Telling Your Story: Resume & Online Profile


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In order to secure an interview, you must be able to talk about your academic, professional, extra-curricular and personal experiences in a way that will resonate with employers.

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  • Welcome to Telling Your Story through your Resume and Online Profile.
    We have touched upon building your story in prior session. In this session we will discuss how to communicate that story in your resume and online profile. Before we get started, I would like to hear from you. What questions do you have about resume and online profiles?
    Great. I will try to address these questions during the presentation.
  • Your resume and online profile are calling cards into companies. Their primary purpose is to help you secure the interview. In order to get to the interview, your resume must pass two screens by recruiters. The first review is a screen for “fit” for the role. Recruiters will very quickly assess whether or not they should invest time to consider you for an interview. The second screen determines whether or not you are actually granted the interview.
  • How long do you think the recruiter spends reviewing your resume for “fit” during this first screen?


    6 seconds. That’s right. The recruiter will only look at your resume for six seconds to determine whether to move you on to the next stage.
  • You can think about that first screen like looking at a Tinder profile. I know you all know Tinder. Many of you are probably on it right now checking out others in the room. How long do you take to review someone’s profile before you swipe left or right? Probably less than six seconds, right?
  • And what if someone has a crazy picture? What are the chances you swipe yes? Well the same is true of your resume. If you have a crazy looking resume, you will get swiped right into the trash can.
  • The way to make sure your resume passes that first screen is to focus on 3 things: structure, formatting, and producing an error free document.
  • The structure of your resume is critical because the faster a recruiter can locate the information they need the better chance you have of moving on. Recruiters are used to finding certain information in certain places. We suggest that you structure your resume like this. Name & Contact information at the top then education then work experience then leadership & extracurricular activities then interests. Many of you may not have any work experience. That is ok. You can focus on your activities. You just want to make sure that you tell a good story about those activities. And we will show you how to do that shortly.

    Most importantly, your resume should only be one-page. I don’t care how much you have done, at your age, there is no reason for the resume to be more than one page. There is a practical reason for this. Recruiters don’t like the extra paper. If you are a recruiter and you have to review 600 resumes for a position having extra pages on each resume means 600 extra pages! Think about that.
  • Proper formatting is also critical. Remember, they are only looking at your resume for 6 seconds. You do this by making sure that your resume is readable. This means the most important information should be highlighted. The text can’t be microscopic or in some crazy curly cue font. You should stick to standard fonts like Times or Calibri or Tahoma. The font size should be no smaller than 10 point and we actually recommend 11 or 12 point. Default margins are generally 1-inch on the sides and top and bottom. You can reduce those but we don’t suggest anything less than ½ inch on the sides and ¾ inch on top and bottom.

    You should also you formatting tools like capitalization, bold and italics to highlight and offset certain important text. Remember you want the most important text like school name, company name, activity name to be most visible.

    We strongly suggest using bullet points to highlight the details under your experiences. This also makes the text more readable.

  • Here is an example of a well formatted section of a work experience. Note the use of bold, italics and bullet points. This is little blurb is very readable.
  • The fastest way for your resume to NOT pass the screen is to have a spelling error. Because they have so many resumes to review, recruiters are looking for reasons to not select you. I know recruiters who the moment they see a spelling or grammatical mistake throw the resume in the trash no matter how good the candidate. For them, it is an easy screen.

    Let me share a anecdote related to this. In one of our internship programs, there was a student from a small school who interviewed with Goldman Sachs, the big investment banking firm. He was a great student. He had a 3.9 GPA. And, he nailed the interview. Goldman called us up and told us that he was great and they were probably going to give him the offer. We were psyched. Well, the next day we get a call. The firm said they can’t give the student the offer. Were were like “Why?”. They said that the student after acing the interviews sent thank you emails to the people who interviewed him. And, he had two spelling mistakes in the email. So now the team thinks he doesn’t pay enough attention to detail and they don’t want to give him the offer.

    That is how fragile this process is. This is a student who had aced the interview and they didn’t give him an offer b/c of a spelling mistake after the fact. So what do you think they will do if they have never even seen you and you have a mistake on your resume? FYI, we wound of placing that student at another firm and he is doing great today.

    But I can’t reinforce this enough. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR RESUME IS ERROR FREE.

    The best way to do this is to have at least two other people review it for you. Find a friend, professor, parent, sibling and ask them to read your resume and look for spelling and grammatical issues.
  • But, I am sure after this session, you guys will have well structured error free resumes and certainly get by the first screen.
  • So now you are at the second review. This screen is based upon your STORY. Remember, your story consists of your academic, extra-curricular, personal and professional experiences that make you a great fit for the job. These are the things that you have highlighted on your resume.
  • But remember, your resume should tell a “Story” NOT be a “Checklist”
  • Many of your resumes look like this. A checklist. This is just a list of activities not a story.
  • A story not only list activities, but describes the actions you took;
    the methods you used to complete that action;
    The context in which that action was performed;
    And, the results of that action
  • We call that the AMCoR framework. You should use this framework to craft how you communicate your experiences on your resume. AMCoR stands for Action, Method, Context and Result. This format enables you to structure your experiences so that they are descriptive and compelling.

    Here is an example.
    The Action is “Developed a grant tracking system”. This is where 90% of you stop when describing your experiences

    It is important to speak to the Method you used to complete the Action. The Method gives the reader more insight into what tools you know how to use. In this case, it tells them that I know how to use Microsoft Access. That might be a very important tool used by the company. If you don’t communicate this, then they have no idea that you know how to use it.

    You also want to include some Context for the Action. Context helps round out the story. For instance there is a difference between giving a presentation to 10 people or 10,000 people. There is a difference in preparing financials used by the Store Manager or by the Chief Financial Officer. In this case, the grant tracking system you developed was used to review thousands of applications. That is significant context.

    Finally, when possible, you want to include the Results of your Action. In the best case scenario, you can quantify the Results. In this case, “led to 35% fewer incomplete application notices”. Sometimes you may not be able to quantify but can still communicate tangible results. For instance “led to successful completion of the transaction”.

    You might be thinking “if every bullet point is 3 lines long, there is no way I can keep everything on one page.” You are right. First, remember that your resume is not a checklist. You are not required to include everything you have ever done. You can and should be selective. It is better to have fewer items of substance than more items of little substance. Second, not every bullet point needs to be 3 sentences long.
  • Here is an example where the user is only adding context and the bullet point is relatively short but still much more descriptive and impactful.
  • Now, we want you to try it. Look at your resume. How can you us AMCoR to better communicate an experience on your resume. Take a minute. When you are done and would like to share it with the group, raise your hand.

  • Now we have spent a lot of time on the resume. Yet, we know that we are living in a digital world. The resume is not dead yet and is still the primary way in which professionals and students communicate their skills and experiences. However, it is increasingly important to utilize online profiles as well. Within the next 5-10 years, online profiles will be the predominant way that professionals communicate their qualifications to employers.
  • LinkedIn is the big kahuna. They have over 60 million professional professionals. It is odd for a professional not to have a Linkedin profile. As a student, you should have one as well. It certainly won’t be as robust as someone with a 20 year professional career, but it is important for you to have one.
  • LinkedIn is the first place that recruiters look for candidates. It is also the first place people go when researching someone. You should all be familiar with it if you have ever gone on an interview because you should have looked up the interviewer on LinkedIn before or after your interview.

    LinkedIn is also becoming a great source for business information. They have made a lot of acquisitions recently so that they can show new of topics you care about and also recommend courses you can take to build your skills.

    They also have a blogging feature which is an excellent place for you to begin to build your professional brand. If you have a perspective on something related to your career, you might use LinkedIn as a place to share that perspective. When people are looking to hire you, they will then see that #1 you care about this topic enough to write about it and #2 you actually have a thoughtful perspective to share.
  • Virgil is another online profile you should consider using. This is a new platform that my company has built that enables students to assess their competitiveness for any career in < 90 seconds. It then delivers you a personalized skill development roadmap. At the end, it automatically creates a detailed skill profile for you. You can add descriptions, documents and videos to your skills to tell a better story. And, you can share this profile with employers to give them a better sense of your skills.
  • Your schools or career services office may also offer online portfolio platforms. Pathbrite is one of the more popular but there are many others. These products give you the opportunity to create a more visual and multimedia portfolio of your experiences that also enable you to showcase your personality a bit more. Consult with career services when you get back to school to see if your school offers this.
  • Before I take questions, I want all of you to take out your cellphones and take a picture of this web link. This link will take you to a Slideshare presentation which details the progression of a single resume through 6 distinct phases from non-competitive to exceptional. It is an excellent resource.

  • Telling Your Story: Resume & Online Profile

    1. 1. Telling Your Story: Resume & Online Profile
    2. 2. Your resume & online profile are your calling card into companies Two early reviews by recruiters 1. “Fit” for the role 2. “Interview” or “Not Interview”
    3. 3. How long does a recruiter look at your resume during the first review for “Fit”? 6SECONDS
    4. 4. Passing the “Fit” Test • Structure • Formatting • Error-Free
    5. 5. Using the proper STRUCTURE makes it easy for recruiters to find the information they need NAME & CONTACT INFO EDUCATION WORK EXPERIENCE LEADERSHIP / EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES INTERESTS
    6. 6. Do not negatively impact your chances with poor FORMATTING • Margins • Font • Color • Bullet Points
    7. 7. • Italics • Bold • Bullet Points Example: Strong Formatting
    8. 8. A SINGLE spelling or grammatical mistake will have your resume placed in the waste basket
    9. 9. Congratulations! You passed the first screen
    10. 10. The second screen is based upon your STORY Academic Professional Extra-curricular Personal
    11. 11. “Story” NOT “Checklist”
    12. 12. Many of your resumes look like this – a checklist College Colonial University Class of 2007 Major: Finance with a focus in mathematics Varsity Lacrosse GPA- 3.5 Language skills- French and Spanish Extracurricular Activities: Delta Delta Delta Sorority Varsity Lacrosse Colonial Political Union: Member 10th, 11th, 12th. National Honors Society: Vice President 11th. Volunteer/Employment Experience: Intern at Mitchell Investments Intern at the Gap Summer Ultimate Sports Camp Counselor
    13. 13. Example: Telling a Story
    14. 14. AMCoR Framework 16 (A)CTION What did you do? Developed grant tracking system (M)ETHOD How did you do it? Developed grant tracking system using Microsoft Access (C)ONTEXT Why did you do it? Where did you do it? Developed grant tracking system using Microsoft Access to review 3,000+ annual grant applications (R)ESULT What happened? Developed grant tracking system using Microsoft Access to review 3,000+ annual grant applications. Led to 35% fewer incomplete application notices
    15. 15. AMCoR Framework – Example 2 17 (A)CTION What did you do? Developed PowerPoint presentation (M)ETHOD How did you do it? (C)ONTEXT Why did you do it? Where did you do it? Developed PowerPoint presentation used by COO to present budget to Board of Directors (R)ESULT What happened?
    16. 16. Exercise: Tell Your Story Using AMCoR 18 (A)CTION What did you do? (M)ETHOD How did you do it? (C)ONTEXT Why did you do it? Where did you do it? (R)ESULT What happened?
    17. 17. Online profiles are increasingly important • LinkedIn • Virgil • University Portfolios (e.g. Pathbrite)
    18. 18.
    19. 19. Why have a LINKEDIN Profile? • First place people look for professionals – Recruiters – Business Relationships • Becoming an excellent source of business information • Opportunity to begin to build your professional brand
    20. 20.
    21. 21.
    22. 22. Manage your social media presence
    23. 23. Google Yourself
    24. 24. Curate your photos
    25. 25. Be careful with Sex, Politics and Religion
    26. 26. Manage your privacy settings
    27. 27. Q&A create-a-six-sigma-resume-undergraduates