Résumé Tips I Learned from a TV Recruiter

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A career fair is not the place where you want to find out that your résumé is not good. Before a career fair, you should spend time updating your résumé, making sure it’s in perfect condition, ready to be seen by dozens of recruiters with hopes that it helps you land the job of your dreams. If you’re anything like who I was my freshman year of college, résumés were just a piece of paper that no one actually read anyway. Of course, I found out the hard way that people really do read them, and it says a lot about who you are professionally.

At my first career fair in 2014, I had no idea what to expect when I waited in a 10-minute line to meet with a recruiter from NBC Universal. Once it was my turn, I handed over my two-page résumé and hoped that my personality would land me that summer internship I wanted. About 20 seconds later, the recruiter looked up at me and said, “You spelled 'specifically' wrong.”

I was stunned.

The recruiter then took out a red pen and started making crisscrosses all over my résumé. Standing there, hoping the students waiting in line behind me wouldn’t notice, I felt embarrassed and thought I made a huge mistake coming to the career fair without properly reviewing it. If it wasn’t for that moment, though, I wouldn’t have realized how important it is to have a well-crafted résumé.

Here are the five takeaways I had after my experience with the TV recruiter.

1. Keep Your Résumé to One Page

According to Glassdoor, recruiters spend six seconds reviewing a résumé. Depending on the field you are in and your experience level, you may have a more extensive résumé. If you are looking for entry-level jobs, especially in media, keep it to one page, and don’t make the same mistake I did by having the recruiter flip the page.

2. Double-check Your Spelling

The worst moment for me was having the recruiter point out my spelling mistake. Saving yourself the embarrassment is easy: Have a second pair of eyes review your résumé before applying to jobs or before going to a job fair. It can be hard to catch mistakes if you’ve been editing for a long time. You never know if a misspelled word can cost you a job opportunity.

3. Chill Out on the Bold

I don’t know what it is with bolding words, but some of us tend to get a little carried away. Bolding headings and my name has worked for me and keeps my résumé looking less heavy. You want the recruiter to focus their eye on what’s most important. If you are a fan of bold, keep it to just your education, experience, and skills headings.

4. Cut the Objective

Remember, recruiters only spend around six seconds on a résumé. They won’t have time to read your objective. Save yourself some space by removing it. Instead, express your interests and goals in your cover letter.

5. Font Size Matters

You want to make sure recruiters can actually see your experience. I made the mistake of having a tiny font size, making it really hard for the recruiter to read my résumé at first glance. If you need more space, try removing older experiences or minimizing the number of bullet points. The ideal font size is 10 to 12 point.

If you are able to find jobs that interest you during these times, take a step back and review your résumé before applying. Following these simple steps can make quite a difference in clarity and layout, and show that you care about what you are presenting. After all, your résumé should be able to do all the talking for you.

Note: September is International Update Your Resume Month. To celebrate, freshen up your CV and use the hashtag #UpdateYourResumeMonth. Tag CircleAround on social media when you do, and we'll highlight your posts and tweets!


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