Insights + interviews

Jazz Yourself Up For That Job!

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Fretting on how to get that coveted job? Here are some tweaks to help with that resume of yours.

A recent Singapore Contracting Survey by Robert Walters shared that contract employment is on the rise due to permanent headcount restrictions. These restrictions are typically a head office decision and leave hiring managers struggling to look for means to solve business challenges with a smaller team and workforce. Interestingly, these managers turn towards hiring contractors as a flexible, interim solution.

According to Joel Hides, Director, Robert Walters Singapore: “Employers have the option of accessibility to specialist skills when needed for project-based assignments, maternity cover or filling in for permanent headcount freezes. In addition, line managers are also able to trial the contractor for skill sets, cultural fit and soft skills before deciding if they would like to convert the position to a permanent role.”


Regardless of whether you are looking to move on from your current role or to take on a contractor position, we have compiled a number of tweaks and adjustments that you can consider to use for your resume.

A simple and easy way to make your resume work is to remember to pitch for yourself with every single line. Resumes are functional and short. Content should be purposeful and serve a single objective – to impress a potential employer that they should consider you for the role.

Forget the ‘one-size-fits-all’ resume. Companies and organisations exist for different reasons and roles require specific skills sets, competencies and background experience. Sending the same resume to a technology company as well as a FMCG might not provide you with that return call you are expecting.

Express yourself actively vs. passively. Use action-oriented terms such as “I’ve led a team of specialists…” or “I’ve managed budgets upwards of one million…” or “I’ve influenced strategy for a project…”. Importantly, focus on results, revenue earned, budgets saved and share about situations where you played a key role. Hiring managers expect you to know and be able to handle the day-to-day responsibilities well.

Go into details when it comes to successes. Don’t be vague. Make the employer understand that hiring you will help their organisation with specific outcomes that can be achieved because of your experience.

Explain and quantify specific milestones and achievements from previous roles. Use these highlights to bridge towards what you can do for a new organisation.

Do not leave out experience that you think might be irrelevant. Instead, show how you can make previous job experiences relevant and transferable in the job you are applying for.

Many of us fall for subjective bias when it comes to our resumes. We are responsible to ourselves to make the resume reader-friendly to another person outside of our area of expertise. It’s such a personal statement of our career, the highs and the lows, that we want to believe it captures perfectly the sum of our effort through the years.

Remember that not everyone, and definitely not the first person filtering in the HR department, understands the minutiae of the field or technicalities involved with the role. It’s important that we write clearly, concisely and avoid jargons that make it easy for someone to get distracted. Reach out to mentors, industry peers and other trusted people in your network to help you look over your resume.

Finally, don’t list every single job you have had since graduating. Remember that you are an experienced hire. At this stage, companies are bringing you in to tackle bigger goals, manage teams and to solve for specific situations. The first job you did, and the person that you are 20 years later are two very different people. Keep your resume relevant and cater to your current target audience – the company you are applying for.













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