Writing the first blog post of my senior year I found myself reflecting back on my first semester of working at Career and Internship Services as a Peer Educator. I was a young sophomore still trying to figure out what I wanted to do and I had a lot to learn. Looking at how far I have come in my professional development, as well as my personal development, I am proud of my accomplishments. My most recent accomplishment was my position as a Recruiter’s Assistant with Pro Staff, staffing agency. My experience as a Peer Educator with C&IS greatly helped me in my position at Pro Staff. I also gained many valuable skills and learned a lot about the business of recruiting and staffing. Over the course of the year I will be releasing a series of blog posts about the things I learned in my position as a Recruiter’s Assistant and how it has helped me as a Peer Educator.
My first semester as a Peer Educator was a very busy time for me. There was a lot of information to take in and it involved quite a bit of training. A lot of the rules for writing resumes are very small details and can seem rather tedious. Certain sections must be formatted a certain way, you must list your information in a certain order, and only specific items should be bolded. Going through the training I found this frustrating at times. “Why does it matter exactly how the section is formatted,” I sometimes wondered. “All of the information is on here so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, should it?” I often hear this from students as well. They often say things like, “My Professor said it was okay,” or “Well can’t I format it like this?” And technically they are correct. I can’t imagine an employer would completely disregard a candidate just because they didn’t bold the name of their degree at school. But from my experience as a Recruiter’s Assistant I learned a lot about why we have these rules and why we enforce them. We do not recommend this style simply because it is the way we have aways done it, there is a reason for why we have these recommendations.
In my position at Pro Staff I was in charge of reviewing Resumes submitted online, and we would receive up to 20 resumes a day. I would then make qualifying calls based on their experience and the job they desired. It is safe to say I saw a lot of Resumes every day, many good and many rather poor. This was especially painful for me because my position as Peer Educator is mainly focused on critiquing resumes. But one of the most important things I learned over the summer was there truly is a reason for why we format everything the way we do. Our resume style is formatted for the ease of the employer reading the document. We put information in order of importance, one example would be how under the Experience section we want you to put the name of your position first (and bolded), and then the organization, city, state, and dates of employment. This makes it as easy as possible for the recruiter to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible. When recruiters are looking at dozens of resumes a day you want to make sure your resume is as organized and easy to read as it can be. By following the format we recommend at Career and Internship Services you are ensuring all of your information is easily accessible and it is making the recruiter’s job as easy as possible. This will make you more attractive as an applicant, and this is one way you can put yourself ahead of the competition.
You see, when we give students recommendations on their resumes that may seem minuscule or picky, you must keep in mind we are doing it for a reason. We want your resume to be as attractive and organized as possible. Please remember we are extensively trained in the art of resume writing. We contact recruiter’s annually and ask them what they like to see on resumes and we are constantly updating our information. Moral of the story: we give you these recommendations for a reason, take advantage of our services and follow our recommendations because we are here to help you.