership. Even if it doesn’t happen immediately, it may be used as a consideration for future job promotion.

14) Do you put a very high expected salary, as you expect employers to negotiate the salary lower?
Your answer should be: No. 
It is best to put your actual expected salary. If you put a higher salary and it is outside the employer’s budget then your application will most probably be rejected. You will also be viewed as asking above the market rate. It is best to be honest about your expected salary.

15) Do you list down the contact details of your referees without getting permission from them first?
Your answer should be: No. 
It is basic courtesy to get permission from your referees first. Employers would often call your referees prior to hiring you so getting permission would allow your referees some time to prepare what to say when they receive the call.

16) Do you select a friend as your referee?
Your answer should be: No. 
Referees should be people from a professional level such as your university or work place. This is because they are expected to give information about you based on their observation of you during your studies or work.

17) Do you include your personal, technical or business skills clearly in your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
It is good to list skills that match the job requirements. Matching skills means that you have some form of knowledge in that area or task and therefore would probably be able to pick up the task faster as compared to those without that skills set. There will also be less of a need for training on that particular skills set.

18) Do you check the spelling of your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
It is very important to check that all the spelling in your resume is correct. Microsoft Word has a spelling check tool that can assist you in checking and correcting errors in the spelling as well as sentence structure.

19) Do you think employers would be concerned if there are grammar mistakes in your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Yes, they will be very concerned. Grammar mistakes will show your lack of command of the English language. This may decrease your chances of getting an interview.

20) Do you describe all your working experience and educational qualifications in action verbs and present tense?
Your answer should be: No. 
It is good to use some action verbs to describe your achievements and contributions to the company. However, it is not necessary to use action verbs in every other sentence as this will only confuse the employers. Action verbs should be used at the start of each point highlighted. As your working experience and education are something that is in the past, use past tense instead of present tense.

21) Do you remember the companies and roles that you have recently applied for?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Do keep track and review periodically so that you remember which companies and roles you have recently applied for. If you are afraid that you would forget, print out the list of companies and positions that you applied for and carry the list with you at all times. With this, if an employer were to call you to come for an interview, you would remember who they are. To not recall what jobs you applied for and sound completely lost on the phone would give the employer a very bad impression of you. You may be viewed as not being interested in that job.

22) Do you check your resume to make sure that all the information is correct?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Incorrect information and mistakes in your resume would reflect badly on you and give employers the view that you are sloppy and unprofessional. Do ensure that you check through your resume well.

23) Do you think it is necessary to ask a peer or family member to review your resume?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
A peer or family member would be able to help pick up things that you might have missed. They would also be able to give some comments or ideas for improvements.

24) Do you print out your resume to make sure that it looks proper on paper?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Printing out your resume will enable you to check that the alignment is correct and that your resume can be read easily. This is important as sometimes you are required to submit a copy of your resume when you go for your interview. If you are walking-in to apply for a job, a printed copy of your resume is needed as well.

25) Do you make sure that your font size, font type and font colour is consistent and that your resume is aligned?
Your answer should be: Yes. 
Having all aspects consistent and aligned would make your resume easily readable for the employer. This is an advantage as a messy resume would be confusing and much more time consuming for the employer to look through.

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