3 Things You Need to Know to Craft a Perfect Resume

During our 2018 application cycle, we’re hosting #AskVFA Twitter conversations to not only provide support around our application and selection process, but also to act as a resource for your entry into the startup world.

The topic for November’s chat was “How To Turn Your College Experience Into A Startup Ready Resume” with members of our Talent team. Here at VFA, we’ve worked through thousands of resumes over the years, selecting the best and brightest talent in the country. As a result, we’ve helped over 700 recent grads land full-time entry level roles at startups across the country and while we could share an endless supply of advice, here are the top three things to focus on while completing your resume:


1. Focus on opportunities that highlight your professional growth.



Answering the following questions can help you connect your extracurriculars to a business:

  • What role did you have in that extracurricular experience?
  • Were you a leader?
  • Did you manage a group of people or a project?
  • What outcomes can you take responsibility for that would demonstrate success (ex: money raised, impressive # of attendees, growth over time, etc.)?

Do your best to connect any experience you have had (business or not) to concrete outcomes that would show that you can add value — and will do the same for your new company.


2. Focus on the specific job and company you’re applying for and craft your resume around its needs.

  • You should focus on the roles you’ve had that directly relate to the job you’re applying for, as well as major accomplishments (both in an academic and business settings).
  • Share results from your experiences as expressed in concrete numbers (if possible), and promotions or increases in responsibility or role over time.

We suggest having several versions of your resume that highlight different experiences. With a resume, you only have one page so it’s best to customize that page based on the specific job you’re applying for. It takes more work to develop several resumes but will make you a stronger candidate in the long run!

3. Focus on letting your resume act as the tipping point for your interview.

Your resume should act as a snapshot of your career experience. There is only so much that you can fit on your resume, therefore we still encourage you to focus on your experiences that are most relevant to the job in question.

Worried about not being able to show the balance between your abilities to do the gritty work and displaying high-level leadership experience? You can highlight more of your in-depth work experiences during the interview process. Most high level leadership roles involve grunt work — so you can come with examples of a time you managed a complicated project and a time you rolled up your sleeves to get a job done. This combination shows you’re versatile and have a “no task is too small” attitude.

Resources shared during the chat:

How to go from liberal arts student to thriving startup employee

How to turn your college experience into a startup ready resume
How to format a startup resume

85 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome via The Muse

Reminder: Our next application deadline is November 27th! Utilize these tips to get your resume uploaded and your application finished. Apply here.

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