University Career Center

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Resume reviews can be a subjectve process. Interested in what a Michigan alum thinks of your resume? The below resume tips come to us from Andrew Selinger (Economics ’10), an Investment Analyst at Oxford Companies.

Between my time as an executive board member with the Alternative Investments Club and three years of hiring interns at an Ann Arbor real estate company, I have personally reviewed hundreds of University of Michigan résumés. Here are some practical do’s and don’ts that get my attention:

  • Do have somebody else look at your résumé. Many organizations on campus (like the Career Center) offer appointments to discuss your résumé and other presentation materials – make use of these. Or a friend. Or your mom. It doesn’t really matter who looks at it, just get that second set of eyes on your document. Communicating clearly and professionally (for internal and external purposes) is one of the first things I look for.
     
  • Do submit your résumé as a PDF. PDF’s are a more “professional” document, cannot be easily edited, and are more likely to retain the exact appearance you intended. Approximately 2/3’s of the résumés I receive are in PDF format, so don’t immediately group yourself with that lower third.
     
  • Don’t include an objective. I’m going to assume that you want to “gain an in-depth knowledge of the industry and prepare for future employment opportunities.” A good interviewer/recruiter will completely ignore this fluff because you can say anything that sounds good and they can’t verify it. What’s worse is I have this strange feeling that you switched in my company’s name and saved the résumé right before you sent it to me…
     
  • Don’t go more than one page. I’ve been through a hundred résumés this morning and I’ll hit another hundred before lunch. If you give me a résumé that spills over to a second page, you’re telling me either A) that you don’t care about my limited time and attention or B) that you don’t possess the ability to highlight and summarize information. I don’t really want to hire any of those people. A résumé is not a list of everything you’ve ever done – highlight your achievements and tell me how they are relevant. In addition, many people like to print out résumés to review them, and the second page can easily get lost.
     
  • Do add one line of personal information, but don’t be plain! A line of personal information in the “Additional” section can show that you are, in fact, a human, and it can be a great conversation starter for before or after the interview. Just make sure it’s unique! Oh wow, you like to travel, read, and eat? How thoughtful and interesting! No, say something like “Biked from San Francisco to Washington D.C. in 2008 to raise money for cancer research.”
     
  • Do print your résumé on nice paper and bring a couple copies to the interview. Hey, that’s just an easy way to score bonus points.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me at: andrewwselinger@gmail.com