Making Yourself Marketable: The Frustrated Graduate's Guide to Waiting Out the Storm
When you're straight out of college, it's important to keep your résumé to one page. There's no need for a laundry list of your extracurricular activities. They can be overwhelming to an employer.
Ross Baltic, of Mercury Partners Executive Search Advisors in New York, explains that most executives are really just taking a quick glance through your credentials, so do your best to remain concise while still providing the necessary details.
If you end up with gaps between jobs, Ross says to fill those lulls with opportunities you might have normally overlooked, and definitely include them on a résumé. "If you're working on a startup company or trying to get something off the ground, it shows you were using that time. It also shows you weren't watching The Flintstones all day," he says.
As for including your grade point average and test scores, there's really no hard and fast rule, but consider which academic achievements best allow you to shine. If your GPA is slightly over a 3.0, Ross says the choice to provide it is up to you; however, he says, a 3.5 and above from almost any university speaks volumes about the academic worth of a candidate.
Also, consider including exemplary test scores. In certain industries, like finance and consulting, having a 1400 or 1500 on your SATs can help you stand out.
"At the end of the day," Ross says, "be honest. Don't leave anything off."
Perhaps even more important, though, is having an up-to-date résumé. You never know when an employer will be sitting next to you on the train. Meg suggests carrying a résumé at all times. If not, make sure you have multiple versions accessible—tailored to different angles of your field—to be sent five minutes after you get off the train.