Things to consider when updating your resume

If you’re thinking of breaking into a new career or changing jobs, updating your resume should be one of the first things to do.

The resume you prepared when you graduated might have been useful the first time around but now is definitely the time to update it.

In updating your resume, here are a few things to consider:

Update your resume frequently

Regardless if you’re content at your current job or are currently looking for new opportunities, updating your resume frequently (perhaps once a year) is always a good idea.

Throughout your career, your responsibilities may have changed and so your resume should reflect these changes as well.

Remove information that’s outdated

When applying for a position at a new company, make sure to remove any irrelevant information.

You may have previously included things such as a list of part time jobs during university just to pad your resume but now this list might be irrelevant for your potential employers.

So, if you think that some of the skills listed in your resume does not relate to the new job you’re applying for, maybe you should leave it out. However, you should retain the items in your list if those experiences and skills  are useful for the position you’re looking at.

Highlight the skills you’ve acquired

After a few years of working, no doubt you would have acquired more experience and skills.

So, apart from removing outdated information contained in your earlier resume, your priority now would be to make these new experiences and skills stand out.

This would probably require you to think about all the projects you’ve worked on and how the experience has helped you to grow professionally in your job.

For some of you, this exercise may not be as easy as you think as you really have to consider how your work has translated into useful experience and training.

Give your resume a makeover

Although substance will always be more important than style, it doesn’t hurt to make your resume more attractive or at the very least make it easier for potential employers to read.

Your resume should not be messy, rather it should stay simple and clean.

An easy tip is to choose an appropriate font. The “best” fonts will look good both on paper and on the screen, so make sure to try out several fonts and print out before actually sending your resume.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, published in the print version on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

Photo by Lukas from Pexels.

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Ensuring your resume reaches more people

(Above) Job recruitment sites, like Sarawak Jobs, are great avenues to submit your resume online.

Thanks to the Internet, you have more ways now to make sure your resume reaches more potential employers.

In fact, applying for jobs online has become commonplace, with more and more people accessing the Internet through their computers or mobile devices for this purpose.

For employers on the other hand, going online is a faster and more cost-effective solution to find potential employees.

As jobseekers, so long as you’ve done the necessary employment and industry research and produced an outstanding resume, putting your resume up on the Internet will help to improve your chances of getting more job interviews.

Indirectly, your ability to utilise online tools to upload and update your resume could also suggest to your future employer that you’re naturally a digital native.

Job recruitment sites

There are quite a number of job recruitment websites in Malaysia, such as JobStreet, myStarjobs and Monster, as well as Sarawak Jobs.

There are also recruitment sites that focus on specific needs, for instance StartUp Jobs – for those who wish to work for start-up companies; and WOBB – for those who want to work in a company culture of their choice.

These sites not only enable you to submit your resume, but also let you browse through various job openings based on your preferred industry or specialisation.

For greater visibility, it is advisable to post your resume in several job sites, and fill in the information required by the sites to make it easier for potential employers to find your resume.

Your target employer

If you have a particular employer in mind, search for vacancies that it has listed in its website or on job sites.

Make sure you know exactly how to submit your job application, customise your resume to suit the position you’re applying for, and abide by the resume submission guidelines.

This would signal to your target employer that you are able to take the initiative, organise your information and follow directions.

Your own resume website

Creating a resume website is especially suitable if you have a portfolio – including work or project examples, testimonials and other work-related materials – to demonstrate your specialisation in a particular field.

With an effective resume website, you have the creative control to show your “personal brand” through your website design while still maintaining professionalism.

It can also be a quicker way to attract potential employers or clients as they can find you through a simple Google search.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, published in the print version on Saturday, August 11, 2018.

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Job-searching with a smartphone

When the smartphone was first introduced in Malaysia some years back, not many were able to afford a device that had the combined capabilities of an ordinary mobile phone and a personal computer. The last three years, however, saw a rapid growth in smartphone ownership among Malaysians, from 51 per cent in 2014 to 80 per cent just last year.

Thanks to the availability of affordable devices from smartphone makers besides Apple and Samsung, Sarawakians are now able to do many things at their fingertips such as social media, online shopping, photo-taking and more.

We can also use our smartphones to search for jobs, considering that there are now mobile app versions of job portals such as JobStreet and JobStock that enable us to stay updated on the latest job availability while we are on the go.

As such, it would be advantageous for us to utilise the smartphone as a job search tool that can start or further our own careers. Here are some things to keep in mind when job-hunting with your smartphone.

Make use of job websites and apps
Whether you prefer to visit these websites or install their mobile apps, doing so on your smartphone is a lot more convenient since you can check out job listings while you are away from your computer.

You can save postings for later reference, sign up for notifications or alerts, and even submit applications.

If you do intend on applying for jobs through your phone, it is advisable to have your resume and cover letter created on your computer first before saving them into your mobile device, as you would have a better view in editing and formatting these documents on a bigger screen.

Do some research
The smartphone has become a go-to device for online research. In context, if there is a specific job or industry you are looking for, you can read up on its nature, compare requirements with your own and hone skills and competencies that are deemed necessary.

You can also research on the company you are interested in joining, from its background to its works as well as news reports and testimonies from current and previous employees. This information can help you in your consideration to be part of the organisation.

Boost your network
Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have their own mobile apps, so make sure you have them installed if you wish to connect with people from your desired industry. As mentioned on our previous column, create a professional profile on these sites and keep them career relevant to present a good impression for industry people who could be potential employers.

You can also join industry-related forums and discussions not only to keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends, but to form and maintain contacts with users there.

Maximise offline functions
Offline, make use of your productivity apps. These can include creating and updating contact list of potential employers, setting reminders of job interviews and job submission deadlines with your calendar, and taking notes on job-hunting related matters with your digital memo pad.

Considering the countless things you will be doing with your smartphone for job hunting, do not forget to keep it charged in case future employers decide to give you a phone call.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2mAr74z

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Social media and job hunting

When it comes to looking for work nowadays, don’t ignore the power of social media in determining your chances of getting your dream job.

It’s a good bet that you’re probably already on one or more social media platforms but when it comes to job hunting, most online sites will advise you to set up a LinkedIn account, if you haven’t already.

The key is to have a LinkedIn account with a strong summary, which includes phrases and keywords for skills that employers in your industry are on the lookout for. These days, more and more employers are hunting for jobseekers on LinkedIn by searching for those keywords.

If you’re on Twitter, you should probably start another account that will be used strictly for professional purposes. For this account, you should not share photos of your meals or parties or even your favourite actors or singers. This account would be for you to follow the people and companies in your industry.

More importantly, it allows you to have some interaction with them even if it’s just retweeting or sharing their tweets. Sharing interesting articles could also get you noticed by recruiters, especially if they look at you as someone passionate about their industry.

For the most popular social media platform, Facebook, one of the most important things to think about in terms of your job-hunting prospects is to have the right privacy settings in place. You have a right to share your social life on Facebook but that does not mean you should share it with everyone, especially not the HR executives who are potentially trying to recruit you.

The key is to always portray yourself in a positive light in the eyes of your potential employers.

For all these social networks, as suggested by one website, try not to refer to yourself in your profile as “unemployed” or “jobseeker”. Instead, you should refer to yourself in terms of the kind of employment you’re looking for, so it doesn’t matter if you’re not working in that particular field at the moment.

It’s also important to avoid sensitive issues or subjects that could be divisive, even if you’re not the one posting or tweeting about it, as they could reflect badly on you and potentially scare away recruiters.

Social media can either help you or harm your chances in your search for a job. Hopefully, by paying more attention to your social media presence, the odds of getting your dream job will be greatly improved.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2lAsoLM

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Preparing for the job search after graduation

In this column, we’ve always stressed how important it is for college or university students to prepare early for the job market.

In this case, early means preparing while you are still in college, or better yet prepare even before your college or university years.

If you’re still wondering how best to prepare yourself for the job market after graduation, the following are some of the approaches you could adopt.

Understand that a degree alone won’t get you a job

This is more of an outlook or mind-set rather than an approach, but no less important for the job-searching graduate to remember. You must realise that your diploma or degree is not an instant pass to employment and at the most it should be seen as the minimum qualification towards getting that job you are eyeing.

Start talking about careers long before graduation

As we mentioned earlier, preparing early for your career is crucial. However, many of you may have picked your major without clearly understanding what jobs it will qualify you for once you’ve graduated. Unfortunately, this could result in frustration upon learning that your major doesn’t come with a clear career path or one that you’re interested in following.

Learn how to network

You may have heard that it’s crucial for you to network, as part of your job-search. Sadly, some of you will go about it without truly understanding what it means or how to actually do it. As a result, some new graduates don’t even bother to make any networking efforts at all, and worse, you may end up using strategies that turn off your contacts.

Learn how the job interview process works

As a fresh graduate, you may not have an idea of what to expect during the hiring process or the significance of each stage of this process. As a result, you may mistakenly assume the job is already yours when in fact it’s not.

Learn how to evaluate an employer

As a fresh graduate, you will be tempted to take the first job you can find; without asking any of your own questions to evaluate the employer’s financial stability, the work you’ll be doing, or the workplace culture. This should best be done before you even apply for the job.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2d9ZoDx

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