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Singapore Resume Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, it needs more than just the obvious Singapore resume with Singapore cover letter writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You will face issues that almost certainly did not even cross your mind when you become interested in working in Singapore.

Do not take too lightly the influence employment in Singapore can have on your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, selection trends and the management culture.

Prepare yourself. Before writing your resume research the advertisement and company, you want to work for. Such information will help you to adapt your Singapore resume more effectively to each specific job and use proper examples illustrating your achievements.

Focus on keywords used in the job posting and description - qualities and/or characteristics – employers, HR personnel and hiring managers are seeking. This increases your chances of passing through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), recruitment management software utilized around the globe for application screening.

Call the HR department or research the biographies of the company's management team to discover what might be required on a job application. You do not want to find out after the fact that a company rejected your application because you violated some unwritten rule about essential resume components.

The term resume is often used interchangeably in Singapore. You can turn your updated CV into a resume by shortening some descriptions of your educational and/or professional experiences. Also, you may remove some details of personal information such as nationality, date of birth, marital status, photograph, race, gender etc.

The aim of your resume should be to persuade the employer to invite you for ajob interview

For an employer, the first impression of you is your resume. It must leave a favourable and lasting impact. You need to show that you are flexible, culturally sensitive, able to adapt to new circumstances and cultures and that you possess some perseverance and motivation (for the job, not the location!). A successful resume is one that will appear in most searches and generate the most interviews.

When applying for jobs in Singapore you may use English, Malay, Mandarin or Tamil, depending on the company and your fluency. Stick to one language once chosen. However, you need to accept that not knowing the local language will put you at a real disadvantage from the local job seekers. Many employers consider the basic knowledge of the local language as necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.

English is the usual language of business and most business people speak it well. If you are submitting an English version only, it is helpful to duplicate in Malay, Mandarin or Tamil your name, contact address and local company names (if you already have some local work experience) unless you are certain that the recipient of your resume is an English speaker.

Targeting the job title of a position you apply for, write your resume in a short and professional style using keywords identified in the job posting and/or job description. The Applicant Tracking System’s scanners that are programmed to select specific words will notice these keywords.

Your concise, brief and to the point resume should be in reverse-chronological order - starting with what you have done most recently or functional order - information structured per item. Emphasize experience and/or knowledge of Asia.

Employers in Singapore want to see in detail what you have done, who you have worked for, when you worked there and what your accomplishments were. The Singapore resume that covers a work history of 15 years or more could easily be up to four or more pages long. However, generally, it should not exceed two pages of an A4-size paper.

Begin the Singapore resume with your personal details listing name, address, and contact information including your telephone numbers and e-mail address. List this information in a “block” format, not on a single line.

Often resumes are kept on file for lengthy periods, so any contact details you give have to remain correct in the long term. Both Resident and Mobile phone numbers, with the international access code and e-mail address, are most important.

After that, write a “Career Objective” statement that contains keywords of the position you are seeking and no longer than two sentences. It is a brief and focused statement of what you can do and what you are looking for. Describe the job you are seeking and emphasize what you can bring to your prospective employer. Define who you are in relation to the skills and experience sought. This is a critical part of your resume, as potential employers will look here first before proceeding with the rest of your resume. It should portray you in the most relevant and professional light.

Then, under “Professional Experience” present your working experiences, internships and special areas of expertise, etc. Bullet points them at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.

  • The time spent (From Date – To Date) at each particular position and the name of the organization
  • Position held and job title
  • Description of your responsibilities and duties - emphasizing areas relevant to the position for which you are applying. Indicate your reason(s) for leaving and explain gaps in employment.

Make your resume more effective by providing examples to illustrate your achievements. Use power words and action words such as contributed, organized, demonstrated, trained, managed, developed, coordinated etc.

Follow with “Education”. Name the schools/institutions, locations, list programs/certificates/degrees. Add other information that supports your applications (e.g. scholarships, internships, training and specific courses related to your career objectives). Do not mislead, as employers will check.

  • Time spent (From Date – To Date),
  • Name of Tertiary Institution highest qualification attained
  • Time spent (From Date – To Date),
  • Name of Secondary School highest qualification received

Under “Other Skills”, show a potential employer your work-related skills and abilities. Include any other relevant training and all technical, computer, interpersonal, analytical, professional and other skills that match your target job and target company. Describe your level of oral and written knowledge of languages (English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil).

After the above items, the “Interests” section only include interests that you are actively pursuing and that you can speak credibly about during an interview. Do not include hobbies unless they are relevant to your Career Objective.

Finally, close your resume with the “References available on request” sentence.  It is best to avoid putting references on your resume. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is a strong indication that an employer is interested in you.

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

Discrimination laws are not as stringent in Singapore as they are elsewhere in the world. Employers may request personal information including nationality, race, citizenship(s), marital status, date and place of birth or age, gender, religious affiliation, military service, visa status, residency rights etc. So, carefully consider what to leave out of your resume and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you. For example, 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.

It is more common to apply for a job through the Internet. However, you should be aware that an electronic resume does not look the same as a printed one. Employers often scan resumes for an Applicant Tracking System, so make your resume scannable by avoiding for example lines, italic fonts etc. In addition, Microsoft Word format used to be the standard for sending in a resume, but this is no longer the case. Saving and sending it in a PDF format is a safer route, especially when applying for international positions.

Use the same font and style as your Singapore cover letter. Use a font that is easy to read such as 10 to 12 points Arial or Times New Roman. Computer print or typewrite your resume hard copies on white A4 format paper.

Always include cover letter with your resume, but never attach 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, unless prospective employer requested them - if so, sent only copies.

Some large multinational companies use their own job application forms instead of cover letters and resumes. So, pay attention to the open questions that try to establish your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces. It is quite common in Asia to state the name, education level and job of your parents in an application form.

Check the spelling and grammar of your Singapore 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 English or another language or if you need help in organizing your resume, 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 resume samples and resume templates.

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

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 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 and 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.

Other Singapore Resume Info

To be successful in your Singapore job search and get the job you want, you need to prepare a Singapore cover letter and Singapore resume which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in Singapore.

When you receive an invitation to the Singapore job interview, you may apply for a Singapore visa and Singapore work permit/pass. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at the Singapore dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in not being hired for available jobs.

Check the job interview dos & don'ts, job interview tips and other job search skills pages.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Singapore resume.