Jerry Lee says he revised his résumé over 20 times before he finally sent it to Google. Jerry Lee
Jerry Lee is the COO and co-founder of Wonsulting, a career consulting company.
While still in college, Lee landed an internship at Google and stayed at the company for 3 years.
He says a strong résumé is one of the most effective ways to stand out to recruiters.
I worked at Google between 2017 and 2020, first through the company’s BOLD internship program while attending Babson College.
I first heard about the program while I was a third-year student at Babson College, struggling to find an internship. During the first semester of my junior year (September – December 2016), I applied to over 200 internships, interviewed with 20, and landed around five final round interviews.
Out of the 200 internships I applied to, Google’s BOLD internship was one of the programs I thought I was not “smart” enough to apply to.
The program — which stands for “Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development” — is the company’s flagship undergraduate business internship that lasts 10 to 12 weeks. Participants can choose between functions like marketing, sales, support, and analytics, and are assigned a mentor, embedded into a team, and given a high-impact project.
Despite the self-doubt, I thought to myself, “What do I have to lose?” I clicked “Apply” and went through the application process without giving it a second thought.
I received an invitation to interview for the internship in February 2016, two months after applying.
The email I got from Google let me know I’d gotten an interview. Jerry Lee
This was the result of over 20 résumé revisions over 3 months.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I received going through the recruitment process for the first time was, “Once you get to a certain point, your résumé feedback will start to sound similar. That’s when you know your résumé is ready.”
So that’s what I did.
When I was at Babson College, I went to weekly events where recruiters from all industries came to talk about their open positions. After each session, I always asked recruiters to review my résumé for 10 seconds and give me one area of improvement.
In addition, I went to the career center every week to ask for feedback regularly. I documented every bit of feedback and made sure my revisions addressed all of them.
After about 20 revisions, this is the résumé I used to land the Google internship without a referral.
My résumé. Jerry Lee
Through my involvement with Delta Sigma Pi, a professional development organization, I had access to résumé examples from upperclassmen who had worked at top companies like JP Morgan.
The most common theme I noticed in each of those résumés was that each was packed full of information.
When you look at my résumé, your initial reaction might be, “Wow – this is pretty dense.” And you’d be right. That’s the first impression I wanted to share with the recruiter.
Recruiters take 6 seconds to look at résumés before making a decision, and I wanted to make sure to show my diverse experiences, leadership skills, and projects. Now, my career is helping other underdogs land their dream job — this includes providing free résumé templates.
Your education section should be brief.
This section is highlighted at the top to quickly tell recruiters that I was a student looking for an internship. In the education section, it should highlight three key details:
- Degree, including majors, minors and concentrations with expected completion dates
- Relevant awards & coursework (if applicable)
- GPA (if higher than 3.0)
These three bullets help the recruiter get a grasp your candidacy immediately for relevant entry level roles and internships. (Keep in mind that most internships are designed for students in their penultimate years.)
Be intentional with your work experiences.
After the education section, it’s typical to showcase your work experiences. This is where you should highlight your internships, work-studies, or other jobs you have under your belt.
The goal of each experience is to show the recruiter two things: impact and relevance.
- Impact:I recommend using Google’s X-Y-Z Formula for your bullet points: Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z]. This method has Google’s stamp of approval and is consistent with the résumé feedback we’ve heard from recruiters. Let’s break it down.
- Accomplished [X]: Highlight what you accomplished in your role. For example, did you organize an event for a consulting club? If so, you would write: “Organized a consulting oriented panel event.”
- As measured by [Y]: Highlight the quantifiable impact of your actions. For example, how many people attended your event? Write: “Organized a consulting oriented panel event that brought in 50 attendees.”
- By doing [Z]: Highlight the “how.” For example, how did you organize the event? Write: “Organized a consulting oriented panel event that brought in 50 attendees, by collaborating with 5 team members.
Most people will make the mistake of focusing on the accomplishment and not the latter 2 components of the bullet point, so make sure you capture the X, Y and Z!
- Relevance: Not all experiences are created equal. I recommend you look at a job description and make sure your résumé checks off at least 75% of the requirements listed on the roles and responsibilities. In doing so, it’ll show the recruiter that you have the functional expertise and skills to do the role.
One of the most common questions I receive is, “But what if I don’t have work experience?” I recommend highlighting your class and project experiences on your résumé. These experiences still teach you fundamentals you’ll need in your internship.
For example, on my résumé I had a “Project Experience” section, where I wrote about my Clarkston Consulting experience.
I took a class called “Management Consulting Field Experience” i.e. MCFE, where I, along with 3 other students, consulted a business. I specifically chose to list this class project experience because I wanted to show recruiters the analysis and research skills I used during the project.
In doing so, I hoped to show them that I could apply these skills at their companies, if given the opportunity.
Make sure to demonstrate leadership.
Beyond your education and work experiences, leadership experience is crucial. A leader is not someone whos has a title, but rather is someone who can inspire and motivate others.
Each of your leadership experiences should highlight the impact you’ve delivered in your roles; emphasize your ability to lead and work with people.
In my résumé, you’ll see that I listed four experiences:
- Babson Consulting Association: This highlights my interest in the consulting industry.
- Babson Asian Pacific Organization: This shows I have passions outside of his professional interests.
- Delta Sigma Pi: This organization has affiliations with 275,000 members, so I hoped to use this to connect with members.
- Student Government Association: This shows my abilities to inspire & lead my constituents.
Aim for consistent feedback.
This is not the end all, be all résumé resource, but I hope this helps people who feel lost in their job search. Your résumé is the one of the most important parts of your job search process because that is what recruiters look at to determine whether or not they should interview you for your internship or entry-level role.
Similar to the advice I received when I was in college, don’t aim for perfection. Aim for the point in which your résumé feedback starts to sound similar. That’s when you know your résumé is ready.
Jerry Lee is the COO and cofounder of Wonsulting.