Writing a winning resume

There are no second chances when it comes to making a good first impression. This is as true when looking for work as it is in life. It is often said that recruiters spend, on average, between six to eight seconds reading individual resumes. In a competitive job market, with hundreds of candidates competing for the best positions, this shows just how important it is to stand out from the crowd.

A good resume can be the difference between securing an interview or falling at the first hurdle. But what ‘good’ looks like can differ between countries. What makes a strong candidate stand out in France, Europe, or the US might not be the same in Vietnam. Understanding and following this resume format can be critical to getting a foot in the door.

Keep it short and sweet

In some countries, a good template resume can be up to two pages long and contain detailed descriptions of previous positions. However, in Vietnam, recruiters tend to prefer something on the shorter side.

If possible, keep it to no more than one page and just focus on skills and experience relevant to the role being applied for. Hiring managers might spend no more than a few seconds scanning a resume, so make sure it is clear, concise, and focused.

Put the most important information at the top. Often, this will be the candidate’s current or most recent position. Recruiters don’t want to have to hunt for relevant information, so make it clear right from the beginning.

If in doubt, cut from the bottom. Older experience, in particular for more senior candidates, tends to be less relevant to future roles. So, consider just including job titles and dates of older jobs to save space for the more important things

Three tips for landing an interview:

  • Make the resume match the job description: Look at the skills, tasks, and responsibilities the role requires and make sure that these keywords are reflected back at the recruiter. For instance, if the job description mentions project management, make sure to include examples of this from previous roles. This will make it easier for the recruiter to see how your resume matches the job description and how your experience aligns with the role.
  • Focus on tangible examples and transferable skills: If there is no clear linear progression between one job and the next – such as a promotion – show how the skills gained in one position could be applied in another. Soft skills like team management, for instance, are invaluable in a range of roles. Meanwhile, avoid general or vague assertions. If the role requires a specific skill, give a concrete example from a previous job. In short: Show, don’t tell.
  • Show motivation and passion: Your motivation for a new role can be as important as past experience. So, show how the job fits into a broader career progression; how it builds on past positions and towards a future career goal. This will give the recruiter a sense of why you want the job and help you stand out from other candidates.

Make sure your resume reaches the right person

It’s no good having a perfect resume if it lands on the wrong desk, in the wrong inbox, or in the bin. CCIFV members can upload their resume to our CV Library. This is accessible to our 250 member companies and ensures that your CV is seen by those looking to hire the brightest and best candidates for their business in Vietnam.

Do you have a question or need advice?

Our team is at your disposal to answer your questions and guide you in your job search in Vietnam.

Contact our team

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