We’ve interviewed employers in various situations over the past several years (career fairs, employer panels, 1:1) and while we’ve published that advice already, we decided compile the information by theme. Here are employer tips in relation to resumes and cover letters.
Simplicity is key
- Refine your experience section. Try not to use a fancy template, as this will distract from your content. Recruiters want to be able to easily see your information. Employers shared that most companies use an Applicant Tracking System for resumes. Layout your resume in an organized chronological manner. Make your major clear on your resume. Include your GPA.
- Simple coloring. Try to stick to black and white. Occasionally it is okay to have one key color to use for headings. Many colors are typically distracting to the employer.
- In-depth bullet points. Employers pointed out the more detail that you can give with a bullet point, the better. Give an accurate description of what you were doing for a role. Add numbers to the description. Highlight your accomplishments on your resume. Go beyond just listing what you did at a job. This means so much more than a vague statement.
- Integrate skills. Whether you are making a specific skill set section, or you are integrating skills in your bullet points, it is important to include them in some shape or form. Take a look at the job description and pull skills from it you have. Look at all of your past experiences and find ways to align those skills with the position you’re applying for.
- Demonstrate what you did. When it comes to resumes, one employer’s biggest piece of advice is “try to not show just the tasks, but the strategic involvement and accomplishments they have had.” They also mentioned the importance of including keywords in your resume that match the job description. This way, you will meet the criteria when the Applicant Tracking System goes through and selects resumes.
- Recruiters aren’t just looking for a good student. They are looking for a well-rounded individual. Showing that you participate in other activities tells them a lot about you. A recruiter would rather see a student with a 3.5 GPA and some extracurricular activities than a student with a 4.0 GPA who only went to class. Be involved in your community (campus and the greater community) and show those experiences on your resume. Include activities outside of your classes and major. It helps to demonstrate that you have initiative and hands-on experience.
Have your resume reviewed
Ask multiple sources to review your resume so changes are made from a holistic perspective. Start with Career & Internship Services to build a foundation. The more eyes you get on your resume, the better.
Photo source: Unsplash | Jessica Lewis