Career Resources > Writing the Game-Changing Resume

Writing the Game-Changing Resume

by Chelsia Lim

Do you know that recruiters take an average of seven seconds to look at a resume? Recruiters take the seven seconds to scan for information they want before they either put it aside or onto the shortlisted pile.

So how do you ensure that your resume stands out from the rest of the applicants?

A job vacancy could have many applications nowadays, so you will face stiff competition. The main objective of a resume is to get you an opportunity for an interview. A resume is a marketing document designed to sell your strengths and skills and to present you in the best light.

Below are five tips to write a game-changing resume which may just land you with an interview.

1. State your competencies using key words

Very often, recruiters look out for key words which describe what work and achievements was done and attained.

· Key words such as “accomplished”, “achieved”, “budgeted”, “built”, “conceptualised”, “consolidated”, “demonstrated”, “devised”, etc.

· Begin each of your competency statement with a keyword to highlight your achievements in order to capture the recruiter’s attention.

2. Quantify your accomplishments

Grab hirers’ attention with quantified accomplishments. For example, "Coordinated annual training seminar for 1500 participants and received close to 100% satisfaction rating," will entice the hirer to continue reading. Do not merely list your daily responsibilities for each job you had or just state what you have done and accomplished. Include performance-driven and measurable examples to generate greater interest and attention from your recruiters.


  • Percentage
  • Revenue
  • Savings
  • Time

· Number of projects, sales, projects, products, customers, etc.

3. Show rather than tell

As you think back about the various jobs you have held, ask yourself these questions. What problems did I solve for my employer? What improvements did I make?

You can use the SAR method when writing your accomplishments.

  • S ituation – Start by writing briefly about the situation or setting in one sentence
  • A ction – What actions or strategies you took to tackle the problem or challenge
  • R esult – The result or the quantifiable outcome as a result of your actions

The order of Situation, Action or Result is not important. What is more important is clarity. Start your sentence with action verbs.

For example:

Created a strategic marketing plan that resulted in the recruitment of record numbers of participants and a record percentage attending paid seminars which resulted in an increased company revenue by 120% and profits by 250%.

4. Ensure that your sentences are succinct, eloquent and well-structured

Many recruiters commented that many resumes are poorly written due to poor grammar and sentence structures. You need to do your due diligence to check that your resume is error free in terms of spelling, grammar as well as sentence structures. Use short sentences and bullet points for ease of reading.

· Use spell and grammar check functions on your word document

  • Ensure consistency in the tense used

· Check for capitalisation at the start of each new sentence

· Action words used to showcase your achievements should be in the past tense for your previous employment

· Try reading your resume backwards starting from the bottom. This will help you to spot errors in spelling or grammar

5. Size does matter

Recruiters go through hundreds to thousands of resume a day so do them a favour by keeping your resume to a maximum of two pages. Two pages are appropriate provided you have the experience and accomplishments to substantial the length. If you are a fresh graduate or have only a few years of work experience, a one-page resume will do the job.