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Resume Insights From a Former Recruiter

As the fall recruiting season approaches, one of the first prep items that should be on your to do list is your resume. As a former Career Advisor and Recruiter, I recognize this task can be daunting and I have seen first-hand that the time you put in pays off. Creating a stellar resume is the first step towards landing your dream internship.

To begin, let’s start with a vision. We’ve all watched movie previews and instantly decided which movies we want to see. The visuals, the selected clips, the sharp editing, all grab your attention. Think of your resume as a movie preview. Your resume is your first impression and its goal is to get your audience, the Recruiter or Hiring Manager, curious to learn more about you and invite you to an interview.

Steps to creating an impactful first impression with your resume

  1. Put the time in. A recruiter sees hundreds of resumes during a recruiting season. Resumes that lack proper formatting and thoughtful descriptions stand out, and not in a good way.Take the time to reflect on your experiences, identify your related experiences and skills as well as your transferable experiences. Write everything out, even things you might not think are relevant, to create your “laundry list” of resume content. Then, like a movie preview editor, select relevant experiences and crisply edit the descriptions into succinct bullet points that support requirements listed in the job description. These statements should clearly demonstrate you are qualified for the position.
  2. Create multiple versions of your resume. As an undergraduate student, you likely have a few areas of interest. Customize your resume for each type of role you are pursuing. Yes, I hear you, it is extra work. And it’s 100% worth it. Let’s go back to the initial “laundry list” you created. Divide up the content into sections based on areas of interest. It’s ok for some experiences to be included in every section. For example, if you are curious about roles in financial services, you might need an Investment Baking, Investment Management, and Corporate Finance resume. The majority of the content might be the same since these are all financial focused roles, and there might be a class project on investment management that is best suited for the IM resume.
  3. Once your message is clear, proofread and edit. When reviewing your own materials, a pro tip is to read backwards. Utilizing this process will slow down your brain and you’ll catch more typos or grammatical errors. Also, read your materials out loud. This will also help refine your message, ensuring it’s conveying what you want the recruiter to know about you. As a bonus, it also serves as initial interview prep as you practice verbally communicating your experiences. Enlist your support team to edit your resume. Friends and parents are great, and it’s a best practice to connect with professionals. Your school’s Career Center has outstanding resources and advisors to help you during this process.
  4. Speaking of the Career Center, they provide exceptional student support. Nearly every campus has a career center, filled with resources and advisors who truly want to help you, and they are FREE. Yes, professional resume advice, interview prep, and internship and career strategy resources are all available to you at no cost. Take advantage of this resource! When I was an undergraduate, I thought I had the world figured out, was fiercely independent, and didn’t need to ask for help. I never visited my Career Center during undergrad and it was a mistake. I find it ironic that in my career I became a Career Advisor and earned my master’s in Counseling and Guidance for College Students. If there is one action step you complete after reading this article, I hope you make an appointment with your Career Center.

Following these steps will help you make a strong first impression and have a first-class resume. You have a wonderful story to tell and the world needs to hear it.

Once you’ve followed the tips above and you have an amazing resume, upload it to the Forté job center to get your resume in front of fortune 500 company reps.

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