Whether you’re thinking of doing a career or industry switch, or looking to re-enter the workforce after taking a sabbatical or maternity leave, it’s natural to feel a bit lost and uncertain. Job-hunting can sometimes feel like a scary endeavour, one that we just want to get over with as quickly as possible.
Regardless of your predicament, don’t fret. We have detailed five key ways that can give you a leg up and help you land that job you’ve been eyeing. Read on to see what you can do, and may the odds be ever in your favour.
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1. Understand the job and how you can value-add
For each job you apply to, you would need to create a tailored resume and cover letter that best advertise your capabilities. But before you start writing, you need to first understand the nature of the job, how your skills match up and how your charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent can help you edge out the competition.
Study the job description and pay attention to what the role looks for. Whatever the position entails, do you have the necessary experience (both professionally and privately) to fulfil the demands? If so, craft your resume succinctly to match them, and if not, think about what skills and abilities you can learn and or pick up to meet the company’s needs.
a. Crafting your resume
Once you have done the introspection, it’s time to get writing. Make sure to choose your words judiciously, emphasise salient points and lastly, to properly phrase them to get maximum impact.
To do that, begin with a strong verb (in past tense), relay the work you did and finish with the results (can be quantitative or qualitative) you achieved. You can arrange these points to correspond with the sequence of the job description.
Some impactful verbs you can use are: Spearheaded, managed, executed, created, overhauled.
An example: Spearheaded a new financial management system which improved efficiency and grew revenue by 60 per cent year-on-year.
b. Inclusion and exclusion
Local job portal JobsCentral shared that many applicants actually forget to include their contact details in their resume. If you are given a call-back, the recruiter needs to know how to get in touch with you so remember to add in your contact numbers and e-mail address.
On the flip side, while Singapore claims to have a fair, non-discriminatory workforce, you might want to omit your religion, marital status and political beliefs to limit any preferences that the recruiter might possess.
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c. Organising your resume
The most common way to organise the resume is by reverse chronology (i.e. latest first) and into sub-pointers like work, education, hobbies and interests. But another way you can organise is by skill or to follow the job demands — such as “Management” and “Interpersonal Communications” — which can help recruiters better sift through your resume.
d. Research yourself and the company
One area that is crucial but often missed is your social media presence. Do a quick Google search of yourself to see what others might find, and make sure that any traces of those late-night-too-many-drinks are made private and out of sight to any prospective recruiters.
Also, rather than addressing your email to a generic “Dear Sir/Madam”, or “Dear Hiring Manager” if you are more #woke, look through the company’s website and platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to see if you can get the actual name of the recruiter. Addressing them by name might give you an added advantage over the hundreds of other applicants.