Trinity, when I am hiring I look for a few consistent things. As Mike said, I look for accomplishments or things that the person has been responsible for on their own, even if they're small. These things show hiring managers that they can count on you to lead. Look for opportunities to highlight these items over things you "worked on". Quantify improvements you've made where possible. Show that you have been a part of a team as we are always looking for people who can collaborate across functions as companies flatten their organization structures. One page resumes are best for those just starting out. This shows the hiring manager that you can be concise and tailor your message appropriately. Lead with your biggest strength - whether it's your education or your experience.
It's good to be proactive on this. I am in the Recruitment industry and can speak pretty well to this. First, I would always tailor your resume` to highlight your skills relative to the job you are applying for. Making your background as relative as possible is a great first indicator. Second, hiring managers like to see actual accomplishments you've had for each role. For example, if you led in sales a month, brought in x amount of dollars for the company, achieved project goals, etc. then highlight that for each job you have had. Third, make sure the resume` is consistently formatted. Sloppy resume`s show little attention to detail and can turn an HM off. You can find good templates online for this. Finally, make sure your resume` isn't too long. Try to keep it to a couple of pages, maybe three.
I have had the opportunity to hire hundreds of people spanning a career of more than 35 years. For this specific question I’ll assume we are discussing an entry level position. First you begin building a resume in high school and on through college. You need to not only complete course work that is somewhat relevant to the job you are applying for but also exhibit a well rounded interest in other classes and topics. Possibly the most important item is to be able to talk about projects and community service that you have completed. Finally when u get that first interview; be prepared, study up on the company, ask questions and above all else act like you are interested and want the job.
I have hired lots of people, and I always look for a few things:
- relevant experience ... even if it's your first job, what things have you done in high school or your social life that might help you in your work? For example volunteering or leading a sports team may be useful, or playing in a band in front of people is good experience if you're expected to be customer-facing.
- good presentation ... ask a friend or family member to read over your resume for spelling mistakes or sentences that aren't clear. Attention to detail matters!
- Show you understand the job ... pick out key phrases from the job advert and repeat them in the resume when adding how your experience matches the advert.
Good luck in applying!
Andrew recommends the following next steps: