The Perfect Resume is like The Perfect Woman...

It doesn't exist.

More often than not, I have requests from friends asking me for advise on resume writing. Other times, they simply ask me for THE template. I usually give them the template I use for myself.

Having said that, I update my resume regularly with the strictest expectations. My friends do not get the fresh-out-of-poly-blur-like-sotong version of my resume.

I remember writing on this blog once:

A perfect resume is like a perfect woman. It doesn't exist.

A resume, or a curriculum vitae, has only one purpose. To sell your abilities and experience to a prospective employer/recruitment consultant. As long as it achieved that purpose for you, it is your perfect resume.

However, it would be nice if you follow to certain norms expected of a resume, or any professional document for that matter.

1) Professional-looking photos, for goodness' sake

Photos are a part of the standard resume template. Google "resume template" and I am pretty sure more than 50% of templates you see includes a space for a passport photo of yourself.

I have received some weird photos in my time as a recruiter and most of my peers would have had similar experiences with eccentric resume photos. Let it be said that HR Managers and/or Recruiters do not really care how your wedding dress/prom dress looks like, so please choose an appropriate photo.

Just a gentle guideline on choosing the photo you wish to put in your resume.

- A plain white background. (We do not need to see cubicle doors)
- Just you, and you alone. (If a friend decides to hug you/kiss you while you are taking the photo, please ask to re-take)

2) Standard fonts will do.

Arial is a common favourite. Times New Roman being a close second. Other fonts resulting in a delightful resume includes Calibri, Verdana and Garamond.

So, please, dear jobseekers. Lucida Handwriting and Comic Sans MS are not suitable fonts for a resume. If you really have to use the above two fonts for any document, please ensure the document is not in anyway tied to a professional representation of yourself.

3) Standard font size will do 

This topic is a personal favourite ever since I received an extremely impressionable font-size-35-resume , I couldn't repeat any more often about the importance of font size in a resume.

Standard sizes of 10, 11, 12, or even 13 works well for a resume. Anything above 16 and below 20 should be used only as headers.

There is absolutely no reason why a resume would require the font size 35. I still don't get that.

Neither are there any reasons why a resume should be written in font sizes 5-8. I mean, you do want someone to read the words in your resume, don't you?

4) Standard font color will do 

Black on white goes together well. Very, very, very well. So please exploit that color combination to the best you can.

And avoid bright red in your resume whenever you can. You are writing a resume, not emulating a Facebook notification.

Having said that, avoid any variations of bright colors too. My eyes will thank you.

5) Avoid too many attachments. 

It is almost a daily occurrence for recruiters to receive resumes of a whopping 10MB. In case you don't realize, 10MB is almost the size of 2 (maybe 3) MP3 files.

Often, these resumes comes from zealous fresh graduates who attached their lifelong certificates, right down to their PSLE certifications. My record so far was receiving a job application with 15 attachments. Excluding the resume.

Yes, 15 attachments.

Note to the fresh graduates:

- Attach the appropriate certifications. If you are applying for an IT job, we do not need to receive Certificate of Participation for Basic Accounting I, II. and III.

- Resize the picture files if you have to.

- There is a wonderful software called "WinRar"

And with the above 5 points, I conclude this first entry of the year 2012. May everyone find their ideal jobs soon.

Signing off
From the Desk of a Recruiter

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