5.1.4. Building your resume

Your school’s placement has probably established a set of guidelines for preparing resumes, especially for resume book purpose. However, keep in mind the following:

– Make different versions: In addition to the “official” resume, you should consider having multiple versions targeted for different audiences. You can have, for example, one for Finance (less focused), and another one for Investment Banking (more focused). Be careful, however, not to mix them up, especially for on-campus interviews.

– Have a copy of your resume in your own country’s format and language: You never now when you might need it, either for employment in your country (backup) or to hand it out to a contact in your country who could refer you to somebody else.

– Have a copy of your resume in scanable format: Many employers are using scanning technology to automate the resume collection part of the recruiting process. Have a version scanner-ready, as you might need it. To make a resume scanner ready: don’t use bold or Italics, use a serif font, and use plenty of words and acronyms.

– Have copies of your resume available at all times: You never know when you can meet a recruiter or an important business contact. Try to carry with you a copy at all times. For better accessibility, have it available on the Internet, so that you can access it from anywhere and print it. Having it available electronically also gives a good impression (i.e. having your web-page address in your resume or presentation card), and makes it easy to distribute. But do not rely on that. Recruiters still live by paper resumes.

– Clarify your undergraduate degree if not obvious: The degree you obtained in another country may not have an exact equivalent in the US. It might be a good idea to clarify in your resume what it is (e.g. five year degree, thesis required, and other useful information), or to put the closest equivalent (e.g. equivalent to a BS or BA) and then, if it works for you, clarify it during the interview. Sometimes it is also important to put your school in the proper context, since it may be unknown to the recruiter (e.g. the largest university in Manila).

– Explain the companies you worked for, if not obvious: Unless you have worked for well known multinationals, it is a good idea to briefly describe the companies in your resume (e.g. a $5 Million in sales electronics manufacturer, a 120 employee management consulting firm, the third largest commercial bank).

– Your references and work experience will probably not be verified: It seems that this gives you a little bit of slack in what you can write, but you can not know if the interviewer will verify the information. Just in case, do not lie under any circumstance. If he realizes you lied, you’ll be automatically out of the process.