What Employers Look for on a Resume

Helpful Tips Post-It

How long do employers look at your resume? 1 minute? 30 seconds? The answer is an average of 6 seconds. In order to maximize your potential in the allotted time, it is recommended that you personalize it to the reader. Employers read numerous resumes and if the information is not clearly connected to the job, they will skip your resume. The proper format and material is just the beginning of the process. Consider the following pointers:

  1. Error Free and Grammatically Correct Documents – A mistake in any application document risks the reader rejecting your candidacy for lack of attention to detail. Proofread your documents!
  2. Concise Writing Style – Employers prefer a writing style that utilizes action verbs and an active voice; passive writing is not recommended. Address the important points directly to keep the audience’s attention.
  3. Experience vs. Academics –Many employers look at Relevant Experience, which could permit excluding your GPA only if it is not required. However, if academics are emphasized then consider including honors, awards, GPA, etc. Technical skills are always desired for both experience and academics.
  4. Formatting – Organizational techniques such as Reverse Chronological Order, ordering by most recent to least recent, and consistency, maintaining the same format for all sections will give you an advantage. This will assist the reader to find key information and allow them to navigate your resume effortlessly. Formatting is key. An effective resume will draw the reader’s attention/interest in approximately 6 seconds.
  5. Include Hometown Address When Applying Locally– Applying near your hometown could provide an advantage due to locality.
  6. Honesty – Truthfully listing your experiences allows for easier conversation with an interviewer.

~ Randall, Career Peer Advisor

World of Work: Alli Morse ’12, State Street Bank

IAlli Morse

Alli Morse ‘12
Project Manager/Business Analyst
State Street
Major: Mathematics

What are employers looking for?

During senior year of college family, friends, professors, and fellow students are all asking the golden question: “What are your plans after you graduate?” For some students, it’s a question they love to be asked because they have an answer. Maybe it’s graduate school, a full-time job, or traveling throughout Europe for a summer. But I would argue that for most students, it’s a question they dread. Come December of my senior year, I fell into the latter category.

After ruling out graduate school and the trip to Europe, due to the damages it would cause on my bank account, I began looking into ways of incorporating my math skills into the business world. I knew I wanted a large, global and reputable company that would allow me to develop as a financial professional and grow within the company.

After a lot of research and submission of online applications to multiple companies, my friend recommended looking into State Street. With hopes of networking with State Street colleagues, I attended the annual UVM Boston Career Networking Night. After giving my well-planned spiel to a Senior Vice President from State Street, she gave me her business card and told me to follow up with her offline. The next day, I emailed all alumni with whom I connected, including the SVP from State Street. The next thing I knew I was headed into Boston for “Informational Interviews.” After four hours of draining interviews, including an unsolvable math problem, I left One Lincoln Street thinking I would never get a job there. But I was determined to continue on my search.

The next month I dedicated to my job search, which consisted of networking with people at both State Street and other financial institutions. For the most part, many people never responded but I was persistent which, in the end, was key. Over a month after my visit to State Street in Boston, I received an offer from State Street within SSGM ERM Department. It turned out I had key competencies they value. I graduated Cum Laude in May 2012 and in June I moved to the North End in Boston and started at State Street.

I am currently a Project Manager/Business Analyst for the Risk Management department within SSGM. So, landing a job after graduation is possible! It takes time and effort. While beginning your search, here are some tips from a lead recruiter at State Street to assist your efforts.