What is a resume and what is its purpose?

The word resume means summary in French. A resume is a document detailing your work and educational history. It is a document designed to sell yourself and is different from the cover letter. The term resume can be loosely interchanged with the term curriculum vitae (CV).

What are the different types of resume?

There are 2 common resume types. The first is the functional resume. The functional resume groups specific skills and experiences together to present a coherent snapshot of your expertise in a particular field. The second is the reverse chronological resume. This resume is the most commonly used and chronicles the experiences of the applicant from the present to the past.

When is it better to send the functional resume over the chronological resume and vice versa?

The functional resume should be utilised when the position that you are interested in requires extensive experience in one specific field. These fields can range from programming to medicine. Whether or not an open position requires extensive experience is usually indicated in the advertisement.

Most of the time, a good chronological resume more than suffices for any position.


  • A resume is usually two to three pages in length. The length is highly dependent on the number of years of experience that you have. Generally speaking, fresh graduates should not have resumes that exceed two pages, while experienced working professionals may have resumes that are up to four pages long.
  • Tailor your resume for each position that you are applying for. Focus on your most relevant work experiences, qualifications and traits.
  • Use consistent formatting and subheads, and use an easy-to-read, professional font such as Arial or Calibri.
  • Be detailed and precise when describing your work experience and academic qualifications. Where possible, elaborate by providing examples and statistics to illustrate the scope of your achievements.
  • Use action words when describing your work experience as this catches the attention of the reader. (E.g.: Generated..., led..., increased..., developed...)
  • Proofread your resume and ensure that it is free from grammatical, spelling and factual errors.
  • Unless a job advertisement states so, it is optional for you to include a photo of yourself. If you do, make sure it looks professional and is at the top right or top left hand corner.
  • Do not forget to include details like expected salary and availability towards the end of your resume, especially if the job advertisement requires you to do so in your application



This section should briefly outline your career so far and what you hope to achieve professionally in the near future. This does not refer to the exact salary or company you hope to work in, but should be about what role you hope to play in a particular industry.

Start with your most recent work experience and work backwards from there. This section should include the number of years you have been working for, your positions held in each company, and a summary of your responsibilities. This list should be in bullet points and needs to be detailed but precise.

Do not list down your entire academic experience from primary or even pre-school. However, qualifications from 'O' Level and above should be included, as well as any other professional qualifications that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Note down skills and achievements that are relevant to the position at hand, for example, list down your competency in a particular design software like Adobe Photoshop if you are applying for a design position. Past leadership experience in school activities or other aspects of your life should be highlighted here too.

Listing down your hobbies allows a potential employer to know you better as a person. But this section is not compulsory and should be brief.

Try to state a salary range instead of a specific amount. It is also advisable to indicate that your expected salary is negotiable. Also indicate when you are able to start work. This is particularly important for working professionals who are leaving their current jobs to apply for others.

References should not be your family members. Your former teachers and managers are ideal, but get their permission before listing them down as references, so that they can be mentally prepared when contacted by your prospective employer.


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Career Objective
To assume a managerial role in a magazine with international presence

Work Experience

JobsCentral Pte Ltd
Dec '10 to present
  • Responsible for editorial content and distribution of all JobsCentral and JobsFactory publications, including popular scholarship magazine BrightSparks
  • Managed in-house editorial team of 3 and a pool of 20 freelance writers
  • Worked with marketing, sales and design teams for copywriting and corporate communications

JobsCentral Pte Ltd

Dec '09 to Dec '10
Assistant Editor
  • Assisted the Editor with planning, writing and editing content for all JobsCentral and JobsFactory publications
  • Worked closely with clients, photographers and freelance writers to plan interviews and photoshoots
  • Conducted research and interviewed scholars and employees from both the private and public sector to write in-depth personality profiles

JUICE MagazineOct '08 to Dec '09
  • Covered nightlife events for JUICE magazine
  • Wrote reviews for gigs and articles about a wide range of events
  • Led a committee that was responsible for staff welfare
Nanyang Technological UniversityJan '06 to Jan '09
Bachelor of Communication Studies
  • Major in Journalism and Minor in Theatre Studies

Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Jun '03 to Feb '06
Diploma in Mass Communication

Bukit Panjang Government High School

Jan '99 to Dec '02
GCE 'O' Levels

JobsCentral Pte Ltd
  • Generated more advertising revenue due to new editorial content and design concepts that were well-received by clients
  • Implemented new editorial processes to streamline operations that saved costs

Nanyang Technological University

  • Selected as 1 of 8 leaders for the Freshmen Orientation Camp, and looked after a group of 25 freshmen for a period of 5 days
  • General Secretary of the Students' Executive Committee in Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

IT Skills

  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Excel
  • Basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and InDesign

Language Skills

  • Proficient in written and spoken English and Mandarin
  • Basic writing skills and conversational proficiency in French

Expected Salary

S$2,800 – S$3,000 (Negotiable)




Available upon request

Extra Notes

  • The order of your resume is dependent on which stage of your career you are in. If you are a fresh graduate just starting out, it is advisable to put your educational qualifications and achievements in front of your work experience.
  • For more tips on how to write a cover letter or resume, check out these articles on JobsCentral Community