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Resume Remedy 2008-05-02 11:48:51

Entry-Level Résumé, Remedied


TeamSugar user yoruhana posted her "Entry-Levelness Resume" in my Résumé Remedy group — she's a year out of college and looking for something new because the company where she held her first job is undergoing financial troubles. Her current resume implies that she's a highly-desirable candidate — she has a good education and made the most of her time during college with various internships — yet she's having trouble getting an employer to bite at her applications. She'd like some help making her bulletpoints pop, but I'm going to give my two cents from top to bottom — résumés can be fun! Or maybe it's just me, but let's get started!

  1. Remove the objective, forever! That goes for every résumé, in my opinion. Your objective is something that should be made clear in your cover letter. Maybe there are some recruiters out there who would disagree with me, but I find the whole objective minisection to be old-fashioned. It's something that just fills space and doesn't give an employer any key information about an applicant.
  2. Skills shouldn't appear at the top. Move the skills section to the bottom. Your experience is what matters and makes you unique, while your skills are technical qualifications that generally don't make you stand out. If you choose to include Microsoft Office in your skills, which I don't think is particularly necessary in your case, I recommend stating it last.

Find out how else I would remedy this résumé when you read more.

  1. Pay attention to tense: One of the most common problems on résumés is mixing the past and present tense. These subtle mistakes can be found throughout, but I'll use her most recent experience as an example.
    Freelance Web Designer

    • Develop a new design for company website that integrated the company’s new look and objective.
    • Integrated Flash and Javascript to enhance the user’s experience by providing a clickable, rotating banner on the homepage and Lightbox image preview.
    • Design several different layouts for company to showcase different concepts, which enabled owners to pick and chose their favorite layout and elements to add to the layout.

    The first bullet point is fine, but the third incorporates two tenses — "design" is present, while "enabled" is past tense. If the second bullet point is intentionally past tense, as it was a one-time accomplishment, it should be listed last to keep things consistent. She uses a variety of action words, which is great, but if it's a past experience the verbs need to convey that's the case, so in a job from 2005 she didn't "interact and fulfill the needs of various exhibitors," she interacted with them.

  2. The résumé is, in general, much too long for an entry-level applicant. There are seven positions listed, which date back to 2000. Just because experiences aren't introduced on your résumé doesn't mean you can't bring them up in your interview. But in order to get to the interview stage, you need the person reading your résumé to stay focused and consider your experience relevant. In this case, I would remove at least the last two positions, especially the one that lasted for two months.

Good luck with your job search, yoruhana, and keep us posted! Please keep in mind that these are just suggestions and I'm not a professional résumé coach.

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