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By Hanniz Lam

According to the Sun, majority (90%) of the SME are on a hiring mode with 44% planning to hire from five to 25 additional workers, as almost half are grappling with labour shortage, according to Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta).

According to its latest survey, three top categories of workers that SME are hiring are semi-skilled, skilled or technicians (36%), service and sales (18%) and professionals (12%).

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed work modes, efficiency, and overall employment in almost all industries. Most companies are relying on technology to sustain work remotely or to keep businesses running.

This also means that many operations had to migrate into the digital space, therefore changing the kinds of jobs that companies are looking for. However, some traditional jobs remain in demand as ever, proving that there are still some skills and expertise that remain valuable in the new normal.

According to Jobstreet, the most in-demand jobs in Malaysia based on current trends and industry projections are the below:

  • Information technology and software development
  • Digital marketing jobs
  • Finance jobs
  • Project managers
  • Business development and sales executives
  • Medical professionals
  • Educators
  • Customer service executives

When you’re going head to head with hundreds of applicants eyeing the same job, how do you stand out especially when the average time spent looking at a resume for most employers is six to seven seconds according to Indeed. ?

HAVE SKILLS TAILORED TOWARD THE JOB
You might be great at lots of things, but putting terms that are too vague on your resume won’t help you get a specific position, like Data Analyst, for example.

Before you submit a resume, take time to look over the job description and make note of any common threads between the job listing and your experience.

Then, make a few tweaks to your resume to spotlight those skills. In some cases, you won’t have to make any changes (yay!) but if you see that a job is asking for specific experience using with creating data visualizations, but your resume says you have experience with “Creating dashboards and reports” then it’s time to make an edit so you can ensure you’ll stand out as having the exact experience desired.

With that said, always be truthful. So, if writing and communication is your worst fear, don’t say you’re comfortable giving presentations to large groups. (In other words, make sure the hiring manager knows you can do the job, but don’t embellish.) 

HIGHLIGHT YOUR VALUE
Yes, showcasing your unique skillset is important, but it’s also key to offer proof that you’re actually good at performing all those skills. A big no-no is just rewriting your job description in fancier words.

Highlight awards, certificates, and statistics from previous positions showcasing how you’ve been able to drive change.

Testimonials from previous managers can be the proof you need to showcase your hard work and talent. 

LOOKS ARE EVERYTHING
No, we don’t mean having a nice headshot of yourself. In many companies, they request you do not include your photo to be fair to all candidates so no one is hired based on physical looks.

What we mean is that hiring managers and recruiters are judging our resumes which is why having a clean and classic resume is essential to keeping your candidacy in the running.

Creating a visual balance, using color, and embracing space can all work to your advantage. Use bullet points and indentations. Keep the information easy to find.

MECHANICS MATTER
If you feel that your writing skills are not super, don’t let this be a setback in writing good resumes. There are tools in Microsoft Word that can help you correct spelling and grammar errors. Also, it’s good to have a buddy who might be more fluent in the language to help you proofread your resume.

Having said that, every employer, no matter the industry, wants to hire people who have attention to detail, who know how to double-check their work to ensure it’s high quality.

Upon finding even one error, employers are likely to throw your resume out, even if its otherwise excellent. 

Instead of panicking, download a free online writing assistance service, such as Grammarly, ProWritingAid or other alternative writing assistant tools that can help ensure flawlessness every time.

Always check (and double-check) your resume until you feel it’s English professor-approved. 

To help you get started, here are some resume formats to follow if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Good luck!

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