Hi everyone! First off, I just want to say how grateful I've been for everyone that's stopped by and enjoyed my little corner of the internet so far. I have so many fun things planned and I'm so happy and excited for you all to follow along. One of the fun things I have planned is a new series I'm working on with my friend Nidhi Desai. Nidhi and I worked together at the same public accounting firm before Nidhi left at the end of September and landed a really awesome new job in a field she's been hoping to break into.
I also have a personal announcement, today marks my first day at my NEW JOB! I am now going to be working in accounting consulting for a new firm and I'm very excited! I'm actually traveling to L.A. today for orientation! I'm so excited for this new opportunity, and so grateful for the experience I have gained in the past two years working as an auditor in public accounting which allowed me to obtain this new position. Follow along on Instagram and Snapchat (@lauraaimevous) to see glimpses of L.A. (I've never been so I'm really stoked to check it out).
Now, back to my new series. Nidhi and I were going through the resume updating, interviewing, and transitioning process from our old positions around the same time. Nidhi was such a great resource for me (girl knows her stuff) and so I reached out and asked her if she would be interested in writing some guest posts for my blog as I know some of my readers may be in similar career positions that I was in just a month ago. Nidhi was more than willing and she wrote two really great posts, the first of which I'm excited to share with you today. Also, be sure to check back next week for the next installment in this five part series!
How to Update Your Resume for the Post-Grad Professional
Guest Post by Nidhi Desai (Contact: Nidhi.Desai5041@gmail.com)
Let’s flash back to a few years ago: It’s a Tuesday afternoon senior year and you stroll into your favorite college bar. The bartender gives you a subtle nod indicating your regular drink is on the way and you realize the bartender knows your name and your professors don’t. But so what? You’ve signed your first full-time offer post-graduation and it doesn’t start for another 5 months. It’s time to soak in the final blissful months of undergraduate life, unaware of the methodological and routine days of 8-to-5 work life imminent in the future.
Flash forward back to the present: You’ve been working at the same company for the last 2-3 years and unfortunately have learned that starting at the bottom of the totem pole is a lot less glamorous than you imagined and now you’re itching for a change. Building your resume is so much harder now without the assistance of the readily available college career counseling centers, coupled with career fairs housing small and large companies eagerly seeking to employ you. But don’t fret, below are some easily implementable suggestions to update your resume and find the next best career move for you.
- Organize important information - According to The Huffington Post, a recruiter spends an average of six seconds looking at a resume, quickly scanning for important information: name, current and previous positions, employment start and end dates and educational background. It’s very important to have a clean and organized format in a resume so a potential employer can easily identify information. Include your full name in a section at the top of a resume bolded and in slightly larger font. On the top section near the full name, also include contact information: telephone number and email address. All current and prior work experiences should be formatted identically throughout the resume. For example, list all the current and prior company employer names from the left margin and list all the start and end dates from the right margin. A more consistent resume format will allow the reader to gather more information in that six-second skimming period.
- Optimize White Space – Providing an easily “skimmable” resume is a function of constructing an aesthetically-pleasing yet informative resume by optimizing and organizing white space on the paper. Include ½’’ margins throughout the page and limit the bullets to 1-2 concise lines to avoid paragraph-like sections. Generally, it’s good to include 2-4 bullets per prior roles held, also including a diversifying list of credentials attained.
- Use Diverse Verbs - to start each bullet point describing skills and experience achieved. Buzz words like “Achieved” “Improved” “Coached” and “Created” set up each bullet to explain what you performed in your role but also what was accomplished by your employment instead of the standard “Responsible for…” starter. In addition to using strong starting verbs for each bullet, make sure each point illustrates a task you accomplished comprehensively. For example, “Facilitate new employee orientation” can be more encompassing with the addition of what that task fully entailed and what result was achieved. “Facilitate new employee orientation for various new hire levels to transition about 5 employees a quarter into business roles” The second description provides the reader with more detail into how many new employees were assisted, that they were of varying experience levels and for what types of roles they were employed. Whenever possible, try to incorporate numerical values into bullets to offer more description and information (ex. 5 employees, managed asset portfolios of $1.2 million, etc.)
- Include job duties descriptions that interest you - For those who are seeking to pivot their careers in new directions, it is crucial to highlight elements of their current role that they are seeking to advance and continue in the next role. People often get caught up with the notion of creating a resume to describe every single task performed, but instead, all bullet points included should be specifically related to a task you would want to continue performing in a future role.
A strong, informative resume is a good stepping-stone in finding the next ideal career path. If applying to a variety of jobs, try to create a personalized resume catered to each specific job description that highlights unique skills suitable for the role. Preparing and updating your resume can also help organize thoughts and important emphasizing points for the next step in the job search, too: interviewing.
I love Nidhi's tips and after going through the recruiting process I can tell you that implementing these will make a difference. Be sure to come back next Wednesday for the next installment of the series: Interview Tips!