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Resume Writing - What I’ve Learned Lately

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I’m regularly in front of recruiters and hiring managers, and I’m always showing them resumés for feedback on areas of improvements or what they see in an ideal candidate.

After my latest foray up to the Bay Area and down to Orange County, I learned from talking to hiring managers and recruiters they really look for certain - and critical - qualities in a resumé.

Not only did their feedback help me to update my one-page summary of “Resumé Writing in a Nutshell” – a handout I give to students of what I learned from online combined with my own experience – it complimented and reinforced what I consider essential to writing an effective resumé. 

My “Resumé Writing in a Nutshell” lists six basic essentials to resumé writing with a few updates:

1)     Design your resumé to be easy to scan – both visually and electronically: An appealing-looking resumé makes a strong first impression. Check out some resume styles through a Google search.

2)     Describe what you accomplished (outcomes), not just the job (outputs): The specificity of what you accomplished and how you did it communicates your capabilities much stronger than a description of your responsibilities.

3)     Display your GPA: This is only relevant if it’s above 3.0

4)     List your work experience and skills before classes and extra-curricular activities: Especially for technical positions, listing out your skills is very helpful.  One exception: if you are in a degree program, list that first.

5)     Tailor the resume to the position and industry: Customization is essential.  You must use the words used in the position description in order to be considered.

6)     Write a concise career summary instead of an objective: Keep it short and sweet, and summarize your intended career direction.

Here’s another action that is more important than all of your word choices and layout choices: have someone from inside the company request that your resume be reviewed for an interview. 

I know this sounds tough, but recruiters have reinforced this to me in every conversation. Most of those who receive an interview either had someone from inside the company tell the recruiters they are interested in them or have met with them and think they should be considered.

This step will increase the number of opportunities for you to meet in person and show your best self. If you have your sights set on a particular company, meet a few senior managers before you apply. Find out how they built their career and where they think you might fit in or what you experience you need to be considered a desirable candidate.

 To view my “Resumé Writing in a Nutshell,” click here.

About David Telleen-Lawton, MTM Career Development Manager, UC Santa Barbara

David works with Master of Technology Management (MTM) students to help them find a great fit with their next work situation after graduation. He develops and maintains relationships with California and national companies that are interested in hiring early-career leaders with the qualifications, education, and experience the MTM degree represents. He spends much of his time speaking with recruiters and hiring managers within companies MTM students want to work. To contact David, please email him at dtl@tmp.ucsb.edu.

--The Master of Technology Management (MTM) program at UC Santa Barbara is designed to catapult engineers and scientists into leadership positions — within both startups and established companies. This 9-month, intensive program is designed to teach the frameworks, skills, and techniques you need to be a successful technology manager. No fluff, no filler.  The MTM degree will get you further, faster. To learn more about the MTM program, visit our website at www.mtm.ucsb.edu.