TIP TUESDAY: Employers and Resumes – What are they looking for?

Greetings Emerson Alumni!

I don’t know about you, but I see lots of articles that provide multiple perspectives and opinions about what makes for a strong resume. There’s past advice that may not be as relevant for today’s hiring needs, and rest assured there will be more advice in the future as the job market is ever shifting and more people have portfolio careers, parallel careers, freelance work and also dive into the world of entrepreneurship. The goal today is to find out, in 2017, what employers looking for when looking to fill positions.

While there are exceptions based on industry and position, on average an employer will go through 75 resumes per position. No doubt this is why we stress the importance of networking so that your resume is more likely to be seen by an employer via referral. Yet while you’re busy making as many connections as possible, when you DO finally get that opportunity to be seen for a position, do you have the best version of your resume to put forward?

It goes without saying that there’s hard working, passionate folks behind this written, revised, reviewed, and screened document. An Emerson grad has lots of relevant experience to back up their professional goals. In other words, any career counselor and/or coach will tell you that before we look at that piece of paper, our job is to get to know you, first and foremost. We want to know:

1. What achievements are you the most proud of so far in your career?

2. What kind of work are your seeking and why?

3. What do you know about the field, companies, and the culture?

When you answer these questions, you not only gain clarity for your professional goals, but you can start crafting content that speaks to the audience you want to attract. When reviewing resumes, our goal when working with you  is to make sure that there’s a strong alignment to a position based on action verbs, industry terms and achievements. Remember: you’re not writing a list of job descriptions. You’re succinctly writing about how you contributed to organizations through those jobs. We bring to positions who we are, our skills and our talents and you want that to come through.

In an effort to get through the noise, here are some notable gems of advice from employers about their expectations.

The Dos:

  1. On getting your resume in front of a person:
  2. Applicant Tracking SystemsTried and true advice on the look and content
  3. Making sure the resume is selling YOU for the POSITION

The Don’ts:

Take a look below and check out what to avoid.

  1. Top 15 Things You Can Leave Off Your Resume
  2. 29 Things You Should Never Put On Your Resume
  3. 16 Things You Should Remove From Your Resume

What does this mean for you?

It still remains that with people’s well wishes, opinions (Picture it: Holiday season, and those lovely relatives who tell you everything about what you should do with your resume!) and the excess of information out there, you’ll have to look through advice and apply what’s right for you. You’ll read some similarities in the links above, but of course remember that we’re a sounding board to help you get it right for the job you want!

Every year at Career Services we provide resume critiques and workshops for students and alumni across industries and at various stages of their career. Need to have yours looked at? Email us at careers@emerson.edu. We’re happy to get it in shape!!!

By Jessica Chance
Jessica Chance Assistant Director, Liaison to Alumni and Graduate Students Jessica Chance