So, you’re searching for a job in Malaysia? Great! All you need now to get the ball rolling is a perfect CV. Fret not, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips on how to build a solid Malaysian CV.
Malay, Chinese, Tamil, English?
Don’t worry! You don’t need to write your CV in four different languages. English is the default, unless otherwise specified.
General Format of a Malaysian CV
• English • Two pages • Bullet points • Simple & clean template
Should I include a photo on my CV?
In short, the answer is: sure, if you want to. If you do decide to go with one, make sure that it is a professional photograph of yourself and not one of your “feeling cute, might delete later” selfies from Instagram. As long as your photograph meets the following requirements, it’s fine.
• A professional photo • Taken no more than 6 months ago • Clean background • No editing/filters
Ensure that you only state your essential contact details and avoid including unnecessary information such as your marital status and identity card number, which ultimately are superfluous to your employer. After all, your CV only has a momentary window to make an impression, so don’t waste precious time by providing irrelevant information.
Essential details that you should include:
• Full name • Email address • Phone number • Current location
Contrarily, here is some irrelevant information that you should exclude:
• Marital status • Identity card number • Expected salary • Religion/ethnic background
Pro tip: Providing links to your professional website or your LinkedIn profile is a game-changer.
This is your chance to make a pitch to your potential employer. So keep it short and simple. You might be tempted to write in great detail but just a few sentences that describe why you would be the perfect fit for the job will suffice. Additional points and information can go in your motivational letter.
Education and Professional Experience
As a general rule of thumb, list in reverse chronological order your professional experience and educational qualifications respectively. Remember, your CV is a vital instrument for landing you your dream job so take this seriously.
Including achievements alongside your tasks and responsibilities is crucial in a Malysian CV as this will set you apart from the thousands of other applicants. In the case of two CVs with more or less the same responsibilities, the CV with achievements included will definitely be more attractive to the employer.
Provide facts and figures rather than general claims. Numbers are typically more notable achievements. For instance, you can state the specific percentage of increase in sales that you made instead of merely claiming that you made a lot of sales.
Language And Skills In A Malaysian CV
Hard Skills Or Soft Skills?
Both hard and soft skills are given equal importance in Malaysia. Of course, try to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job that you are applying for. On the other hand, you should refrain from using mainstream descriptions like “hardworking” and “motivated”. Here you can find a list of phrases to never put on your resume.
Since Malaysia is a multilingual country, language skills are highly valued by companies. Hence, always include your level of proficiency in each language and specify whether you are proficient in writing and/or speaking the language.
Include at least two references from your recent companies or your latest educational institution.
A CV with errors will always be rejected without a second thought. Spelling and grammatical errors are a huge no-go! Thus, always triple-check and cross-check your CV to avoid losing an opportunity.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. What you write in these two pages is pivotal, so don’t let your chance slip away!
By Lavanya Subramaniam