Hiring Manager Series: Viacom Recruiter Tells Us What's Really Needed On A Resume And What's Not

Hiring Manager Series: Viacom Recruiter Tells Us What's Really Needed On A Resume And What's Not

By Khadejah Stegall

Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University

Do recruiters really care if you have an objective or your address on your resume? Can a spelling error really make a bad impression and get your resume tossed? The Life Currency asked Viacom Recruiting Associate Essence Dashtaray the truth about mistakes she commonly sees on resumes and what’s really essential for this important document. Dashtaray has been working in Human Resources for five years at Viacom and has hired in areas including but not limited to Ad Sales, Business Development, Design, Digital, Finance, Legal, Marketing, Product Development, Research and UX/UI. After reading Dashtaray’s advice, we recommend you make necessary changes to your resume!

Q:  What is your biggest pet peeve when you view resumes?

A: Spelling mistakes! Your resume is your first impression to a recruiter, so it's always important to double check your spelling and grammar before submitting it to an application. Remember that everything from your cover letter and resume to your interview presentation are a representation of you as a potential employee.

Q:  What do you commonly see candidates have on their resume that's not needed?

A: Objectives. Since many students and recent grads are involved in various activities, we recommend leaving objectives off to save room for other items that are more relevant to the role. There are a few occasions in which you may want to include an objective (i.e. if you're making a career change).

Q:  What do you see candidates commonly forget to put on their resumes?

A; Surprisingly, I have seen resumes without emails or phone numbers listed. Make sure to have both included so that recruiters can easily contact you about opportunities. We've definitely had students miss out because we haven't been able to connect with them!

Q: Can a misspelled word on a resume really hurt you? Please explain your thought process when you see this.

A: Yes, absolutely! My team came across a CareerBuilder survey that stated that 61% of recruiters will dismiss a resume because it contains typos- that’s a big number! The more people you can get to review your resume, the better. Ask your friends, family, mentors and career services for help. Attention to detail is key in any role and this is an impression of how you would be as an employee. If you are misspelling words on your resume, will you do the same on important work projects?

Q:. Do creative resumes spark your attention more or could you care less?

A: Not necessarily. The content, structure and the story you’re telling on your resume is more important to us. However, if you are pursuing a creative position (i.e. graphic design, editorial), then you’ll want to make sure you have an online portfolio link included on your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers will want to be able to review your work without their inbox being clogged with PDF files (sites like Behance and Wix are great free resources to use).

Q: Where do you receive most of the resumes that you read?

A: The majority of candidates we contact come directly from those who apply on our website – www.viacomcareers.com! In addition, we work with various clubs and organizations from different schools, as well as professional and diversity organizations. We always recommend to apply earlier than later though as we recruit on a rolling basis.

Q:  What advice would you give to a candidate on their resume who is looking to apply to a job?

A: If you have your sights set on a particular company, go for it! At Viacom, we look for candidates with all types of backgrounds and experiences. Make sure you're showcasing your transferrable experiences on your resume (i.e. relevant coursework, involvement on campus, volunteer experience). Also, networking is key! Once you've made a connection, make sure to maintain those connections by keeping in touch throughout the year and not just when you're job seeking (remember that networking is a two-way street).

Q: What's the ideal universal resume template for a candidate to use?

A: We always tell our interns that there is no right or wrong way to structure a resume- there’s no one size fits all. However, for those still in school, it's best to keep your resume to one page only. Be sure to bullet out your responsibilities and use active verbs to describe your most relevant experience. Most recruiters only look at a resume for 6-7 seconds so you’ll want to make sure you’re catching their eye right away.

Essence manages the social handles for @ViacomInterns. Follow to read more articles and tips around jobs and professional development.


Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com.