Interviewers - What's the FIRST thing you look at on a resume?

When you first grab a resume (for SA or FT IB hire), where do your eyes go first? Then where do your eyes scan to next?

My guess would be:
-first/last name*
-relevant-experience bolded header
-quick scan of those initial bullet points
-second relevant-experience bolded header
-then down to the bottom "interests" section.

Also during this process, I would imagine in the background your eyes are looking for anything out of the norm (bad formatting/font, typos, etc).

*first/last name i'm guessing plenty of interviewers skip, and probably depends on the situation & speed at which reviewer is scanning these resumes.

I believe @SSits wrote up a good post on this topic? can't remember

also while we're on the topic, what a the first few things you look at if you look up a potential candidate (intern or ft hire) on Linkedin?

Comments (11)

May 31,2016
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May 31,2016

We don't hire out of school so here's what I would say immediately catches my eye when I look at a resume:

  • Name
  • Location (local or not, are they willing to move)
  • Current job (do I know anyone who works there)
  • University --> GPA (do I know anyone who went there)
  • Past jobs, including length of employment

THEN bullets of job description.

I wouldn't say I look for bad formatting but if it's on there it will jump out at me immediately.

MM IB -> TMT Corporate Development

May 31,2016

Not banking, but I would look at the format first, then name, current location, school, and companies worked for. If you passed those, I dug deeper.

May 31,2016

I would say format, school, job titles and companies. Probably won't read the bullets

Best Response
May 31,2016

Format is over-arching and just stands out if bad/has errors. Most banks will do OCR/resume selections by school - so I already know everyone in the pile is from my school. I'll look at the following things in order:
1. Name - do I know you already? If not, then maybe send off a quick text to someone I know still in school and ask for impressions if everything below checks out (this is mostly for pre-screening/deciding who to coffee chat with).
2. Activities - were you in any clubs/frats I was apart of? Good. Were you in any clubs/frats that had a handful of people I didn't like while I was in school? Tough.
3. GPA - I put more weight into this than others. Pretty sure there's a direct relationship between reviewer's own GPA and how much they care about it when reviewing others.
4. Interests - please don't have anything stupid like "ironing shirts" or "Drake." Unique stuff like Olympic athlete is cool. Don't really care if you like the same sports team anymore, though, since it's not terribly unique and 8 times out of 10, that conversation goes: "yeah they suck this year, haven't really followed as much."
5. Work experience - since I mostly review for SA hires, I care less about this given that it's unlikely to be a significant indicator of prowess. Can't really differentiate between a bunch of no name shops and whatever b.s. title or bullet points they have. Obviously if you're a KKR sophomore private equity analyst, that's a different story from Starbucks barista who "increased tips cash flow generation by 46%."

May 31,2016

Jesus christ, you sound so pretentious

"3. GPA - I put more weight into this than others. Pretty sure there's a direct relationship between reviewer's own GPA and how much they care about it when reviewing others."

Holy cringe

May 31,2016

GPA matters bro. Don't fail your classes

May 31,2016

Of course GPA matters. I was pointing out how his comment sounds like a personal brag sheet as opposed to helpful tips.

"Oh yeah. People who got high GPAs care a lot more about GPA. I care about GPA a lot more than my peers."

May 31,2016

The way it was worded was indeed cringe worthy, but it makes sense. In other words, if you have a high GPA you will most likely focus on GPA since it justifies the sacrifices you made in University. My GPA was shit, so when I review CVs I don't give a shit about GPA.

May 31,2016