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The Search For the Perfect Resume

You’re getting ready to apply for that job that you REALLY want. Everything about it is just what you’re looking for and you feel pretty confident you fill all their requirements. The last thing you need to do before you submit everything is get your resume looking fantastic! But how exactly do you do that? What are employers really looking for? There must be a magic formula for creating the perfect resume, right?

At a recent resume review session, hosted by Villanova University’s Society for Human Resource Management (VUSHRM), I learned that there is no magic formula for creating a perfect resume, but there are some things you can do to make it most broadly appealing. Over the course of an hour I had the pleasure of meeting with five different recruiters from companies in the Philadelphia area. There were many consistencies in the advice they gave me, but there were also a lot of differences.


There is no magic formula for creating a perfect resume, but there are some things you can do to make it most broadly appealing.


Here is some of the consistent advice I heard from recruiters from different companies:

  • Keep your best selling points at the top of your resume.

  • Make it clean and easy to read.

  • Tailor your experience to what the employer wants for the position.

Here are some of the different opinions expressed about my resume from those same recruiters:

  • Always keep it to one page vs. there’s no reason to limit yourself to a single page.

  • Times New Roman font is a must vs. get creative with fonts.

  • A professional objective should always be included vs. it’s really unnecessary and crowds the page.

So who’s right?

Unfortunately they all are. At the end of the day, a lot of how a recruiter will view your resume just comes down to their personal preferences. When you hand over your resume, the formatting and style choices you’ve made all reflect your preferences. In the end you just have to hope that the differences between the two are overshadowed by your experience and skills that make you a fit for the job!

While this information isn’t completely comforting when you’re stressing about applying for a job and making sure your resume is perfect, it does eliminate some of the stress. Just include everything about yourself that best reflects your true character and experience that make you perfect for your dream job, and relax knowing you’ve done the best you can.


Hannah Parker Carver is Graduate Assistant in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University. She serves as the Director of Communication & Philanthropy for VUSHRM. Learn more about her here!

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