Career Planning Expert’s Tip of the Month – March

Why You Need a Well-Written Résumé

Before prospective employers take time to interview you, they will want to “meet” you – on paper. So the impression your résumé makes on a prospective employer will make the difference between you landing an interview or not. Without a résumé you cannot even begin to compete and one that is not well-written can eliminate you from consideration for a position before you even get the chance to interview!

And your résumé doesn’t stop helping you once you have landed an interview – in fact – landing you the interview is just the tip of the iceberg! Once you are actually in the interview, your résumé will really kick into action – it will serve as your guide to having a great interview!

So how does your résumé do this?

Let me give an example from a client I worked with this past semester. When he came to see me, he had a mediocre résumé – it was well-formatted but lacked effective accomplishment and responsibility statements. For example, on his résumé he stated that he “performed due diligence.” After some probing, I discovered that what he really did was perform “extensive due diligence on the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industries.” And in doing so, he “developed comprehensive sets of questions and interviewed industry executives,” “leveraged Capital IQ, 10 Wizard, and Edgar to better understand industry trends and cycles,” and “compiled Synopsis Reports based on research that were utilized by managing partners to learn about industries.”

Now, if I were interviewing you and your résumé only stated that you “performed due diligence,” I could only ask you a limited number of questions. But if your résumé featured more detailed accomplishment and responsibility statements, I would be able to ask you more targeted questions like “tell me the most interesting fact you learned about the pharmaceuticals industry.” The more targeted the question your interviewer asks you, the more targeted you can make your response. And this means that when your interview is complete, the individual who interviewed you is more than likely going to leave with the impression that you are more qualified for the position than the candidate who could only respond with a general response.

The point is – your résumé is a very valuable document so be sure to either spend time to craft it carefully or invest in one that is professionally-written! And preparing your résumé before you start your career or internship search will significantly reduce your stress level and even build your confidence – so jump this hurdle as soon as possible!

~The Résumé Girl, Lauren Hasson
Career Planning Expert, Campus Calm

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