No. of Recommendations: 44
Some of this is relevant to everyone, some to new grads.

I've been receiving resumes for summer internship positions at my company. I've seen some classic examples of "book smart, no common sense." For people getting high 3.x to 4.0 grades, there's a lot of really dumb moves going on here.

* We all know you should send your cover letter to a real person, if known. If not, at least send it "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Hiring Manager." Not "To Mr./Ms.--" with nothing else after it.

* For the love of God, never, ever, ever, ever put "Who's Who of American High School Students" or "Who's Who of American College Students" on a resume. We ALL know that this is pure fluff that only requires you to buy the book to get in it. It makes you look like a sucker, not impressive.

* Be REALLY careful what copy of your resume you send out. I got an electronic copy of a resume that has little annotation bubbles next to it--you know, the feature of Word that allows someone to type notes without it being in the main document. So, this candidate had apparently shown her resume to someone and got feedback, and I can see all that feedback that's calling out every flaw in her resume: "What is this? Why is this listed twice? Elaborate more here. Etc." Stuff I might have missed or overlooked is pointed out in all its glory.

* You're applying for an internship. You have no relevant work experience outside some tutoring or teaching assistantships because you've been a student your whole life. That's fine--we expect that. But when you have little to say, say it in a page--not 4 pages.

* Try to be at least a little specific in your job duties. Things like "Wrote programs in C" or "Maintained databases" or "Presented findings to clients" is meaningless.

* I really don't care if you were born and raised in this town. That's nice, but isn't a reason I would hire someone over anyone else.


I don't think a resume can ever get you a job, but it sure can prevent you from getting one.

--WP
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