In the current hiring climate, first impressions with potential employers are often happening remotely. How can you set yourself up for success? By creating a strong resume that highlights your skills, accomplishments, and sets you apart. Let’s hear from our hiring experts on what they’re looking for from each section of your resume.
The way you present your skills in your resume is so much more than just a bullet-pointed list telling a potential employer that you’re confident using Microsoft Word. Eddie, Hiring Expert at Quest Diagnostics, suggests, “With your skills -- list your results! For a recent grad, I would look for an indicator such as increasing productivity in a student organization. For instance, if I knew then what I know now, I would have included the percentage increase of membership in my college fraternity chapter on my personal resume. Another example would be showing an increase in funding for a student organization. Another indicator would be decreasing the time it takes to perform tasks at an internship or a part-time job.” More from Eddie
Showing results opens the door for you to explain to a recruiter or hiring manager the steps you took to help create success. You can use the good old S.T.A.R. method (give them the Situation, explain the Task, tell them what your Action was, and the Result of your work). Critical thinking and problem-solving often lead to results and those are skills every employer is looking for.”
If you are an internship or entry-level job seeker, your education information is a must on your resume. Jennifer, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, says, “When reviewing resumes of recent college graduates we look for a strong GPA, extracurricular activities, and participation in clubs and organizations. Some of our entry-level positions require a certain number of credit hours in a specific subject. If you have a lower Overall GPA and a higher Major GPA, we will take that into consideration. It’s best to clearly list both if they differ.” More from Jennifer
If you have informal education experience or a partial degree, include that as well! Padding your resume with online courses, seminars, and certifications can be the tipping point in getting an interview. Tony, Hiring Expert and Hill-Rom, says, “I would include some of the courses you took during a partially completed degree if they are directly related to the job for which you are applying, but I would make sure that you are stating in some fashion that you strictly only took courses and didn’t, in fact, receive a degree. You can utilize anything you may have learned or any experience gained through these courses and turn that into a selling point. If there is any way that these courses can positively influence your skills during an interview then I would recommend highlighting that information. It is important for your resume to consist of facts that you can speak upon in a beneficial way, but also remember that you don’t want to mislead anyone who may be viewing it.” More from Tony
Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, says, “While it depends on the type of organization you're going into, many employers value experience in the field more highly than the credentials of a degree or certification. While in some situations a particular degree/certificate is required, I would say that in my company, experience typically plays a larger role than your degree.” More from Ashlyn
Related work experience is great, but...what if you don’t have any? Jenna, Hiring Expert at Emerson, suggests, “In addition to including extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and volunteerism, you can also include class-related projects! You can use the class projects to showcase the skills you've learned and applied in your courses to help express why you would be a good fit for a role.” More from Jenna
If you haven’t ever put a resume together, don’t worry -- we’ve got you covered. Start with our resume builder
and as always, you can ask our experts any questions you have along the way.