Monday, December 21, 2015

Resume Writing and Interview Skills

Was lucky to attend an interesting talk organized by IET Singapore at SMU last Thursday. It was about resume writing and interview skills.
With the economy not getting anywhere, and graduates vying for limited positions in the industry, how can we stand out?
Here's some of the tips I learned.

How to write a good resume?
-          Remember that your resume is to secure you an interview, NOT the job. The job is secured via the interview! Try checking out If you want your dream job, you've to work for it. Also check out:
Nowadays, job hunts are electronically wired, and your resume should have certain keywords an employer wants. Try
Now, the challenging part: The interview.
-          Know and memorize your CV. There is nothing worse than not knowing what you wrote in your CV. It'll be ideal if you could guide your interviewers through your CV. Again, your CV should be longer than 2 pages.
-          First 4 minutes will determine your outcome.
-          Understand that the company may do a background check on you. Ensure that you screen through your social media uploads. No crazy party photos on FB!
-          Study the company portfolio, strengths, and long term goals.
-          Know the potential interviewers. Have a look at their photos if you must.
-          Be positive. Know that by obtaining an interview, you stand a chance for the job. No company will waste their time and resources unnecessarily. Even if you do not get the job, make good use of an interview opportunity to improve your skills.
-          Prepare answers on your core-competencies. Challenges and problems faced, along with the solution. Use StAR – Situation, Action and Results to streamline your answers.
-          Q&A is always at the last part. ASK a question or two. It could be to learn more about the company’s vision and mission, or what are the criteria of a good candidate. Leave the benefits in the storeroom until you get the job.
-          Make sure you are connected and show attention to all interviewers. Everyone is in the boardroom for a reason.
-          The challenge in using ‘I’ and ‘we’. Excessive usage of ‘I’ may show arrogance, especially in this part of the world. Using ‘we’ all the time doesn’t fit the bill. Dr B says that you could start with a ‘we’ and gradually use ‘I’. This applies to almost all cultures, besides the American one. E.g., wI was tasked for ABC, and we formed a team. I adapted to this situation and moved out my comfort zone…
-          Know the time allocation. If you have only 5 minutes, go direct and straight to the point.
-          Turning seemingly disadvantage experience into something positive. A candidate may have changed jobs from different industries. Instead of being deemed not focused enough, he could say that when he worked here, he learned about this, and gained knowledge in that… It shows adaptability of the person.

-          And the old school body language of eye contact, feet on the ground, seating straight and slightly leaning forward.
If you are looking for a career change, good luck~

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Orchard road is well lit-up