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Am I Doing This Right?

By Colliers Engineering & Design

Looking at resumes through a looking glassThe Beginning

As a young adult, I can confidently say the years I spent in college were the best years of my life (so far!). Freshman year, you experience a freedom you’ve never known, and in the blink of an eye, you’re thrust into the real world.

Everyone always warned me how sad it would be—closing the college chapter of my life—but no one ever mentioned how frightening it would be trying to navigate through my first “big girl” job.

One thing I have learned is the ins and outs of the professional world are endless. How do I get an interview? When is it appropriate to call someone? What happens if I miss a deadline? How do we really know if we’re doing this whole “adult thing” right?

Over the next few months, I invite you to experience this occasionally embarrassing, constantly challenging, and very rewarding journey with me. I have one goal: pass on lessons learned and get the inside scoop on things that really matter.

Like all good journeys, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end; so, I’m going to take it from the top…Let’s talk about resumes…

Resume Writing

When I was in undergrad (shout out to my fellow Drexel Dragons!), my Career Management 101 professor stressed the importance of creating this one-page masterpiece that would determine my fate. However, there were rules to this unique piece of art:

  • Don’t reuse the same verb when describing responsibilities
  • Create a clear and uncluttered resume—keep it easy to read
  • Keep each bullet point to one line
  • Use three to four bullet points per job experience

And the list goes on. With universities teaching a variety of techniques coupled with all the information Google has to offer, how are we really supposed to know if we’re doing this right!?

The Experts

I sat down with Maser Consulting’s Corporate Recruiter, Mike Weissman, and Human Resource Training Specialist, Christina Urciuoli, to really get the inside scoop on resume building.

Many resumesHave you ever considered all the factors that may work either for or against you? Me either. Mike explained the first portion of a resume he reviews is the applicants listed home address. He takes into consideration commute time, what the traffic would be like, and even if there are ties to the community. “Obviously we want people who are going to be around for the long-run,” he stated.

Something I’m sure your professors, and Google, can agree on, is the importance of extra-curricular activities. Christina urges young professionals to get involved with your university or community. Be sure to list each extracurricular on your resume. Not only does this demonstrate an applicant’s ability to juggle different aspects of their lives, but it makes you more relatable. For example, if a manager has two similar resumes they may resonate with one of your activities… so add that drama club experience!

I asked Mike what advice he wants applicants to know, and instead of suggesting information to include on your resume, he did a 180°. “Only list the relevant information,” he suggested. For example, unless requested leave your references off your resume. “It takes up space, it doesn’t tell me what I need to know, and it makes your resume much longer making me less likely to read it,” he said. In the same vein, it may be a good idea to omit the ever popular “References available upon request” as well—he’s confident you’ll supply them if he asks.

To tie your resume together, Christina emphasized the importance of formatting. “I like to see an organized and consistent resume. If you bold one experience, bold all of them. Make sure to keep the same tense [past or present], all of these little details tell me you put time into your resume.” She concluded, “I equate the resume to a candidate’s future work product. Who doesn’t want an organized and detail-oriented employee?”

The Conclusion

After speaking with Christina and Mike, I’m beginning to think my Career Management 101 professor may have been onto something. How do you tackle resume building? We’d love to hear your strategies or tips for the young professional trying to navigate their way to (and through) the corporate world! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time I ask, “Am I doing this right?”.

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2 Responses to “Am I Doing This Right?”

July 02, 2018 at 5:17 pm, Mary O'Leary said:

Great article – thanks Maggy for being transparent.

July 02, 2018 at 6:00 pm, Maggy Fermo said:

Thank you, Mary!

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