5 Ways Women can manage a gap in their resume

resume gap women

Looking at the topic of working women and career breaks, a study by the Center for Talent Innovation found that:

  • Around 30% of women took a break from their career.
  • The average timeframe for these breaks was 2 years and 7 months.
  • 60% of women who took a career break, were not able to find a full time job, when they were ready to reenter the workforce.

Employers will often cast aside your resume if they see a gap in employment.

So how can you plan for, position and work around gaps in your resume?

The Best Strategy For Managing Expected Employment Gaps is to AVOID THEM!

You are probably scratching your head at this suggestion.

The point is that you can easily take steps to ensure that your skills stay sharp during your break and that you stay relevant.

Here are 5 things you can do:

Go Back to School

Having a break from work provides a great time for you to further educate yourself on important topics and trends in your industry.

Whether it’s short courses or a full blown degree, continuing education is a great idea.

You’ll learn new things, meet new people and upgrade your skills.

With an increase in the number of distance and part-time study options, it’s much easier to pursue this goal nowadays.

Stay Active with Freelance Gigs

Engaging in freelance work is also an excellent way to stay in the game.

If you’re lucky you’ll get paid for it as well. If not, then it’ll be very valuable to show on your resume and will make potential employers happier.

Small and medium sized companies are a good target for such gigs, since they often need people to manage extra demand and ad hoc projects.

Share Your Expertise Regularly

Showing your expertise and business smarts through writing a blog or participating in social media, can be a great way to demonstrate your value to future employers.

In addition to channels such as LinkedIn, you can also try and contribute to magazines and journals, for your industry/function.

Keep Meeting People

Just because you’re not working full time, doesn’t mean that you should ignore people in your industry.

Continue to participate in events, seminars and other networking opportunities, to keep yourself in the game.


Volunteering is also a great way to stay active. It could be in a general role, or one that is relevant for your area of expertise.

There are a few websites in Singapore, where you can search for such openings  – sgcares, MINDS, Make a Wish Foundation, AWARE.

An Excellent Entry level resume template, with important best practices built-in

Entry level resume template singapore

Preparing your entry level resume is essential to getting and performing well in an interview.

For those with limited experience, making your job/other experiences seem impressive is of utmost importance.

Here are a few ways to better describe your positions and also an entry level resume template, which incorporates these best practices (and more!).

Use Specific Examples

Offering up stories and tasks that specifically build up your positive qualities and experience is essential.

Discuss the times when you helped get projects in before deadlines or helped point out solutions that none of your superiors thought of.

If you want to impress from the get go, it is extremely important that you use these positive incidents to paint yourself as a valuable asset.

Be Descriptive

After bringing up specific feats that make you look valuable, you need to elaborate on any situations that employers will be interested in.

Bring in stories of customer service and other self-assuring qualities to make you appear even more appealing for the company/role you’re gunning for.

Include Descriptions from Your Superiors

Including testimonial esque praise from your superiors at previous positions can be a great way to make your entry level resume shine.

If you want recruiters to remember your resume among the stacks of similar applicants, this quality can help make your application much more visible.

Talk About Your Co-Workers

If you want to get hired, you have to sell your personality as much as your usefulness.

After all, these people will have to interact with you nearly every day from now on.

By including examples of good interactions with co-workers, you can show that you are great to be around both in the office and out.

Use Statistics and Numbers

Stories only go so far when selling yourself to a company.

Adding some hard statistics that build up your work abilities is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition.

For example, putting the sales numbers of your previous position on your resume can be fantastic for showing off your ability to succeed in diverse environments.

After you get these qualities down on your entry level resume, you can be rest assured that you will be prepped for an exciting and potentially successful interview.

To see examples of how to implement these tips, have a look at this entry level resume template.

Tips to make your resume easier to skim and read

singapore resume writing tips skim

Building a thorough and well laid out resume is important, as it is often the first demonstration of your skill an employer will see.

However, it is known that not all hiring managers will look over your entire resume.

Because of this, it is important to have a resume that is easily skimmable, and one which can present your skills effectively at a glance.

To help your resume reach this state, try out these 12 tips for making your resume easier to skim:

Don’t Justify

Although using justified formatting on bullets and other areas may create a cleaner look, it ultimately makes the reader have to put in more effort to understand the content.

Don’t Center Text

Every single line item should be indented to the left, as it will make the eye move more naturally from item to item. Centered text breaks the flow of a reader’s gaze, which will make it more tiresome for them to skim your resume, and may lead to them moving along in their search.

Optimize the Beginnings of Sentences

A reader who is skimming a resume will likely only be reading the first few words of each sentence, bullet, etc. You can prepare for this by putting the most important information within the first few words.

Bold Intelligently

When trying to make content stand out for a skimmer, bolding will be your best key. However, you will always need to avoid over bolding, as it will make the content more difficult to read.

Create a “Skills” Section

Although it may seem redundant to have a separate section that lays out the skills you already mentioned elsewhere, it makes a great tool for busy hiring managers that need to know your skills quickly.

Rarely use All-Caps

Simply put, words in all-capital letters surrounded by lowercase ones become difficult to read. Avoid using this technique whenever possible, unless in places like section headings.

Don’t Exceed 2 Lines for Bulleted Items

Bullets will already begin to lengthen your resume, so never allow them to become longer than two lines. Provide information in as concise a manner as possible.

All Formatting Must Be Consistent

Don’t get too creative with the formatting. Keep it simple and consistent and you will see that your resume gains a more uniform and skimmable look.

Allow Some White Space

There are two things to remember when using white space:

  1. You should never allow content to reach all the way to the borders of a page, and instead let there by a decently sized white frame around your content.
  2. Allow space between sections, otherwise your document may become unreadable, and resemble a large block of text as opposed to a professionally laid out resume.

Overall, white space is one of your best tools for making your resume pleasing to the eye and easy to skim. Try to imagine white space as a navigation tool when constructing your resume.

Use Digits

When using numbers in any part of your resume, no matter what the section, you should be using digits as opposed to written-out words.

This will make it easier for the hiring manager to locate numerical and statistical information on your resume.

10 Resume writing tips you shouldn’t ignore

singapore resume writing tips samples templates

Looking for a new job?

Even if you are in a position you love and that you feel secure in, there’s nothing wrong with looking to the future, keeping your options open, and doing all you can to make sure you are a strong candidate for whatever comes next career-wise.

And while there is a lot to be said for honing your interview skills, keeping an eye on job boards, and social networking to keep your options open, there is one element of your career readiness that can’t be ignored and requires frequent attention.  The resume.

Whether you are applying to a job for the first time, or considering a major career switch, you will need a good resume.  The resume writing process can often be painful and stressful. You can spend a lot of time on the process and still not know if you’re resume is in-line with best practices.

Well, fear no more: here are our top 10 resume tips that you simply can’t ignore.

1) Clean Up Your Header

The header of your resume should have a very simple set of information on it: who you are, and how to reach you quickly.

It can be tempting to cram the header with other information, like your degree or alma mater info or other titles.  While these kinds of qualifications are great to have on your resume, there is a better place to put them.

And as far as contact information goes, do you really need two or three phone numbers, as well as your address listed?

Less is more for your header, as it should look tight and uncluttered.  Only put your most relevant contact info and name, and save anything else you are tempted to throw on there for another area.

2) Ditch the “Objective” On Your Resume

If you’ve downloaded a template from the internet (more on templates later…) there may be a section for your “objective.”  But trust us, this field is dated and unnecessary.

The person who is reading your resume already knows your objective: to get the job you’re applying for.

Anything else you write in that field is in danger of sounding very inauthentic and generic. Don’t waste the space, and make your resume look sloppily dated and corny, by keeping an objective.

Ditch the “Objective” all together and you are better off. There are much better ways to use the first page of your resume, which is prime real estate.

3) Only Include What’s Relevant

When you are considering what to put on your resume for any given job, the number one most important thing you need to think about is the job you are applying to.

As far as possible, the information you include in your resume should be relevant for the job you are seeking.  If it doesn’t, then why is it on your resume?

You may have some very impressive things to write about but if they are not relevant for your job target, consider leaving them out, or at the very least don’t feature them prominently/in detail. You may be able to fly a rocket to the moon, but that’s not of much use if you’re applying for a position as an accountant.

4) Explain Work Gaps

For better or worse, one of the biggest factors that hiring managers and business owners consider when deciding if you are employable, is how employable you have been in the past.

And if you have big gaps in your work history, whether or not they are recent, you may look like a less hireable candidate.  Managers are rightfully worried about people who have decided to take a long time off, or who were let go and haven’t been able to land another position.

So to be sure that your work gaps aren’t taken out of context, make sure to explain them the best you can.  A good way to do this would be to highlight how you have gained and developed valuable skills while pursuing personal and hobby projects, removed from a traditional occupation.

5) Forget Your GPA

It was once seen as a smart move to include your GPA on your resume, but nowadays there is very little reason to do so.  If you have a 4.0 at a good university, go ahead and put it on there.  Or, if you are fresh out of college without much work experience, consider leaving a line for your GPA on your resume.

Otherwise, the space could probably be used for something more relevant.

Of course, if you are applying to be a tutor or work in the academic field in some other way, your GPA may be relevant, but you should think critically about whether or not it is really helping your resume in most positions.

A lot of the time, it will only make you look inexperienced and young, and take space away that could be used to highlight real, relevant experience.

6) Take off the References, Too

If you have an area on your resume devoted to professional references, or put reference and contact information after each position, don’t.  There is a time and place for that, but your resume is neither.

Most positions that require references will explicitly state as much, and you can submit your references on a cleanly typed and neatly labeled separate document.

Putting your references on your resume takes up a ton of valuable space, and doesn’t do too much for you to make you a more competitive candidate.

7) Don’t Lie

This sounds simple enough, but can be slightly nuanced.

You want to make sure that you creatively highlight all of your strengths in all of your positions, and sometimes that means stressing skills that may not have been the most important in any given role.

But you should NEVER lie outright on your resume.  Exaggeration can be justified or explained away, but if you are caught in a lie, you can kiss your employment chances goodbye.  So just don’t do it.

8) Customize your Resume for Each Position

Sound like a lot of work?  It is, but it pays off. Especially for jobs that you are very keen on.

If you hand in a cookie cutter, one size fits all resume for each position, you really aren’t doing any work to think about what is relevant for the job you are applying to.

By customizing your resume for each position you apply for, you will stand out from the litany of effortless resumes from your competitors. It will also help you get past application tracking systems.

Don’t worry about changing fonts, looks, or contact info, just make sure that the most relevant experience is highlighted/included.

At a minimum, you should have a few different resumes for jobs that require different knowledge, skills and abilities.

9) Be Smart with Bullet Points

First, you should always use bullet points in your resume, and shun away from long sentences or longer lists.  Bullet points save you space, make your resume look more professional, and convey your strengths much more efficiently.

Second, be smart with your bullet points.  Put your most valuable skills obtained from each position higher up on bulleted lists, and make sure you don’t get lazy and put long sentences underneath each bullet.

10) Highlight the Benefit You Bring to a Company

This is probably one of the hardest skills to master when constructing your resume, but definitely one of the biggest things you can do to make yourself irresistible from an employer’s perspective.

Instead of just focusing on your experience and the skills you’ve gained, think about how you can frame those to seem valuable to your future employer.

In discussing your past work, put extra attention on times you have saved past employer’s money, accomplished unique objectives, or otherwise added irreplaceable value.  And then spin these experiences to make them seem as applicable as possible to the job you want.

This will take some practice and a lot of editing, but will be worth it in the end.


Here are a few more straightforward tips that might seem obvious, but are absolutely essential in constructing an effective resume.

  • Title your filename with searchability and uniqueness in mind.  Definitely include your name in the resume and maybe a few words about you (e.g. Top rated analyst).
  • Play it straight.  Humor can be a great tool in interviews, but it can make you look unprofessional on your resume. It can also be taken out of context.
  • Ditch the fluff words.  If your resume isn’t easy to understand, you can bet it won’t make an impression.
  • Spell out acronyms.  The manager who reads your resume may not know every acronym you use.
  • Use a standard font.  Don’t get too flashy, and go for readability in formatting.
  • DON’T USE A RESUME TEMPLATE without customize it extensively.  Otherwise, you can’t hope to standout.
  • Write in third person.
  • Share Experience chronologically.
  • Don’t be modest.  Believe in yourself, and maybe the person reading your resume will too.

Tips from Resume writing experts, to help you impress employers

singapore resume writing professionals

One way to optimize your ability to find that ideal job quickly, is to have a top notch cover letter, resume, website, and other self-selling materials.

With changing practices, it can sometimes be difficult to know about current methods/tools, which can help to impress an employer the most.

Here are five articles from industry leaders, that will help you craft the perfect submission materials.

“How To Write Your First Pain Letter” – FORBES

This post suggests that cover letters are one of the most ignored application materials and provides an alternative known as the “pain letter.”

As opposed to the mixture of generic and personal information that the typical cover letter might provide, the pain letter skips unnecessary details and lets the employer know what “pain” of the workplace you will solve.

Every workplace has pains and by selling yourself as someone who can alleviate that pain, you can become a much more attractive potential employee.

The article suggests heavily researching an employer/department/hiring manager, before sending a pain letter out, and also suggests that you always send them directly to the hiring manager.

“5 Ways to Customize Your Resume” – GLASS DOOR

Also specifying the importance of selling yourself as a “pain alleviator,” this informative article from Glass Door provides five succinct tips on how to create an effective resume.

Main tips are as follows:

  1. Know the company’s pain points.
  2. Provide enough space for accomplishments.
  3. Spell it out for the hiring manager or resume reader.
  4. Tell them what you are good at early on.
  5. Work the applicant tracking system.

To learn more about each of these useful points head on over to the site.

“12 Traits of a Highly Successful Resume” – THE SAVVY INTERN

Presented in an infographic format this post delivers a step by step visual outline of how to ensure your resume is up to par.

Easy to read and follow, this material provides a briefer overview of resume building strategies for those too busy to dissect a full article.

Head on over to The Savvy Intern’s site if you want to experience a quick demonstration of effective resume building.

“3 Reasons Why Longer Resumes Work” – GLASS DOOR

Once again, Glass Door is imparting knowledge on what they know best.

They provide three simple and effective points that demonstrate why longer resumes work.

  1. Firstly, they claim that context matters. Instead of just listing your qualifications, provide job specific contexts that attest their usefulness to the position you are applying for.
  2. Culture also matters and Glass Door suggests that you make your preferred culture clear in your resume, even if it ends up adding a bit of length. Fit and personality/attitude, are important and should be used to their fullest extent in every resume.
  3. Finally, Glass Door wants readers to realize that robust stories matter. Where you came from, how you got there, and other similar questions all allow an employer to get a full vision of you. Being memorable is, after all, the most important quality a resume can have.

“Personal Branding: How To Develop a Professional Website to Impress Your Next Boss” – BRAZEN CAREERIST

Focusing on website design and effectiveness, this Brazen Careerist article takes a break from the more visually bland world of cover letters and resumes.

Websites, being a visual medium, can convey things about you that other submission materials simply cannot.

This article breaks down the most important things you will need on your website: portfolios, blogs, taglines, skills and services, an about me section, CVs/resumes, social networking links, and a contact form.

4 Tips to Get Your Resume Past The Gatekeeper (i.e. Applicant Tracking Systems)

optimise writing resume ats singapore

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are used by recruiters/companies, to help collect, organize and search through the tremendous amount of resumes that they get on a regular basis.

According to CIO Magazine, 75 percent of job hunters get their career aspirations knocked off-track because of the way that ATS software handles resumes.

But there are ways that you can develop a resume that gets past an ATS and winds up in the hands of a recruiter/hiring manager.

Customize Your Resume

Customizing your resume for every potential employer is something that many experts recommend, but the University of Illinois at Chicago says that customizing resumes is essential for getting past an ATS. Utilize keywords and phrases and information that speak directly to a potential employer and your resume stands a much better chance of getting past that employer’s ATS.

Utilize Keyword Optimization Tools

Since an ATS is a software program designed to analyze resumes based on content matching, you can fight fire with fire by employing keyword optimization tools to make sure that you are using the proper keywords to get your resume noticed.

There are many resume keyword optimization programs that will compare the keywords you are using to the type of job you are applying for and help you to use the proper concentration and type of words to get better results. While these programs are not ATS-based, they will give good insight into what types of keywords you should be using to get past an ATS program.

Two tools you can use for this are Jobscan and Wordle.

Never Use A PDF File Format

Using PDF resumes to make job applications is something many job hunters do, but it could also be damaging your chances at getting past an ATS. According to CIO Magazine, sending your resume in PDF format only help to confuse an ATS, as most ATS software is not designed to be able to precisely read content from a PDF. A better way to get your resume read is to use some form of a Microsoft Word file format when sending over a resume.

Lay Off The Images

Professionals, especially those looking for work in creative fields such as web design and graphic arts like to develop resumes that show off their talents. This can be an extremely effective method if a human being is screening the resumes, but it is might not work if your resume goes through an ATS. According to HCareers.com, most ATS software only read text. That means that utilizing too many images and graphics could cause problems for your resume.

We can help you develop a resume that will get through an ATS and get in front of a recruiter/hiring manager. Have a look here for more information.

The Power of Putting Your Voice Behind Your Resume

voice behind resume job search

For job seekers looking for their next opportunity or recent college graduates entering the work force, using your network and making a personal connection can be the leverage you need to get your next role.

Researchers are discovering that putting your human voice in the mix might be just as important.

Nick Epley and Juliana Schroeder, behavioral scientists at the University of Chicago are saying that voice can convey how a person thinks, including their ability to reason. When your voice changes in pitch or cadence, other people take these as cues indicating your intelligence and the level of activity in your mind.

Now that psychologists have uncovered this, could what job seekers say be more important than what they write? Curious about this question Epley and Schroeder designed a series of tests designed to simulate the “elevator pitch” in real life.

  • In one of the studies, MBA students had a 2-minute pitch videotaped for a company they wished to work for.
  • Next volunteers posed as a group of “employers” who needed to judge the pitches and see if they should hire the candidates.
  • The volunteers either read the transcript of the spoken pitch, viewed the video, or listened to the audio alone.
  • While doing this, they needed to consider such questions as: How intelligent was the candidate? How much do you like them? Would you hire this person?

The results were convincing. Speaking greatly helped candidates/job seekers.

  • Volunteers who listened to the pitch rated the candidate much more favorably than those that just read the transcript. And most importantly, they were more likely to hire that person.
  • Even more interestingly, the volunteers who watched the video did not rate the candidates any higher than those who just listened to the pitch. The visual information/cues did not change their judgement about the candidates intelligence or hirability.

So words of wisdom for job seekers?

  • Always do whatever you can to get some voice/face time.
  • Try to setup phone calls and meetings with people in your target companies.
  • After making a job application, think about what you can do to get the recruiter or hiring manager on the phone.
  • For tips on how to do these things (and more), have a look at our complimentary EPIC Job Search Guide.

How should I send my cover letter and resume?

cover letter resume singapore

I am often asked questions on how to send a cover letter and resume, when making job applications. The most common questions are:

  • What format should the documents be in?
  • Should the cover letter be sent as an attachment, or in the email body?

Regarding the format, when you are responding to job advertisements, in most cases the ad will mention the preferred format i.e. word or pdf. It is best to stick to the format mentioned, since that is probably what the recruiter/employer system is geared for. In other cases, such as when no preferred format is mentioned, or when you are sending an email based on a referral, you could use the format you prefer. However, given the prevailing preference for word documents in job advertisements/applications, it might be better to just stick with that when sending your cover letter/resume.

For the cover letter, if you’re sending an email, then the body of the email will be your cover letter. It’s best not to send it as an attachment, since the goal of the cover letter is to get people to open your resume and you don’t want to make that process more cumbersome. If you are making an online application where there is no form field to add free text, you could attach the cover letter along with your resume.

The Best Techniques To Find Jobs In Singapore Quickly

best ways to find jobs in singapore

Finding full-time or part-time jobs in Singapore, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, is never easy. It typically takes a considerable  amount of time and effort to get the job you want.

To make the process quicker and less painful, I’ve put together a selection of good job search technique related content, that we’ve published over the years. Each one is relevant and contains practical tips. We see these helping our clients everyday and hopefully they will be useful for you as well.

Navigating Job Boards In Singapore

Dealing With Recruitment/Employment Agencies In Singapore

Engaging In Job Search Networking

Other Useful Job Search Information

Singapore Resume writing mistakes that piss off employers

singapore resume writing tips mistakes

A recent survey by JobsCentral provides a good reminder of classic Singapore resume writing mistakes, that drive recruiters/employers up the wall.

  • Job experience that does not match the job applied for – 68.9%
  • Insufficient information and gaps – 49%
  • Unreasonable salary demand – 39.4%
  • Irrelevant information – 34.8%
  • Poor language – 33.3%
  • Resumes that are too long – 26.3%
  • Bad and unprofessional photograph – 22.2%
  • Fanciful fonts and style – 18.4%
  • Not providing references – 4.3%

singapore resume writing tips mistakes

Luckily all these Singapore resume writing mistakes can be easily avoided and here are some of our articles to help with that:

4 Handcrafted Singapore Resume Templates (And 3 Proven Samples)

singapore resume template and samples

Whether you’re looking for a job, or applying for an internal position in your existing company, the process of resume writing and updating is painful in itself.

The last thing you want, is to spend time and effort finding/designing impactful Singapore resume templates for yourself.

While we prepare many different types of resumes depending on the context, to help you along here are some of our favorite Singapore resume templates, which you can download:

These Singapore resume templates can be used in other countries as well.

However, depending on where in the world you are located, there will be some location-specific resume writing practices that you would need to take into account. These are typically things such as:

  • Whether you should use a photograph on your CV.
  • How much detail is included in descriptions of job responsibilities and achievements.
  • What personal information/particulars are provided (nationality, race, marital status and so on).

To add some other perspectives, here are a few external sources for good resume templates (some free, others paid):

  1. 280 Resume templates from Hloom
  2. Resumup
  3. KukookResumes
  4. QuintCareers

An important thing to remember when using such templates is that you should use them to make your life easier.

However, you should make some customization in design and structure, so that your resume does not look like many others out there.

You need to own it and make it yours.

It is also useful to know what a good finished product looks like. Therefore I am including some Singapore resume samples/examples, that we have tested in the market and which have shown good results.

If you have limited experience, have a look at this post for an entry-level resume template/sample .

Again, please feel free to make changes to the structure and design as you see fit. That will also ensure that your resume doesn’t look like everybody else’s.

Just make sure that you don’t stray too far from the original versions I’ve included. In the end, keep in simple, clean and easy to read.