“To be able to apply my knowledge and skills that I gained from my chosen field and fulfill the job that is appropriate for me.”
Are you familiar with that statement? You probably are because that is an objective that a typical Filipino job seeker would write in his/her resume. Well who are we to blame them? English teachers taught their students to write an objective for resumes. English teachers even have a notion that whoever writes the best resume objective gets the highest grade. But that should be corrected today—applicants must know better.
When I was still a Secretary in a manufacturing company in 2014, I found out that 7 out of 10 Filipino applicants applying to our office would submit a generic resume with objectives copied from the internet. I was so sad because they don’t give an effort in writing their resume and I am so worried that this must be the standard of Resume writing in the Philippines. If you are an applicant reading this, please do not commit the mistakes that they did.
But before we dig deeper from the problem and find a solution, let us define first what resume objective is. According to Money-Zine.com, a resume objective refers to a section of a resume that tells the hiring company why the applicant is seeking employment.
The objective you used to put at the top of your resume no longer works. Resume writing has changed and if you don’t keep up, you are preparing to look incompetent in front of the hiring officer. Here are the reasons why:
At that stage, recruiters have no interest in what you want. They are just after with what you can do for them.
You are wasting a very important space in your resume. Your resume is a very important marketing tool and every space in it is very important for you and your future, treat it like one.
It will not improve your resume’s chance of getting pulled from an online resume database. You must know that resume databases pull resumes like searching a term in Google search bar. This means that your resume should contain ‘keywords’ that hiring officers are searching—resume objectives do not have keywords.
Instead of writing a generic resume with the best resume objective you can find in the internet or brainstorming for your best resume objective, try these tricks:
1. Write the specific position you are applying for at the top of your resume. This technique saves the time of the hiring officer because with one glance they will know what position you are applying for.
2. Perfect your Qualifications/ Career Summary or Performance Profile. State your qualifications or strengths in response to the stated job post requirements with recurring keywords you will find in job posts for the position.
If you don’t change your direction, you will likely end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu
How well did you do in 2015? Did you achieve all your 2015 todo’s? Good for you if you did, if you did not, that’s fine you can do better in 2016. But what if you don’t have a to-do list? Well, I think it is time for you to create one. If you received a daily planner gift last Christmas, now is the time to use it.
Before preparing your career in the year 2016, it is very important to reflect and assess your previous year. Accomplishments, even small and simple can help boost your motivation. Do you remember that satisfied client you had last June 2015? Remembering simple accomplishments like that can be a pat on your back saying “You are doing well!”.
Trivia: Did you know that thinking of your accomplishments will give you pleasure (you know the ethical pleasure)? Thinking of your achievements in the year 2015 will send dopamine to your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It is a chemical messenger that helps in the transmission of signals in the brain and other vital areas. As a result, dopamine will impact you in many ways: motivation, memory, behavior and cognition, attention, sleep, mood, and learning. That’s a great start for you in the year 2016, isn’t it? So do yourself a favor and think of the positive things you did in 2015.
What should you do?
A simple method that you can do to assess yourself on the year 2015 is to review what you have accomplished:
What goals did you reach this year?
What went well? Do more of it in 2016.
What went wrong? How can you fix it?
In the same manner, evaluating your next actions to attain your goals for 2016 is also important. If you don’t evaluate yourself and your achievements, you will never know where you are in your desired success.
Prepare Your 2016 Career Goals
Ask yourself, “What projects do I need to move forward to year 2016?”. Start to prioritize and rank each project. Make a prioritized To-Do list for each month, each week and each day. Start with each month and drill down on how you will achieve them weekly and daily. Make sure to be specific with the goals that you want to achieve.
Note: This may seem a lot of things to do but this will help you achieve and keep track of your goals.
2016 Career Goals
In the list below, you may find some goals that you want to achieve in the year 2016; however, these are just examples, you might find yourself in a different situation so feel free to create your own 2016 career goals.
1. Job Goals. If you are a fresh graduate looking for a job since 2015, assess yourself if you are getting positive results in your job search. Maybe you need to search jobs in a different way. If you are just looking for a job in the traditional manner, why not look for a job in the internet. I am sure you will find a lot of job vacancies in Monster.com, Indeed or JobsDB. It would be helpful to read my blog post on the Top Job Sites in the Philippines and see if you get the job posts suitable for you. Evaluate yourself in each job post. Maybe you do not have the qualifications yet that’s why you are rejected in your interview. If that is the case, learn first the qualifications needed for the job—it could be a simple Microsoft Word proficiency, an important communication skill or a difficult Project Management knowledge. The problem could also be your resume, so take time in improving your resume. Here’s your guide in creating a Recent Graduate Resume.
2. Promotion Goals. We all desire for power. If your goal is to get promoted for the year 2016, know the politics in your office and master some leadership skills. Also, be sure to be prepared for a greater responsibility.
3. Skill Goals. What are the things you wish you knew in the year 2015? The skills that would have helped you in your 2015 activities. Is there a specific skill you want to master—Typing Skill, PowerPoint, Excel, Photoshop? Write them all down and give at least 4-5 hours a week this year to practice them. If you think you don’t have time, come on, we are on the era of online learning. Here are top online training sites where you can learn specific skills during your free time or at home.
4. Network Goals. Are there people you would like to talk to in the year 2016? Write them down and find a way to meet them. Maybe even exchange business card with them. Set a specific date where you can contact them and add them to your professional network. Here is a guide on building and maintaining your professional network.
5. Credibility Goals. Do you have a good online credibility? Search your name on Google and see if the search results are good for your career this 2016. Go to Facebook and check your profile. Maybe your Facebook image last time you got drunk at the party is seen publicly? Maybe you cursed in your posts in Twitter? In the year 2016, I am sure that online credibility is a big factor in someone’s career. Start checking your social media profiles now and hide bad posts you had in the past. If you really want to strengthen your brand this 2016, I suggest you create a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is a social networking site designed for professionals like you. At LinkedIn, you can build your professional identity online and stay in touch with colleagues and classmates. You can also find opportunities, business deals, and new ventures at LinkedIn. Who knows? The online generation is full of potential and what’s nice about it is you can use social media to build your brand and achieve success.
The Plan, Do, Review Cycle
After thinking of your 2016 career goals, use the Plan, Do, Review Cycle technique to plan your steps in achieving them. This is a technique that Martin Yate wrote in his book Knock ‘em Dead. Even though you have the goals written, it should not stop there because these goals must be achieved. Take these things into consideration when thinking of your steps:
Managing your time
Here is how you do it: At the end of every day, review what you’ve accomplished
1. What happened: A.M. and P.M.?
2. What went well? Do more of it.
3. What went wrong? How do I fix it?
4. What projects do I need to move forward tomorrow?
5. Rank each project:
A = Must be completed tomorrow.
B = Good to be completed tomorrow.
C = If there is spare time from A and B priorities.
6. Make a prioritized To-Do list.
7. Stick to it.
This Plan, Do, Review Cycle will keep you informed of your achievements and will let you know about the things that you invested your time in. In this way, you will feel better, sleep better, and come to work the next day with focus.
I am sure that your 2016 career goals will be achieved as long as you stick to the process. Good luck and Happy New Year!
Is there a right or wrong resume format? If there is, then what is the correct format of a resume? Does it have to be simple, easy to read, or professional enough to get the attention of the hiring manager?
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, resume expert, agrees that resume writing has changed in the past 10 years. But there is one thing in resume writing that remain unchanged—the 3 resume types by format: Chronological, Functional and Combination Resume.
As you step up to your career ladder, it is necessary for you to know how to layout your qualifications and experience in response to a job post. And resume formatting will help you do that. So, after assessing your level and choosing the appropriate design for your resume, you have to select what format is best for you.
Chronological or Reverse Chronological format is the most traditional and most commonly used resume format in the Philippines. This format gained its name from the word chronological which means “arranged in the order of time”. In this format, professional experience or work history is written in order (i.e. starting from the most recent job to the applicant’s oldest jobs.) Work experience is described in detail by highlighting dates of employment, places of employment, and job titles.
Use this format if:
- You are a candidate with a conservative career: legal, accounting, and banking.
- You are a candidate who wants to highlight progressive growth in a single company.
- You have minimal or you don’t have employment gaps.
- You are applying for a similar or more advanced position in the same field.
- You want to highlight stability, consistency, growth, and development in your career.
- Your most recent position is the one most likely to impress prospective employers.
- You stayed in the same field and plan to remain in the same field.
Who should not use this format:
- People with lots of job gaps
- Folks just entering the work force
- People making a career change
- Enables an employer to determine, at a glance, where and when you’ve worked and what you accomplished at each job.
- Most common and widely accepted format.
- Provides the employer with a clear sense of your career progress.
- Limited work experience and employment gaps are obvious.
- Could reveal a history of changing jobs frequently.
- Could reveal if you were in the same job too long or have held the same type of job too long.
- Does not highlight skills and accomplishments as much as it highlights work history.
- Contact Information
- Qualifications Summary
- Professional Experience
- Awards, Honors and Additional Information (Optional)
2. Functional Format
The functional format is sometimes referred to as “Skills-Based Format”. It is the complete opposite of chronological format because it has a little or no emphasis on employment history, rather it focuses on qualifications, skills and achievements. The functional format allows you to prioritize your experience and accomplishments according to their impact and significance, rather than chronology.
Use this format if:
- You have gained significant experience outside your career path.
- You are a professional with gaps in employment, returning to the workforce or switching careers.
- You have changed jobs frequently in the past few years.
- You have gaps in your employment history.
- You have limited work experience in your job target.
- You are changing careers.
- You are a business owner looking to transition to working full time (e.g. as a construction project manager)
- You have extensive time gaps throughout the resume.
- You have extremely poor employment record.
- Highlights accomplishments, skills, and experience that are most relevant to the position.
- Takes focus off gaps or inconsistencies in your work history.
- Draws from a range of paid and non-paid experiences.
- Experience is not directly tied to specific job titles and dates of employment which can lead employers to suspect you’re trying to hide something.
- Does not emphasize promotions and career growth.
- Makes it difficult for hiring managers to tell exactly what the candidate did in each job.
- Functional resumes can send up a red flag (in a white collar job).
- Qualifications Summary
- Experience or Skills as they relate to the position
- Technical Information
- Awards and Honors
- Additional information related to targeted job
3. Combination Format
Combination format (also known as Chrono-functional or Hybrid format) is the most modern type of resume by format because it combines the nature of chronological and functional format in one resume. What it does is it takes the most effective and beneficial nature of each of the two types and mix it up to make the best resume format possible.
Combination format is becoming the resume of choice of hiring managers because it offers the best of both worlds. The combined format includes the traditional experience section of a chronological resume as well as the skills and accomplishments sections of a functional resume. This format is the most flexible, allowing you to highlight those sections of your resume that are most relevant for the position you are applying.
Use this format if you:
- Are a senior-level professional or executive and have significant accomplishments.
- Want to highlight your relevant abilities during a career transition.
- Are targeting your resume to fit specific job requirements while displaying the continuity of your career history.
- Want to emphasize skills and abilities you have not used in recent jobs.
- Have been freelancing, consulting, or performing temporary work.
- Highlights your primary skills and accomplishments at the top of your resume.
- Format can be arranged to emphasize either skills and abilities or work history, whichever is most appropriate for your career objective.
- Groups qualifications into categories that relate directly to your career objective.
- Resume could become longer than necessary and may lose the employer’s interest.
- Resume may contain redundant information or lack of focus.
Now that you know the three resume types by format, you can format your resume in response to a specific job post. Together with your knowledge on resume design and resume level, you are ready for creating your best resume.
Are you an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who works abroad as a teacher? Do you want to go back to the Philippines? Good news because there are teaching jobs waiting for you.
According to Freya Palad, National Reintegration Center (NRCO) for OFW’s Region 3, “Returnees will be employed as Teacher I. Through an online refresher course for the position, returning teachers will be retrained. This will update the teacher of skills and knowledge of the present day educational practice.”
With the NRCO program “Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir,” teachers who passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) can stay here in the Philippines instead and work as public school teachers.
The Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Philippine Normal University organized the project.
“There are already 11 OFW teachers with permanent items while the application of 54 more are now forwarded to the DepEd,” Palad added.
Those who are interested may visit the NRCO desk located at DOLE Regional Office in the City of San Fernando or contact Ms. Palad at (045) 455-1613.
This time I will differentiate the different resume types by level:
Resume Types by Level
1. Entry-Level or Recent Graduate Resume
Professional resumes in all fields up to 3 years of experience, excluding management resumes.
Recent graduate resumes
Customer service resumes
Professional trades resumes
Retail associate resumes
The job changes in the first three years of professional life can shape the trajectory of your career going forward. There’s much to learn at this time in your career, with job change and fresh starts with new employers representing the steepest learning curves in your professional life.
2. Professional Resume
Professional level resumes are for professionals with more than 3 and less than ten years’ experience who hold non-management titles.
As an experienced professional in a competitive world, you know that to compete, your new resume needs more power, it needs to demonstrate a higher level of professional understanding and sophistication. You may need this more powerful resume to navigate that next strategic career move or get back to work after a layoff.
3. Mid-Career Resumes
Mid-Career Resumes are for senior professionals with more than 10 years of professional experience. This category includes all professions and management resumes below the Director, V.P. and C-level and also career changers.
With the seniority that your experiences make, that means your resume is more complex and challenging in a myriad of ways. For example, as a manager, along with technical competence, you have to demonstrate the ability to manage productivity. While as a career-changer (it happens to all of us), you have to contend with the agonies of reconfiguring your skills to make the crossover to that new profession.
4. Executive Resumes
The executive-level resume includes: Director resumes, V.P. resumes, Senior V.P. resumes, Executive V.P. resumes, C-suite resumes, Board member resumes, and resumes for entrepreneurs.
You’ve made your mark as a consummate professional in complex business environments and it’s time for a change. But it’s also a time when every option is fraught with complexity, and the competition has never been tougher. You realize that all the skills and achievements in the world won’t get you to that next step in your career if your executive resume can’t open the doors of opportunity and position with the right story.
Creating the executive resume contains a challenge familiar to anyone in the executive suite: the challenge of making the complex succinct and accessible—and when it comes to your resume, you are probably too close to the action to tell the right story in the right way.
“Your resume is the advertisement while your cover letter is part of your marketing campaign.”
According to Martin Yate, a cover letter is a letter of introduction attached to, or accompanying another document such as resume or curriculum vitae. It is a formal letter describing the resume and/or other items and the reasons for sending them. In a survey by Office Team, more than nine in 10 (91 percent) executives polled said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job candidates. In addition, nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) respondents indicated it’s common to receive cover letters even when applicants submit resumes electronically.
Cover letter should be the first thing that hiring manager sees from an applicant. It should introduce the applicant’s skills and qualifications. But in the Philippines, applicants—mostly entry-level, barely submit a cover letter. This is a very big mistake because even Business Insider said that cover letter is more important than resume.
Importance of Cover Letter
Do you really think that cover letter is not important? Well, think again. Cover letter not only narrates your intention for the position but it recounts your edge over other candidates.
It is usually the first thing a hiring manager sees.
Could be the deciding factor between you and another candidates.
It gives you the chance to tell employer why you are the perfect fit for the job.
Narrates what you have to offer that will benefit the company or make a difference that others don’t.
Tells what makes you stand out from the crowd.
It is what sells you to the prospective employer.
May be instrumental in your resume “leaping to the top of the pile”
“Competent job seekers submit a cover letter.”
Even if the job posting did not require cover letter, submit one.
Spend as much time perfecting your cover letter as you do to your resume.
Don’t copy and paste from internet samples but if you have no choice, customize it like you’re writing in your tone.
Begin by telling the screener which position you are applying for.
Target each cover letter to each job. Don’t send the same cover letter to every employer.
Keep it brief – good rule of thumb is 2-3 paragraphs for email and one page if printed.
Tell how and why you would be an asset to the company by sharing how your qualifications, strengths and accomplishments match the job specifications.
Research the employer, search online and talk to members of your professional network.
Demonstrate your knowledge of the firm as you explain how your skills and background are a fit.
Don’t rehash your resume in the cover letter.
Use the hiring manager’s name in the address.
Add a catchy P.S.
Double check and proofread.
If someone recommended you—you may want to include the person’s name.
If responding to an advertisement, mention the source.
Spell addressee’s name correctly and use proper title.
Use a colon after their name, not a comma. Colons are used for business letters—commas for personal.
Now, what do you think? Should you write a cover letter? You decide.
Interviewer: What do you think is the greatest challenge facing your field today?
Interviewee: Well that’s easy. This industry is constantly changing and always growing. Just when you think you got to handle on everything there is to know, something new comes up. I think the greatest challenge today is staying up to date and keeping current with such a rapidly changing environment.
Do you believe that you know everything you need to know to do your job? Well, think again because here is the truth: the world around us is changing very fast. What you know about a certain software today gets obsolete after 6 months or a year. How you do Sales today gets outdated and seem to not work a year or two from now. Which leads me to the point that whatever field you are in, you need to update your skills. Your sales skills, presentation skills, web design skills, coding skills or whatever skill it is, you need to update to compete. There is no exemption. You need to keep current or you’ll get left behind.
Learning today is much easier compared to how our ancestors learned decades ago. Thanks to the advent of the internet, information is there—open to be discovered, to be used and to be shared. For example, if you want to know how to use Photoshop, you can just search it on Google and you can find blogs or you can watch YouTube videos related to Photoshop.
Now, if you are serious on learning a new skill or improving your professional skills, you can check out these top online training sites where you can discover and learn almost anything you want to know on a specific software or skill. You can even find an idea how to earn money (in your own way) by taking your learning skills to the next level.
Skillshare is an online training site where anyone can sign up to take a class and teach at the same time.
Their mission is pretty simple—‘Unlocking the world’s creativity’. They believe that everyone is creative and by giving tools to harness creativity, they can change lives for the better. And by dismantling the traditional barriers to learning, anyone, anywhere in the world can learn whatever they set their minds to.
Skillshare allows free membership but they also have premium membership of $10 a month or annual membership of $96, allowing users to watch all of their 1,900 and growing courses.
Coursera is an online training and education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take. What makes them different from other online training sites is the fact that their courses are taught by educators from known universities and organizations around the world.
Their courses cover subjects on Arts and Humanities, Business, Computer Science, Math and many more. They brag about their platform that’s based on proven teaching methods verified by top researchers. Like other training sites, they also provide interactive quizzes, peer graded assessments and they connect fellow learners and instructors. They also provide (optional) certificates after finishing a course.
Although Coursera have free courses, majority of their courses are fee-based.
Udemy was founded in 2010, designed to bring people together with expertise in different areas. Udemy provides tools and market for the experts—to make and sell courses, and take a cut of the proceeds.
With over 32,000 courses available, you can learn from almost any topic, mostly covering yoga, music, coding, marketing and graphic design.
On the other hand, the disadvantage of Udemy is the repetition of content in some courses. Some courses are also taught by non-english speakers making it distracting and difficult to understand. But overall, Udemy is a great place to learn and improve your skills.
Class on Demand is one of the top training authorities in the creative and media industry.
They have a wide selection of award-winning tutorials by industry experts and each course is full of tips and techniques that you can easily apply. Their tutorials cover popular software and hardware, i.e. from Adobe After Effects to GoPro Camera tutorials.
On the backside, Class on Demand’s courses are more expensive compared to other online training sites.
Founded in 1996, Virtual Training Company or simply VTC, is one of the world’s leading producers of online computer and software training. They started distributing cd-roms and then moved to web-based online training.
They are clear about the idea that anyone have the ability to learn to use computer software on their own time. With more than 1,000 courses, you can choose from subjects covering programming, databases and security. If you are seeking tutorials on Adobe Dreamweaver or Joomla, you can find it here too.
Tuts+ is one of the leading publisher of online tutorials and courses for self-directed learners to develop creative skills. Like Skillshare, its mission is to uncover users’ creativity. Their courses cover subjects on coding, design & illustration, music, photography, game development, craft and more.
With 620+ courses, Tuts+ helps users learn creative skills for only a $15 per month subscription.
Tuts+ is also a part of Envato’s creative ecosystem, contributing to its mission of helping people learn and earn online.
Lynda.com is simply the best online training site. Founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and husband Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com is the most reliable and the leading online training company that helps anyone learn in variety of fields—business, software, technology and creative skills—for the purpose of achieving personal and professional goals.
The teachers and authors of lynda.com are top experts under the field. Courses have available exercise files to keep up with the lesson. They also provide professional certificate to finishers of each course. And being the leading online training site, you don’t have to pay each course, you only need to pay a subscription of $25 per month or P1,175 to get access to their 3,900 and growing courses. However, if you want to download the files offline and get the exercise files, you need to pay a premium subscription.
On April 2015, LinkedIn Corporation bought Lynda.com for $1.5 B. If you are in LinkedIn, you probably heard this news and who knows, LinkedIn, being a professional networking site, might connect with Lynda.com to help LinkedIn members improve their professional skills.
There are other online training sites you can find apart from this list. Acquire or master a skill needed in your industry. Keep learning and don’t get left behind. If you can’t afford to take any of the professional courses, you can just take the free courses available in Udemy, Skillshare or Lynda’s catalog. And you can always use the internet to improve your skills—read blogs, watch vlogs, listen to podcasts or read eBooks.
The learning method today is way much easier compared to how our ancestors learned way back, yet they learned great things that we know today and apply in our daily lives.
Whether writing your very first or updating for your next job, making mistakes in writing your resume is unavoidable. But don’t worry, it’s okay. Resume writing is a continuous process anyway, you should update your resume once you made an important achievement or mastered a new skill–especially those skills that are applicable to your job or industry.
Resume writing constantly changes and there are many mistakes or resume blunders that applicants tend to overlook. The common resume formats used in the past years are now obsolete. Information written on resumes years ago are now big mistakes you should remove. Those mistakes are still used in the competitive industry; in fact, I was once an Administrative Secretary screening out resumes, looking for the perfect candidate for open positions and while doing this job for months, it is really upsetting because none of the applicants sent a professional resume. What I mean when I say professional resume, I mean a resume that focuses on skills and achievements, a targeted resume that presents needed quality and skills for the position, not just a career history, a resume without the simple and most common resume blunders. Believe it or not, some applicants even submit a Bio-data.
If you want to be a common applicant, follow the mistakes that common applicants do–submit a generic resume, you can even submit a bio-data if you want, but if you want to stand out among the competition, avoid the most common resume blunders.
Avoid the 10-second screen out by avoiding these common resume blunders:
Always submit a cover letter.
Avoid typos or improper use of grammar.
Avoid mailing blunders: don’t fold, staple, or put paper clips.
Have trusted people check and double-check your resume.
Invest in a professional mailing envelope, e.g. 8.5 x 11 class envelope.
It’s better to invest in mailing label than putting address in the front.
Leave off: Photograph -even if you are gorgeous except if it is required for the position such as actor or model
Leave off: Salary Information
Leave off: Hobbies
Resume writing is a continuous process, it is never constant. Check for more samples available online and use them as benchmark in writing your resume. Do not just rely on your old knowledge about resume writing because it is more probable that you have been doing it wrong. By the way, keep posted with this article because I will be updating and adding more resume blunders in this post.