How to Make Your Resume Job-Fair-Ready

The WIT Job Fair is only days away and you are ready to find your dream job!  If you haven’t signed up yet, feel free to do so here.  When you do, you are strongly encouraged to submit your resume.  Since WIT is in the business of setting you up for success, the organization sends your resume to Job Fair prospective employers and exhibitors.  This is great because interested employer could contact you prior to the event about current and upcoming positions.  See – you are already a leg up and you haven’t even stepped foot into the job fair!

To make this great a reality, you need a killer resume.

As WIT President-Elect Daphne Wotherspoon’s previous blog post mentioned, “...don’t just dust off your old resume, slap your latest role at the top and hit print! Take the time to ensure your resume is aligned with your brand and that it tells a great story about what you’ve done.”

Most recruiters will only review your resume for up to 6 seconds.  Therefore, you need to design a resume that will effectively communicate your experience and value proposition in less than 6 seconds.

Here is a checklist for you to follow as you revamp and review your resume for the career fair.  Give yourself enough time to review your resume.  It may be thorough and excruciating, but this investment in your resume will pay off mad dividends.





  • Name
  • City, State
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • LinkedIn Page
  • Clearance Level (Optional)


Why is this important?  Recruiters will only look at your resume for 6 seconds or less, so make them count.

  • Can I understand why you are qualified for the position in less than 6 seconds?



Executive Summary

  • 2-3 sentences communicating how your experience aligns with the position goals

Core Competencies

  • 6-9 Keywords that will resonate with the position description requirements.

Key Qualifications

  • The major accomplishments from your resume align with qualifications in the job description


  • Title includes: Position, Company, Location, Beginning Date – End Date
  • Bullets points communicate the following:
    • What you did
    • How you did it
    • Your impact on the organization
  • Is your experience in reverse chronological order?


  • Formatted as Degree, Concentration, Year, Institution, City, ST

Skills, Trainings and Certifications

Topics covered include
  • Certifications: e.g. Project Management Professional (Year), Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (Year)
  • Trainings: e.g. Financial Statement Analysis (Year)
  • Business Tools: e.g.MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), Adobe Creative Suite
  • Systems Platforms: e.g. AWS, Microsoft Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud
  • Programming Languages: e.g. Python, R, Ruby, Java

Leadership/Memberships (Optional)

  • Title Includes Organization, Position, Beginning Date – End Date
  • Text Include your role and impact on the organization

Awards and Honors (Optional)

  • Title Includes Award, Organization, Beginning Date – End Date
  • Text Includes type of award and reason for receiving it


  • Bullet point communicates metrics and value to the business your work brings
  • Bullet point is easy to understand. (Tip:  Ask yourself if a 5 yr, old can understand it.  If the answer is ‘yes’ you’re golden!  If no, continue to simplify it)
  • Bullet point summary can be backed up with hard data or a story
  • Bullet point is no longer than 2 lines

Resume Action Words






  • Oversaw
  • Managed
  • Led
  • Spearheaded
  • Launched
  • Directed
  • Coordinated
  • Collaborated
  • Guided
  • Coached
  • Cultivated
  • Fostered
  • Optimized
  • Analyzed
  • Synthesized
  • Simplified
  • Integrated
  • Streamlined
  •  Designed
  • Conducted
  • Developed
  • Built
  • Researched
  • Transformed
  • Drafted
  • Presented
  • Briefed
  • Advised
  • Negotiated
  • Marketed



  • Read resume top down for grammar and spelling errors
  • If you have less than 10 years of experience, resume should be 1 page in length
  • If you have more than 10 years of experience, resume should be 2 pages in length
  • Whether a bullet point has a period at the end of it is up to you.  Whatever you decide, make sure they are consistent
  • The Resume does not contain the following phases:


Trite Business Lingo

Self-Promoter Lingo

Weak Lead Phrases

  • Bottom Line
  • Buy-in
  • Core competency
  • Ecosystem
  • Move the needle
  • Synergy
  • Thought leadership
  • Value add
  • Wheelhouse
  • Go-getter
  • Go-to-person
  • Strategic thinker
  • Best of breed
  • Think outside the box
  • Results-driven
  • Detail-oriented
  • Proactive
  • Expert
  • Hard Worker
  • People-Person
  • Responsible for
  • Served As
  • Participated in
  • Attended
  • Experience Working In
  • Worked on
  • Assisted
  • Utilized


  • All formatting is aligned
  • Read resume from the bottom up to double check for errors


Dara Iserson is the Founder and CEO of Bactrian Global Strategies – a consulting firm that rebrands individuals and organizations to surpass their competition.  Dara has over 15+ years of experience building individuals and businesses in the public and private sectors.  She currently serves on the board of the Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Co-Heads the 1,000+ member strong Johns Hopkins SAIS Women’s Alumni Network.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (703) 755-0732
Twitter: @bactrianglobal


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