December 9, 2016, by Noor Syuhada
Resume Competition 2016: Tips from Judges
Resume Competition had made its comeback! As to raise students’ awareness on effective resume writing, Careers Advisory Service organised Resume Competition 2016 which was held from 5th of October to 26th of October 2016 with the participation of more than 250 students. This time, the competition had been divided into three categories: Year 1 and 2, Year 3 and 4, and postgraduates as well.
The prize-giving ceremony of the Resume Competition was carried out on the 24th of November 2016 in which the winners had been chosen by the esteemed judges from various distinguished companies. The judges were:
- Mr. Alvin Low, HR Manager from GlaxoSmithKline Malaysia
- Mr. Benjamin Lim, HR Manager from IJM Corp Bhd
- Ms. Mei Ng, Senior Manager for Recruitment, from Top Glove Corp Bhd
- Ms. Sheila, Recruiter from RBC Investor & Treasury Services
- Mr. Kevin Tham, Talent Acquisition from Teach for Malaysia
Some useful tips from esteemed judges during panel discussion:
Q: What are the common pitfalls in the resume that you’ve seen today? Any comments?
Ms. Sheila: The alignment. The flow of the resume shows inconsistency which reflects one’s personality. Get someone to review your resume such as friends, family or other network so that you can improve your resume. Resume is a “live” document so make sure you keep it updated by writing it down every time you achieve something.
Mr. Alvin: The photo. Some students put photo which shows fierce face expression, some put selfie. Your image is extremely important so make sure you put a pleasant, professional and high resolution photo. Most important, avoid selfie!
Q: What is your advice for students to tailor their resume if they do not have work experience and extracurricular activities?
Mr. Benjamin: If you don’t have any work experience, you can write your internship experience. Highlight what you have learned during that period. If not, list down your extracurricular activities that reflect your leadership. Recruiters really look forward to extracurricular activities and they love to see data, statistics, and achievements. Make it short, sweet and concise.
Ms. Mei: Having extracurricular activities in your resume is very important. Other than that, you can put in voluntary activities, community service, and so on. Ask yourself if you don’t have anything to put in your resume, “Do you want to hire you?”.
Mr. Kevin: If you really don’t have anything to put, you have to justify by listing the job or task that you did during that free period. Perhaps part-time job?
Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses in the resumes that you identified today throughout the judging process?
Mr. Alvin: As for the strength, the quality of the resumes is really good.. a lot of resumes with less than 3 pages and some with only 1 page. However, I noticed that the 1-page resume doesn’t have any extracurricular activities in it, in which the students didn’t realize that they “missed” one of the highlights in the resume. For those who didn’t have any extracurricular activities to put in the resume, please take the opportunity to join from now onward. Those activities will help you to build up your confidence and polish your leadership skill.
The other weakness is QR code. Some students included the code which does not bring any additional value to the recruiters. If the recruiters want to know more about you, they will call you for an interview instead of scanning the QR code.
Ms. Sheila: There were a few students who put the logo of the company they have worked for in the resume. I would suggest you to avoid putting up the logo as it might lead to other issues such as copyright and etc. Also, be logical about the timeline of the information; be accurate and organised.
Q: What will be your advice to UNMC students on writing a winning resume?
Mr. Benjamin: Make sure that you put all the basic things in the resume such as personal detail, education, work experience, extracurricular activities, awards/achievements, skills and so on. A good resume shall have less than 2 pages and make it concise.
Ms. Mei: There’s a tip that I’d like to tell you. Once you submit your application, make sure that you answer your phone. If the recruiter is interested to know more about you, they will call you by using the contact number that you have provided in the resume. Other than that, please use appropriate email address to show professionalism.
Mr. Alvin: For the references part, you may have 2 options, either you put the list of referees ( 1 or 2) or you don’t put it at all. Avoid putting “References are available upon request”. Do you know by doing that, you can save up some space too?
Mr. Kevin: Teach for Malaysia is more looking into the competencies compared to how many languages or dialects that you know. It depends on the industry and type of job you apply for. Also, ensure you tailor your resume to the job requirements provided by the employers.
Below is the winner for all categories:
Congratulations to all winners of Resume Competition 2016!
*Careers Advisory Service would like to thank those who involved directly or indirectly in the execution of Resume Competition 2016.