Your resume is key for getting your first job, especially when you’re fresh out of college. There’s already a stiff competition in the job market for finance jobs. Before you start applying, you may want to do a little research on resume strategies.
Make It Easy On the Eyes
Employers receive hundred if not thousands of applications and resumes for every job they post about an open position, especially in finance. By the end of the day, they get tired of reading long resumes. The recruiter spends about six seconds scanning each resume, so you need to quickly and clearly tell them about all of your accomplishments and educational background. Keep the following resume strategies in mind when building your resume:
- Prepare your resume for computer transmission by saving it as a pdf, not a Word document. (This allows your resume to read as you designed it, no matter what sort of computer your employer uses) It’s also a good idea to do the same with your cover letter and any other documents you need.
- Make sure your name is prominent at the top of the page
- Organize the resume in distinct sections (certifications, education, experience, etc.)
- Use keywords that list skills and qualifications you have that match the job description (which is even more important if your future employer uses a computer scanner)
- Describe all your accomplishments in your previous positions using bullets
- Bold or underline any important details like the names of past job titles or employers so that they stand out.
- Actionable descriptions describe your previous jobs in an impressive way. You’ll want to word it so you look like a go-getter and not just someone who collected a paycheck.
- Active language avoid using passive phrases and always use active voices. (‘I designed the project’ sounds a lot better than ‘the project was designed by me’) This helps you to project enthusiasm, confidence, and power.
- The right information about your experience hopefully you’ll have one relevant internship that you can include on your list. But keep in mind that all experience is good, whether you were a volunteer, or you picked up an unrelated job over the summer.
Choose Your Words Carefully
One of the best resume strategies includes listing past accomplishments. No matter how insignificant your job was, your employer will notice (and think good of) any promotions and accomplishments you earned. Also include anything that demonstrates leadership and responsibility, no matter how small. If you helped to organize a sorority fundraiser, that is worth putting on your resume. Promotions and accomplishments show your future employer that you are a hard worker.
Don’t Make Rookie Mistakes
Believe it or not, there are a few things you can do that will make your future employer throw out your resume after a mere glance. Never use the following resume strategies:
- Don’t use the email address you made when you were young. Use a professional one, probably one that includes your full name.
- Do not use unnecessary information such as your high school GPA or ACT scores. They simply don’t care.
- Don’t list your age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act only protect people over age 40 from being fired. Don’t give your employers any possible reason not to hire you.
- Never list any sort of demographic information (sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender) because, while it is still illegal, discrimination during the hiring process is still a huge problem in America.
Always proofread. The hiring manager will immediately throw out your resume if they find any typos, grammar errors, or spelling errors.
Is It Necessary To…?
Some people have many questions on what to include in their resume. The answer can vary, depending on different resume strategies.
- Include your address? Yes, but not your specific house number. They only want to know if you live near the office. Simply list your city, phone number, and email address.
- List references? No, which is a common mistake among people. If your hiring manager wants references, they will ask for them separately. But if you must list some references, be sure to choose wisely. It should never be someone who knows you academically, they’ll need to have spent time with you in a work setting.
- Include a personal summary? Depends. They are most often put on a cover letter, but if you don’t have one, you should section it off and label it on your resume so they can skip over it if they wish. Your personal summary should include a list of things you wish to do in the future.
Very important resume strategies include always changing your resume and tweak it a little bit to be based off of the specific employer you’re targeting. This will demonstrate that you did your homework and research about the company, understand its culture, and sincerely want to be a part of its team.
Your resume is a vital piece of the hiring process. It will make or break your chances of landing any job. The resume is the first piece of you they receive; it needs to show them all you have to offer without being too lengthy. Before creating your resume, do a little research on resume strategies and then take the extra time and create it carefully to make sure that you present your best possible care for being hired.