We chatted with the amazing Darling Febriani, co-founder of TalentGrowth Indonesia. Her organization places great emphasis on HR Tech, offering over 70+ startup partners in South East Asia with global internship opportunities.
Talent Growth is an HR tech that helps companies to scout pre-screened skilled tech and non-tech interns. In addition, Talent Growth also provides career preparation training like CV preparation, problem solving skill, and interview tips for university students to enhance their employability
Our conversation with her was a real eye-opener as she shared some pro tips to ace your resume/CV, whether you’re fresh out of school or without any prior working experience.
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Building a resume with no experience – 5 things to focus on
When it comes to applying for jobs, many young people face the dilemma of having limited experience to show to potential employers. However, as mentioned by Darling, there are ways to demonstrate leadership, initiative, and a willingness to learn and contribute by sharing your experiences in a non-paid environment. This can include extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or even group assignments. By doing so, you can make a strong case for why you’d be a valuable addition to any team, even if you haven’t worked in a formal setting before.
2.Make it quantifiable
Let’s dig into some examples 🕵️♂️:
“I have significant experience working with SPSS” ➡️ “I have used SPSS for ANOVA analysis for a 2,000 sample study in my final year dissertation.”
“I have been told I am a team player at the Turtle Conservation Society I volunteered at” ➡️ “I was awarded “Best Team Player” out of 100 participants in the Turtle Conservation Society during my stint there in July 2023!”
“I am a hard worker and have reached out to prospective clients in my internship” ➡️ “In one heck of an internship, I made 100 outbound calls to prospective clients and scored 2 meetings!”
Remember, showcase your skills with numbers, and cut out words like “Most, many, significantly, definitely, quite, actually.”
3.Take an online course
If you have gaps in your employment history, or haven’t had opportunities to volunteer, it’s worth considering taking an online course that’s relevant to the role you’re applying for. There are a plethora of great courses available to choose from, and taking the initiative to improve your knowledge and skills can demonstrate both your drive to succeed and your proactive approach to professional development.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to showcase your achievements by publishing the scores you receive on any relevant courses. This not only highlights your dedication to self-improvement but also provides potential employers with concrete evidence of your qualifications.
Having side projects and portfolios can be especially valuable in today’s job market. They provide tangible examples of your skills and demonstrate that you actively work on improving and expanding your knowledge outside of your current job.
For graphic or UX designers, having a clear and well-organized portfolio showcasing your previous work can play a major role in standing out from other applicants and securing that dream job. So, get creative and build that portfolio!
5. Join competitions
Participating in business case competitions or other events for college and university students is an excellent way to showcase your skills and talents. These events provide a platform for students to gain invaluable experience and exposure to real-world business problem-solving.
By participating, you will sharpen your decision-making, teamwork, and presentation skills, as well as network with top industry leaders and potentially receive career opportunities. Ultimately, add your accomplishments from these events to your CV/resume to stand out from the crowd.
The ATS CV/Resume
When designing a resume, it’s important to keep in mind the role you are applying for. For instance, if it’s a creative position in UI/UX or graphic design, you get to be a little more daring with your design and showcase your creativity by using decorative and artsy elements.
Brochures have also become a popular feature for job seekers to showcase their skills and experience to prospective employers. Brochures are concise, visually appealing and offer a great way to highlight achievements and key skills.
However, you should always be mindful of the more commonly accepted CV format known as the ATS (applicant tracking system) CV.
What is the ATS CV/Resume Format?
The stressful application process can be overwhelming for any job seeker, but Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has made navigating through the first hurdle slightly less daunting. With most companies using some form of an ATS to pre-screen candidates, a HR person at a large company may need to sift through more than 1,000 applications for a single fresh graduate position!
However, applicants can still give themselves an edge. Having your CV in the ATS format for easy scanning helps your resume to stand out in the crowd. This format is specifically designed to help recruiters quickly scan important details and extract relevant information. So, to avoid being missed out, consider optimizing your resume with important ATS-friendly keywords and formats. A simple tweak could boost your chances of landing your dream job!
Here are the rules of the ATS resume.
- No table, text box, shapes, logo, graph.
- No column – ATS scans the CV from left to right. Use a single column layout.
- No header and footer sections.
- Use general heading naming. For instance, Education, Work Experience, Organizational Experience.
- No Hyperlink/URL.
- Use common font like Arial, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Georgia, Cambria.
- You can use bullet points, Bold, Italics, Underline, and colors.
Free ATS CV/Resume templates to get started with
What information do you include in a resume?
- Your name
- Email address
- Linkedin profile (if relevant)
- Phone number
- Working experience (if any, otherwise, include volunteer work, competitions, group projects/assignments, academic or extra-currricular achievements).
What information do you NOT include in a resume?
- Physical address
- Bio particulars (e.g. height, weight)
- Do not use charts and graphs to demonstrate your proficiency in e.g. MS Office
- Soft skills
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