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 to two styles: conventional and personal. The conventional style is your safest bet to get the basic information about your qualifications and past experiences across. Write your cover letter, professional profile, list your GPA and salary expectation.
As a fresh graduate, you will not have major work accomplishments but it would help to add any experiences like how you managed to reach a common goal for a university campaign or projects you were part of during your internship. You’d want to highlight key milestones which reflect your strengths for the company but also, don’t be afraid to mention how you overcame weaknesses like public speaking or shyness.
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. You could even give video presentations a go if you’re vying for a spot in an ad agency or media company. 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.
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.