Indonesia CV / Resume Writing Guide

April 20, 2023 0 Comments

Working in Indonesia seems like an adventure to many people. However, it requires more than just the obvious Indonesia cover letter and Indonesia resume or Indonesia CV writing and translation – it needs thorough preparation. Problems that perhaps did not even cross your mind when you become interested in overseas careers will confront you.

Do not take too lightly the impact they can have on your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, selection trends and the management culture.

In Indonesia, the terms ‘CV’ and ‘resume’ are interchangeable. Write your Indonesia CV, commonly called a resume, on no more than two to three pages, depending on the length of your work experience, in reverse chronological order – beginning with the most recent job. In a situation when the job does not directly connect with your studies, but more with your work experience, you may write a functional resume – information structured per item.

It is best to prepare a resume using a computer. Most often recruiters request an electronic application. Typed or hand-written application documents are not recommended, as most employers deem computer skills to be important and expect a business standard of presentation.

It is more common in Indonesia to apply for a job through the Internet. However, you should be aware that an electronic resume does not look the same as a paper one. Employers often scan a resume, so make your resume scannable by avoiding for example lines, underlines, bold or italic fonts etc.

The official language is Indonesian also known under the name Bahasa Indonesia. When making an application for a position in Indonesia, you may use either English or Indonesian language, depending on the company as well as your fluency. Write in the Indonesian language to Indonesian companies and in English to international ones. When applying for professional positions sent both English and Indonesian resume.

It is not a problem to write your application in English; however, you need to accept that not knowing the Indonesian language will put you at a real disadvantage from the local job seekers. Consider that the basic knowledge of Indonesian is necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.

The goal of your resume should be to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview

For that reason, your resume is a marketing tool, which you should customize to the market in which you intend to use it. Focus on keywords used in the job posting and description – and therefore, qualities and characteristics. Write your resume in such a way that it contains many power words and action verbs. Scanners that are programmed to select specific words notice these keywords.

Remember, the same keywords you used in your resume will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to talk about them in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.

Prepare yourself – before writing your resume find out information about the company you want to work for. Such information will help you to make more effective changes to your resume to match each specific job description and use proper examples illustrating your achievements.

The CV/resume should have a clear layout – separate headings for your “Personal Details”, “Career Objective”, “Education”, “Work Experience”, “Qualifications” and “Interests and Hobbies”.

Begin your Indonesian resume with personal contact information including your name with an abbreviation that indicates the degree or title you hold, gender, address, phone/fax number and e-mail address. It is useful to attach your passport-sized photograph at the top of your resume, but it is not necessary for every resume. Recruiters/employers often keep resumes on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with an international access code and e-mail address are most important.

Below write your Career Objective. It is a brief and focused statement. Use keywords from the job posting and/or description writing, what you can do for them and what you are looking for. Employers will look here first before proceeding with the rest of your CV/resume.

  • Describe the job you are seeking. Include your experience and skill level.
  • Emphasize what you can bring to your prospective employer.
  • Be focused – vague objectives are less likely to attract an employer.
  • The Objective should be two sentences – three sentences if needed, but not longer.

In the Education, describe in detail your college and/or university training, giving areas of study and degrees from each school attended. Specify if you have studied abroad. Include awards and honours, as well as educational qualifications, trade or recreational courses, did part-time or full time, internships and membership in professional organizations.

List any skills you may possess, e.g. if you have a commercial driver’s license, how many words per minute you type, etc. Add positions of responsibility you held mentioning whether you were a president of a club or a football captain, etc. In addition, you may mention any volunteer work.

Also, include such items as foreign language fluency with reference to the spoken and written levels, computer skills, hobbies and visa or resident status.

List your Work Experience – whether you worked part-time or full-time. For each position, provide starting and leaving dates, reason(s) for leaving, the name, location and focus of each company. Include concise details of what the job entailed your title and responsibilities emphasizing areas relevant to the position for which you are applying. Make sure that there are no “gaps” in your CV. However, if “gaps” exist, ensure to mention the reason and even report periods of unemployment. If your CV/resume has a large gap, explain why the gap exists and what you did during that period. For part-time jobs, explain why you did not seek full-time employment.

Indonesian employers are interested in whether you are capable of doing the job. So, make your Indonesia resume more effective and emphasize what you have to offer to the employer. Describe your jobs in the active voice. Use power words and action verbs to describe your achievements, such as contributed, organized, trained, managed, developed, coordinated, accomplish, achieved, analyzed, delegated, established etc. Bullet points these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.

Provide examples that fit the job, to illustrate your achievements. Extracurricular activities are considered of great importance in Indonesia so, list all your apprenticeships, holiday work and student jobs you did. Where possible, mention the number of employees for which you were responsible.

Remember that your Indonesian resume will form part of the script for the interviewer’s questions

It is best to avoid putting references on your resume unless the recruiter or company specifically asked to provide them. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is a strong indication that an employer is interested in you.

Discrimination laws are not as stringent in Indonesia as they are elsewhere in the world. Employers in Indonesia frequently ask for specifics like gender, age, photo, ID Card number, expected salary etc. Nevertheless, applicants usually provide – age, gender and marital status.

Carefully consider what to leave out of your resume and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you. If you are not married, it is not wise to mention that you “only” live together with a partner – it does not comply with the Muslim religion.

Finally, always include a cover letter with your resume. However, never attach to your application any official documents, like diplomas, certificates, testimonials of former employers, documentation of received awards and/or prizes, a record of your extracurricular activities, your passport or birth certificate when you send or deliver paper application unless prospective employer requested them – if so, sent only copies.

Some large international businesses use their own job application forms instead of cover letters and resumes. Pay attention to the open questions that try to identify your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces.

In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current resume. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the resume you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your resume.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online resumes should not include sensitive information as they could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Check the spelling and grammar of your Indonesia resume. Use the word processor’s spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and language usage errors in Indonesian or other languages or if you need help in organizing your cover letter, send it to a professional for assistance.

Remember that your resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use resume samples and resume templates.

Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV or resume. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.

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