Saturday 18 August, 2018

Work Matters: How to write a resume in Trinidad and Tobago

WHAT IS A RESUME?

Also known as a CV, a resume is a summary of your employment history, education, qualifications, skills & accomplishments, and interests. There might also be additional sections such as Objective and Summary Statement.

TYPES OF RESUMES

CHRONOLOGICAL

This is the most common form of resume and begins with your work history, followed by education, qualifications, and other sections. Everything is ordered so that your most recent positions are listed first. Employers in Trinidad and Tobago like this resume because they can clearly see the jobs you’ve held and the dates when you worked for past employers. It is not the best option for graduates with little experience.

FUNCTIONAL

This focuses on your experience and skills instead of your chronological employment history. It is a good choice for candidates seeking to change careers or those with significant gaps in their work history. The goal is to draw attention to a person’s skills and capabilities in relation to the job.

COMBINATION

As the name suggests, a combination resume is a mixture of chronological and functional. It enables you to include your work history while still outlining your skills.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR RESUME

Companies receive dozens of applications depending on job vacancies in Trinidad, so you need to catch the reader’s eye or face rejection quickly. Research suggests that hiring managers spend an average of 11 seconds scanning a resume so keep reading to learn what to do to get their attention and what to avoid.

Relevant Experience: Always tailor each resume to the specific position you apply for. This means demonstrating the precise skills, qualifications, and achievements applicable to a role. If you don’t have much experience, list your transferable skills.

Personal Accomplishments: Anything that showcases your soft skills or technical expertise is an excellent addition to a resume as long as it relates to the job opening. For instance, completing a marathon shows mental strength and a willingness to work hard for a goal. Don’t forget to include any volunteer work you did.

Scannable Text: Deliver information in short paragraphs and include keywords relevant to the position and industry. Just make sure you don’t move away from the traditional resume format because most applications go through an applicant tracking system. Including the right keywords also makes your resume easier to find online.

Detailed Results: Rather than saying you were a manager at a company, mention the fact that you were in charge of 30 people and a budget of $100,000.

A Summary Statement: While it isn’t strictly necessary; this statement offers the reader a quick outline of your skills and experience. It is a good idea if you have a variety of skills and require a way of putting everything together.

Action Verbs: Ignore verbs such as ‘led’ and ‘managed.’ Take the bull by the horns and use confident verbs such as ‘maximized’ and ‘administered.’

Visible Contact Information: Make sure your name, email address, location, phone number and LinkedIn profile (where applicable) are included. Never include your work contact information!

Numbers: Write ‘8’ and ‘34%’ instead of eight and thirty-four percent because it is easier to scan and takes up less space.

 

WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR RESUME

There are some common resume mistakes in Trinidad and Tobago:

Confidential/Irrelevant Information: Never add information such as your date of birth, ethnicity, sexual orientation, relationship status or links to social media pages. Also, don’t include a photo!

Basic Skills: Mentioning that you know how to use Microsoft Office or the Internet will do nothing for your chances of receiving an interview. Use the space to write skills to make you stand out.

Unrelated Hobbies: Writing about your love of cricket won’t do much for your chances of landing that accounting job! Get rid of everything on your resume that isn’t transferrable to work-related skills.

Lies: A common trick is to hide employment gaps by using years instead of months. While this is barely acceptable, don’t try to outright lie about your achievements, education, qualifications or experience. All it takes is a quick phone to unravel your web of deceit.

Negative Phrases: Avoid using words such as ‘problem’ or ‘complaint’ whenever possible.

Spelling/Grammatical Errors: As obvious as this is, a huge percentage of resumes are littered with faux-pas that automatically eliminate the candidate from contention.

 

RESUME PRESENTATION TIPS

A well-crafted resume can catch the eye of the reader so follow these tips to get ahead of the pack.

Add a Title & Objective: Add a useful title that relates to the job opening. An example is “IT Telecom Project Manager, Cisco & Microsoft Certified.” Create a customized objective that clearly outlines your skills and suitability for the role.

The Right Font: First and foremost, use a maximum of two different fonts and try to stick to one if possible. Avoid Times New Roman as it is the most commonly used; try Arial Narrow or Georgia.

Use Good Quality Paper: Believe it or not, using low-grade paper in your application could lead to rejection. Hiring managers feel the paper and pay a little more attention to resumes written on premium quality paper.

Keep it Short: No resume should ever be longer than two A4 pages.

Pay Attention to Style & Grammar: Hiring managers continue to be shocked by the sheer volume of resumes and accompanying cover letters that are laden with spelling and grammatical errors. Incredibly, a mistake-free application instantly ensures you stand out from the crowd.

Use White Space: Have you noticed that the most effective print advertising campaigns utilize white space effectively? Divide your resume into bite-sized chunks and use bullet points when applicable.

 

Resume that sells your talents

Creating a killer resume to help you land an interview in Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t have to be stressful or taxing. Most of the advice above is easy to follow and requires little more than patience and common sense. When you send in a resume that actually sells your talents, you can expect an interview invitation to arrive soon afterward.

More Resume Writing Tips on Caribbean Jobs Website - https://www.caribbeanjobs.com/careeradvice/resume-advice