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Developing a great resume
What is the first thing someone should do prior to preparing their resume?
Before writing your resume, you should consider doing a few things first.
- Get focused and ready to clearly articulate key points relevant to the role
- Start jotting down a list of your experience and skills
- Identify your career accomplishments thus far
- Think through what employers are going to be looking for when they review your resume—do your research by reading through relevant job postings, skills, and keywords lists
What’s the most important information to include on a resume for campus candidates? For experienced hire candidates?
For campus hires:
- List any relevant internships and all leadership roles you held while at school
- Include volunteer/community activities
- Include your GPA if it was over a 3.2
- Limit your resume to one page
For experienced hires:
The most important piece of information for an experience hire candidate to include on his or her resume is their accomplishments! Some examples (try to quantify if possible):
- Earned the highest performance rating every year by exceeding goals
- Surpassed sales goals by 25% year over year
- Designed and implemented a new process that resulted in an overall firm cost savings of 20%
What should you leave out of a resume?
- Your high school information is irrelevant—leave it out
- No photos or personal information such as marital status, age, number of children
- No paragraphs—use bullets
- Don’t include references
- If you have several years of work experience, take internships off your resume—they are no longer relevant
How can a candidate make their resume stand out?
- Formatting is the first thing a recruiter notices—use bullets instead of paragraphs and a nice, clean format with no fancy fonts or caricatures
- Read through job descriptions and tailor your resume to have the key words and skills they are seeking—without lying or stretching the truth; make your resume the perfect match if you can
- Provide a few strong, unique details about yourself in the summary section without using generic terms such as “people person” or “good communication skills”
- Always include any awards or performance recognitions
Are cover letters still relevant in today’s job market?
Most recruiters don’t require them, but they are great to have on file, just in case. A cover letter could separate you from another equally qualified candidate, so it’s important to have one ready in the event that you're asked for it.
Cover letters need to be brief, and should include the following:
- An introduction of yourself and your skills
- A summary of your experience
- An explanation about why you want to work for their organization and why you are passionate about it