Career Resources

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Is there buried treasure on your resume?

Hopefully, not!  The quest for buried treasure is a common theme throughout childhood classics.  However, it shouldn't be the theme for your resume.  Employers shouldn't have to hunt to find the hidden gems on your resume because, chances are, they'll never find them.  Employers don't have the time, nor the inclination, to search for much on your resume and usually scan it in a few minutes or less to determine if you're someone worth interviewing.

Recently, I was working with a student who was looking for an accounting internship.  Buried deep within her interests section, way at the bottom of her resume, were "Participated in PricewaterhouseCoopers Leadership Conference" and "Volunteering to prepare tax returns for low-income citizens in the Boston area."  Any recruiter who was quickly scanning her resume would never have seen these important pieces of information which were so relevant to any accounting internship. Later, during our meeting, when we were looking for leadership examples she could talk about during an interview, she told me that she managed 10 work students every spring regarding an Open House project.  But where was this experience on her resume?  It wasn't!  She hadn't put it on because of lack of space!

After some discussion, we decided to put her PwC experience higher up on her resume underneath her college activities.  We also decided to put her tax prep volunteer experience under the experience section and, because she is currently doing this, it appears first in this section.  Lastly, she added her work study position under the experience section and a bullet about managing ten other work study students to complete an annual project during Open House.

When we were through, her resume was screaming "accounting."  And that's what you need to do.  Your resume needs to scream whatever position it is you want by highlighting your experiences, activities, interests, volunteer, etc. that are relevant for the position and using lots of industry key words.  If you're thinking about exploring options in more than one field, then you guessed it....you need to have more than one version of your resume.

One other key thing:  When writing your bullet points for your job or volunteer experiences, always put the most significant bullet points first and then work backwards to the least significant thing you did.  Why?  If an employer only has time to read the first bullet point for each of your positions, you want to make sure it is the most relevant one, or the one that highlights your skills, or the one in which you achieved a significant accomplishment.  Speaking of accomplishments, a great way to strengthen your bullet points is to start with your accomplishment.  For example, if you have something like this on your resume, "Cold called 700 prospective clients to promote new product line which resulted in a 10% growth in new business during the first month," turn it around and say, "Achieved a 10% growth in new business during the first month by..."

It's always a great idea to enlist the support and guidance of your school's career counselor who can help you identify the key things that you shoud be highlighting on your resume with respect to the industry you want to join.  By implementing these tips when writing your resume, your resume will be much more powerful and increase your chances of unburying the hidden treasures of interviews and internship or job offers!

1 comment:

syeds said...

I couldn't find a non-voice resume for a bpo job.

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