- Highlight leadership experience
- Explain what you did to make an impact on a specific project, either in words or in dollars. Demonstrate that you identified a problem, analyzed the problem, found solutions, and implemented the solution successfully. Provide an example of results.
Demonstrate technical knowledge and experience (even if it is only HTML, put it in).
- Include extracurricular activities. Employers like to see that you have a life outside the job. Charity and community work is a plus.
- Stress communication and interpersonal as well as analytical and research skills.
- Don’t blow anything up into more than it is. Says one veteran, “It will come out during the interview and misrepresentation will surely kill you.”
- Show that you can adapt quickly to new situations and are not afraid to change. Key words: analytical, managed, led, formulated, assessed
- Don’t succumb to the informality of e-mail. “If you send a cover letter by e-mail that started with “Hi”, it and your resume will probably end up in the trash,” says the assistant dean at the University of Buffalo’s School of Management.
- It’s true that recruiters sometimes use scanners to sort through resumes looking for certain keywords. But resumes appear contrived when candidates consciously try to include them. Assume that a person – not a computer – will be reading the resume. After all, fewer than 25 percent of recruiters even use scanners.
- “A recruiter who receives resumes in pretty plastic folders will likely toss them,” says Dave Opton, former VP of personnel for Sterling Drug International. Another faux pas: Folding a resume so that it fits into a standard business envelope. Says Opton, “They’re easier to store and photocopy if they’re flat.” Also, don’t try to differentiate your resume with boxes, bars, or ornate lettering. When recruiters see a resume that’s designed differently, they think the person is trying to hide something. Instead, focus on content and your resume will rise to the top of the pile.