The One Where a Recruiter Gives Advice

Oh what I would give to be getting ready to head back to Virginia Tech to start a new school year. The beginning of school brings excitement to see your friends, go out downtown, start of football season (Go Hokies!), for some, the beginning to learn something new but my personal favorite, new school supplies!! I only wish I were kidding about that last one…

The new school year also brings on some stress and anxiety of having to get back into the groove of classes and studying in order to get those good grades. When it comes to the academic side of going back to school (I know who cares about this part?), it also means that many companies will be taking the opportunity to hit the ground running to start filling their jobs with entry level talent. Seeing as most students will be heading back within the coming weeks, I thought I’d impart some of my knowledge as a college recruiter on key tips when getting your resume ready for that fall career fair. Trust me, go to the fall career fair, it not only will help relieve stress of having to find a job/internship last minute, but it’s when most companies do the bulk of their hiring.

I can now say I’ve probably reviewed close to 1,000 resumes in my 3 years as a college recruiter. It’s no joke when they say a recruiter reviews your resume for no more than 20 seconds. I can personally say that there are key things I look for and pay attention to when reviewing a resume. If I have a hard time finding or reading something well, sorry not sorry but I’m moving on. Here are some things to keep in mind when updating your resume:

1. Contact information

Please, please, please put your name, email and phone number at the very top of your resume. You’d be shocked how many people won’t include a number or email. I also suggest if you include your cell phone number PLEASE make sure you have a voicemail box that isn’t full and is set up. I know a lot of candidates that have missed on opportunities because of this.

2. Objective statement

There are mixed opinions on objective statements. Personally, I find them antiquated and don’t read them. Typically, I tell people if you need more space, get rid of it. If you need to fill space, include it.

3. Consistent format

By the love of God, use the same formatting throughout the entire resume. It is very tacky looking to have headings of sections in different fonts or font sizes or using different style bullet points in the body of the resume. Also, something that makes a huge difference is making sure you align the dates of your work experiences in the same place. Quick note on work experience, please list it towards the top starting with your most recent experience. It’s also important to include two to six bullet points to describe the job. Start each bullet point with an action verb.

4. References

Don’t include references. That’s not saying not to have any handy but if they need a reference they will ask for it. This too takes up space which if you are struggling to make space, this is something to take out.

5. GPA and expected grad date

Include your GPA if it’s at least a 3.0 or above. If I don’t see a GPA listed on someone’s resume I automatically assume the worst and many times find out the candidate has a great GPA. Please also make sure to include your expected graduation date as this can determine the type of role you are considered for.

These are just a few tips that probably seem common sense but I can promise you are not and make a HUGE difference to a recruiter!

Please feel free to reach out directly if you have further questions as I’m always happy to help.

Happy resume writing!


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