The information-packed webinar was presented by Sue Wyman, Director of the Business Career Connections (BCC), at the CU Denver Business School and moderated by Amber Morlan (MBA ’14), IT Project Manager at DaVita and BSAN Chair.
With hundreds of applicants fighting for a single position, the need to stand out is undeniable. As a corporate recruiter for over 15 years, Wyman knows exactly the types of resumes that make it out of the pile. She shared practical tips and advice to build a resume that makes an impact.
Getting through the system
Understanding the process of how resumes are funneled through an organization is key to navigating your way to the end.
Step 1: Applicant Tracking Systems: Resumes usually first go through a database – not a person – that ranks applicants by keywords.
Step 2: Recruiters: The first person that does see the resume is a recruiter. They see hundreds a day and your resume has only 5-6 seconds to grab their attention.
Step 3: Hiring Manager: This is the most important reader. They deeply understand the job and what they’re looking for and are the ones that will ultimately make the decision to hire or not.
Standing out in a sea of resumes
So how do some resumes get flagged and others rejected?
Keywords: Pack your resume full of words found in the job description. Without matching keywords, you may never even be considered simply because you didn’t tailor your resume for the specific position.
Formatting: Resumes that make the cut are easy to read and clearly thought out.
- Put experience in chronological order.
- Use an easy to read font. Sans serif font size 10 or 11.
- Avoid over-styling with underlining, bolding, and gratuitous color.
- Concise yet thorough bullets are better than paragraphs.
- Stick to 1-2 pages.
- Use consistent grammar and style.
- Don’t name your file “Resume” – everyone else does that too.
- And most importantly, make it perfect and error free!
How to tell your career story
The professional experience section is the “meat” of your resume. Your accomplishments are critical and employers know that past performance is an excellent predictor of future performance.
Give enough detail to fully explain, but don’t simply add fluff. Relevant information is interesting, succinct, and measurable.
Take time to really look back at your performance. Look at performance reviews, results from projects or committees, honors, awards, and recognition from managers, clients, and team members to show your strengths in detail.
Prioritize. You don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done. Take time to thoughtfully choose what experience reflects your story and ambitions.
LinkedIn profiles will be viewed by recruiters, hiring managers, peers, and are just as important as your resume.
Be consistent. If your LinkedIn shows different dates or numbers than your resume, that raises serious red flags.
There’s room for creativity. First person summaries are popular and completely acceptable, while may seem a bit too casual for a paper resume.
Use a professional photo. No selfies allowed. It is time to get a headshot.
Show off your profile. Customize your URL. Don’t just leave the default mix of number and letters, and put your link in your resume and email signature.
The 45-minute webinar covered even more valuable in-depth advice. If you missed it, you can view the entire webinar online anytime and check out the post-webinar Q&A for more insight and tips. The Business Career Connections offers many online resources as well as personalized coaching for job-seeking Business School alums.
More advice and resources coming up
The four-part Career Edge Webinar Series, hosted by the CU Denver Business School and CU Denver Alumni, offers valuable insight on local industry trends and professional development and is presented by our Alumni and local business experts. The sessions are completely free and online. Register today.
Friday, February 23, 2018 | Building Your Personal Digital Brand
Thursday, March 29, 2018 | Networking and Executive Interactions