Resume tips!

blue_green

Member
Nov 11, 2006
46
0
I'm just a law student tweaking my own resume, but I know there are a lot of really successful tPF-ers out there who can give wonderful advice.

Those of you with experience hiring, what do you look for in a resume? any Dos/Donts? What were the funniest mistakes or bad choices you have seen others make?

Thanks in advance (on the part of anyone who will be looking for jobs now or in the future)
 
Jun 16, 2006
1,369
2
Washington State
Don't spell anything wrong! lol I know it seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people do it.

For me, I hate reading resumes. They're boring and have too much information. But you also don't want too little information.

I've seen resumes with photos and weird paper - they're trying to stand out but the problem is they do it in a weird way that makes me not wnat to read it.

I'm sure others will have more technical advice. :smile: I'm big on aesthetics.
 

hmwe46

why bother
O.G.
Jun 27, 2006
10,774
27
Spelling and punctuation errors are the worst! LOL

Also, personal hobbies, interests, etc are a total turn off when I read a resume. Frankly, I just don't care that someone loves to waterski.

More than two pages is way too much information. I prefer a single page if at all possible, two if you print double sided.

I like short crisp sentences leading with an action verb and ending in a result, ie "Improved budget process by implementing new spend policies that reducted departmental spend by 10% quarter over quarter".

Remember, the goal of a resume is to make a prospective employer want to *interview* you, not hire you. They want to hire you after they meet you :yes:

But that's just me :P

Good luck!! :flowers:u
 

purplekitty

Certified bag addict
Mar 31, 2006
4,294
1
Type it, and don't use white-out or have any scratches. Make sure there are no spelling, grammar, usuage, or punctuation errors. Try very hard to make it one page. Never say anything bad about your past employer(s), if there is something bad about them, and if they ask, explain the situation in a positive way, don't be negative about your past employer. If you speak more than one language, list them. If you have any certificates or impressive awards, like academic, list those, too. Also, avoid using pronouns. And as mentioned, don't include any pointless info., like hobbies. Think about what you would want to read and not read if you were the interviewer. Good luck!
 

Bee...Bee

Dizziness to myself
Mar 16, 2006
730
1
43
London
Spelling and punctuation errors are the worst! LOL

Also, personal hobbies, interests, etc are a total turn off when I read a resume. Frankly, I just don't care that someone loves to waterski.

More than two pages is way too much information. I prefer a single page if at all possible, two if you print double sided.

I like short crisp sentences leading with an action verb and ending in a result, ie "Improved budget process by implementing new spend policies that reducted departmental spend by 10% quarter over quarter".

Remember, the goal of a resume is to make a prospective employer want to *interview* you, not hire you. They want to hire you after they meet you :yes:

But that's just me :P

Good luck!! :flowers:u
Generally agree with what you say but I like to know people's hobby! This is particularly important especially when everyone applying to my firm has to have a vaguely decent educational background, experience, etc. Our firm sees it as is the deal breaker if you are just a boring nerd who has no life outside the office. Would you be interested if someone writes down as their personal hobby:

Flying MiG 29 Advanced Tactical Fighter: he was a Serbian fighter pilot, LOL
or
Passed close combat qualification in Military Operations on Urban Terrain: this guy was a former US marine
or
Communications attache to an embassy in country X (you know what this means if someone comes up with this :ninja:smile:

Certainly our firm is interested and we have got all of those and this does not even include a magician, LOL.

But coming back to a slightly more normal circumstances, hobbies can be seen as something to discern whether you fit the firm's culture or not and it's better to have it than not.

The worst mistake I encounter - on the occasion I am asked to meet a graduate for the more technical interview in the second (and final) round - concerning resumes is that it looks impressive but you overstate it and when you come to the interview you cannot describe satisfactorily what you have written so if you are going to give a white lie (I'm not going to say don't lie because everyone does, LOL) you better have a convincing backup story!
 

blue_green

Member
Nov 11, 2006
46
0
the career services center told us to put one line at the bottom with any special skills, languages and a few interests to make us seem more real, and which might give us a hook if we share something in common with an employer.

yikes! i see this is a very polarized issue.

I also have a question about languages. I took 5 years of spanish (8th-12th grades) and scored a 5 (out of 5) on the spanish AP exam, and a perfect 100 on the NY Regents exam. However, I haven't taken any language classes in college, so my spanish is a bit rusty.

I am NOT fluent by any means (nor would i represent myself as such) but I was wondering if I should include anything related to spanish on my resume at the bottom - like familar with spanish, or something else. I did use some spanish over the summer when working at a law firm, but I understand it better than I speak it ;)
 

Bee...Bee

Dizziness to myself
Mar 16, 2006
730
1
43
London
the career services center told us to put one line at the bottom with any special skills, languages and a few interests to make us seem more real, and which might give us a hook if we share something in common with an employer.

yikes! i see this is a very polarized issue.

I also have a question about languages. I took 5 years of spanish (8th-12th grades) and scored a 5 (out of 5) on the spanish AP exam, and a perfect 100 on the NY Regents exam. However, I haven't taken any language classes in college, so my spanish is a bit rusty.

I am NOT fluent by any means (nor would i represent myself as such) but I was wondering if I should include anything related to spanish on my resume at the bottom - like familar with spanish, or something else. I did use some spanish over the summer when working at a law firm, but I understand it better than I speak it ;)
Only if you can proficiently hold a conversation about an issue in a newspaper. This comes back to white lie thing doesn't it, LOL. I had a guy who claimed he can speak French and read Emile Zola's Nana in French but when I spoke in French to him about the prostitution in the book he just froze so I guess the level [to claim that you can speak Spanish] is to be able to talk vaguely about current affairs long enough to allow you to naturally switch back to English.
 

sjc0105

Member
Sep 20, 2006
216
0
I agree with BeeBee..I like to know their hobbies also. I mean, of course if that is half of their resume, I would consider it a problem, but a few things are nice and interesting to know.

Never ever ever make grammar or spelling mistakes, that is just a bg no no.

I really wish you the best!!!
 

jillybean307

Wanderlust
O.G.
Mar 9, 2006
3,997
6
39
Charlottesville, VA
It should never be more than two pages. I look at resumes all day long, and nothing drives me crazy like seeing a 15 page resume.

If you list languages you should list them like so:

French- 3 years of study
Spanish- 6 years of study
Italian- basic conversation & reading knowledge

Never claim to be fluent in a language unless you can speak about any topic at length. Nothing looks worse than having an interviewer start questioning you in said language & you not being able to follow along.


I have a really excellent sample of a C.V. if anyone wants a copy. I got it on an academic forum when I was drafting mine for grad school, and it's how I did mine. It's one of the best examples I've found.

If anyone wants a copy, let me know.
 

shani

King Louis' Mistress
Aug 8, 2006
645
0
Canada
blue_green - What everyone else said. Let them know that you put the work into it, but be sure to clearly state your level of proficiency.

Print out your resume on nice paper? Not something distracting, but I like resumes that are aesthetically appealing.

I've heard resume-readers say that they don't like it when people put down "references available upon request," as though you're creating extra work for your employer or hiding information from them.
 

Pursegrrl

Oh no she di-int!!
O.G.
Jun 1, 2006
28,070
69
53
Seattle
Spelling and punctuation errors are the worst! LOL

Also, personal hobbies, interests, etc are a total turn off when I read a resume. Frankly, I just don't care that someone loves to waterski.

More than two pages is way too much information. I prefer a single page if at all possible, two if you print double sided.

I like short crisp sentences leading with an action verb and ending in a result, ie "Improved budget process by implementing new spend policies that reducted departmental spend by 10% quarter over quarter".

Remember, the goal of a resume is to make a prospective employer want to *interview* you, not hire you. They want to hire you after they meet you :yes:

But that's just me :P

Good luck!! :flowers:u
Couldn't have said it better! I absolutely detest spelling and punctuation goofs on resumes. Hey, if you're not a good speller, have someone else proof it for you. You wouldn't believe how often people even typo the year, such as 1096-2004, when they really meant 1996-2004. Hehehe, that's a helluva a long time otherwise!

Have your name and contact info prominently displayed and keep your resume to 1-2 pages max. Stay with traditional fonts and layouts.
 

sonya

Member
Feb 23, 2006
5,799
10
I agree with BeeBee..I like to know their hobbies also. I mean, of course if that is half of their resume, I would consider it a problem, but a few things are nice and interesting to know.

Ususally interviewers use your hobbies as small talk topics to launch into your resume. Keep your hobbies on your resume. It will make you stand out.
 
Oct 17, 2006
1,765
318
I would like to see the followings (and in the order specified below):

1. your objective, a 1-2 line statement about yourself (e.g. x yrs of experience in ?? or a law degree graduate), what job position/industry you are looking for.

2. your education, degree and major/minor, honors/schlolarships showing competency and qualifications (cite a few examples of courses taken related to job seeking)

3. Your past work experience (also your qualification) - state what was done, why, and what your accomplishments and contributions. Hope you have a lot to say here. Use action verbs to begin each sentence.

4. Your activities/affiliations (express your interests in terms of these) - various positions held in clubs/societies and briefly state functions to show initiatives, interests, and leadership skills (work well with others etc.)

Lastly, keep all on one page, short and to the point. Remember, most interviewers have hundreds of resumes to sort through. They lose interests very quickly. You need to grab their attention right away.