Raise the Bar on Your Resume

Need help sprucing up your resume? Martha Lopez, manager at MSNBC and NBC News Talent Acquisition, goes through some sample resumes to show you what she looks for.

What needs to be in a resume?  

When I receive a resume, I want to see your name, where to contact you, where you’re working, where you worked in the past and the duration of those jobs and your responsibilities. I want to make sure that you align to the job I’m looking to fill. 

What are some characteristics of good resumes?  

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Be concise and easy to read. The font should be big enough but not huge, or so tiny that I have to hunt for information. 

Sometimes candidates will give us an abundance of information. We can’t read through that in a matter of seconds. Information should jump out at us. Be very clear and concise with what you’re currently handling and the impact it’s making in the organization. 

What do recruiters for NBC News and MSNBC do?  

Recruiters speak with hiring managers, find out exactly what they’re looking for, look for talent in the applicant pool that fits those qualifications and do outreach. They may do some hunting, what we refer to as “sourcing.”

Then we have the pleasure of speaking to candidates. We’re doing phone interviews, then pitching the candidates that float to the top to hiring managers for further review. We’ll also help schedule those interviews for hiring managers. At the end of the process, we get feedback from the hiring managers and we come to a consensus on who we’re going to hire. 

Tip: Make your resume easy to read

  • Separate roles into different entries, rather than one long entry. 
  • Make your name and experience stand out. 
  • Make your resume fill out at least one page. 
  • Elaborate on your job in bullet points, such as responsibilities, metrics and milestones. 

Tip: Only include relevant jobs  

  • Don’t include jobs that aren’t applicable to the role you’re applying for.  
  • A job gap on a resume isn’t a deal breaker. The recruiter may ask about a job gap during the interview.  

Tip: Go easy on the design

  • You can use color, but too many colors are distracting. 
  • Pictures aren’t necessary, but if you choose to include one, make sure it’s professional.