Question of the week

Following my last post, some students began to wonder how resumes are being screened. Below is a guideline of how HR recruiters review  your resume.

Resume screening

Seasoned recruiters generally spend less than 10 secs on each resume, just imagine there are hundreds of submissions to each posting and there are multiple openings going on at any given point in time. Needless to say, a minor typo can cause you an interview, even if you have got all of the following right. 

Here is a guideline of how resumes are being screened:

Most recent paid position: a paid position with relevant work experience is of course perfect, then any paid position within a professional work environment eg office administration with an off campus firm is also acceptable. If you do not have any paid work experience, then be sure to demonstrate the required hard skills and ideal character traits through your extra-curricular activities.  

Education:  year of standing and the program you are in to make sure student is eligible for the application. Grades – over 80% is relatively safe, 75% is borderline depending on what other activities you are involved in and networking is almost a must.

Extra-curricular:  please refer to my last post. Clubs – scope of the club(s) & the direct impact you have made. Volunteering – causes you support. It is important to have community involvement, but for most competitive internships, that alone is not going to get you far. 

Interests: how open and interesting of a person you are. Be specific, recruiters look at thousands of resumes each week, imagine how many ‘jogging’, ‘cooking’, ‘hiking’ they have seen. Give them a little bit more, and be sure it is something you are excited to talk about for a few minutes at interviews or networking sessions.

Online presence:  They also look at your Linkedin profile and the portfolio of your work eg wordpress/ github

For most university students, a one page (unless otherwise stated) resume is standard. You all have obtained many great accomplishments, now use your judgement to select activities that best represent you in the industry you are aiming for.

For the more popular postings, recruiters may receive over thousands of resume, which means not every single one will get a look at. In this case, I cannot stress enough the importance of networking. Always network with the business line rather than with HR and I will explain later in my upcoming posts the reasoning behind this. 

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