Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Career Lunch & Learn: Resume Workshop with Recruiters I

>>Hi, I’m Whitney Espich, the CEO
of the MIT Alumni Association. and I hope you enjoy this digital production created for alumni and friends like you. Joe: Good afternoon, and
welcome. Thanks, alumni, for joining us
in today’s program. It’s a resume workshop with recruiters. I am Joe McGonegal from your
alumni office, and delighted to be hosting today’s webcast,
webinar, with our guest recruiters.
And really glad that you have tuned in.
We have got alumni from around the world.
42 different states on air with us today.
And 37 countries, I think it was, around the world, so it is
probably not much time for most of you, and I apologize for the
misnomer in the name. Let’s get to it.
We have panelists from Wayfair, Netflix, and Samsung Research
America joining us today, and we have two of the three here in
the room with us so far. And they are Stefanie Fackrell,
manager of university programs and recruiting events for
Samsung Research America, Kimberly Howell — if you can
wave, Kimberly — campus recruiter for Wayfair.
And Walta — say the last name for me? Walta: Nemariam.
Joe: A tech recruiter for Netflix, patching and from the
San Jose area today. These companies employ hundreds
of MIT alumni, so there is no doubt that plenty of MIT alumni
resumes pass in front of them and their teammates every year.
But we are here today to talk about some best practices for
present yourself on paper and PDF for prospective employers, whether you are just a year out
of MIT, a decade or more out, or you are involved in hiring too,
and want some tips for better resume screening.
Hope you find today’s discussion useful and worthwhile, and we
welcome your feedback. A reminder that after our chat
with these panelists, we will invite them to host some brief
breakouts to talk a little more about the hiring processes after
companies. We sent links for these
breakouts to all registrants this morning, so be sure to keep
that email handy after the webinar, so you can join one of
the three breakouts. Throughout the hour, you can
submit questions using the Q and a feature in zoom . It should be in your resume
toolbar. If you cannot see your toolbar,
drag your mouse across the edges of the screen and you should see
it a peer. You can also tweak your comments
today using the hashtag #MITalum.
Panelists, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about
— let’s open with what is the state of the resume and the
overall package of a candidate in applying for jobs today?
Walta from Netflix, can we start with you? Walta: Yes.
Hello, everyone. I am a tech recruiter here at
Netflix. I have been here a little over
three years, specifically working on hiring for our
engineering teams. The question being the state of
resumes, is that correct? Joe: Correct, yes.
Walta: Obviously, resumes are super important in us being able
to at least get a glimpse of candidates that apply to our
roles. On a first basis, before deciding whether it makes sense
to move forward and get them on the phone, they are super
important. I think having a resume that
depicts your skills and the work you have done in a clear,
concise manner is important, and I am excited to be part of this
webinar to give some tips and hopefully get some insights from
folks in terms of what makes a resume exciting. Joe: Thank you.
Kimberly, to you. Stefanie: I am can — Kimberly: I am Kimberly Howell.
I work at Wayfair in Boston. I have been at Wayfair about a
year now. I have been recruiting five
years, primarily in campus recruiting.
The last four years or so, I have been focused on campus
recruiting in the technology space.
Like Walta, that is where most of my experience lies.
I am excited to chat with you all today.
As far as the current state of a resume, there is not a lot to
say that Walta has not already covered for us.
Thank you, Walta. We focus on making sure the
first piece of information that we give you really does a good
job telling us a little bit about who you are, not only what
you have done and what specific skills you have, but also what you value.
The order of stuff on your resume shows what is most
important to you, whether it is your work experience, education
experience, volunteer experience.
It gives you a feeling of you as a person and how you might fit
into our culture, which sounds heavy because it is just a piece
of paper, but it is the first thing we have to start getting
to know you. It definitely works . We will give you some advice
today as much as we can. Joe: And Stefanie Fackrell from
Samsung, welcome, Stefanie. You were too busy recruiting to
join us today. Stefanie: I am so sorry for
showing up late. Joe: We are just starting with
introductions, and if you can tell us a little bit about where
you think the resume stands in the overall package today.
Stefanie: I am Stefanie Fackrell.
I work here at Samsung research, a subsidiary of Samsung global.
I have been in the recruiting space for about nine years,
mostly in university recruiting, both tech and product management
recruiting. I love recruiting, love meeting
people and seeing what they can contribute to the company.
I do agree with my colleagues Walta and Kimberly.
Your resume is your first impression to us, and I do think
that you need to be as clear and concise as possible.
Highlight your most impactful recent contributions to the
company that you were most recently with, and that your
former companies. — and at your former companies.
The resume really is a six second perusal to see if we want
to move forward to further screening with you.
I do think a resume is great. LinkedIn, we do look at LinkedIn
for more junior candidates — did have — git hub, those sorts
of things are what people are looking at now as well.
But resumes still are the number one way to get your foot in the
door and for us to scream. — screen.
Joe: We will get to actual alumni resumes submitted today.
We do have alumni — if we don’t get yours, please understand we
did receive hundreds of resumes today, so we will not keep these
panelists to all hours on a Friday.
If we don’t get to yours, there are plenty of resources we can
get to at the end of the hour that can help you.
But before we do that, just a couple other questions overall.
Generally love to hear your impressions, recruiters.
How much credit do your teams give to the look of a resume,
the style of it, over its content?
And we can go completely — chime in as the spirit moves
you. Stefanie: For me, I think
old-school is better. The less formatting, the less
fancy, the less colors — I mean, unless you are a designer
or something like that, I would say stick to the basics.
And, you know, formatting is really important if you are
leaving too much space at the margins.
I think it is worth paying someone to help you with a
resume if you have questions, or at least have someone look it
over before you submit it. Errors, typos — it really,
again, is your first impression to us. Kimberly: For sure.
I completely agree with that, particularly with errors and
typos. It is always a surprise when I
get resumes across my desk that have paid, glaring errors as far
as spelling the name of your major wrong I have seen so many
times, mostly with psychology, which is a little fair. It is really, really surprising
how many times we see glaring typos. Even just having a couple
friends look over your resume will help prevent some of that,
as long as you have a pretty good detail-oriented friend.
It is really important. As far as the style, I could not
care less how many colors you use, what the formatting book —
as long as I can find the information I need to find.
What you want us to know about you, don’t hide it.
I have seen a couple resumes more recently where they had
these that standing 4.0 GPA’s, and it was in 0.2 font hidden
somewhere at the bottom of the resume. Make it big and bold and let me
see what it is that is really going to be important to this
job, this job search. If that is your education, if
you are new out of school, make sure it is easy to find.
If it is your great intern experience or work experience,
make sure that is easy to find. When the formatting gets so busy
that I am not sure where to look is where I get a little turned
off by the styles and colors and boxes and whatever you have in
there. Walta: Plus one. I would say the content of your
resume is more important than the look and style of it.
Everyone mentioned grammar and making sure that was all
checked. The way you are describing your
work, the impact you have made at other opportunities you have
been at before — I am more interested in that than the
different colors you use and the different formatting.
I think whatever makes it easy for everyone looking at the
resume to be able to detect the information, that is going to be
useful. Kimberly: Put it this way.
I will never judge a resume for being too simple, but if it is
so complex that I can’t and information, that is going to
put me off a little bit. Joe: Thank you.
We have got alumni from dozens of fields here, from a couple of
dozen course numbers at MIT. They are applying for,
obviously, hundreds of different kinds of jobs at several tears
— tiers of experience levels. Would you advise to all of them — are the categories of jobs
that you would advice specifically having specific
resumes, multiple resumes, different versions of resumes
depending on their experience or
the jobs they are applying to, etc.?
Or does one size fit all, in your opinion? Anybody?
Walta: I would definitely say tailor your resume to the job
you are going after. If you, for example, are a backend engineer, but you are
interested in front-end and UI work, but you are summoning a
resident a — a resume that is backend work, I am going to
think they are not a good fit for this role because your
experience does not match what we are looking for.
Tailing your resume based on the opportunity you want is actually
— that is my advice. That is what I would say for
folks, just so you are actually putting yourself up in a way
that is going to make it seem really positive and enticing for
us to be able to take a look and say, they could do this job.
They do have experience. They are able to show that in
different ways. It creates more work, but
hopefully the outcome makes it worth it. Kimberly:
I completely agree. I have multiple versions of my
resume as well. You want to make sure that when
the recruiter looks at your resume for the job you just
applied to, it makes sense. Exactly as Walta said.
Somebody else posted in the Q and a if GPA is still something
you want to include. Make it make it makes sense.
If I look at your resume and it does not match what you are
applying for, it is important to explain to me why you applied to
something a little outside of your experience.
If you are a backend engineer applying for a job as a backend
engineer, you do not really need the objective at that point
anymore. Joe: Anything else? Stefanie: I was just reading
over some of the questions. Joe: We had a couple questions
about age already, and I did want to ask about unconscious
bias. How much are your teams thinking
about that these days? I know from the employer’s
standpoint, a lot of companies are working on this from an HR
angle, gender blind resumes or age blind resumes, and so forth.
Is there anything you have come across that you can think of
applicants could do to minimize possibilities of I.S. — of bias
as recruiting teams look at their work? anybody want to
weigh in? Kimberly: For sure. One thing I personally do on my
LinkedIn and my resume is I don’t include my graduation
year. I put that I did graduate, and
my degree, and the school, but I don’t put the year, for that
exact reason. Really, the focus is on my
experience and not necessarily how old they do the math and
think I am at that point. That is one way to mitigate it.
Honestly I think overall you want to list all the experience
that makes sense. If you are including experience
from back when you were in college doing internships, you
could probably cut this out at this point if you have a handful
of really important rings you have been doing since then.
The same with your older positions.
You want to summarize that you have and you know your stuff and
have this great experience, but don’t feel compelled to keep
every job you have ever had on your resume if you think that is
going to show your age and make people that concerned.
Stefanie: I absolutely agree. Walta: [LAUGHTER] Stefanie: Stefanie: I do think if you have
been in the workforce for 20 years, and you have made amazing
contributions, there is no way to hide that, and you should
highlight that. I mean, that makes you an asset
and a great candidate. I would always keep your major contributions, even if they were
20 years ago. Old ensure service — old
internships from college, I don’t think that matters.
But professional contributions, always put those on. Walta:
I am seeing a lot of questions asking around length
of resumes and what makes the most sense.
Keep it one page, multiple pages?
I always anchor on shorter, one, maybe two pages.
I have received resumes that were 25 pages long, and that is
a novel at this point. I think there is an element of
being able to successfully describe impact and the work you
have been able to do in less works — less words.
We do not ever want to spend so much time scrolling just to get
all the information that we need.
If you are able to put it in one or two pages, that is what I
would recommend. It saves time on you and also
the individuals reviewing it, so we are able to get the
information pretty quickly. Joe: Good.
For the next question, I do want to pull up a slide here.
As I will do, I will remind viewers that you can join a
breakout with each one of these — each one of these recruiters
at the end of our session today, at the end of our webcast.
Those three links for those three breakouts were included in
the email you received this morning.
Let me just see if I can get my PowerPoint up. There we go. And panelists, can you see this?
OK, let me just ask you about these recent press — a lot of
press these days about how to AI-proof your resume, and any
insights you can give behind-the-scenes of what
applicant tracking systems are doing these days, either at your
company or at others. How much are we writing for a
machine these days? How might we optimize on that,
or use it in our favor, if that is the case? Stefanie: I think — well,
recently, Samsung, we have been looking into a lot of AI resume
screening companies, to help us go through our massive
applications. So you are being — I mean, a recruiter like myself, we would
do a Boolean search. Keywords are important.
AI is getting involved in helping people and companies
screen resumes. Whatever you can do to have
keywords, key phrases, that is going to bump you up in the AI
search to help a recruiter wind you — find you. Walta:
Over here at Netflix, we actually don’t leverage these
types of AI technologies to review resumes.
I think the balance I would find with keywords is don’t just put
keywords on your resume for the sake of putting keywords, and
have your resume show up. I have definitely seen somewhere
there is so many keywords and you read more about what they
are doing, and it is not relevant to the words they put
on their resume, and they’re doing it just so their resume
does pop up. I think for us over here , I
review the resume, as well as my hiring managers.
We have a more tailored approach in that sense, and I think it is
more focused on just putting the work you are doing on that.
That is kind of how we do it over here. Kimberly:
Wayfair does not use any kind of AI tool to screen
resumes. However, as Stefanie mentioned,
we as recruiters do Boolean searches.
Having the right keywords on your resume is still important
when you are trying to figure out how to integrate that.
Keep it to what type of role you are looking for and what
keywords are going to give you that type of role.
If you are looking for a project manager role, make sure in your
past experiences you are talking about project to have led.
Call your cell Project manager for X, Y, Z opportunity.
It will come up in our search but it will look more natural
than keywords that you not make sense in any context.
Make sure terms you want to include for your future role you
are searching for are in your resume, and find a way to
integrate the naturally into your past experiences.
Joe: Thank you. Let’s jump into some resumes here and we will get to more
audience questions. Viewers, please up vote or down
vote what questions you like. How should that education
section appear? Where should it appear?
I pulled a few from the resumes we got.
Here is Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It has dates of the degree. It has the year, the location of
the school. All degrees here — in this
case, the alum received two degrees, listed as one line.
Another example listing the more advanced degree first and the
undergraduate degree second. A third here — I saw all three varieties, really, listing titles of the seas, — of these
s, minors, clubs, groups they belong to, etc., squeezing those
in, all in the education section. Have you seen — recruiters,
have you seen any other creative approaches to this Aston Martin
or is this — creative approaches to this?
Is it a necessary evil? Any insights on this section?
Stefanie: I personally think if you are a recent graduate that
should be listed at the top. If we are looking for relevant
experience and there is not — if your resume is not as meaty,
we will wonder why. If your education is at the top,
that tells us completely, new grad just starting out their
career. This is why there is not that
much experience. I do think the educational
section should be on there, perhaps at the bottom.
But if you graduated a few years ago, I think — I don’t
necessarily think there is any right or wrong way to format it.
I think thesis is — thesises
could be put in a different section, like publications, not
necessarily included in the degree field.
There is no right or wrong way. Kimberly: I agree with the point
about thesises. Seeing that in there, I don’t
know who the professor is. It is not necessarily related to
the work. It is not necessarily related to
the work you are applying for. You can definitely bump that
into a later section. But overall still including your
education, you definitely want to keep it on their in some
fashion — on there in some fashion. Regarding the
dates, unless you are a recent grad or think
perceived age is going to be an asset, I would get rid of the
dates. Walta and Stefanie, I would love
to know if you agree. Just to make sure that — if
they map out your age, it is not their business how old you are.
All that matters is your experience. Walta: I agree.
I also do not put the year I graduated on a resume, for the
same reasons. I will plus one what has already
been said. I would put education closer to
the bottom, especially if you have been in the industry
longer. For the example where there is a
rhesus listed, — thesis listed,
those are helpful depending on the job you are applying for.
We have a job called data sayings and engineering — data science and engineering were
they hire PhD grads who have done relevant ESA’s work — te
hesis work and research work, where there it is fully listing
out your thesis or things like that. I think it goes back to
tailoring your resume for the job you are applying for, but I
agree with what has been said. Kimberly: And if it is published
somewhere online and you can link it in your resume, that is
cool to see, if you have some kind of publication.
Joe: Good, thank you. Talk a little bit about
experience here, specifically, and some questions around this
— those of us with the wells of experience.
I liked this excerpt. This is an excerpt from one of
the resumes we received. Prior experience highlights over
the course of 15 years, with a couple of rolls and project
worked on. — rolesa and projects worked on. Are there creative ways you have
seen that with experienced or higher roles?
Can you see my screen? Stefanie: I am just reading.
Joe: Oh yeah. Kimberly: I can see the screen.
I have to be a little honest and say I don’t usually recruit for
folks that have a lot of prior experience, so I don’t know that
I will have the best advice here.
I do like how this is formatted more in like a highlight reel,
without taking up a ton of real estate for experience.
Joe: Stefanie or Walta, anything to add? Walta: I agree.
Story — sorry, Stefanie. Stefanie: Go ahead.
Walta: I like that it is broken down in this way.
Feedback I would probably give is that it looks like you have
spent close to 10 years here, so wanting to know a little bit
more about the career progression.
Have you stayed in the same position?
Have you grown in the company in terms of roles and
opportunities? And more specifically around the
impact and work you are doing, I am seeing a lot about — from
the sales aspect, the delivering of certain dollar amount, making
that impact. I would want to know more the
technical side of things in the work you are doing there, and
the collaboration pieces. I like it isn’t — it is in one
section and you can get a good look at the time you spent
there. Joe: Good, thank you. Let’s talk a little bit about
design. I had to pull some of my favorites, and I will stop
sharing that and start sharing some visual treats.
Well, I don’t want to bias you whether these are treats or not.
But I would love your reaction to some of the layout, the
layouts submitted in some of these resumes, very creative and
nonconventional, I would say. I will out this young man, Ignacio, who submitted this
resume. Highlights at the top. Please, recruiters, don’t feel
like you have to read this entire thing to give it back.
I really liked the sidebars over here.
Being a different color — I have seen a lot of sidebars
being a shade off. One more visual thing — the
sidebar on the second page as well.
Any other reactions to that? I can kind of go through all of
these. I picked five of them that are
kind of nontraditional approaches.
Alumni in these fields, please feel free to borrow from
Ignacio’s approach. Here is Kyle, who has a lot less
color, of course, but that two-column look.
These almost look like LinkedIn endorsements, the software skill
set, with the various bullets. I am presuming he is confessing
to us he has more strength in rhinoceros 3-D than he does in
Unreal. And categories of skills, next to all of his experiences.
Stefanie: I really do like that being called out on the skill
set side, of what they consider themselves an expert in verses
they are not as well versed in. As a recorder, that is helpful for us, especially if we have a
team that is looking for a really strong Rino Rhinoscer —
rhinoceros E3D skills. What does this resume tell me?
Has he utilized rhinoceros in his projects?
That calls out the strength of the software he has.
Walta: Plus one. I do like that as well.
Sometimes we are working on roles.
Hiring managers might have specific requirements in terms
of technologies and language experience we need for folks.
Just knowing where people are really strong, versus seeing a
list of technologies and tools they have leveraged, without
really knowing — was this for one project or have you been
using this for years — is helpful for us.
I like the use of action words to describe the work he is
doing. He developed and deployed it — deployed design guidelines.
He is clear about the work he has done and put in with different opportunities.
It shows the impact he is making, and not necessarily just
on a team and the team did this. It is showing that he himself
was part of these projects and initiatives. Kimberly: I agree.
The strength indicator on the technical skills is super
valuable. I also noticed that Ignacio had done the same thing for his
foreign-language skill. That, I liked.
Joe: Sorry if I say the name wrong, but Dijana –interesting
lesson here. She did have a photo about this
in the white space which has not rendered now on Zoom.
Dijana, just to note. But I was showing another
example of the two column approach, with more minutiae on
the left and more complete sentences on the right, more
itemized lists on the left and more full descriptions of things
on the right. Likewise here, Henry even has
this visual of the bars down the left-hand side for experience
and education. And passions. But that two column approach to
the right. These are not your standard
downloadable templates for Microsoft Word or elsewhere,
that I have found. Roy here has logos with his. I was curious what you would
think of that. The color splash is nice.
I like seeing the MIT logo on there. That catches my eye. Finally, I would just point out
this is kind of how my high school teacher taught me how to
write a resume. And in my own hiring and
screening for alumni Association jobs in Cambridge at MIT, we
still see a lot of these. Anything to be said in general
about all of those, or in specific about any?
Anything else about those in particular? Kimberly:
My resume looks exactly like that last one.
As somebody who looks at resumes all day, every day, I still
present my resume in this way. There is a really good reason
for that. It is very clear. On the photo for Dijana, I never
recommend putting your photo on your resume.
It just opens the door for, honestly, a lot of biases . You want to hope that the
recruiter and hiring team is not considering those factors, but
when you put your photo right on your resume, you are opening
that door unnecessarily. I don’t recommend putting a
photo on there. The one right after Dijana, maybe it was Henry? Before Roy?
Joe: Yes. Kimberly: Henry, there is a lot of wasted space on that resume.
The font is super tiny and he has decided to not use a quarter
of the page. If you were to format that a
little differently and do the tilted labels — he has wasted a
lot of doing that. Stefanie: I agree.
I agree with the waste of space for sure. Perhaps there are — with a
little more space, there is more room to highlight additional
projects or contributions you have made at these various
organizations. This is just a little too much
wasted space, and you could legalize that — utilize that in
a better way. I do have one thing.
Just for me personally, potentially leave your address
off your resume. Maybe just the city that you
live in. Joe: That can factor into are
you willing to relocate, relocation things, or even a
bias against a location, right? Is it unnecessary? Stefanie:
You can leave I live in Los Angeles, I live in Palo
Alto, but your mailing address, maybe for safety reasons, I
would just leave that off. Kimberly: Especially if you are going to be posting your resume
on a job board — monster, Indeed, pretty much they can download your resume and send
you all sorts of junk mail or what have you.
I have a lot of recruiting agencies who would use that as a
way to get sales leads and all sorts of things you just do not
want to be contacted about. Joe: All right, thank you.
Take a little break for questions here.
Many — thank you, crowd, for helping with these.
Many recruiters look at past experience to see if there is a
match, but it tends to exclude people who are smart and
flexible and can learn on the job, but want to do something a
little different. Is there a way to promote that you might still be a good fit
even if you have not done this particular thing before, outside
of maybe the bullet point listing of your experiences and your education?
Is there a way to promote your interest in using your
transferable skills, I guess is the question.
Stefanie: That one is a hard one because I think it depends on —
say you have been in sales your whole career, and now you want
to be an engineer. There has to be some sort of — something on your resume that
says I have taken these classes. I have left this sales job and I
have gone to computer science, and I have done these
internships. There has to be something that
gives us — I mean, we love people that are open to trying
new things. Those are great and horrible
people. — great and hirable people. But there has to be something we
can grab onto to want to proceed to give you an opportunity to
even have a conversation with us.
I know a lot of hiring managers really like passion and people
willing to learn. Again, it is just about how much
background you have in what you want to switch to. Walta:
I mean, there is an element of having taken some
sort of initiative in the space you are really interested in
going to, even if it is not what you are currently doing.
My examples I will probably give our engineering focused, because
that is who I work with and my groups.
But going back to my example of if you are a backend distributed
systems engineer but you are really passionate about design,
maybe you have done some design projects or done work on things
like github, UI frameworks and things like that.
Find ways to dive into those things you are interested in and
put that on your resume, or have something to show you have at
least made an attempt to dive into these areas you think would
be a good fit for, and you have done so already.
It is hard to look at a resume and see a mismatched background,
but there is nothing to show us there is something there.
You have to do a little bit of work on your own and to take
some — on your own end to take some initiative so we feel like
there is a different background,
but there is enough to say it is worth taking a shot on, and
proceeding to see how things have Pam — how things pan out.
Kimberly: If I look at your resume and it does not make
sense for the job you applied for, I am looking for an
objective. I am looking to understand why
you are looking to make that transition.
There are a lot of questions in here about cover letters.
I don’t typically require the cover letter.
But in this situation where you are making a significant pivot,
I would open that cover letter and want to hear more about your
story. Understanding the business year of trying to better your life —
if we put you into a role that by all oaccoun — that by all
accounts you are not prepared for, we are going to relocate
you and in two months you leave the position because it was
really not something you had foundations in, you are going to
be mad because you are stuck in Boston and have to pay back your
signing bonus. We are not just being ruthless
when we go through these resumes in that way.
We’re making sure we are setting you up for success as you make
this career change. Joe: Thank you, and a question about gaps in work.
Obviously, paternity, maternity gaps are a big one, but other
time off for other purposes — have you seen creative
approaches to phrasing of that in the objective statement at
the top, or in other ways in the itemization of experience?
Kimberly: Another great
opportunity to use that objective space. Honestly, if you are extremely
concerned about it, you can give the exact dates where you were
in your past employers, but that is another great reason to use
that objective space. Do not necessarily say why you left the workforce, but say
“looking to reenter the work worse in this capacity with
these skills.” Walta: I think it is something
that is becoming more and more common, where people are taking
time off to travel or for personal needs.
I have seen that on resumes and it does not negatively impact
the way I view that individual. It is common and fine.
For any of you that have taken time off for whatever reason,
don’t feel that is going to hinder your ability to rent a
role — to find a role for your next opportunity.
I think it is super common. Kimberly: I agree.
Stefanie: Type absolutely agree. I think a lot of companies these
days are having “return to work” programs.
If you were a mom and you left for three years, companies are a
lot more open and willing to bring people back into the work
force, because we want people to succeed.
A lot of companies are having returned to work programs for
paternity, maternity, veterans. I would list it.
I agree with everyone. Put that in your objective.
You can get creative in the way you format the resume.
If you have the opportunity to say in an interview — we are
here. We are human. We want to hear your story.
You can go into your story when you are here live with us.
Joe: I love this question, and we are going to get to a big
pile of resumes here in our lightning round, but I have to
ask. Somebody says, what about including in an incredibly small
font — or have you seen other hacks like this — all the
acronyms that would come up in those automated searches, either
Boolean or machine learning my — learning wise?
I did see that in resumes, the endless bulleted list at the bottom of the resumes.
Are there hacks like that you have seen on resumes that are
trying to gain the system — to game the system or beat it, and
do you recommend any of them? Walta: I do not recommend them.
Stefanie: I do not recommend it. Joe: It is a turnoff?
Stefanie: You want us to read your resume.
It is your first impression. If you are trying to game the
system, what does that say about you? I don’t know.
Just be as honest as possible on your resume.
Format it in a way where we can read it, because we will see a.
— we will see it. Just be you. Be honest.
Kimberly: I agree. It comes off a little dishonest
when there are tons and tons of as words — of buzzwords.
You should not need to game the system.
If you have the skills and can back that up, you should not
need to put it on a tiny, invisible on on your resume.
It should show up naturally in your work experience.
Joe: Good, thank you. We have got five minutes left.
A reminder to viewers we will have a short break out for 10,
15 minutes after our webinar today, in which each of our
panelists, depending on how much time they have, can answer more
specific questions from you about their companies, and maybe
talk a little more about the hiring process is at their
respective firms. Panelists, get ready for
lightning round here. A necessary evil, given the
amount of resumes we saw. If you would take a look at
these — I think I picked 10 resumes.
First positive thing that comes to mind to say, and maybe first
thing you would change about it if you had to — if somebody had
to submit this resume tonight for a job.
And feel free to pass too if you don’t have anything to say.
So for Sheree, anything strikes you, give it the six-second scan
. Sheree is doing the right things
here. Any quick fixes? Stefanie: I think change
formatting. Walta: Yes. Probably move the dates to the
other side, just because it looks a little hard to read,
just doing a quick scan. Grammar issues we are noticing
as well. Kimberly: One more thing on the last one.
If your most recent job you have been out for a long time has no
detail, whereas the other ones do — add some more there.
Joe: How about David’s?
Kimberly: I like the formatting, clean, easy to read. I know
exactly what you are into. I would be able to make a
decision pretty quickly if it matched with the job.
Walta: I also love that he put his github and LinkedIn on his
resume. Joe: What about Doug?
Stefanie: Very text-heavy. Joe: Anything he is doing right?
Kimberly: I like the subtle use of color.
When it is two-tone, I think it is done well. Joe: Quick fix?
Stefanie: Maybe take some of the bullet points out and just focus
on your key strengths. You can talk about the other
strengths during a phone screen or on-site interviews.
Kimberly: You also need margins. Stefanie: Yes. Joe: Era ch, anything he is doing
right, or she? Stefanie: I like the format.
I like the bullet points. Walta: It is easy to read.
Kimberly: Yes. Joe: Eric? Kimberly: Again, you could use
some margins. It just makes it easier to read
when it is not so cluttered. But the format is very clean
otherwise. Stefanie: I think for the
director job, some of those could be condensed, and key
points and takeaways highlighted.
It does seem pretty wordy when it could probably be condensed.
Kimberly: One other thing really quick that many people do on the
resumes without noticing is the way he has permitted the dates
for each of his past jobs is and can stand. 2009 to 10 13 — 2013 has a
longer — with spaces. That is a super common
formatting mistake on resumes. Joe: And Cang Kim.
I think she or he is doing right.
Walta: One thing about the way this is formatted is it deals —
it feels harder to digest. Stefanie: It feels like one long
Word document, like — move the company names over. Bold them.
Highlight them somehow. Everything is kind of jumbled
together. Kimberly: I think because you
were at Raytheon for all these different opportunities, it
looks like maybe you have italicized your job title, but I
would move those so they are not quite as in-line, so it is very
clear you have them promoted through these steps, instead of
that this was one project and
this was another project, which is how it comes off if it is all
in line like that area — like that. Joe: Ginger.
Quick fixes or anything she is doing right?
Again, subtle use of color. Kimberly: Like the subtle use of
color. I am slightly confused about
what type of role she would be going for, because it starts in
software professional and immediately jumps to business
skills. I would want more clarity about
what her career target was, whether it is in software or
business. Walta: And I would also prefer
the experience portion of the resume to be moved up more.
I want to understand your background a little more, first
thing we are seeing. Joe: Just a couple left here.
Cesar? Kimberly: That date thing with the dashes, he did that as well.
Stefanie: Recruiters are picky, if you can’t tell.
I would say again with the multiple bullet points, if you
can condense those to make more sense instead of one line for
each thing, highlight the most important items.
You can talk about what needs to be talked about if it comes up
in an interview. You do not have to highlight
every single thing. Walta: I would also give quick
feedback around — I talked about this a little earlier —
being specific about your work to say you were in charge of
this, in charge of that does not tell me what you have been doing
and what you were able to accomplish.
Be more specific about your impact than what you were in
charge of. Kimberly: The bullets are also
it looks like doublespaced, or 1.5. There is a lot of space in between them.
That takes up a lot of space for you could fit more in there.
Joe: How about Elizabeth? Stefanie: I like it.
Kimberly: Looks great. Joe: Any quick fixes?
Moving in the interest of time, Ercole. There is a photo.
Walta: No need for the photo. Joe: And doing right? Stefanie: I think that big chunk
in the middle, I am not sure .
That might be an objective or he is telling us about himself.
But I think that can be condensed or moved.
Again, the management experience is too far down to catch the eye
right away. Kimberly: Also I would hope that
when submitting this resume that your areas of expertise are kind
of tailored to whatever fits that job , with the most
important showing up toward the top of that list, and anything
that is not really a super strong area for you or that is
not quite as relevant could be removed for an individual job.
Joe: I lost my slides here. Sorry.
I think there was one more. Cesar, Elizabeth, and Erik. Kimberly: I don’t dislike it, but that big area at the top is
a lot of words. It looks like he has his
education in their — in there too, which could be broken into
a separate section so the top paragraph is not right so
aggressive. — not quite so aggressive. Joe:
Well, our time has come to a close here, folks, and we did
not get too — I don’t think we did justice to those 10 maybe,
entirely. Some quick hits for them.
I definitely want to thank our panelists for joining us today
from Netflix, Simpson research, and — Samsung research, and Wayfair.
Do you want more resume critique, more resume
discussion? Please visit
We have more for you. We have an alumni advisor hope
that is a peer to peer and peer to student mentoring platform,
where hundreds of fellow alumni have signed up to give you
resume advice. That again is alum.
Once we wrap up today, we will host three breakouts for
Stefanie, Kimberly, and Walta. They will join them
respectively. All of those breakout links were
sent to you this morning in an email, because you cannot join
two Zoom meetings at one time. You have to end this one and
start another one. We will archive this
presentation and it will be available on the MIT alumni
Association YouTube channel within a week’s time.
If you have further comments or feedback about the webinar,
please email is at [email protected]
I would say farewell to our panelists, and let’s open the
breakouts. Stefanie: Thank you. Walta: Thank you.>>Thanks for joining us. And for more information on how
to connect with the MIT Alumni Association, please
visit our website.

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