Thais losing job opportunities because of poor résumés


résumés are important. Make sure yours includes enough essential information to at least get you an interview.

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One international e-commerce company says that only 2 percent of Thai internship applicants qualify for interviews because of inadequate résumés.

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Thai students lack understanding of how to market themselves through their résumés


iPrice, an e-commerce startup operating in seven countries in Southeast Asia, has recruited student interns from many countries to work in its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

iPrice recruits Thais to oversee the Thai market in many fields, such as digital marketing, content writing, category specialists and sales.

After considering a large number of Thai internship applications, Praveena, senior Human Resources (HR) specialist for iPrice Group, was shocked to find that of the Thai résumés submitted, only two percent contained sufficient relevant information for HR to make a further decision.

“Compared to résumés of students from other countries, Thai students’ résumés are too simplistic. Thais focus too much on their personal information such as name, address, contact information, and hobbies,” Praveena observed.

On the other hand, résumés from other countries focus on activities and skill-sets. They elaborate on each activity and skill-sets in detail, which is very useful in making  a further judgment.

To help Thai students to be more competitive, iPrice has compiled suggestions on how to make a good résumé that will get you noticed and lead to an interview later. These suggestions should be helpful to any  job applicant, not just student interns.

1. The key to a good résumé is to include complete information, enough for the human resources staff to decide whether you are qualified for an interview. One of the common problems that we have seen is that Thai students simply list their activities and skills in bullet-point form as illustrated in the example below;

•    Language : Thai, English
•    Skills : Word, Excel, and Powerpoint

This is very common across Thai résumés. Our suggestion is to refrain from including such unimportant information. For example, Word, Excel and Powerpoint are basic skills that any  qualified student should  have. Instead, students should list more advanced skills, such as Google Adwords, Google Analytics, or other similar programs. 
Thai students always list names of activities without giving details. The HR staff will not be able to understand what students have done from simply reading a name of an activity. Our suggestion is to give additional relevant information on each activity. In addition, you need to add skills that you acquired from doing such an activity. This way, the résumé will stand out and help the HR staff to more easily make a decision

Gold Award Winner of Marketing Research Competition 2016
o    Created a marketing research proposal for X company to understand consumer behavior and trends.
o    Proposed strategies to improve consumer’s quality of life through a new mobile application channel: shopping-on-the-go.

In the above example, our company has an idea of what the student has done in the past. In this case, we now understand that this student has basic marketing research skills and the student can give recommendations based on research findings. 

Also, keep in mind that the résumé needs to be professional-looking. Seven out of ten students from Thailand use photos from their selfies, travel and graduation photos in the resume. That’s not quite professional. If you do not have professional working photos, it’s better not to attach them at all.

A brief email introduction to your résumé like “สมัครงานค่ะ ฝากพิจารณาด้วยนะคะ” is not going to be appreciated by the HR staff member who receives it.

2. It’s very important to write a polite and proper email.

When writing an email to the HR staff or a manager, students need to know how to write proper email content and titles. Some students simple write  “สมัครงานค่ะ ฝากพิจารณาด้วยนะคะ” หรือ “ผมสนใจในตำแหน่งการตลาดครับ ฝากพิจารณาใบสมัครด้วยนะครับ” (“Applying for work. Please consider” or “I’m interested in a marketing position. Please consider”.) This is not considered to be acceptable. A good email should contain the following information:

•    Introduction : You need to give your name, where you are from, and what you are studying or have studied. This is to give the reader an overview of who you are.
•    Passion : if students have passion for a particular industry, they can add content to show their interest in a company/industry.
•    Attachment : Do not forget to say you have attached a document with your email. This is for the readers to be aware of what they have to consider.
•    Thank you : Say thank you to the HR staff for the time they have taken at the end of the email. This is a polite way to sign off the email.

3.    Students ignore the power of a good cover letter

Thai students do not see the importance of a cover letter. They rarely attach a cover letter to their applications. A good cover letter will enhance your image and make you stand out from other candidates.

A good cover letter contains personal information, goals, and passion. It can be used as a tool to present your commitment and potential contribution to a company.

Every cover letter needs to be customised to suit each company or industry. “One size fits all” does not apply in this situation. Students must write content specifically for each company, telling a story of why they want to get into this particular company and how their knowledge and experience can benefit the team and the company as a whole.

Hopefully, this article will help Thai students and other job applicants identify problems in their résumés and apply the information and tips above to improve the quality of their résumés, giving them  a better chance to get into their dream company.


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