Land your Dream Job in 2017: A Guide for Students and Grads in Optimizing your Resume


Here are the facts of life: most entry level jobs now require 2 years’ work experience, a university degree, and a part of your soul. Okay maybe not the last part, but in today’s job market it is more difficult to land that dream job based on increased competition and job requirements. Your resume is an incredibly important aspect of your application, if not the most important. Your resume should reflect your ability to organize your thoughts, be detail-oriented, and an effective communicator all without ever using these words in your resume. I am responsible for all hires at Semeon Analytics, and I am here to share with you the most important aspects we, as recruiters, look for in your resumes. This guide will help you craft a relevant and effective resume to propel you to the interview stage! The guide will be broken down between content and format, each with an example resume that showcases the type of resume that recruiters are looking for.



  • Skip your birthday or age, you don’t want an Ageist recruiter disqualifying you because you’re fresh out of school
  • Use a professional email address; this means no Hotmail, Yahoo, or school email accounts . If you don’t already, create a Gmail account with your first and last name
  • Use one line for your contact information, using 4 lines for your personal information wastes a lot of horizontal space on the page and it shows a lack of organization

Ie: Jordan Lavoie | 2135 de la Montagne, Montreal | | 514-778-9637


  • The idea here is to show the recruiter you have previous experience in a relevant field, usually you want to place your most relevant or most recent positions at the top.
    • The reasoning here is Primacy/Recency effect which states that the first and last things you heard will be most likely remembered.
  • Bullet points are the way to go
  • Skip the Skills section (unless you are applying to a technical position like developer) and instead pepper your work experience with skills you learned along the way
  • Skip the fluff words, recruiting software and recruiters usually skip right over the overused fluff words such as; team-player, self-starter, etc.
  • Mirror the language from the job posting so you can ensure your resume reflects what the recruiters are looking for, just don’t copy/paste
  • The name of your resume file is important. Think how many other applicants write “resume” as the title of their document and how complicated it is for the recruiters to find your specific resume in the sea of documents they have. Write your full name and resume to ensure they can search for your resume
  • Remove Microsoft Office from your skills, it is as relevant as a typewriting proficiency in the 90’s
  • Do not add your GPA to the resume, unless it is a magical number such as anything above 3.8
  • Proper grammar is essential in resume writing
  • IMPORTANT: Focus on your accomplishments instead of your responsibilities because they want to see what you could accomplish instead of what was in the job description
  • Remove “References available upon request” as they will ask regardless and it takes us valuable real-estate


  • Use bold to focus the recruiter’s attention on your most important accomplishments, remember recruiters are usually scanning resumes so using format will highlight what you want the recruiters to remember
  • Hyperlink what you can such as your LinkedIn profile
  • Minimal colour can be effective to divide your resume into sections
  • Use the whole width of the page when talking about your work experience and accomplishments –> This shows you are organized and make sure nothing is wasted
  • Keep your resume one page, unless you are applying for a position in management it is unnecessary to have more than one page

There you have it, follow this simple guide and you will be swimming in interviews before you realize.

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