Wednesday, December 30, 2009

POINTERS for Resumes and Interviews

We've reviewed many resumes in the past few months, for those who are going through full time and starting summer internship recruiting. We've noticed common mistakes that are repeated over and over.

Here's a list of what to do and what not to do:

1. DO Detail your individual contributions on past projects, while giving the overall scope of the project.

2. DON'T use technical jargon that you don't fully understand and don't know how to explain - put bluntly, if you use language you don't know, you will look stupid and pretentious. You'll get the automatic ding.

3. DON'T sell yourself short - play up those experiences you learned the most from. 95% of the resumes we've seen can be made stronger by detailing and focusing on the results of your work.

4. DO be prepared to talk about any gaps on your resume
Example 1: If you only list your major GPA - which is fine for the resume screening round - be prepared to give compelling reasons why your cumulative GPA isn't as hot.

Example 2: Behavioral questions will often include describing your role on a previous experience. Interviewers will probe you on any past experience - and you need to know how to go into an easily understood, detailed account of how you performed. Otherwise, if you come off as insincere, you'll get the automatic ding.

5. DO Realize that perception is reality - Your resume needs to be in top shape. If you have poor choice of words, shoddy layout, unorganized descriptions, and no story behind what you're after -- interviewers will think your work will also be of low quality. You'll get the automatic ding.

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