How To Write The Perfect Resume In 15 Minutes Or Less

My name is Carmen, and I'm excited to be here with you today. I've spent the last nine years working as a University Recruiter at Meta, where I hired over a thousand students for internships and full-time roles. Now, I work for a company called Fetti, and I create content covering everything you need to know to land your dream job. Starting with this video on how to write and create the perfect resume. 

The Six-Second Resume Rule

Did you know that recruiters spend as little as SIX SECONDS on your resume before giving it the thumbs up or thumbs down? It's pretty scary, I know...

I wanted to walk you through some tips and tricks on how to make those seconds count. But before we get into it, we have a free resume template in the description for you, so be sure to check that out. It's an excellent place to start.

What do you think is the most important section of a resume? The answer might surprise you—it's the top-left corner! Recruiters naturally gravitate towards this area, so ensure it's where you showcase your most critical information.

A good resume should:

1. Showcases your skills and experience, highlights interesting classes and projects, internships/work, technical skills, open-source projects.

2. Serves as a launchpad for conversation.

3. Provides companies with your contact information.

4. Include your GPA (if it's noteworthy, for example a 3.5 and above).

5. Make sure to highlight any involvement that demonstrates your passion for the field or role you hope to enter: 

  • This is what will make you stand out. In your college, students are in the same classes and working on the same projects, but your passion projects will be unique to you.
  • How are you demonstrating your passion for being a software engineer beyond what's required of you? For example, if you aim to land a job as a software engineer, include hackathons, coding competitions, clubs, etc. When I was a recruiter at Meta, this section of your resume is where I would search because I wanted to discover what makes you unique. So, don't forget to add these elements to your resume!

Key Reminders

1. Keep the resume to one page.

2. Ensure it's well-organized, easy for the eyes to follow, and grammar is correct. 

  • You don't want to have bad grammar and instantly raise a flag in a recruiter's head, such as using the wrong "there" or "your." Make sure you are putting your best foot forward on your resume.

3. Use an "active" voice (verbs like designed, implemented, executed, drove, planned).

  • This way, from a company's perspective, you are very much a leader, and these are some of the things you've done, executed, and owned.

4. Keep bullet points clear and concise.

  • Be specific: include metrics/data, stakeholders, state your impact/scope, include outcomes, and share how it went. 
  • For example: Instead of "developed a social media campaign," use: "Conducted market research and developed a social media marketing campaign that resulted in a 20% increase in website traffic and a 15% increase in sales for a local clothing boutique."
  • Another example: As Co-Chair of the Hackathon Committee, I led event coordination for an annual University Hackathon, hosting over 500 students. I was responsible for coordination with vendors, university administration, and participant communications. I delivered a highly successful event as one of the 5 members of the Hackathon Committee, showcasing what I was responsible for, how many people were impacted, stakeholders, and outcomes.

6. Create different versions of your resume to target different roles and companies.

  • As an example for recruiters, there are many transferable skills in other roles like executive assistant and program manager positions. Creating different resumes for different types of roles can help frame your experience to be more specific for those positions.

7. Add links (email, LinkedIn, GitHub, website, etc.).

8. Ensure your resume matches what's on your LinkedIn so that the information is consistent.

9. Have your resume reviewed by multiple people (friends, colleagues, mentors, family, etc.) so they can provide feedback on readability and catch those annoying little grammar errors. Make sure you have many people proofread for you.

Tackling Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Now, let's delve into Applicant Tracking Systems. According to a recent survey, over 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS, while 66% of large companies and 35% of small organizations rely on them completely. Studies have shown that up to 75% of qualified applicants are rejected by ATS programs because the system cannot process the information on the resume.

Here are some tips on how to beat an ATS:

1. Let's discuss formatting (use the template created by Fetti recruiters, linked below, as a reference when creating your own).

2. Submit your resume in .docx file format; PDF files can be challenging for some applicant tracking systems to process.

3. Avoid unique formatting such as tables, boxes, images, or special characters - it can be tempting to use them because they make you stand out, but keep it simple and ensure your work speaks for itself.

4. Use standard bullet points, not stars, checkmarks, etc.

5. Avoid using headers or footers.

6. Clearly separate job titles from other information by using line breaks or commas.

7. Use chronological or logical formatting to list your experience.

8. Incorporate keywords (reference job postings on company websites and include relevant keywords in your resume).

9. Leverage your network; ask if you can be referred to roles you are interested in.

Now, I know this is a lot of information to digest at once. But take it one step at a time, get feedback from people you trust, use additional resources on Fetti, and best of luck on your search. You've got this!

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