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Resume Sample Philippines 2023 [Free Downloadable Templates]

Resume Sample Philippines 2023 [Free Downloadable Templates]

Seven seconds. That’s how quickly recruiters scan a resume. Is yours impressive enough to get invited for a job interview?

Your resume is like an advertisement for promoting your work experience and skills. It’s your tool for selling yourself as the best candidate for the job to prospective employers.

With tighter competition in the job market, creating a solid resume has become more critical than ever.

Here’s everything you need to know about writing a resume, including samples and tips to help you craft an impressive resume.

Table of Contents

At a Glance: Sample Resumes

Type of ApplicantSample Resumes
Fresh graduateClick here
OJT studentClick here
Undergraduate student/Working studentClick here
High school graduateClick here
Call center agentClick here
Healthcare worker (Nurse/Medical technologist/Caregiver/Rad tech)Click here
Aspiring civil servant/government employeeClick here
LawyerClick here
AccountantClick here
Civil EngineerClick here
ArchitectClick here
TeacherClick here
SeamanClick here
Factory workerClick here
Freelancer (writer, web developer, graphic designer)Click here

What Is a Resume?

A resume (also spelled résumé) is a written account that summarizes a job seeker’s work history, skills, professional achievements, education, and other qualifications. The word comes from the Middle French “résumer,” which means “to sum up.” Similar to but more concise than the biodata, the resume is usually the first document employers request from job applicants.

What Is a Curriculum Vitae?

A curriculum vitae (CV for short) is a comprehensive and detailed document describing a person’s professional and academic career. It’s a Latin term that means “course of life.”

What Is the Difference Between a Resume and a CV?

ResumeCV
PurposeMost job applicationsUsually for applications in the academe, medical fields, and scientific research (e.g., academic jobs, scholarships, grants, research fellowships, etc.)
Typical lengthOne to two pagesNo page limit
Amount of informationAs short and concise as possibleContains more information
CustomizationHighly customized to match the specific requirements per positionNo changes unless there are new achievements or qualifications
LayoutCreative or minimalist design with bullet points, colors, icons, and other design elementsMinimalist design with plain text, more sections, and no bullet points

A resume and curriculum vitae are not always interchangeable. A resume summarizes one’s qualifications, while a CV provides a more in-depth and extensive career overview.

These documents differ mainly in terms of what each is used for, how long it is, what details are included, and how each is designed.

If you’re applying for a job in the Philippines, it’s easy to differentiate a resume from a CV. However, it’s tricky when you apply for jobs abroad.

Different countries have different requirements for resumes and CVs. Here are some pointers to remember when sending a resume or CV to the following countries:

  • The United States and Canada – A resume is used for job applications, while a CV is used only for academic applications.
  • Europe and New Zealand – When a company asks for a CV, you should submit a brief account of your qualifications (equivalent to a US resume). The term resume isn’t used in these locations.
  • Australia, South Africa, and most Asian countries – Used interchangeably, a resume and a CV refer to the same short job application document. However, resumes are most common for private-sector jobs, while CVs are preferred for government jobs.

How To Write an Effective Resume in the Philippines: 8 Steps

1. Use the Right Resume Format

Start by knowing which resume format will work best for your job application. Resume formats differ in the qualifications they emphasize. So choose a format highlighting whatever you want recruiters to notice on your resume.

When deciding on a resume format, consider your work experience, skillset, career goals, and the job you’re applying for.

Here are four resume formats, including the pros and cons and when to use each:

a. Reverse-chronological

This traditional resume format is what most candidates use (and employers are most familiar with). It highlights career progression by listing work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with the latest and working through past jobs.

Advantages:

  • Easier to see a candidate’s career development
  • Preferred by most employers because it’s easier to read and scan

Disadvantages:

  • Hard to stand out since most candidates are using this format
  • Highlights the lack of experience for fresh graduates, undergraduates, job hoppers, and those with long employment gaps or frequent career changes

Best resume format for:

  • Candidates with plenty of work experience relevant to the job they’re applying for
  • Showing career advancement (e.g., promotion, lateral movement, overseas assignment, etc.)

Sample reverse-chronological resume format:

b. Functional

Also called the skills-based resume, the functional format emphasizes an applicant’s skills rather than work experience.

Instead of listing your work history first, put your qualifications and skills at the top of your resume. Organize your functional resume by grouping abilities with similar themes together (e.g., “Leadership Skills,” “Customer Service Skills,” Marketing Skills,” etc.).

Advantage: Highlights skills and downplays lack of experience

Disadvantage: It might be perceived as hiding one’s shortcomings

Best resume format for:

  • Anyone who lacks relevant work experience, such as fresh graduates, working students, applicants with employment gaps, job hoppers, and career switchers
  • Candidates with an expert level of experience who want to emphasize a specific skillset

Sample functional resume format:

resume sample philippines 2
Source: Resumeway

c. Hybrid

The hybrid resume format combines some aspects of both reverse-chronological and functional formats. Also called a combination resume, this format consists of two parts: the first highlights relevant qualifications and skills, and the second lists your work history.

Advantages:

  • It provides the same benefits as the reverse-chronological format but with more flexibility
  • Can address questions about potential red flags such as employment gaps, job-hopping, and career changes

Disadvantages:

  • Not as familiar to employers as other resume formats
  • Not suitable for entry-level applicants

Best resume format for:

  • Experienced pros in a particular industry
  • Showcasing a diverse and developed skillset, especially for positions that require skills in at least three different fields or categories
  • Candidates switching careers or with gaps in work history

Sample hybrid resume format:

resume sample philippines 3
Source: Hloom

d. Infographic

An infographic resume uses graphic design elements such as colors, illustrations, icons, charts, and font styling instead of just basic text. Regarding content structure, this type of resume can be either reverse-chronological, functional, or hybrid.

Advantage: Grabs attention and can easily stand out

Disadvantage: Hard to pull off and can leave a wrong impression if not executed well

Best resume format for:

  • Designers and other creative professionals
  • Marketing and advertising professionals with design skills (or who can hire a freelance designer to create a resume)

Sample infographic resume format:

resume sample philippines 4
Source: Behance

2. Create Your Resume Header

Regardless of your resume format, always put your name and contact information at the top. If you make the next cut, the recruiter or hiring manager will quickly know how to contact you.

Must-have information on a resume header:

  • Full name
  • Location
  • Telephone number/Mobile number
  • Email address

Optional information on a resume header:

  • Professional title (e.g., “Marketing Professional,” “Web Developer,” etc.)
  • LinkedIn profile URL
  • Website/Blog URL
  • Link to an online portfolio

3. Write a Resume Introduction

The introduction is one of the most critical parts of a resume, as it highlights the candidate’s most important qualifications. Since it’s placed somewhere at the top of the page, recruiters notice the introduction first before everything else.

There are four ways to present a resume introduction. The right option depends on the job applied for, as well as the candidate’s skillsets and work experience.

a. Qualifications Summary

A summary of qualifications lists crucial career accomplishments with four to six bullet points. Use this type of resume intro if you have much work experience with measurable achievements and diverse skill sets.

Sample Qualifications Summary:

b. Career Objective

This resume section states in two to three sentences why you want a specific position in the company. Using a career objective on a resume is ideal for fresh graduates, entry-level candidates, and career switchers with little or no relevant work experience.

Sample Career Objective:

c. Professional Profile

This resume intro combines the qualifications summary and career objective. The professional profile can be either a bullet-point list or a brief paragraph.

Use a professional profile if you are applying for a position in the same industry, have particular expertise, and have a significant career achievement to highlight.

Sample Professional Profile:

d. Professional Summary

This section highlights the top skills, experience, and achievements in your career in two to three sentences. It may also mention the job title and years of experience.

A professional summary works for experienced and skilled candidates, allowing them to showcase their most important qualifications.

Sample Professional Summary:

resume sample philippines 8
Source: ResumeLab

4. List Your Relevant Work Experience

The work experience section (also labeled “Professional Experience” or simply “Experience”) is your opportunity to prove your qualifications to potential employers.

You don’t have to list your entire career—choose up to three to five experiences most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

If you use the reverse-chronological format, place your work experience near the top, right below your resume intro. But this section should be placed somewhere lower for the functional format, like below the education section.

How to list work experience on your resume

The standard format for listing work experience includes the following information:

  • Job title – Your job titles should be prominent on a resume to make it easy for potential employers to scan and find your relevant experience for the job. Put each job title at the top of each entry;
  • Company name and location – Below or next to your job title, put the name of your past or present employer and its city and/or country of location. If you’re employed by a prestigious or well-known company in the industry, you may place its name on top of your work experience instead of the job title. If the company name is unfamiliar, you may write a short description of the organization;
  • Employment dates – Add the timeframe of your employment in each company. You can indicate the year or the month and year when each position started and ended. No need to write the full dates. If you’re still employed with a particular company, put “present” after your start date (e.g., August 2018-present);
  • Key responsibilities and achievements – This part describes what you did and how well you did your job. List the duties and notable accomplishments most relevant to the new job (around three to five bullet points) in order of decreasing importance. To stand out, focus on your achievements rather than your daily responsibilities. Mention exactly how you helped the business grow, exceeded your KPIs, got promoted quickly, and so on.

5. Add Your Education

The education section shows that you meet any academic requirements for a specific role, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field.

Where you put this section and how much information you include depend on your experience level. If you’ve worked for a long time, keep your education short and place it after the work experience section.

However, if you lack experience, you may want to highlight your education by making it detailed and putting it near the top (above your work experience). This is also a good strategy for professionals emphasizing academic success, such as those in legal, medicine, accountancy, and education.

How To List Education on Your Resume

List your education, starting with your highest degree, in this format:

  • Degree
  • School name
  • Location (city/province or country, if you studied abroad)
  • Graduation date (month and year)
  • Honors and awards received (e.g., cum laude, dean’s lister, leadership excellence, scholarship, etc.)

If you have a college degree, there is no need to add your high school and grade school information.

6. List Your Hard and Soft Skills

Your resume should have a good mix of hard and soft skills because employers are looking for both.

Hard skills are measurable abilities that get a job done, such as coding in different programming languages, video editing, bookkeeping, and social media management.

Soft skills are personality traits that shape how you do your job, work, and interact with co-workers. Soft skills include leadership, professionalism, teamwork, initiative, persistence, and self-motivation.

The growing trend in recruitment nowadays is that employers value soft skills more than hard skills. Consider that fact when writing the skills section of your resume.

JobStreet.com’s 2018 Fresh Graduate Report2, for instance, found that most employers consider three things when screening candidates: attitude/work ethic, analytical thinking, and communication skills.

An iCIMS Hiring Insights report3 notes that the top fields where soft skills matter more than hard skills are customer service, human resources, and sales/marketing.

According to the report, more recruiters place greater importance on soft skills for management than entry-level positions. The most valuable soft skills for senior-level posts are problem-solving, oral communication, and adaptability.

How To List Skills on Your Resume

  • Choose five to eight of your hard and soft skills most relevant to the position you’re applying for. For an easy read, list them as bullet points.
  • If you have a long list of hard skills, group them into categories. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant, you can categorize your skills into administrative, email management, social media management, etc.
  • For each hard skill, include your proficiency level (beginner/intermediate/advanced/expert).

7. Personalize Your Resume With Additional Sections

Chances are, hundreds of applicants for the same position have the same (or higher) level of work experience, education, and skills as yours.

How do you set yourself apart?

Add a personal touch to your resume. Show employers that you are well-rounded and do something outside of work. After all, the experience and skills you gain from it can also be applied to the workplace.

Depending on your profession or industry and what you prefer to highlight, here are the optional sections you may list on your resume.

a. Certifications/Licenses

Include any relevant information in your resume if you’re in a profession with certification or licensing requirements (such as nursing, medicine, and engineering).

Even if your industry doesn’t require licensing, you may include any professional development courses you’ve earned, like a professional certificate in digital marketing.

b. Volunteer Work

Do you spend your free time helping others? Your volunteering experience is worth adding to your resume.

Studies find that listing volunteer work raises a candidate’s chance of getting hired. Showing that you help the community gives the impression that you’re a loyal, committed employee. You can also prove critical skills such as leadership, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, networking, event planning, fundraising, etc.

It’s a great strategy for students and fresh graduates without work experience and candidates with long unemployment periods.

For this section, the typical format lists the organization’s name, inclusive dates of volunteer work, achievements, and a short description of volunteer experience.

c. Languages

The ability to communicate in two or more languages is valuable in fields such as translation, ESL teaching, writing, and customer service.

It’s also valuable for multinational companies where the chance of career growth is high for multi-lingual employees who may be assigned to work in different countries.

So if you’re well-versed in a foreign language, add that info to your resume. To list your language skills, write the languages you can speak and understand and your proficiency level for each one (basic/intermediate/proficient/fluent/native).

d. Hobbies and Interests

The hobbies and interests section may be the least important, but it can boost your resume if it’s related to the position you’re applying for.

For example, being a basketball coach means you have the leadership, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills required for a management position in a company.

8. Proofread and Review Multiple Times

Save yourself from potential embarrassment and rejection due to glaring mistakes. When you’ve finished writing your resume and cover letter, edit and proofread them multiple times to catch and correct errors, including the following:

  • Incorrect, incomplete, or outdated contact details;
  • Grammatical errors, particularly misspellings and wrong verb tenses (Use past tense for former positions and present tense for your current position);
  • Formatting inconsistencies (different date formats, font types, heading formats, etc.).

Remember these pointers when proofreading your resume and cover letter:

  • Read the document slowly from the beginning. Then read it backward per phrase. Pay close attention to every phrase.
  • Proofread your resume several times at different times of the day.
  • Run a grammar and spelling check on your computer. You can install online tools like Grammarly to help you spot errors you missed from your manual proofreading.
  • Ask a friend or family member for help. Please take note of their feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Best Resume Samples for Every Type of Applicant in the Philippines

  1. Resume samples for fresh graduates.
  2. Resume sample for OJT students.
  3. Resume sample for undergraduates and working students.
  4. Resume samples for high school graduates.
  5. Resume samples for call center agents.
  6. Resume samples for healthcare workers.
  7. Resume samples for government job applications.
  8. Resume samples for lawyers.
  9. Resume samples for accountants.
  10. Resume samples for civil engineers.
  11. Resume samples for architects.
  12. Resume sample for teachers.
  13. Resume sample for seaman.
  14. Resume samples for factory workers.
  15. Resume samples for freelancers.

Top 11 Free Tools for Creating a Resume

Without Photoshop skills, developing a resume that doesn’t look sloppy is hard.

Enter online resume builders with professionally designed templates that let you plug in your information for a polished look. Especially for first-timers, these tools are beneficial.

Use a resume builder so that you can focus more on writing your resume than obsessing about its design.

Here are free resume builders that are among the easiest to use:

1. CakeResume

This online resume builder allows users to upload a PDF file of their LinkedIn profile and use the drag-and-drop feature to add design elements they like. After creating a resume, the file can be downloaded in PDF format.

2. Canva

Want a creative, custom-designed resume? Canva is the right tool for you. It has a vast collection of templates, photos, illustrations, colors, and other elements made by professional designers. You can use them for free to create or modify a layout for your resume.

3. Cultivated Culture

The easy-to-use resume-building tool on Cultivated Culture is perfect for job seekers who are not so tech-savvy. It allows full customization and the creation of unlimited resumes for free.

What’s great about this online platform is that its resume templates are created based on feedback from real recruiters and hiring managers from some of the best companies in the world. The templates have also been tested with real job seekers with different backgrounds, experience levels, and industries.

4. CV Maker

This beginner-friendly online tool has a simple interface that makes creating a resume quick and easy. A broad array of pre-designed resume templates are crafted per profession, so you don’t have to modify the layout manually. You can also organize the sections as you’d like.

5. Novorésumé

Unlike other resume builders, Novorèsumè specializes in resume writing rather than design. This is a must-use tool if you want to optimize your resume content. It analyzes text and recommends revisions to improve your resume quality.

Once you finish your draft, you can customize and preview your resume layout and download it as a PDF file.

6. Resume.com

If you’re looking for the fastest resume creation tool, use Resume.com. This free resume builder can extract information from your LinkedIn profile and place it on a template of your choice. You can immediately work on your resume from its homepage and download the final output as a PDF, DOCX, RTF, or TXT file.

7. ResumeGenius

This is another excellent tool for resume writing and design, especially for those without a good command of English. Users must answer multiple-choice questions about their work experience and education and fill in the blanks with the necessary information.

ResumeGenius also lets users add pre-written bullet points for making customized job responsibilities in the work experience section. Resumes created with this tool can be downloaded in PDF, DOCX, and TXT formats.

8. Resume.io

Building a resume using Resume.io is simple. Just choose a template, add your information, and download your resume.

You can also check the website for resume samples from people hired in different industries to get an idea of how to write a resume.

9. VisualCV

With its professionally designed templates, you can create visually stunning resumes for jobs you want to apply for. Creating a resume is also easy—you can upload your document on the website instead of cutting and pasting text.

10. Zety

More than just a resume builder, Zety lets you create a cover letter in the same design as your resume. It also features a text editor for minimizing typos and a resume checker that suggests revisions for improvement.

11. ResumeGiants

ResumeGiants is a free online resume builder boasting many resume templates in different formats and for different jobs. Expert guidance and coaching are incorporated in the instructions so you can rest assured that your resume is optimized for success.

Tips and Warnings

1. Use Powerful Action Verbs

A common mistake in resume writing is starting every phrase with “Responsible for.” These words take up space and don’t add value to your resume. Instead, use strong action verbs that instantly grab the hiring manager’s attention.

Choose action verbs4 that goes beyond just stating your duties. Use words that show how you delivered results, exceeded expectations, solved problems, did something innovative, or accomplished anything.

Here are some of the most potent action verbs that can help you accomplish that:

  • Accelerated
  • Accomplished/Achieved
  • Awarded/Won
  • Created/Established
  • Developed
  • Eliminated
  • Excelled
  • Grew
  • Implemented
  • Improved
  • Improvised
  • Increased/Boosted
  • Decreased/Reduced/Minimized
  • Initiated
  • Innovated
  • Launched
  • Led/Managed
  • Negotiated
  • Persuaded
  • Pioneered
  • Promoted (to a higher position)
  • Resolved
  • Strengthened
  • Succeeded
  • Surpassed
  • Trained/Mentored
  • Transformed
  • Volunteered

2. Quantify Your Accomplishments

Using the right action words alone is not enough to convince employers that you’re a strong candidate for the job.

As much as possible, support your list of accomplishments with data. Include numbers, percentages, monetary values (in peso, dollar, or any applicable currency), timeframe, and other performance metrics to support your successes.

For example, instead of simply stating you “Reduced average customer waiting time,” you can improve it by adding numbers: “Reduced average customer waiting time from 24 hours to 1 hour.”

If possible, briefly state how you accomplished something. The example above can be further improved: “Reduced average customer waiting time from 24 hours to 1 hour by organizing the customer service team’s workflow and prioritizing customer requests.”

Other specific, measurable achievements to add to your resume include the following:

  • KPIs/Performance targets achieved or surpassed
  • % increase in sales, revenues, profit margin, conversion rates, website traffic, production efficiency, etc.
  • % cost savings generated or expenses reduced
  • Number of people managed, trained, or mentored
  • Number of customers handled or served daily
  • Amount of grants, funding, or donations generated

3. Have a Simple and Consistent Layout

To get their resume noticed, some applicants go overboard with colors, illustrations, and other design elements—which are unnecessary and distracting.

Remember: less is more. Go easy on your layout. Let your credentials speak louder than your resume design. Use colors, icons, and what not to enhance your resume’s visual appeal, not overshadow its content.

So, how should your resume look to make an impression?

A 2018 Ladders eye-tracking study5 found the common elements of resumes where recruiters spent the most time and focus on:

  • Clear, simple layouts with marked section headings
  • An overview at the top of the resume
  • Position titles in boldface supported by accomplishments in bullet points
  • Clear, easy-to-read fonts

The same study also identified the common elements of worst-performing resumes to avoid:

  • Cluttered design with long sentences, multiple columns, and very little white space
  • Little use of section headings
  • Keyword overuse (Keyword use is helpful in resume writing, but overdoing it can make your document sound robotic.)

In addition, having ample white space makes a resume more readable. For most resumes, a one-inch margin around the page works. This also gives the recruiter and hiring manager enough space to write comments on a printed resume.

If you must reduce the margin size to fit your content on a page or two, ensure it isn’t lower than 0.5 inches.

Consistency in your resume formatting is important, too. If you italicize company names, for instance, all the others should also be in italics. All job responsibilities and accomplishments must be in bullet lists. Also, use the same font for all text in your document.

The key is to keep your resume’s look uniform throughout. Otherwise, the recruiter would think you’re careless, which might spill over your work performance.

4. Choose the Right Font Type and Size

The best font and text size won’t make the reader squint.

What to use:

  • Easy-to-read font (e.g., Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana, etc.)
  • Different font sizes in decreasing order for your name (24 pt), section headings (14-16 pt), and bullet points/paragraphs (10-12 pt)

What to avoid:

  • Ornate and cursive fonts that are difficult to read
  • Fancy and wacky fonts, including Comic Sans, that don’t look professional
  • Font size below 10 pt
  • Using one text size throughout

5. Submit Your Job Application Properly

All it takes to botch your job application—even with a perfectly written resume and cover letter—is failing to follow the employer’s instructions on document submission.

Take the time to carefully read the job posting’s submission requirements before you send your application. Keep an eye out for these usual requirements:

  • Where to send the materials – While most employers require submission through email, others ask applicants to upload their resumes online.
  • Email subject line – Look for a specific subject line format. If there’s none, use this standard format: [Position Title] Resume – [Your Name]. Example: Marketing Assistant Resume – Juan Dela Cruz.
  • Types of required attachments – Besides the resume and cover letter, the employer might have other requirements, such as a portfolio or work samples. Make sure to attach them as well.
  • File formatShould you send your documents in a specific format? Check the job ad to find out. If it doesn’t specify anything, attach your job application materials in either PDF or DOCX, as these are employers’ most preferred file formats.
  • Attachment name – Be specific when naming your attachments. If the employer has no specifications for attachment naming, you can use this format: [Your Name] – [Position Title] – [Attachment Type]. Example: Juan Dela Cruz – Marketing Assistant – Work Sample
  • Cover letter submission – Check if the job posting mentions how to submit a cover letter. The employer might require you to attach it to your email. Otherwise, you can copy the text and paste it into the body of your email message.
  • Submission deadline – Never overlook this detail, or your job application will be ignored. Government job postings, in particular, set a deadline for document submission.
  • Others – Some employers test applicants’ ability to follow instructions by asking them to insert a specific word in the subject line or cover letter.

Additionally, use a professional email address (ideally one with only your name or initials) when sending your resume and other documents. An email address that’s cutesy or filled with odd characters doesn’t only come off as unprofessional but also shows that you’re not taking your job application seriously.

Lastly—and most importantly—never mass email your resume. It reeks of carelessness and lack of attention to detail.

Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. Would you hire someone who sent a generic job application to multiple companies at once?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a different resume for every job application?

While submitting just one version of a resume to all possible employers is the most convenient thing to do, it won’t be as effective as customizing your resume to each position you’re applying for.

What works for one position or company may not work for another. Your resume and cover letter must be tailored to each job application. It takes more time and effort to write different resumes and cover letters for different job openings, but all will be worth it when you get selected for interviews.

There are several ways to write a targeted resume and cover letter without rewriting the entire document.

a. Choose details that are directly relevant to the role. The work experience and skills you include in your resume should closely match the requirements in the job ad. You don’t have to list your entire work history. Exclude information that’s not related to the position you’re applying for.

b. Write a custom resume intro. You can rewrite your resume’s overview according to the company’s challenges (and how you can help solve them), the top skills each employer seeks, and the level of experience required for the job.

c. Re-arrange your lists. If you specialize in two or more fields, highlight the one required for the specific role. For example, if you have both a writing and SEO background, focus on your writing skills for your writing job applications and your SEO expertise for SEO-related jobs.

d. Use keywords. An effective customization strategy is finding the most important keywords from the job posting and mentioning them in your resume and cover letter. These job-specific keywords are what employers look for when scanning resumes and cover letters.

2. Which is better: a traditional-looking or a modern/creative resume?

The right resume design depends on the position you’re applying for and your industry.

For traditional industries such as business, finance, banking, legal, and healthcare, stick to the conventional, formal-looking resume. Sending a creative resume for a position in these industries would be seen as unprofessional.

Suppose you’re pursuing a career in advertising, marketing, or any industry that values creativity and innovation. In that case, a modern resume (like an infographic or interactive resume) will make you stand out. This is especially true for graphic designers, animators, multimedia artists, and other creative professionals whose resume design and layout skills will be assessed.

3. How long should a resume be?

Studies have conflicting recommendations on the optimal resume length. Some say one page is what most employers prefer, while others claim that two-page resumes showcase a candidate’s qualifications better.
In reality, recruiters wouldn’t mind whether you submit a page or two. What matters is that your resume is concise and lists all your relevant experience and skills.

The correct number of pages depends on the position and the level of experience required. As a rule of thumb, here’s when to use a particular length for your resume:

a. One-page resume – This is ideal for most job applications, as it’s faster to read than a multi-page resume. Entry-level candidates with little experiences, such as fresh graduates and career changers, should aim for a single-page resume.

b. Two-page resume – For mid-level positions that require at least 5 to 10 years of experience, two pages allow candidates to include all relevant information. A second page is also necessary for jobs requiring technical skills, as well as government job applicants who must list all training and conferences attended.

c. Three-page resume (or CV) – Three or more pages are generally acceptable for senior management positions or candidates with over ten years of experience. This is because they need more space to make a detailed list of their experiences and accomplishments. The same goes for professionals in the academic, scientific, and medical fields who need to elaborate on their work experience and educational background.

Still undecided? Just write your resume first without thinking about the length. Once you’ve finished, please review it and cut out unnecessary details.

4. How can I cut down the length of my resume to make it more concise?

Avoid cramming as much information as possible onto your resume. Omit irrelevant details that don’t relate directly to the job and are unnecessary for the employer’s hiring decision.

Here are some examples:

a. Personal details that could lead to hiring discrimination, such as age, birthdate, sexual orientation, civil status, height, weight, religion, name of spouse and children, and political affiliation, unless the position requires it.

b. Second phone number or email address – This information wastes space on the page and may confuse the recruiter.

c. Personal website or blog – Not necessary unless you’re a writer, web designer, or SEO professional who wants to showcase your relevant skills.

d. Social media profiles – Provide only your LinkedIn profile. Other social networks are too personal and unnecessary. The hiring manager might “stalk” your online profiles anyway.

e. Salary history and expected salary – The recruiter will ask for this information during the interview. It’s too early (not to mention imprudent) to bring up your salary in the first stage of your application.

f. Work experience dating back over 15 years, unless the roles are still relevant to your current career.

g. Unrelated hobbies that remotely have anything to do with the job.

h. Obsolete skills – The employer doesn’t need to know that you are proficient with outdated technology or no longer have current and relevant abilities in your industry.

i. Street addresses of companies and schools – State the city and province (plus the country if located abroad) of your employers and schools.

5. Should I put my photo on my resume?

Generally, the candidate’s photo isn’t necessary on a resume. After all, your resume should be about your credentials and not your looks.
The only exceptions are positions where appearance matters, such as acting, modeling, customer service, and brand ambassador jobs.

Another consideration when deciding whether to add a photo or not is the country where you plan to work. Resume photos are acceptable in the Philippines, Japan, China, South Korea, and most European countries. But in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Sweden, including a photo on a resume is generally unacceptable.

If you decide to put your photo, make sure it’s a headshot (2 x 2 size) that looks clear and professional with a plain background, similar to your passport picture. You should also be dressed appropriately in your resume photo. Please place it in the upper left or right corner of the page.

6. Are character references in a resume required?

References are generally not required for resumes. The references section is just optional. Skip it altogether, especially if you’re trying to fit more critical information onto your resume.

Also, you don’t have to indicate “References available upon request” on your resume because it’s understood that you have them. You can wait until you’re asked to provide your references.

If a job posting requires character references, be careful who you choose to include in your resume. These people should be able to vouch for your character and abilities, especially those who know you well and think highly of you (except for your family and friends).

Your references could be present or past managers/supervisors, colleagues, professors/teachers, coaches, or clients. Ideally, these people are professional and articulate.

There are other reasons why adding references to your resume can be a good strategy. You might know or have worked with someone well-known and respected in your industry. Or someone in an executive-level position, such as a university dean, CEO, VP, or director in your former company. You can impress the recruiter by including people with such stature in your references.

Also, character references can boost your job application if you don’t have much work history yet.

As a common courtesy, get the consent of the people you’ll enlist as your references before you share their contact information with recruiters. Let them know that someone might contact them and ask questions about you.

When writing your references, include the necessary details: complete name, position title, mobile number, landline number (if any), and email address. Put the reference section at the bottom of the page.

7. I don’t have any work experience. What do I put in my resume?

Even if you don’t have a formal work history, you can focus on qualifications other than paid work experience.

If you’re a student, fresh graduate, or career shifter, there are other details worth adding to your resume.

Here are some examples:

a. Internship experience
b. Part-timefreelance, or summer jobs (as long as the experience and skills gained from them are relevant to the job)
c. Volunteering experience in charities, non-profit organizations, barangay-sponsored programs or activities, etc.
d. Extracurricular activities in school (such as membership or leadership experience in student organizations, campus publications, etc.)
e. Certifications, languages, hobbies, and interests
f. Past projects or a small business you’re currently running
g. Character references
h. General weighted average (GWA)
i. Relevant seminars, workshops, conferences, or online courses attended

Moreover, highlight your education and soft skills. To do that, use the functional resume format that plays up skills and education and downplays work experience.

8. I was a freelancer/entrepreneur, and now I want to get an office job. How do I list self-employment on my resume?

Adding freelance or business experience to your resume resembles listing formal work experience. You need to make some tweaks.
Here’s how to pull it off:

a. Place a job title. Even if your position in your freelance work or business has no official title, give yourself a job title that accurately describes the nature of your work, e.g., “Freelance Software Developer,” “Real Estate Agent,” “Financial Advisor,” “Marketing Consultant,” “Small Business Owner,” etc.

b. Add a company name. Yes, you can add a company name even if you’re not employed by one. If your business is registered with the DTI and BIR, use your official business name.

c. List your duties or services. Briefly describe your work in each bullet point if you’re a freelancer. Worked for multiple clients? Summarize your responsibilities and accomplishments with your clients.
If you’re an entrepreneur, describe your business’s nature and essential duties and achievements as the owner. Emphasize notable projects and clients. If you’ve worked for or done business with well-known clients, mention them in your resume (except if you have a confidentiality clause in your contract). It’s also great to single out a project that helped you gain more knowledge and skills required for the job.

Here’s an example of how self-employment is listed on a freelancer’s resume:

Freelance Writer
ABC Writing Services, Inc. (May 2015-2019)
*Produced blog posts, sales copies, and product descriptions for various e-commerce websites
*Assisted in editing clients’ website content
*Consistently delivered outputs on time

Here’s an example of how self-employment is listed on an entrepreneur’s resume:

Owner/Operator
XYZ Enterprises, Inc. (2017-present)
*Started own business selling healthy homemade meals online
*Took charge of the overall operations, including raw material sourcing, marketing, website maintenance, shipping, customer service, and accounting
*Successfully expanded the product line to include healthy desserts and meal plans in 2019

9. How do I handle employment gaps on my resume?

A study6 found that work gaps on a resume lower the chance of getting an interview by 45%. Employers assume the worst when they see gaps between work experiences on a resume. A gap might mean the person may do it again.

If appropriately addressed, however, your employment gaps shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Here’s what you can do:

a. Use the functional or combination resume format to emphasize your relevant skills and education.

b. Show the gap on your resume. There’s no point in hiding it. But briefly explain what you were doing during that period in your cover letter. Some reasons are legitimate (like job loss due to an economic crisis, starting a family, becoming a stay-at-home parent, recovery from an accident or severe illness, etc.), so there’s no harm in stating yours.

c. List any projects or activities—paid or unpaid—that you’re involved in during the work gap. These may include part-time, freelance, and volunteer work.

d. No need to explain an old gap that occurred more than ten years ago or a short gap that happened for less than six months. It doesn’t matter and will perhaps go unnoticed.

e. Never apologize for the gap. The hiring manager will understand if you assure them the work gap won’t happen again.

10. I have frequently changed jobs. How can I avoid appearing to be a job-hopper?

Lack of consistent work history doesn’t look good on a resume. It’s a red flag for hiring managers—they might assume the candidate either kept getting fired due to poor performance/lousy workplace behavior or easily lost motivation to work.

Whatever your reason for having short-term stints, you can still create a strong resume and avoid the “job-hopper” label. Here’s how:

a. Use a functional or combination resume format, focusing more on your skills than work experience.

b. Write a compelling career objective. Emphasize your desire to stay in a position or stick to a company for a long time.

c. List transferrable skills that you gained from an unrelated job or industry that you can apply to the new position.

d. Have a separate section for your work achievements. Show that you contributed something valuable to your former employers, even if you stayed only briefly.

e. Omit short-term jobs that are irrelevant to the new position.

f. Combine work experiences, if possible. This strategy works for candidates with related freelance projects with different clients. Instead of listing each freelance gig, you can group the projects under one entry and indicate that it’s for various clients.

g. Let your cover letter do the talking. Mention that you’re looking for a career change and briefly explain why. If the job-hopping was involuntary, state the reason (e.g., layoff, redundancy, business closure, etc.). You can also list what you will do to help address the team or company’s challenges.

References

  1. Yang, P. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/90483955/4-ways-to-boost-your-chances-of-landing-a-new-job-during-the-pandemic
  2. JobStreet 2018 report: Work ethic, communication skills important for employers. (2018). Retrieved 2 May 2020
  3. The Soft Skills Job Seekers Need Now. (2017). Retrieved 2 May 2020
  4. Action Verbs. Retrieved 2 May 2020
  5. Eye-Tracking Study. (2018). [Ebook].
  6. Yang, P. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/90483955/4-ways-to-boost-your-chances-of-landing-a-new-job-during-the-pandemic

Written by Venus Zoleta

in Career and Education, Juander How

Last Updated

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta is an experienced writer and editor for over 10 years, covering topics on personal finance, travel, government services, and digital marketing. Her background is in journalism and corporate communications. In her early 20s, she started investing and purchased a home. Now, she advocates financial literacy for Filipinos and shares her knowledge online. When she's not working, Venus bonds with her pet cats and binges on Korean dramas and Pinoy rom-coms.

Browse all articles written by Venus Zoleta

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