The Gains way to better job prospects
Published on: Monday, July 13, 2020
By: Catherine Chen
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The job market in Malaysia is not optimistic. The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) warns that a wave of retrenchments may be on the way as companies struggle with the global economic stagnation. 

Some people were already laid off during the Movement Control Order (MCO) as their employers shut down business due to Covid-19. Many others may be highly concerned and started to look for more stable jobs and secure income. How to write an outstanding resume, crush the competition and secure a career in the recession? A model called GAINS can help you to increase your visibility in your resume and improve your chances of securing an interview with your potential employer. 

G is for Goals. A lot of candidates make the mistake of submitting one resume for many job positions. Before you start to write your resume, you must be clear which position you are applying. Read the job description carefully to find out what are the requirements the company has, e.g., competency, academic qualification, working experience and soft skills. Different companies may have different requirements for the same position. If you are submitting the same resume for various jobs, you may miss the chance to discover your potential employer's needs.

A is for Achievements. One of the most straightforward approaches to tell interviewers why you are the most suitable candidate is to share your achievements with them. Your achievement shall focus on what problems you solved before. Why were the problems worse? What were the results of your problem-solving? Another way to refine your achievement is to demonstrate your results were better than your peers’, the historical data in your team, and your ex-employer's expectation. 

For instance, one of your achievements can be: I was working at ABC company, I analysed the office expenditure by compiling the past two years’ data and proposed an innovative cost reduction plan to my company. This has successfully saved RM 3,500.00 per month for my company. 

I is for interests. Your interests can reflect what kind of person you are. Your interviewers are also human beings. They like to work with someone who is interesting and who comes from a diversified background.  Your interests and hobbies are like a mirror of your life besides your work, and they can help you find some commonalities with people and break the ice quickly.  

N is for network. Your network may be a valuable invisible asset to your future employer. If you are doing sales, your existing customers may save your prospective company's fortune in marketing. If you are from supportive functions, your friends in your network may be the talents your future employer is looking for, which may save them budget paid to head-hunters.  Highlighting your advantages in your network in your resume can increase your value compared to your competitors in the job market. 

S is for skills. Your skills demonstrate the potential return of investment that the company can get if they hire you. As the Covid-19 pandemic hit many companies badly, they are more cautious about cost reduction. If you can prove you not only fulfill the job’s requirements but also do many more because of your skills, you are ahead of your competitors during the resume screening. 

To sum up, by focusing on the model GAINS, your resume will be like a GPS, retaining your interviewers' attention in your real strength. It helps you grab more opportunities in the shrinking job market and improve your confidence when you are looking for a new role. 

# Catherine Chen is a human resource practitioner and training facilitator specialising in talent development. 


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