Whenever I introduce myself, I never talk about TBC. I’m too shy to ever talk about how I run a blog about interning and job hunting. It’s way too weird to bring it up randomly. Or even when I’m asked about it point blank. Maybe someday I’ll improve that part of me, but that day isn’t even remotely close to today.
So, when we reach the point where I say, “Let’s add each other on FB or follow each other on Twitter”, whoever I’m talking to looks me up and sees my cover photos. They’re both infographic promos for TBC, and usually my conversation partner asks me about it. (Because, let’s be honest, this is a weird topic to write about. Every other blogger my age is talking about food, fashion, and travel on IG instead of careers, resumes, and job hunting on WordPress.)
I’ll use my 30 second explainer, and when they realize what TBC means, they invariably ask me this.
“Any advice on how to improve my resume?”
And the one piece of quick advice I give everyone is contextualize everything.
I can’t stress this enough, and I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here on the blog, but this is literally the quickest, simplest, and most important advice I could ever give anybody. Everybody benefits from contextualizing their resume.
Without actually seeing your actual resume, I can’t give specific tips on how to improve it. I don’t know what you’ve done, and how we can improve on that. But the biggest mistake I see everyone make is writing abstract paragraphs nobody’s going to read or understand.
When you have way too many words, and it’s a solid chunk of text, remember that recruiters are people too. If your eyes glaze over at walls of text in your readings, recruiters in a rush won’t bother reading your 5 lines about the time you were project head.
They just want the facts. What were your accomplishments, not your responsibilities, and what kind of impact did you leave on the organization. That’s it.
Filling in your resume with that format will vastly improve your resume in a snap.
The other advice I give is time-consuming but pays you back in dividends. It’s simple: befriend your org’s secgen and upperclassmen as early as you can.
You’ll need data to back up everything you say in your resume, and usually they’re the only ones who have it. Before you begin any project, look to the past and see what they did, what were their KPIs, and what were their recommendations for future projects.
Then go and beat all those KPIs someway somehow.
For example, I could write, “Under my leadership, the project made the biggest ROI in its history.” But I let slip in the interview that this is a brand new project, because I didn’t get my story straight before I headed into the interview.
That’s a huge no-no, because if you’re going to stretch the truth, you better have the whole story rehearsed in your head already. (Sidenote: If you can’t read between the lines, I’m a huge advocate for stretching the truth once in a while to get somewhere better than you’re at now. That’s how I got to where I am lol.)
Some notes to help you get started. For past projects, I suggest you calculate the revenues and KPIs from your current year’s projects and then compare them to previous years’ projects. For the brand new ones, I vote you detail your part in all the processes: conceptualization, brainstorming, implementation, the whole shebang.
Above everything else, remember to be kind to your org’s secgen or information management team. Because you’ll need to pester them nonstop if you’re willing to put in the work to improve yourself.
I suggest you make libre some Mcdo after you’ve asked them to dig up the info, but before they’ve started the work. It’ll make them feel a lot happier towards you and much more inclined to help you out.
Related: How to Fix Your Resume in 1 Hour
In case you have no idea where you are, welcome to The Border Collective, where any question you’ve got on internships, resumes, or careers in the PH can and will be answered. I’m Justine, founder and writer of all things here.
If there’s something you want to ask but never knew where to send them to, drop them in The Border Collective’s Google Form or ask.fm. Being a kid myself, I’ve probably gone through the same situations. And at the very least, I can tell you what NOT to do.
Resumes is a sub-category of Resource where I share things I’ve learned over the course of fixing my own and a lot of people’s resumes, so that you guys don’t have to trial and error this stuff like I did.
I know it’s incredibly hard to force your whole life to fit neatly on paper and worse, to make it attractive to your dream companies. Through my writings, I hope you learn at least 1 thing that makes your life easier.
This is my way of giving back because I wish that when I was a freshman, a resource like TBC existed to help guide me to not wasting my time on things that don’t work.
For content partnerships, plugs, or business deals, like our features on Woman Up 2017 or the APEX Challenge, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your proposal and a summary of why that’s relevant for TBC’s audience. Don’t worry, we don’t charge money if you’re student-run, just social media x-deals.
And if you want to know more about me, or about TBC, click here.
Hope you read something useful, til the next time I write something, bye!
Join TBC’s private email list to know the best resources for
- Figuring out what your dream job is
- Making the right connections without coming off as a user, an idiot, or a soulless drone
- Acing every interview, getting an interview anywhere, & then some
- Reading and applying Western business and management books here in S.E. Asia
- Knowing which podcasts are worth your time, and which are just filled with fluff
- And much more
Most of my advice is very different from other career “experts”, since I actually tried and tested it myself. And because, you know, I’m a Chinese girl in the Philippines who tried out for almost every multinational here, while building contacts up in the startup world.
So, expect it to be very contextualized for Asians, women, and // or millennials // Gen Z-ers.
PS, do not sign up if you’re lazy, a whiner, or an entitled brat. There’s nothing useful in here for you.