How to write a Resume – A Singapore Guide

In need of tips of how to write the perfect resume in Singapore? What to include in a resume for your Singapore job application? 

Regardless if you are trying to create a starter CV or a work experience resume, The Citadel Search team had a robust discussion about the best resumes that stood out to us over our 18 years of experience as a recruiting agency. 

Here are some tips for a good resume we unanimously agreed on.  Technically, this article is relevant for you, regardless of which country you are applying jobs to but especially so if you like to land a job here in Singapore!  Whether you are doing a starter CV or enhancing your mid-career resume, this How to write a Resume Guide should be your back-pocket aid. So read on!

A how to guide on creating a great resume

4 writing tips for great resumes in Singapore

1. Career Summary

There is no correct resume format for the Singapore job market. However, some of the great resume samples we have seen, included excellent career summaries at the start. Think about it as your “About” section of your resume, just like your Linkedin profile. 

Not only does the branding statement serve as a hook that effectively captures attention, but it serves to provide readers with a relevant, concise and eloquent summary of your career experience and skills gained in an efficient way.  This is the first resume writing rule to the perfect resume.

Most resumes include summaries that simply reiterate what is stated in their professional experience and thus fail to value-add. Other summaries ramble on about experiences or skills that are not relevant to the job they are applying to. Relevancy is KEY.   Irrelevant information is not useful in helping you stand out or form a lasting impression on the hiring manager. 

Make sure your career summary is concise and highlights your career experiences and aspirations that are highly relevant to the role. Especially if you are transiting mid-career and offer skills from different domains, then it would even be more pertinent to showcase the key highlights of your experience and how you offer transferable skills to the new domain in your Career Summary.


2. Tailor Your Resume Content to the Job

On the topic of relevant information, it is imperative to read the job ad before creating your resume. Take the time to sieve out the key skills, so that you will be able to tailor your CV’s content to the job.

This is what your typical “Professional Resume Template” on Google misses out on.

Great resumes that have made an indelible impression are also those that are especially targeted to the specific job they are applying for. These include the use of keywords that describe their accomplishments, key skills and experiences relevant to the job.

It is important to remember that everything in your resume matters because hiring managers use it as their primary source of information for forming an impression of you. Omit irrelevant details to avoid giving the hiring manager the impression you’re not the best fit for the position.

Similarly, be more targeted and selective, elaborating on the more relevant experiences. Another strength is the ‘skimability’ of their resumes, conveying important information quickly.

A great resume shows the candidate has thoughtfully highlighted key projects, skills, and researched the role’s challenges. Use of section headings is key here to clearly highlight the various relevant information and skill sets.

For example, if the job uses a certain tool or system and the candidate has the relevant skills, showcase the skill, level of expertise and results produced with that specific skill. Showcasing your market expertise and proven results makes for a winning resume if the organization aims to expand there!

Why is this so important? 

Many companies today have smart applicant tracking systems which help sieve out and recommend the most suitable candidates. Therefore the number of times you had used those key skills matters. By tailoring your resume to the specific job, it can help make your job search more productive for both parties too – this saves so much time.

Therefore, we have to change our paradigm that you only have one standard version of your resume! This is therefore the second rule in to writing a resume – The Singapore Guide, Tailor your content to each job application!

3. Write in Active Verbs

So far, we have been talking a lot about relevant information when writing the perfect resume.
However, here is another game-changing resume-writing rule – language.

Great resumes that stand out to us are those that are primarily written in an active voice. A sentence is written in an active voice when the subject of a sentence performs the verb’s action.

For example, “I completed my homework” is written in active voice compared to “the homework was completed by me” which is written in passive voice.

Resumes that use active voice stand out because they convey a strong, direct and confident tone. Furthermore, the use of active voice helps to emphasise the actor, themselves, before the action, thereby spotlighting the person at the fore of his various accomplishments.

This attribute can be further strengthened through the use of power action verbs.

For instance, instead of “led”, try using “spearheaded”, replace “planned” with “organised”, and change “worked with” to “collaborate”. Such words pack a punch and are more likely to compel the hiring manager to invite you for an interview where she or he can get to know you better.

Use this third resume writing rule in our guide to use only active verbs when writing your job experience .

4. Useful Visualisations

Now that you have learnt what a good resume looks like compared to an average one, you will notice additionally it is more than just the content and language. For the best CVs, it is also the resume design.

While it is often risky to differ from resume templates that are most commonly used in basically any starter CV out there, a particular, impressionable, creative resume section that included an unconventional feature was well-received as it was useful and value-adding.

In this resume sample below, the candidate used a (horizontal) timeline as a visual summary of her work history. You can also use this chronological resume format in a graphical form to showcase progression to help to visually represent your job experience resume in an infographic format.

While different, we found this useful as it effectively conveyed her entire work history at a glance, enabling us to sieve out the most critical information, such as key skills and relevant information tailored to the job ad. We subsequently identified her as a good fit for our client.

Having a career timeline is especially useful when you are making a career switch (switching from IT a Business Analyst to Digital Marketing role for example), as it would allow the hiring manager to have a clearer view of your career paths.

Wondered how to write personal interests in your resume? 

You can also showcase your interest and passion for the new role by including self-initiated projects or courses, related to the field, that you have accomplished. All these would aid hiring managers in seeing the relevant transferable skills or capabilities you have, putting up a stronger case as to why they should hire you. For example you have picked up Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence and the job ad had indicated that, then it would be a good idea to include these new personal interests in your resume.


As such, resumes that include unconventional features are not necessarily bad. Ultimately, it boils down to whether these features are value-adding and appropriate for the job at hand. 

For example, it would do a digital content creator well to include a few aesthetic features in his/her resume as a way of exhibiting their personal style.  Give samples of what you do through useful links that help people understand your capabilities.  We find candidates who do that tend to stand a much higher chance for interviewers to have a better visualisation and impression of their technical and creative competencies.  This final resume writing rule will certainly guide you in landing the coveted job opportunity. 



Combine all these resume writing rules into your CV.  

Our advice on how to write a resume will make you stand out in the Singapore job market! Tailor your resume to the job ad with relevant information and designs. 

However, we understand the difficulties when it comes to writing the perfect resume. Following tips for a good resume constantly could be an overwhelming process. If you like to know what are resume mistakes  you should avoid, read here.

You might be wondering next, after writing a perfect resume, what else should I do? Then read the next article on how to prepare for interviews. These positive action steps will certainly help you land that coveted job you want! 

As such, Citadel Search’s Resumes Service imparts our candidates the skills to fine-tune and perfect their resumes. Alternatively, you can read more on Resume Tips – Avoid Common Mistakes People Make In Resume to improve avoid common mistakes in resume writing. 


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