Resumes & Cover Letters for Aspiring Job Seekers

The Bottom Line

Recruiters spend as little as 30 seconds reviewing your resume for the first time
Your resume must be:
Concise
Results-oriented
Clearly presented
Marketing: content and packaging
Even with a stellar resume, you will still need to perform well on in interviews to land a job offer

Top 10 critical skills desired by employers

Critical Skill #1: Team Player

Work in teams
Academics
Extracurriculars
Employment
Willing to help others; share credit

Where you can display it
Resume

Critical Skill #2: Communication

Ability to clearly articulate complex thoughts
Writing is concise and logically organized
Activities that involve written/verbal comm.
Teaching
Journalism

Where you can display it
Cover letter and resume

Critical Skill #3: Interpersonal

Activities that involve interactions with others
Work w/ people from a range of backgrounds
Volunteer work
International experiences
Positive tone & tactful phrasing in cover letter

Where you can display it
Cover letter and resume

Critical Skill #4: Leadership

Elected leadership positions
Entrepreneurial initiative
Self-direction in ambiguous situations
Persuaded others to take action
Calculated risk-taking

Where you can display it
Resume

Critical Skill #5: Analytical

High GPA and/or rising trend in grades
Analytical coursework or summer jobs
Strong SAT or GMAT scores
Logical presentation of credentials

Where you can display it
Resume and cover letter
Academic transcript

Critical Skill #6: Quantitative

Excellent grades in quantitative subjects
Math, physics (engineering)
Accounting, finance, economics (business)
Experience involving quantitative analysis

Where you can display it
Resume
Academic Transcript

Critical Skill #7: Business Sense

Classes and extracurricular activities suggest a developing interest in business
Conveys knowledge of industry and firm
Exposure to major business and financial concepts through work experience

Where you can display it
Cover letter and resume

Critical Skill #8: Capacity for Continuous Development

Upward trend in grades in challenging classes
Humility; learning from mistakes
Intellectual curiosity
Advancement within a student organization

Where you can display it
Resume and cover letter
Academic transcript

Critical Skill #9: Motivation & Energy

Enthusiasm and bias for action
Heavy academic load
Juggled many activities on campus
Part-time job during the semester
Willing to work long hours

Where you can display it
Resume and cover letter
Academic transcript

Critical Skill #10: Integrity

Details on resume are consistent
No exaggeration of accomplishments
Following through on commitments
No unprofessional or rude statements made in cover letter

Where you can display it
Resume and cover letter

Resume Tips

  1. Use numbers where appropriate to describe your accomplishments
  2. Avoid vague qualitative terms: “large” “many”
  3. Present two or three strengths and back them up with experience & achievement
  4. Not necessary to be a jack-of-all-trades
  5. State your accomplishments objectively
  6. Avoid dramatic, self-congratulatory language

Resume Mistakes

  1. Objective statement at the top
  2. Job descriptions rather than results
  3. Weak verbs to describe accomplishments
  4. Listing experiences where you are unable to recall the details
  5. Political or religious viewpoints
  6. Any spelling or grammatical errors
  7. Consultants are notoriously detail-oriented

Cover Letters

  1. Introduce a resume
  2. Personalized explanation of interest in consulting and the particular firm
  3. More important when resume submitted directly, rather than on-campus recruiting
  4. Can the candidate write clearly & concisely?
  5. Convey professionalism & enthusiasm
  6. Address potential concerns of the recruiter

An effective consulting Cover Letter

  1. Position to which you are applying
  2. Primary reason for your interest in consulting and specific role at the firm
  3. Concise overview of 1 or 2 qualifications that make you a compelling candidate
  4. These could be accomplishments that are not explicitly included in your resume
  5. Availability (graduation date)
  6. Logical next steps
  7. Could be a brief telephone conversation

Cover Letter Mistakes

  1. Reiterating your entire resume in prose
  2. Resume and cover letter are complementary
  3. Sending an impersonal form letter
  4. Recruiter will interpret this as lack of interest
  5. Addressing your letter “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”
  6. Find out the name of the recruiter and their title
  7. Excessive length
  8. Busy recruiter will end up skimming it

Arnab Ghosh

My name is Arnab Ghosh. I have been working as a Corporate professional for the past 19 years. After completing my graduation from City College {University of Calcutta}, I started my career with R.S.Software India, followed by Vedika Software Pvt.Ltd. Have worked with industry giants such as Convergys, Satyam Nipuna Services, Wipro BPO, Tata Teleservices Limited, Aircel, TaxiForSure, Brainware University among others. I am a certified trainer from Aircel Academy – Manager As a Coach & Trainer. I have also completed certifications from TBO Academy & Alison Education in the field of “Soft Skills“, the knowledge of which I apply to my students at my University regularly. I have also successfully completed “The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” certification from Google and “Digital Marketing Course” from TBO Academy. I was awarded “Google Analytics for Beginners” certificate by Google after successfully completing their course. I have achieved CEFR level B2 (Upper Intermediate) in a test of English proficiency from the British Council English Score. I am a bundle of drive, energy, commitment, and dedication and firmly believe in living my life in my own terms, be it working my heart out to achieve business targets or enjoying my spare time doing things that give me joy and feelings of contentment. My hobbies include reading books & listening to music and blogging. I sincerely believe that one should never lose focus in life and that one has to put in a lot of hard work & effort to reach the top.

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