people would love to get a better job, especially one here in the warmer
climate of the Caribbean. And many of these same people have the proper
training and skills to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, so many job
hunters do not maximise their chances of success. They are unable to
clearly tell potential employers about their job qualifications. In
many cases, this prevents them from getting a high paying job that they
could easily do in the location of their dreams. Often, the job will
go to someone who is less skilled but who has written an eye-catching
job seekers have a few mistaken opinions about potential employers.
They believe that employers are able to easily separate the qualified
job applicants from the less qualified applicants. But this is not
likely to be true. Sometimes there are from 30 to 300 resumes for
the same job. So the interviewer first does a fast screening of all
the resumes to eliminate as many as possible. The "good"
resumes usually make it through the screening process. A poor resume
could mean the best candidate for the job is screened out at this
are looking towards the Caribbean for the next challenge in their
career. Due to the popularity of the islands, there are often many
qualified applicants applying for the same job. What if, out of
all of those who apply, one job seeker turns in a skillful resume?
Who do you think stands the best chance of getting the job? It's
the one with the "best" resume, of course. This is so
often true even though some of the other applicants may be better
qualified for the job.
In order to
get a good job you must communicate to the employer that you are
ready, willing, and able to do the job. So if you are capable of
producing a top notch job resume, you definitely increase your chances
of getting a better job. Virtually every potential employer will
want to see a resume from you. Your resume is a mini-statement about
yourself. After reading your resume the employer should have a better
"feel" for you as a person and as a potential employee.
The resume along
with the Cover Letter is the opener, the first step, your introduction
to any employer. First impressions really do count. If you make
a poor first impression, you'll never get to step two - the job
interview. The purpose of your resume is to make a good first impression.
In effect, your resume should tell the employer that you have good
abilities and are truly interested in working.
The Team here
at JobintheSun Incorporated have worked on getting a system for
Job Seekers so that they can have an interface to amend and update
their resume. Our Job Match System allows you to upload your resume,
(copy and paste from your text document). This is an additional
tool which will allow thousands of employers who log on to the site
the ability to view your details and search for potential candidates
by various criteria. However, you must always remember that your
Job - Hunting strategy should be a multi-pronged attack..... The
JMS is just one tool. Always have the best "physical"
resume possible to hand.......
sections are laid out to help you through the maze of "Resume
Writing" and help you to get that Job In The Sun.......
your resume requires a lot of effort and planning on your behalf.
A badly worded and poorly presented resume can put off a potential
the outset, it is necessary to clarify that you could use the term
"resume" or "curriculum vitae" (CV), even though
technically a CV is primarily meant for job positions within the
academic environment and is supposed to be a lengthy document. The
difference is not strictly followed and it is safe to use these
two terms interchangeably.
is supposed to be a brief presentation of your skills, work experience,
achievements and education. Anything too long runs the risk of being
skimmed over and not read properly. Long and detailed does not necessarily
length of your resume is important. Resumes should be from 1 to
3 pages long. Don't be tempted to make your resume longer than 3
pages, even if you have a lot to tell. Remember, a resume is supposed
to be a summary. A resume that is too long simply will bore the
reader. There will be so much material that nothing will stand out
and be remembered. The word resume comes from the French word "resumer"
which means to summarise. So the exact purpose of a resume is to
summarise your experience, knowledge, and accomplishments. Therefore,
you must avoid being too wordy. Say exactly what you mean in the
least number of words possible.
good resumes follow the same general basic guidelines. While there
is some flexibility in these guidelines, you don't want to stray
too far from them. You want a resume that is bold, exciting, and
enticing. But not too much so. You also want a resume that is somewhat
conservative. In other words, it must be bold. Not flashy. You must
show that you have confidence in your abilities, but not sound like
a braggart. You must sound eager to do the job, but not desperate.
So there is a fine line that you must walk in order to produce the
best possible resume.
want to use intelligent language. However, you don't want to try
and impress the employer with long, flowery, or uncommon words or
phrases. Use everyday language whenever possible. Of course, if
you are applying for a highly technical position, it's acceptable
to use some of the special terms used in that particular profession.
But as a rule you should keep it simple and straight to the point.
The overall appearance of your resume is also important. A sloppy
looking resume will greatly lessen your chance of getting a job interview.
The first thing that an employer, or personnel manager, evaluating
your resume will notice is it's appearance. There are several different
things that can be done easily to increase the overall appearance
of your resume.
You could use
a better grade of paper. Go to a local office supply store and examine
the different types of writing paper. You'll notice some big differences.
Pick out a nice looking, more expensive grade of paper for your
The next thing
to consider is the quality of the material that is typed onto the
resume. Never use a low quality printer to print your resume. Always
use a Laser printer where possible. It's very important that you
make sure the writing on your resume looks good. This means clean,
crisp, and sharp looking letters. If you are going to produce many
resumes, ensure you get the copies done professionally, using a
high-end copying machine.
A third aspect
of your resume's appearance is more subjective. It takes into account
such things as the letter spacing, how each section is arranged,
and it's overall appearance. Some resumes simply look better because
of the way they have been designed.
the resume. Leave some "white space" so that important
points can appear to pop out. Never submit a resume with handwritten
corrections. You can highlight sections of a resume by using a different
typeface or size or by using "bullets." If possible, use
larger letters for the headings used in the separate sections of
Never try to
be too fancy by using wild colours, cute graphics, and so forth.
Don't be overly creative. A simple, straightforward, factual resume
will do nicely. Make it stand out, but stay conservative.
of your resume's appearance is it's accuracy. Make sure there are
no misspelled words! Mistakes will create the wrong image.
Make sure that
the punctuation is correct. And make sure that all of your columns
line up. See that all of your facts are correct. Don't say you attended
3 years of college, but only show two years worth of grades. Potential
employers will note all inaccuracies and wonder why they appear
in your resume.
are several styles of resumes along with numerous variations. Your
experience and the kind of job you are applying for will help to
determine the style of resume you use. The two basic styles are:
Chronological Resumes and Functional Skills Resumes. Some of the
variations include the main themes of business, academic, general,
student, standard, professional, or engineering.
Resume lists employment and employment-related experiences in reverse
chronological order (the most recent experience first). It includes
some descriptive text about each position, usually described in
about one paragraph. This type of resume offers several advantages:
it is widely accepted, they are easy to read, and they show a clear
pattern of your development. The disadvantages include: it does
not highlight your major accomplishment(s), nor do they effectively
show your other skills.
chronological resume is a good format for those with a consistent
employment history, no gaps in employment, and whose past employment
experiences are related to their current employment goals. It effectively
showcases a steady work record with increasing upward responsibilities.
This may not be the best for new graduates, individuals with job
gaps, or persons changing careers.
functional resume highlights skills, experiences, and accomplishments
without identifying specific dates, names, and places. This format
is organised by functions or skills, which advertise the specific
qualifications needed for an occupation. This resume works well
for people changing careers. It is also effective for those re-entering
the workforce, first-time job seekers, and when highlighting experiences
that occurred in the distant past. There is no chronological listing
of employment. Consequently, some employers do not like this format
because they suspect that the person may be trying to hide something.
Skills Resumes highlight your skills and accomplishments rather
than providing a chronological record of your job history. Your
accomplishments and skills are listed at the beginning. Your job
history is listed at the end of the resume. This type of resume
allows you to call attention to your achievements. The major disadvantage
is that employers may find it difficult to follow your work experience.
people discover that a combination of these two kinds of resumes
is the best way to go. You may want to try several different types
of combinations before settling upon a final design. The combination
resume brings together the best of both the chronological and functional
resumes. It features a functional section that highlights skills,
accomplishments, and experiences. It also includes a chronological
listing of employment, education, and employment-related experiences.
This is a very effective format for many job seekers. The best chronological
resume is enhanced with a section highlighting skills, accomplishments,
and experiences. The best functional resume is strengthened with
a chronological listing of employment experiences.
The keyword resume is a variation that adds a listing of skills
to the beginning of any standard resume format. Placing critical
occupational skills as keywords at the beginning adds impact to
the resume and helps capture the readers attention. This variation
is effective for all career fields and levels of skill. It is a
very effective strategy for creating scannable resumes.
of a strategy than a style, the targeted resume directs skills and
experience to the specific needs of an employer.
topics that your resume should cover are:
(1) Job Objective
-- lets the employer know that you are interested in a specific
type of work. This can be done in 2 or 3 sentences. The job objective
is an excellent area to include in your resume and is usually omitted.
It puts your resume in the right perspective for the reader and
clearly shows where you are headed in your career plans.
of Qualifications -- is a short paragraph that summarises your experience
and skills. Generally employers will spend less than 10 seconds
screening your resume the first time. Their goal is to eliminate
as many candidates as possible and concentrate on the best. Therefore,
highlighting your qualifications early in the resume is an effective
way to improve your chances for consideration.
Skills -- here you should give specific details about your unique
abilities. In this section, the skills that you present should help
in answering the question -"How can you contribute to the organisation?"
(4) Work Experience
-- in this section you give a one paragraph summary for each of
your previous jobs. This should include starting and ending date,
reason for leaving, job title and duties, and any special accomplishments
for each of the jobs.
-- gives a summary of all schools attended, degrees earned, and
special seminars or training courses that you have attended.
(6) Honors and
Awards -- it's a good idea to list any special awards you have received.
-- information about your hobbies and activities should be included.
(8) Other --
professional organisations that you belong to, computer or programming
skills, articles or books published. List only those activities
that relate to your occupational goal and show skill or experience.
It is best not to mention specific religious or political organisations
unless they directly relate to your goal. Military experience may
be listed as a separate section or in the employer's "language"
as part of the work history.
-- you can state something like, "references available upon
request". References do not belong on the resume. If you want
to add them, they should be listed on a separate sheet. However
it is suggested to only send the references with the resume when
specifically requested by the employer.
There is a variety
of personal data that may be somewhat controversial if included
in your resume. In the past it was acceptable to include all kinds
of personal data, but times and laws have changed. Affirmative Action
laws have made it illegal to discriminate based on such things as
age, sex, marital status, race, religion, and so forth. Therefore,
most experts recommend against placing this kind of personal data
into your resume.
requirements should not be listed in the resume, if you can avoid
it. The reason is that if you put too low of a salary, you might
be paid less than the real value of the job. If you put down a figure
that's too high, you may not get considered for the job. If an employer
likes you, it may be possible to negotiate a higher salary during
the interview stage.
language and content that communicates a proactive style. The
style of writing that you use and the particular words or phrases
can make a significant difference to your resume. It affects the
impression created about you regarding your past work experience
and your skills.
aside the job objective and summary and that gives you just one
and a half pages to cover the details of your work experience
as well as your educational qualifications. You need to prioritise.
Decide what importance to give to different organisations/positions.
You should not skip any place worked at, but you obviously cannot
give all details of each position.
an organisation, present your career path in the correct chronological
order. While you may present the organisation you have worked
in, in reverse chronological order, for a particular organisation
it is easier to follow your career path if the positions are given
in the way they happened e.g. " I joined company ABC as a
Management Trainee in 1989 and was promoted to Assistant Finance
Manager in 1991.....". You could then go on to elaborate
your responsibilities and achievements at this position. Remember
to highlight the more important designations with their accomplishments,
as this will be more relevant than just focusing on your training
responsibilities briefly, focus more on accomplishments. If responsibilities
are similar across positions in an organisation, try to avoid
repeating the same set of responsibilities with each position.
That will unnecessarily increase the size of your resume without
giving any additional value. Instead, try and include your different
achievements at each position, or something that you introduced
or did differently in your job. This would also hold true for
situations where responsibilities are similar across organisation.
you have worked in many organisations, merge information to reduce
chronological details. To avoid presenting a long, chronological
detail of each organisation worked in, try and merge information
on similar positions/responsibilities across organisation into
one category. This will be easier to read and will also avoid
presenting a negative image of you being a job-hopper.
changing your area of specialisation, classify the information
by function. If you are changing your field from finance to marketing,
then instead of just presenting the details of your past work
experience in reverse chronological order by organisation, you
could classify the information into different functional areas
e.g. your responsibilities and achievements in finance (even if
across companies); similarly for marketing.
other information only if significant. You may like to mention
your hobbies, interests or extracurricular activities, under a
separate heading, but it will really not add value to your resume
unless you have made a significant achievement there.
educational qualifications with the most recent one first. When
giving information on your educational qualifications in a separate
section, it is advisable to begin by presenting the most recent
degree/diploma achieved, as this is usually relevant to the work
you are currently doing. For example, if you have acquired a postgraduate
degree in management, give that information at the outset.
is no need to go as far back as schooling, unless you are a fresh
graduate with no work experience. Remember, the resume is just
2 pages and you need to give better reasons for being recruited
than the school you studied in!
you have acquired a degree in some other country, mention a degree
that it is equivalent to which is internationally recognised,
to put it in the right perspective for the reader.
tables while presenting details of educational qualifications
because they occupy more space and interfere with the smooth flow
of sentences and points.
information on training if it is at least 3 months or more. Short
term one week courses do not really look good on your resume unless
you do not have enough to say in 2 pages!
a candidate applying for an entry level position in an organisation,
the educational qualifications will be more important as there
is no significant work experience other than training. This section
should therefore, come before work experience, in your resume.
it is useful to have names and contact numbers of people to give
as references, it makes sense to provide them only on request.
You should not give the details on your resume but provide the
information later on, when asked for, or further on in the selection
process. The reason for this is that at the outset you do not
know how long your resume will be with a company before you get
an interview call. By then the persons you mentioned as references
may have moved or their contact numbers could have changed. Also
you can tailor your list of references based on the company you
are applying to. So there is no need to provide the same information
to all the places you send your resume to. It is also a good idea
to inform your references that you have given their names before
they receive a call out of the blue. This way when the employers
who have included you in the short-list for recruitment, contact
your referees to check you out, there are no hitches or surprises.
important to include all of the basic information on your resume.
But, what is also important, is the way you say it. Don't use
dull, lifeless statements. Instead use action words. Here are
some typical action words:
These words give the correct impression that you have been responsible
for different types of tasks.
In other words, you weren't just a follower. Of course, you should
always be truthful. Don't try to oversell yourself by claiming
you did things that you didn't do.
is also advisable to have a friend or colleague read your resume
and point out any problems before sending it forward to a potential
job market, the resume is an important tool for anyone looking for
work. Everyone, from the new entrant into the workforce to the experienced
professional, benefits from a well-written resume. Many employers
require a resume be sent as the first method of contact. A resume
captures an employers attention, even when no job is advertised.
Just as a job search is a sales campaign, your resume is your sales
brochure. More than a summary of your skills, experience, and education,
it is an advertisement of your best. Your resume should make you
stand out from the competition.
Take the time
to organise your job search information, including education and
employment. Focus on your skills and accomplishments and look for
ways to sell your qualifications. A prospective employer does not
just want to know where you worked, but also wants to know what
you can do.
Try and follow
these guidelines and you will be surprised at the improvements you
can make to your resume! ......and soon enough it hopefully will
be turning itself into an air-ticket to paradise !!!