Category Archives: Networking

How to Build a Stellar Resume

Kari Leibowitz

You probably think that you’ll have your chance to make a great first impression at the interview with a potential employer.  You’ll dress the part, wear your best

business outfit, and practice your handshake.  But your real first impression on any future employer is your résumé.  Without a stand-out résumé, your chances at landing an interview are grim at best.  Use these four tips to achieve résumé genius and advance yourself beyond phase one of the application process.

Put yourself in the mind of the reader.

  • Imagine you’re the recruiter or hiring manager for this job: you have a near-endless stack of résumés to look at and a limited amount of time.  Can’t find the contact information easily?  Next.  Poor grammar and spelling? Next.  Formatting is messy and the font is hard to read? Next.  Don’t give anyone reading your résumé an excuse to put it down and move on to the next one.

Format your résumé smartly.

  • Use a layout that is neat, clean, and aesthetically appealing.  Use a font such as Calibri, Arial, or Verdana: one that is easy to read but not the standard and boring Times New Roman.
  • Make sure your name and contact information is at the top, including e-mail address and phone number.
  • If you’re a recent grad, list your education information first.  Most employers want to see GPA, so if yours is boast-worthy definitely include it.  If your GPA could be better, use your major GPA if it’s higher.
  • If you’ve been in the working world for a few years, put your job experience first and move your education section to the bottom of your résumé.
  • Organize chronologically: put your most recent jobs first, starting with anything that is current.
  • Make sure your résumé is free from any grammar or spelling mistakes, as well as formatting inconsistencies that can make you appear sloppy.

Phrase your experiences to pack a punch.

  • Use action verbs such as ‘created,’ ‘managed,’ ‘generated,’ ‘utilized,’ or ‘instated,’ instead of verbs such as ‘did,’ or ‘was,’ and never use ‘I.’
  • Quantify wherever possible.  For example ‘answered phones’ can become ‘managed communications via telephone for hundreds of clients a week’ – showing a company, with tangible numbers, that you can generate revenue, manage large numbers of tasks, or create materials sets you apart from other applicants.
  • Use accomplishment statements to highlight key achievements, such as creating a new material or approach, increasing revenue or efficiency, solving problems, improving an existing program, or implementing projects.

Target your résumé to keep it relevant and concise.

  • It’s best to keep your résumé to one page, so you can create multiple résumés to highlight certain skills.  For example, if you’re applying for a job at a non-profit, spend more space elaborating on your volunteer work.  If you’re applying for an office position, use more space to talk about your organization and communication skills.
  • Make sure your résumé relates to the job you’re applying for in an obvious way.  If your résumé doesn’t connect directly, use your cover letter to explain how your skills and interests can transfer.

Remember, your résumé is the first thing a potential employer will see, and it serves as a personal brochure for what you’re selling them – you.  Paying close attention to detail and constantly putting in time and effort to update and improve your résumé will help you to land the job of your dreams.


Networking Home Run

Kieran Fleming

So you’re interested in an internship at Pearson? Bring your cleats! Pearson softball is just one way you can get to know your colleagues, but it sure is a rewarding one. You will meet some characters, and listening to old friends talk


to each other can make you forget they work together too. Several departments have field teams here in the Upper Saddle River office in New Jersey, and most weeks there are two games a week per team, weather depending. It is a league where determination and hustle are requirements, but you will meet department presidents some days and marketing managers the next, and it is extremely worthwhile.

If you think those hard hours training, sprinting, and the general “beat-you-down-until-you-get-it-right” mentality of high school sports will never impact your life beyond graduation, think again. As much as Pearson makes a strong effort to introduce you to many individuals who can offer you guidance or gainful employment, the softball league is a chance for you to prove you have what it takes outside of the office. Just by going out to play, you show bravery and initiative, and by being yourself you will gain great networking connections and learn about yourself.

Those who know what intercompany softball at Pearson is like will understand. They understand that the end of special workdays is only the beginning. The competition in the office, a battle fought sitting down in swivel chairs, over donuts, coffee, salad and smiles, is over. The smiles invariably remain, but suddenly a layperson will gain a new appreciation of their fellow colleagues. Mild mannered by day, editors, managers, and IT men and women converge at a nearby field to contend for the most prestigious prize that may not fit on your resume: becoming the champion of the Pearson softball league.

Nobody needs to play softball to fit in. It gets really hot, people can’t alwayshot sun make the games, and thanks to celebrations after each loss I usually don’t get home until 9:00pm or later. Yet Pearson softball goes back a long way.  Some of the athletes are swamped in the office and do not have the social space to see all their friends regularly except on the field. The trash talk is legendary, and thanks to my “fresh” legs and my own style of play (and an occasional habit of talking about Kieran in the third person) I have been referred to as Rickey “Rocket”Henderson(as well as “the really fast kid”, “that freaking intern”, and most often, “lefty”). I have met Mad Dog, Buehler, and Crazy Legs.

Nothing is more disconcerting in an office environment, with your nice shoes and maybe even a neatly tucked in shirt when suddenly someone dressed with equal aplomb gives you a smile that can only be described as an “I can’t wait to try hit the ball so far over your head you’ll be chasing it for a week” kind of smile, and you instinctually smile back as if to say “Yeah then you better hit it pretty far!” If that sounds slightly sophomoric in maturity to you, that’s because it is. Yet we can’t play by ourselves. The whole community recognizes the importance of all players on each team feeling included and comfortable in the field, and negativity is hardly tolerated.

Winning doesn’t matter.  My teammates and I play because it is a chance to spend a few hours in the sun, with people we know and relate to through oursoftball work at Pearson. If you want to solidify your standing at Pearson as a lowly intern, or if you don’t know how to begin to network in a professional environment but can heft a bat or toss a ball, I strongly encourage you to explore your department’s softball team. If you don’t know who to ask, talk to your mentor and you may be shocked to hear that he or she might even be the coach! Finally, if you are considering coming to Pearson as an intern, be prepared to have fun with the people you work with, trust your instincts and find your niche. Maybe you will succeed where it seems I most likely won’t; our record is 1-6.