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November 30, 2011

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I am a recruiter and I review hundreds of resumes each week. I would absolutely agree with all of the above points. If I had to boil it down even further, I would say the top 2 reasons I reject a resume is 1) not telling me right away why you are right for this job, and 2) grammatical/spelling errors.

I'm busy. The hiring managers I work with are busy. If I have to comb through your resume looking for related experience or qualification ABC, forget it. I don't need a long cover letter, but putting a one or two sentence "Professional Summary" at the top of your resume detailing what skills/background you have that are a fit for my job is priceless. Then, spend a little time highlighting applicable experience from your recent positions, do a spelling/grammar check, then do ANOTHER spelling/grammar check, and send it off!

The rule of thumb I always use is to have the most detail on your most recent job, and less and less with each listed job. Every time I update my resume with a new job, I make space by consolidating things that have gone further and further in the past. Employers are going to care most about what you've done recently versus 5 or 10 years ago.

Funny story about spelling: When I first started looking for jobs with a resume in college, in my job description I left the "f" out of "shift". Needless to say Word didn't recognize it as a mis-spelling so I didn't notice until after my mother read the resume and I had already sent out 100 or so to employers. I did get a few interviews but no offers until after I corrected the spelling... haha.

Throughout your student career you are bombarded with tips and tricks about how to make a winning resume, but I think a resume definitely needs to be tailored in a way that is specific to the job you are seeking. By typing up a concrete list of accomplishments and past experience, and sending it out to a variety of potential employers, you're setting yourself up to appear generic. I was always taught to include a cover letter, even if it is just a short paragraph, because thats where you can set yourself apart from others and express yourself, your passions, interests and skills in a way that sets you apart and highlights what you want people to pay especially close attention to.

We're always interviewing and hiring. Cover letters are never looked at and in fact they aren't even given to us by our screeners/HR. Walden provided a good tip to put 1 or 2 sentences on top of your resume. I always read those and rate them high. Also anything over 2 pages is too much. Finally write your resume to the job. Some resumes I get don't even relate to the position.

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