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Lelia Lim

7 TOP tips for a successful cv in Asia

COVID-19 is bringing the world to its knees, with production lines and supply chains disrupted, stock markets crashing and businesses buckling. This has caused the unemployment rate in APAC to widen by 0.52 ppt to 3.55% and is set to increase further. In these unsettled times, it’s time to re-stock and, for the retrenched, update your cv for the next phase in your career. 

As specialists in Talent Management, we know what makes a cv stand out from the crowd and showcases your skills and experience. Below are our 7 top hints and tips:

  1. Use a clean layout – with a clear structure, which is easy to read. Keep a total resume no longer than three pages. Focus is on the most recent three positions for those with 15-25 years of experience. Do not cram it with irrelevant information
  2. Contact details – At the top of any cv, you need to provide your name and contact details. In this world of mobile professionals, provide a bio with:
    • family/last name in bold or Caps (to avoid confusion) and also, if you have a ‘nickname’ or English name, please provide it
    • Indicate your gender, if applying for a role in Asia. This is voluntary and not essential but can avoid gender misunderstandings created from some names
    • permanent and current temp address
    • permanent contact details (email and mobile)
    • all nationality & PR status
    • language capabilities

If you wish to use LinkedIn as your primary contact point, please ensure you check messages daily. Nothing is more frustrating than non-responsive candidates

  1. Create a compelling summary statement – this is the first real point of substance that potential employers see. Primarily a sales pitch, it emphasises your unique value and what you can offer a company. It should be approximately four to six lines and highlight the experience, achievements, and characteristics that make you uniquely qualified for a position
  2. Previous jobs and key achievements – provide details for EACH position held. It is critical that you list achievements separately from responsibilities. Companies want to see how you’ve progressed and the personal contributions you’ve made. Use hard statistics or numbers to highlight your achievements
  3. Dates of graduation – many believe that if they leave this out, they can hide their DOB, but employers can identify your age from your years of experience. What employers are curious about are gaps in your resume, if there are any. So, if you have taken time off between jobs to do an MBA, this information can be verified against dates of graduation
  4. Dual languages – Asian candidates must write resumes in dual languages, English and their mother tongue in consecutive pages. One for ease of reading and the other for language authenticity checks
  5. Salary currency – although not necessary, if you choose to list your salary, state it in hard currency, e.g. Bht1.8 mil pa/ US$54,500 pa

If you would like some further assistance with your cv or next career move, then please contact us at [email protected]

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