According to an article published by The Star, the unemployment rate among graduates in Malaysia is currently turning into an alarming state.
“Among the youths in the workforce, the percentage of those unemployed is higher among those with a tertiary education compared to the ones without a tertiary education. In 2015, of the 405,000 youths with tertiary education, 15.3% were unemployed.”
This news clearly sets the tone for panic but not all hope is lost. There are many factors which contribute to the statics, but let’s tackle one at a time. With the initiative and interest to search for an entry-level job, things shouldn’t be too hard for you, fresh grads! It all has to start somewhere and we’re talking about your resume. It’s probably the most important one pager you’ll ever have to write to get your foot out the career door. Time to make an impression without over-promising. Don’t know where to start? Here are some key points to help you.
Pick Your Style
Let’s break it down into two styles: professional and creative.
The professional style can never go wrong in terms of communicating the basic information about yourself. You can find countless of resume samples right in Microsoft Word document templates.
For the creative style, you’ll get more freedom to express yourself. You can incorporate elements of the job you’re applying for through visuals and graphics. Or take it to the next level with a video presentation if you’re vying for a spot in any creative field.
While it’s fun to create a personal resume, it’s easy to go overboard when you’re not careful. Keep it tasteful and not cluttered or lengthy. After all, it’s a professional impression of you with a touch of character.
Structure the Resume
The order of which your resume is structured matters as much as the content itself. Unlike a professional’s resume, your selling point is not likely to be the working experience. Which means you’ll need to emphasize the academic achievements.
Capitalise on what makes you special or unique to the recruiters, be it your CGPA, a part-time career or any extracurricular. Better yet, showcase your talent in a complete portfolio to strengthen your credentials. For example, if you pursue a degree in software engineer, why not create a simple website of your own as a work sample?
Language and Consistency
It’s good to K-I-S-S (Keep It Short and Simple).
String your sentences into direct and succinct sentences so that it’s reader-friendly. Hiring managers usually have to skim through hundreds of applications and lengthy resumes are the last thing they would want to read. Use formal language and avoid buzzwords. It’s best to also avoid writing in the third person because it could come off as pretentious or impersonal.
Consistency is key here so opt for a readable font. Neat fonts like Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana work best and do keep the size of the font the same throughout the document. Be cautious about inundating your document with bullet points and check your spacing. Skip the coloured fonts and stick to good ol’ black to give your resume a clean and professional finish.
Get your mentors, lecturers or past supervisors from a part-time job or internship to give you a testimonial. A written supporting document will give your potential employer an idea of your character as an employee. You can incorporate this section into your resume with two to three bullet points from different references. When choosing your testimonials, pick ones that best highlight your task ability instead of your soft skills set. This will be handy when you get shortlisted for a second interview or pre-employment competency test.
Don’t Forget to Proofread
It can do more good than bad to re-read, review and edit your resume as much as possible. Use online proofreading sites like Grammarly or get a friend to read through your resume for some feedback. Sometimes, mistakes are easier to spot when you are the reader. Typos are small issues but it can also send a red flag to potential employers about your carelessness or sloppy nature.