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And just like that, job hunting season is in order. Many college seniors will soon join the tax-paying public and join the work force. The first-step to getting hired? Churning in your CV.

But what does it take for a resume to look so good a hiring manager won’t be able to resist it?

We spoke to Arlen Gamba, a recruitment officer at a multi-purpose cooperative agency who gave us a clue on how it works on the other side of the job-hunting fence.

1. Choose an appropriate photo—especially when you’re applying for a job position related to sales 

While many career websites say photos are no longer necessary, Arlen says including a picture is a must, especially when you’re applying for positions that are related to sales. “As a recruitment officer in a manpower provider agency, we need to see your appearance, lalo na if it is for a sales position. Pero it’s necessary lang naman kapag yung position is katulad ng sa sales.”

That said, selfies and other informal photos are a definite no-no. Instead, get your ID photo taken professionally. “A photo of you wearing a professional looking shirt or top with a collar is okay. By the way, recruitment officers are hardly impressed with your grad photo. “We prefer that you wear a professional-looking shirt, or a top with a collar,” Gamba said.

2. Don’t put unnecessary details

Seminars, contests won, and the like are a major headache to the recruiting officer. “Please deduct unnecessary details like seminars, contests, or other experiences that has nothing to do with your desired job position,” Arlen says. Character references aren’t that important, too.

As for elementary and high school information, “hindi na talaga siya necessary unless you graduated with honors or with appropriate awards,” she said.

3. But put your skills and extra-curricular activities 

“For fresh grads, given naman na they don’t have a lot of experiences. Mostly school related lang. In that case, they can include skills or extra curricular activities na meron sila during college.

Sa halos lahat naman ng applicants, fresh grads or not, yung skills and experience talaga yung hinahanap namin. That’s the part where we can see how qualified yung applicant for the job,” Arlen said.

She also stressed that skills and extra-curricular activities must be those that are really related to the job.

4. Make sure that you include your updated contact details

We included what looks like an obvious because according to Arlen, many people have applied using wrong contact details. “That’s a major turn off for us, when we try to contact the applicant pero walang response.”

Put details—mobile numbers and email addresses— that you use on a daily basis.

5. Use a professional-sounding e-mail address

Using an e-mail address under your full name is the safest e-mail that you can use. “For recruiters, it’s a turn off kapag nakikita namin na maraming characters, numbers or very unprofessional basahin yung e-mail address. We prefer that you use your name as your e-mail because it is more professional to use.”

6. Recruiters actually read the objective part of the CV—make it cool

“Putting an objective is an important matter for almost all employers, because it will reflect the applicants’ desire to work,” Arlen says.

Now, consider the amount of resumes that pass their hands on a daily basis: How do you stand out if you put yet another ‘to improve my skill and to be part of a company that can hone me well’?

“That’s a turn-off,” Arlen admits, saying “it’s much better if the objective is straightforward and specific.

Replacing objective with career summary is now preferred because it is designed to give a brief overview of who you are and what you do.

7. Limit it to one page

As much as possible, a one-page resume is really recommended for every applicant, especially when you’re applying for an entry-level job.

“Unless you have worked a long time and related talaga sa ina-applyan mo, it is best to have all of your information fit into one page. Nakakawala din kasi sa focus tignan yung maraming pages and overkill information,” she said.

8. Use proper grammar and punctuation marks

Lastly, of course, using proper grammar and punctuation marks is a must. Simpler words and descriptions are enough. “Most of us na recruitment officers, mas gusto naming nagbabasa ng resumé na wala masyadong extravagant words. The simpler the better. Basta, you need to explain it well.”

Illustration by: Madel Crudo

Manila Bulletin is having a job fair on March 7-8 at the SM North EDSA Skydome, Quezon City. More details here.

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