The job market has become increasingly competitive for internships and early career positions, and Barclays is no exception; it's not uncommon for top employers to receive thousands of applications per position. As an applicant, certain variables are out of your control. But your resume is not one of them.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when it comes to job applications, your resume can make or break your chances of getting hired. Here are six tips to ensure your resume stands out in the hands of our recruiters.
1. Keep it short and use an eye-catching template
Most employers like to see resumes that are no more than one page. A brief resume makes it easier for managers and recruiters who look at dozens of resumes a day to see relevant information quickly.
How do you trim the fat? Delete any references to high school, which isn't relevant when applying to a college internship or early career position. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs to describe your past work experience and education, and leave references off - employers will ask for these if you're chosen as a candidate.
When it comes to your resume's design, keep it simple. A confusing or crowded resume design could risk your chances at a new opportunity. Above all, a recruiter should be able to find your degree, skills and requirements at a quick glance. You can always add color and unique features to make your resume stand out, but make sure the design doesn't distract from the content.
2. List your achievements, not just your duties
You may feel compelled to write a paragraph describing your last job or internship in detail, but employers are looking for your accomplishments, not just a list of your job responsibilities. Take time to compile a list of your achievements in previous roles, preferably those that can be measured quantitatively.
Here's one example: Rather than saying you helped plan events, write that you organized a sold-out fundraiser that garnered $50,000 in donations. This gives employers an idea of how you handled your responsibility and excelled in your role.
Another example is that you want to demonstrate your attributes. Saying you're a “strong leader" doesn't say much, but leading a group of five interns through a six-month project that culminated in an award nomination does.
3. Customize your resume for each job
Resumes aren't one-size-fits-all. For each job you're interested in, look carefully through the job description and customize your resume to fit the role as best as possible. If Barclays is looking for a sales manager with experience working with corporate clients, play up that skill set. Include keywords listed in the job description and be specific about your previous sales and corporate finance experience.
4. Triple-check your spelling
It seems like an obvious tip, but you'd be surprised how often this is overlooked. Check your resume for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors to help you rise above other applicants. Sending in a clean, clear resume signals to recruiters and managers that you pay attention to detail and take pride in your work.
5. Avoid using overly technical language
The first person who sees your resume and who schedules the initial interview isn't always the hiring manager of the position. Rather, they're likely a recruiter, an assistant or an executive. That's why it's best to avoid industry jargon and overly technical language on your resume.
Instead, you want to be sure your resume makes sense to someone who might not be familiar with the job at a granular level. You can still list your skills, but if a friend can't tell what you do by reading your resume, you might want to tone down the technical stuff.
6. Don't forget your volunteer work and involvement in professional organisations
Do you hold a part-time job, volunteer at a local animal shelter, serve as the president of your university's business club, or even blog in your free time? This is all relevant experience that employers want to know. Someone who can juggle multiple commitments and has a passion for leading is a great asset, and your resume will stand out that much more. Not only does this give the employer a better idea of your work ethic but also shows a little bit of your personality.
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