- Are you qualified?
- Can you do what I need you to do for me?
- Where can I find you?
- Save space and send updates
- How did you demonstrate IQ and/or EQ at university?
- If your GPA was below 3.5, demonstrate how your spent your time at university
- Are you qualified for the position I am offering?
- Can you do what I need you to do for me?
- Will you make more money for me than I expect to pay you?
- context - job description
- YOU MUST UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE before your write your resume
- Do NOT assume hiring managers will appreciate your accomplishments
- You need to EXPLAIN the context of your achievements on your resume
- Show the benchmark (avg. satisfaction survey results 85%)
- How did you improve upon the work of your predecessors? What was your impact?
- Pick your job description bullet points STRATEGICALLY
- You don't have space to put everything you did, so you must focus on emphasizing those things you want to convey about each job
- Help hiring managers understand that you do not fit the stereotype of someone with your background
- Clever hiring managers look for unusual combinations
- "We like to hire engineers with people skills. And we like to hire poets who can do math."
- 3 core skills spell TAI
- T (languages, including computer code, accounting: certificates, testable)
- A (curriculum development, decision making)
- I (kids, parents, politics, public speaking, leadership)
- demonstrated achievement - bullet points
- Keep the points short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is 2 - 4 bullets per job experience, ideally most bullets being 1 line long.
- Don't write everything you did on the job, focus on what is most RELEVANT to recruiters in your target industry
- Do I want you at my party?
- Would I want to sit next to you on a five hour flight?
- conversation starters; unusual combo; sense of humor
- Just write: references available upon request
- Hiring managers will ask for them as needed
- Remove articles ("a," "an," "the") to save space
- Change all numbers (words) into numerals (1, 2, 3)
- Remove final punctuation since these are not full sentences
WHY A STANDARD FORMAT?
• This format allows on-campus recruiters to focus on your resume’s content rather than stylistic differences
• We get consistently positive feedback from employers on our format
“This format is ideal. It is a concise one-page snapshot of a X student’s previous achievements, which allows us to review resumes thoughtfully and efficiently.” -McKinsey and Company
RESUME FORMAT GUIDELINES
• Resumes may be no longer than ONE PAGE (A4 or 8 ½ x 11)
• DO NOT use tables on your resume
• Tables cause difficulty both with company application websites.
• Margins can not be smaller than .7 inches on all sides
Tabs and Alignment
• Locations should be right-aligned
• Bullets should be left-aligned and should not spread to the right margin
• Size: 10 or 11 point Times New Roman. Do not make your name larger than the rest of your resume
• Caps and Bold: The following should be in BOLD CAPS. Do not use bold in other places on your resume
• Your name
• Section Headings
• School Names
• Company Names
• Italics: Job titles should be in italics.
Publications may be italicized if appropriate
• Lines/Underline: There should be no lines or underlining on your resume, except if you are listing “selected transaction experience” in your experience section
• Include the month and year you received your degree
• Capitalize the first letter of languages spoken, if included
• You may want to include any certifications you have obtained
• Be specific in this section – do not just say “enjoy traveling and cooking” – instead say something like, “enjoy adventure travel” or “recently traveled to Ecuador and Indonesia” and “enjoy cooking Northern Italian cuisine”
• Dates should be flush with the left margin
• Company names should be in CAPS and bold
• Job titles should be in italics
• Specific dates for different positions within the same company should be listed after the job title — the dates in the left margin for that company should reflect your entire term of employment at that company
• Don’t include internships completed in undergrad as part of this section. They should be included under Education as one bullet
Use chronological format
• List education and business experience in REVERSE chronological order (most recent first)
• The “Education” section should be at the top of your resume
• Write out all years fully: “2005-2009” – NOT “05-09”
•Do not include months
• Internship dates should be identified by season, e.g. “Summer 2009”
• Abbreviate all states for locations of employer and school, e.g. “IL” not “Illinois”
• Spell out names of foreign countries
• Spell out addresses
• Write out number one through nine.
• Use numerals starting with 10
• Do not include personal information on your resume (e.g. marital status, children, etc)
WRITE IMPACT STATEMENTS
Your bullets should not read like a job description. They should feature skills, actions and results.
Consider following this formula:
Strong Lead Action Verb + What You Did = Results
Quantify: “Designed and implemented new volunteer model in Tanzania, expanding volunteer base by 30%
• Increased (sales, profits, margins, value)
• Decreased (costs, inefficiencies, errors)
Scope: “Managed $82M divestiture of division with over $30M in revenue and 100 employees.”
• Define size (team, budget, business)
• Number impacted (people, businesses)
Qualify: “Presented final recommendation to CFO, recommendation ultimately implemented by client.”
• Presented to (senior management, client)
• Delivered (on time, early, under budget) •Implemented recommendation
• A company first
• Adopted across business units
1. Mimic the keywords in the job description as closely as possible
- If you're applying to be a sales manager, make sure your résumé includes the words "sales" and "manage" (assuming you've done both!)
- Do they use certain words to describe their values?
- If a firm has a professed interest in environmental sustainability, include relevant volunteer work or memberships
- With a past position, the system "sometimes gets confused about which is the company, which is the position, and which are the dates you worked there," especially if they're all on a single line
- To make sure you hit all the categories, put them on separate lines
- You may not have gotten your BA from a top-tier university, but if you attended a continuing-education class at one, include such qualifications on your résumé
Your Résumé vs. Oblivion
Inundated Companies Resort to Software to Sift Job Applications for Right Skills
By LAUREN WEBER
Many job seekers have long suspected their online employment applications disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again. Their fears may not be far off the mark, as more companies rely on technology to winnow out less-qualified candidates.
Recruiters and hiring managers are overwhelmed by the volume of résumés pouring in, thanks to the weak job market and new tools that let applicants apply for a job with as little as one mouse click. The professional networking website LinkedIn recently introduced an "apply now" button on its job postings that sends the data in a job seeker's profile directly to a potential employer.
While job boards and networking websites help companies broadcast openings to a wide audience, potentially increasing the chance the perfect candidate will reply, the resulting flood of applications tends to include a lot of duds. Most recruiters report that at least 50% of job hunters don't possess the basic qualifications for the jobs they are pursuing.
To cut through the clutter, many large and midsize companies have turned to applicant-tracking systems to search résumés for the right skills and experience. The systems, which can cost from $5,000 to millions of dollars, are efficient, but not foolproof.
Ed Struzik, an International Business Machines Corp. expert on the systems, puts the proportion of large companies using them in the "high 90%" range, and says it would "be very rare to find a Fortune 500 company without one."
At many large companies the tracking systems screen out about half of all résumés, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University.
No wonder: Starbucks Corp. attracted 7.6 million job applicants over the past 12 months for about 65,000 corporate and retail job openings; Procter and Gamble Inc. got nearly a million applications last year for 2,000 new positions plus vacant jobs. Both companies use the systems.
Although they originally evolved to help employers scan paper résumés into a database, do basic screening and trace an applicant's path through the interview and hiring process, today's tracking systems are programmed to scan for keywords, former employers, years of experience and schools attended to identify candidates of likely interest. Then, they rank the applicants. Those with low scores generally don't make it to the next round.
The screening systems are one way companies are seeking to cut the costs of hiring a new employee, which now averages $3,479, according to human-resources consulting firm Bersin and Associates. Big companies, many of which cut their human-resources staffs during the recession, now spend about 7% of their external recruitment budgets on applicant-tracking systems, the firm says.
At PNC Financial Services Group, which has used the tracking software for 15 years, an applicant for a bank-teller job is filtered out if his résumé doesn't indicate that he has two to three years of cash-handling experience. PNC emails rejected applicants within a day, suggesting they search its website for jobs for which they are better qualified, says Jillian Snavely, senior recruiting manager.
A recruiter reviews applicants who make it through the first cut, which includes the résumé screening and a brief questionnaire about relevant skills. Those applicants get a live or automated phone interview.
Tracking software has its pitfalls. It may miss the most-qualified applicant if that person doesn't game the system by larding his or her résumé with keywords from the job description, according to Mark Mehler, co-founder of consulting firm Career Xroads, which advises companies on staffing.
But the idea isn't to replace human screeners entirely. Experts say the systems simply narrow the field to a size hiring managers can handle. They also stress that, despite advances in the software, the single best method of getting a job remains a referral from a company employee.
How to Beat the 'Black Hole'You don't have to be an astronomer to know about one kind of black hole: the online job application process.
But have hope. There are things you can do to increase the chances of getting your résumé through employers' applicant screening systems, say experts Josh Bersin, CEO of human-resources consulting firm Bersin and Associates and Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert at Glassdoor.
Below, five tips to up your odds:
- 1. Forget about being creative. Instead, mimic the keywords in the job description as closely as possible. If you're applying to be a sales manager, make sure your résumé includes the words "sales" and "manage" (assuming you've done both!).
- 2. Visit the prospective employer's website to get a sense of the corporate culture. Do they use certain words to describe their values? If a firm has a professed interest in environmental sustainability, include relevant volunteer work or memberships on your résumé. The company may have programmed related keywords into its resume screening software.
- 3. Keep the formatting on your résumé simple and streamlined—you don't want to perplex the software. With a past position, the system "sometimes gets confused about which is the company, which is the position, and which are the dates you worked there," especially if they're all on a single line, says Mr. Bersin. To make sure you hit all the categories, put them on separate lines. And "don't get cute with graphics and layout," says Mr. Rueff.
- 4. Some screening systems assign higher scores to elite schools. You may not have gotten your B.A. from a top-tier university, but if you attended a continuing-education class at one, include such qualifications on your résumé.
- 5. But don't ever lie or exaggerate just to get through the screening process. Recruiters and ATSs are savvy about tricks jobseekers use (such as typing false qualifications in white font). "You don't want to get through the black hole and find out it's a worse hole you got yourself into," Mr. Rueff says.
Résumé overload isn't just a big-company problem. Job seekers often are surprised when they don't hear back from small businesses. These businesses rarely hire enough people to make an applicant-tracking system cost-effective, but even a one-time posting on a well-trafficked job board like Monster.com can garner hundreds of responses.
Only 19% of hiring managers at small companies look at a majority of the résumés they receive, and 47% say they review just a few, according to a recent survey by Information Strategies Inc., publisher of Your HR Digest, an online newsletter.
— Rachel Emma Silverman contributed to this article.
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