By Edmund Ng
It is obvious that many people go to colleges; universities get their degrees and thought that life is going to be good and the future is going to be great. It is after struggling to find a job for months do they realize that it is not as straight forward as it seems. You might be a graduate from U of T or even Harvard but if you don't have a good and professional resume, it will kill you.
You have invested in yourself by spending tens of thousands of dollars to get your degree. Your whole life had been studying and learning to the point that you are ready to reap the rewards. What do you do then? Go to Google and grab a resume template. It sounds really idiotic but just wait a minute and ask yourself this question. Isn't everybody doing that too! Oh yes, you've just joined the me-too group of job seekers.
In lots of marketing events you will always hear the marketing gurus say this. You need to differentiate yourself. You need to stand out from the rest. It is true. In every industry, only the top 5 players can be guaranteed of survival. Look around you and you will realize that the smaller players eventually fades off and new companies start to come to the scene and this cycle just repeats itself ever since the dawn of time.
That's the reason why you need to stand out from the rest. It doesn't matter where you graduated or how good your communication skills are. You need to be able to strike interest and gain the HR executive's attention. These folks normally spend less than 30-45 seconds reviewing each resume. You could expect at least 100-300 applicants applying for each job.
How Do You Get Your Resume Noticed?
First of all, forget about cover letters. Who reads it anyway? Through my experience serving the likes of large companies like IBM, Accenture, HP, Unilever and many more, there's one thing for sure. You do not need to send a cover letter. This information just helped you saved 100USD and I hope the resume providers don't hunt me down for sharing this piece of information.
I am going to share these trade secrets with you and please read it carefully.
Do A Spell Check
HR executives hate it when applicants send word documents that are not checked and you get all sorts of red and greens from the error from Microsoft Word. Like I say before, they only spend 30-40 seconds reading each email. Their job is to just send the resume to the hiring manager and they need the resume to be perfectly readable. You can make their job easier by spell checking.
Never Use More Than 1 Font
A lot of times, I realized that most resumes that comes from India has got this problem. Apparently there are 4-5 different fonts with different sizes hijacking the resume. This makes my eyes pop up at times. Please avoid that. Don't use fancy fonts as well.
Drop the Cover Letters
Instead of paying hundreds and getting a 1-2 page cover letter that will confuse the HR executives, choose to write a small 1-2 paragraph of executive summary that is around 4-5 lines telling the HR executives what specific job you are applying and what are your strengths. Why no cover letters? Do you know how troublesome it is to file two documents instead of one? I can vouch that HR executives don't read cover letters. Period.
Use A Professional Looking Template
Please get a professional looking template. If you want to get average returns, you can do whatever the others are doing. Know the secrets of what those who work in large MNCs are doing. You need to have a resume that will excite the HR executives. One that is so good that they simply do not need do anything and can forward straightaway.
Knowing What A Job-Winning Resume Look Like
If you are applying for a job of an IT Consultant, you need to know what it looks like. Similarly for SAP, Oracle Consultants, Executive Director, Sales Manager, CPA, Account...etc. You need to know what a job-winning resume look like. There are lots of bogus resume providers out there. It's simple to setup a website and boast you are the best or the cheapest. But you seriously need to ask whether they know what they're doing about. It is better to work with vendors who walk the talk and preferably in the headhunting industry so that they know what they're doing. The job of the resume providers are there to fill the gaps and to consult/advise you on how they can best present you to the companies at large.
Coming back to the topic, 'Who Took Your Million Dollar Job'? I would like to ask you this question. Do you know of anybody who's in the same job as you who are making another $500 or $1000 extra? What if you can get the same deal or even better? Imagine you having $500 more every month. This adds up to around $6,000 a year excluding bonuses. If you were to multiply by 30 years it would add up to $180,000. However, if you were to compound the bonuses over the 30 years, you would be getting close to 1 Million Dollars. Now you ask, 'Who Took Your Million Dollars?'
The only fear is to sit around and do nothing. Here's the paradigm shift. If you always think the others are good and that's why they get good paying jobs then please go on complaining and bitching about how life sucks. I can assure you that a lot of them don't deserve the jobs they have but are there because they invested in themselves. They are there because they might have done something right. You might be next.
If you're looking to get a head start on your million dollar life, sign up for Univjobs today.
Edmund Ng is the CEO of a consortium of Headhunting Firms. He also manages multiple job portals and the largest IT-Jobs Yahoo Groups in Singapore.