18 Next-Level Résumé Tips

14 03 2017


As you prepare to leave college and head into the world of work, you’ll have one thing on your mind: landing that dream job! Those first months after graduating can be a disheartening time. You may anticipate suffering knock-back after knock-back as you gradually acclimatize to the idea that you’re going to have to settle for less until you have a bit more experience. But you can improve your chances of getting a great position, or at least a nice leaping point, by sprucing up your CV in ways that we know make recruiters pay attention.

List your achievements and experience in reverse-chronological order, so as to grab their attention quickly – many recruiters will look at a résumé for less than ten seconds before moving on if they’re not interested. If you’re graduating for the first time, you might not have much experience to share yet – but you can convey what skills you have learnt in a succinct list of bullet points under your jobs, qualifications and extracurricular activities. Tailor these to each specific job to which you apply: go through their list of requirements, and see how you can promote personal examples under your own job or course descriptions. You may need to think laterally!

You can also make an impact by including a short but unique cover letter. This is your chance to get an edge over the 45% of applicants who won’t bother, and to address the hiring manager by name – a detail which you will of course research in advance, to show what a hot property you are.

For 18 simple tips on how to tweak your CV to perfection, check out this new infographic – it’s full of ways to make that résumé stand out, even if you don’t yet have the experience you feel you need.

****Big thanks to our friends at NeoMam Studios for the graphic!!****


7 Recruiter’s Tips for Landing Your Dream Job

13 11 2016


In some ways, it’s a great time to be looking for work.

The labor market is really tight, and there are more unfilled positions in the U.S. than ever. But don’t be deceived. Part of the problem is that there is a skills gap. Employers aren’t filling a lot of their open roles because they can’t find the right people for them.

Here are some tips to help you understand things from the recruiter’s perspective and convince them you’ve got the skills.

  1. You’ve Got All of 6 Seconds

That’s about how long your resume gets with a recruiter. Your cover letter is a bit closer to 0. That doesn’t mean spend less time on your resume though. Recruiters are looking to see if you’ve held the right positions, for a long enough time, to confirm you have the necessary skills.

They’re also searching for signs of sloppiness, such as misspellings, typos, grammar issues.

  • Make your postions easy to scan. Bold them and put them in bullets.
  • Read and re-read your resume. Then ask at least two more people to do the same.

More solid advice on resumes and recruiters.

  1. Match Your Resume with LinkedIn

A big turnoff for a lot of recruiters is when there’s something on LinkedIn that wasn’t on your resume. It makes it look like you’re hiding something. Make sure these square up into a coherent picture of you.

  1. Get Your Interviewer’s Attention Early, and Study Up

As long as we’re talking about LinkedIn, it’s a great tool for connecting with an interviewer early on – just add them on the network. You can also use it to learn more about them, see what you have in common and look for shared connections.

  1. First Impressions Might be the Only Ones that Matter

According to at least one study, the decision to hire someone is made within the first 15 seconds of the interview, whether the interviewer knows it or not. Here’s a quick checklist that’ll help you make a solid impression.

  • Be early. The only way to make sure you’re not late for an interview is to plan on being early. Being late means you’ve made a bad first impression before they even had a chance to see you. Make it your goal to be 30 minutes early – if something goes wrong, you’ll still be ok.
  • Take a hike. Now that you’ve arrived early, throw on some headphones with music you enjoy and take a walk around the block for a few minutes. This will help calm your nerves for the interview.
  • Check yourself. Just before the interview, stop in a restroom and make sure your hair is fine, there’s nothing in your teeth, and your clothes are squared away.
  • Take a drink. Of water! Bring your own bottle of water to sip on if your throat gets dry. For whatever reason, this seems to be a problem during interviews.
  • Give a solid handshake. Don’t break any bones, but don’t give them the dead fish handshake either.
  1. How to Rock Your Job Interview

Ok, hopefully you’ve made a good impression at this point. Now you just need to bring the job interview home. A couple pieces of advice for making it great.

  • Be ready to talk about money. People that have done a lot of interviews, especially recruiters, will be comfortable asking you directly how much you’re expecting to get paid, and how much you made in your last job. Be honest and do your homework. Know what the market rate is for the position, and if you’re at the high end of the market, be ready to explain why.
  • Oh, but don’t talk about money too much. Answer their money questions, and leave it at that. You don’t want to give the impression that money is the only thing motivating you.
  • Do your research. You should know about industry trends and be prepared to give examples of the best people/products in your line of work.
  • Be prepared for the questions. There are common interview questions that get used over and over. Know them and have your answers in mind.
  • Be specific. Don’t just tell them you grew sales. Know the exact number you did it by, and make sure your numbers are accurate.
  1. Be open to negotiation

If the pay isn’t quite right, are there perks you’d be interested in? What about a 4 day work week? A flexible schedule? Work from home days? Extra vacation time?

Of course, you need to be sure you can live on the pay they give you, or the job won’t work out. But if you’ve got some wiggle room on the pay, you might be able to make up for it with some concessions that improve your overall lifestyle.

  1. Know What You Want

If you’re not quite sure about which role you want, keep that quiet. Candidates who aren’t quite sure what job they want don’t tend to stick around long. Recruiters and hiring managers know this, and if they get the sense that you’re undecided, they may pass.

Ok, I hope that gives you some intel you can use to land your next job. Be sure to go over that first impression checklist right before the interview so that you get past those crucial first seconds, and have a good chance at getting to an offer. Good luck!

****For this unique post, Campus to Career thanks Paul Peters!!****


About: Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.

CVs and Résumés: Get Them Right to Get the Job (Infographic)

24 05 2016

It’s as simple as this: without an excellent résumé, your prospects of finding employment are slim to nil. Your résumé is your first impression on a recruiter, and with so many others like you also trying to make a distinctive first impression, it will need to be particularly strong to warrant further attention from the recruiter.

In that case, it’s well worth taking the time to analyze your résumé and make sure that it is word perfect before submitting it to a recruiter. That might seem insultingly obvious, but the stark truth is that a large number of applicants fail to do this. Recruiters are constantly sent applications with glaring errors such as spelling mistakes, sloppy layout, inconsistent or even false information and buzzwords which were clearly pulled from the Internet and slapped incoherently into the résumé.

Australian payroll and contractor management company Ayers has identified the main aspects of excellent résumé writing by honing in on three categories.

Spelling/Grammar: When you’re finished writing the résumé, proofread it carefully. Ensure that you use the correct spelling for the region in which you’re applying, e.g. if you’re applying for a job in California, use the American spelling of words such as ‘labor’ and ‘aluminum’. Then proofread it again. Only use capital letters at the start of sentences or in proper nouns. When all that’s done, it’s time for another proofread. In fact, get another person to proof it for you in case you’ve missed anything.

Layout: A résumé is a professional, formal document, so use black type throughout and adopt a neutral font such as Arial or Times New Roman. The snazzy fonts and colors belong elsewhere. Ensure that your résumé is consistent in its layout and favor the use of bullet points, as this will make it easier to read than chunks of text where the recruiter is straining to determine what are the most pertinent points.

Content: This is the most important aspect of the whole lot. This is your audition for the role being advertised, so make it count. Talk yourself and your achievements up as much as you can without delving into lying territory. If the job application asked for specific skills or qualifications, address these accordingly. Support any claims you make with concrete evidence.

Follow these rules and your résumé is all the more likely to grab a recruiter’s attention. Read the infographic below for further advice.


Why You REALLY Need to Apply Online

13 08 2013


We’ve all heard it from recruiters all over the world.  When you meet them, whether at the career fair, networking function, or through sites like LinkedIn, they almost all have the same response:  “You’ll need to go to companyabc.com/careers to apply for the position of interest.”  I can hear the Debbie Downer “wah-wah” now.  It’s disheartening.  After all, you thought the five minutes you spent with the recruiter forged an unbreakable bound.  You’re family now, right?  Wrong.  You still need to apply online.

I had the opportunity to meet with some very smart recruiters from one of the nation’s top investment firms recently and they shared their insight with me around this subject.  Here’s what I learned:

Digital beats paper…every time.  Most still accept paper résumés, so please for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t forget to bring plenty of copies with you.  But, that’s only the first step.  Companies want you to apply to the job requisition (or “req”) so that your information can be shared with everyone relevant to the hiring process.  How much faith do you have that your paper résumé will reach the office, the sourcers, and then the hiring manager?  People lose things.  Don’t let your résumé get lost in the bottom of their bag, the heap on their desk or any of the million places in between.

PRO TIP: Does it feel like you’re sending your application off into a black hole?  Be sure to follow up with the recruiter once you’ve applied (this is why you get their business card) and ask if you need to submit anything else.  Then, give them a couple of weeks.  Follow up with a nice check-in.  Remind them who you are, how you met (ie: career fair at UCLA) and ask for next steps.  Request to connect with them on LinkedIn.

Rules and regulations.  Recruiters don’t just want you to apply online, most need you to do so in order to be compliant with OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) regulations.  That means if the company is a government contractor (you’d be surprised) they cannot legally consider you as an applicant until you complete the online process.  So, giving them your résumé isn’t enough.

The changing workforce.  With the particular company that I spoke with, recruiters were spread out across the country.  None of them actually worked at the corporate office.  If one of them received a great resume at a career fair in California (and didn’t apply online) then it’s up to the recruiter to manually share the candidate’s résumé with the other recruiters.  Sometimes this happens, but most times, the résumé gets lost in the shuffle.  Would you want to put your entire future in the hands of ONE person?  I’m not sure I would.  Applying online allows the recruiters all across the nation to view your information.  You might not be a fit for California, but could be a perfect match for a position in Florida!  That’s just one example.

Side note: If you’re an Enactus United States student or alumni, there are hundreds of jobs posted right now with Fortune 500 companies on the Enactus US Career Marketplace.  Most allow you to complete application process through our system, so it’s super-easy!  Login or register today by clicking here then upload your résumé  Need a little résumé help? Check out Résumé Builder! Just another great resource provided by Enactus Career Services. (*Available exclusively to Enactus US students and alumni.)

So, now when someone asks you kindly to apply online, you’ll know WHY and hopefully you’ll follow their advice.

Have additional insight on online applications and why they’re important?  Please weigh in by leaving a comment.  This is YOUR forum.  We can learn from each other.  As always, thanks for reading!

5 College Grad Job Search Mistakes

23 10 2012

Guest post by Charles Sipe

A job becomes the Holy Grail for fresh college graduates. Getting hired seems to be the only way of justifying the time, effort and money spent on a college degree. So why is it that some college graduates are unable to find quality jobs that their fellow classmates have? Make sure to avoid the following mistakes to optimize your opportunities in the job market.

1. Inappropriate Resume

The very first thing that you must have is a resume that truly represents your strengths as a professional who is about to step foot in the corporate world. Remember, there is no recipe for a successful resume and it all depends on what your field of education is, the country, city and organization you are applying for and other factors. In my opinion, a new college grad’s resume should never be more than a single page.

2. Not Applying Enough

It is possible for you to commit a mistake by not doing something at all. The cost of not applying at enough organizations is very high. Job vacancies are advertised, here, there and everywhere including websites, social media platforms and recruiting firms. However many jobs are never advertised and you need to develop connections to uncover this hidden job market. You can’t rely solely on job boards anymore – you have to work your network as well.

Also, not applying soon enough is a mistake. Many companies have a hiring season. Often college students are hired before they graduate. Campus recruiting enables employers to get the benefits that an early bird does – they get the best graduates even before they graduate. Once this hiring season is over, most vacancies at reputed organizations are filled. So if you consider yourself a student who can compete with the best, start applying before graduation.

TIP: Most corporations hire for their summer internships and full-time positions in the fall semester.  Don’t wait until you’re two months from summer break or graduation to start applying for positions!

3. Mistakes at the Interview

Interviewing well with potential employers is an art in itself. Experience with interviews can help you learn which qualities and actions will impress interviewers and which ones do not. Common mistakes are not arriving early to the interview and not researching the company beforehand. Make sure that you have questions prepared to demonstrate your interest.

4. Not Following Up

Following up after an interview can improve an employer’s impression of you and make you appear interested in the job. This works better at relatively smaller companies where you may connect directly with the people who interviewed you instead human resources who often lacks the authority to make a decision. Nevertheless, please follow up.  A nice thank-you note can go a long way.

5. Sitting Idle

Some fresh graduates refuse offers and wait for the ‘perfect job’ to come their way. This is a mistake because a job candidate who is already employed is far more attractive than one who is not. A candidate who is already employed can create an impression that your talents are in demand. Today, job hopping is not considered as bad as it was a decade ago, so don’t be afraid to take a position while you continue to work towards your ideal job.

About the author:

Charles Sipe is the Executive Editor for Masters in Accounting, a helpful career resource for anyone interested in getting started in the accounting field. You can follow us on Twitter at @accountingmacc