The Nitty Gritty of a Good Resume

The title says it all. Let’s get straight into it. (Heads up, this is geared towards students, but it might be a good refresher for experienced candidates as well.)

Cover letter: Most, if not all, Intel recruiters do not care for cover letters. It doesn’t hurt your chances to have one, but many recruiters do not read them.

Contact Info: The top of your resume should contain your name and updated contact info. These are the channels through which they will contact you for follow-ups. Make sure these are up-to-date so you do not miss any opportunities. I know how frustrating this can be from experience. Your email address is key here and should match the email in your candidate profile—this is the unique field that most candidates are tracked by.

Objective: Some recruiters put more emphasis on this section than others. Still, you should always have one. Just keep it short and simple. Instead of having just one general “[major] engineering student seeking [job/internship]”, be more specific. Specify the business groups or markets you are interested in (client PC, server, mobile, fabrication, etc.); specify the roles you are interested in (design, automation, validation, etc.); and note whether you are looking for an internship or full-time position (recent graduate or experienced). If you’re not sure what business groups or markets, clearly call out what your key skills are, that way a recruiter can determine whether you’re a fit for the roles they are supporting.

Education: Recruiters will focus on a few key sections here.

  • Major: If applying online, this lets them know if you are eligible for the posting. It acts as a mass filter. If applying in person, it helps recruiters figure out which jobs you are best suited for.
  • GPA: Intel has a strict 3.0 (out of 4.0) minimum GPA requirement. The importance of your GPA when compared to other candidates depends on each individual manager, some may want a higher GPA, but it is not the main criteria for many. Still, it definitely does not hurt to have a higher GPA. But as long as you have the minimum, you can be considered for Intel. If you don’t have your GPA on your resume, you’re delaying the process for yourself so make sure it’s listed.
  • Expected graduation date: This is an often neglected detail that Intel recruiters absolutely require. This lets them know whether you should be applying for an internship or a full-time position. Intel’s policy on college graduate full-time positions is that you can apply within 18 months of your graduation date (before AND after). So even if you are about a year from your graduation and are only seeking internships, they will help you start applying to full-time positions. It’s never too early… except for more than 18 months before you graduate.

Relevant Coursework: Experience is prioritized over coursework, but this section can help recruiters find you the right position. Only list courses relevant to your major or the position you want (no general courses like algebra/chemistry/etc.). For example, listing “computer architecture” can help you find postings that require that specific skill.

Work Experience: Other than the Education section, this is the most important part of the resume.

  • Limited Experience: For those with limited technical work experience, especially 1st or 2nd year students, you can add any experience that can help your case. This includes projects and extracurricular activities. Before I had any technical work, I listed one of my odd summer jobs updating a small shop’s computer network and bookkeeping. That along with my work with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at the University of Florida (UF) definitely helped me.

If you do not have enough experience to fill out this space, it is time to be assertive. In my previous post I mentioned ways to get experience on your own, not through an internship or work, but rather through industry organizations, student groups, project teams and extracurricular activities. There are many opportunities out there.

  • Use action verbs: When filling out the experience section, you need to list any tasks and responsibilities you had. For each of these, start with an action verb like “coded”, “managed”, “programmed”, “built”, “designed”, etc. These give the impression of greater involvement and responsibility. They also help keep these brief and to the point. Don’t list every responsibility you had but pick the ones that are relevant to the role or support your technical skills or leadership skills.
  • QUANTIFY! In order to really impress recruiters and show that you had a significant impact, it is important to show some quantifiable result. Did you save money/time or improve performance/throughput? How much?
    • Example: “Increased validation throughput (~60%) ; reduced test run time by average 1 hour/unit and increased reliability with 20% less downtime”


These are other sections you can use to fill any free space.

  • Skills: Are you multilingual? Are you proficient at any useful programming languages? This section should highlight any skills you’ve gained in and out of your school and experience that could set you apart from other applicants.
  • Activities: If you did not list any extracurricular activities under the “Work Experience” section, list them here. You should only really use this space if you were an officer in order to list those positions and your responsibilities.
  • Awards: List any honor roll awards, scholarships, grants, etc. Only list college-related awards, not high school honor roll. Seriously, someone once listed “prom queen”. No.

These tips won’t guarantee that you will be selected from the stack, but it will position you better and improve your resume!


10 thoughts on “The Nitty Gritty of a Good Resume

  1. Putted all the essential information’s in a resume.

    Complied my brother in law resume last night, and happy that i have few updates to do, but surely it is a great help.

    Thanks for sharing the link on FB.

  2. Outside US the rules for GPA is different, we do not have that e.g. PhD. degree.
    Whta do you mean by objectives?

    1. Hi Raija, We ask candidates to convert their GPA to a 4.0 scale, so you’d need to calculate and convert. Best estimate is fine too, as long as it’s clear that you’re not trying to misrepresent yourself. Hope that helps!

      1. I have 8.02 and 8.34 DGPA in my masters and grads out of 10 credit points..So for applying at Intel will i have to change to a 4.0 scale basis in my CV also or just while filling up the application form ?

        1. Hi Soumyajeet, just in the application is fine. It’s ok to actually display your actual GPA on your CV. It’s really just about making sure that the applicant tracking system doesn’t screen you out inappropriately.

  3. With regard to the minimum GPA, what is the policy if the candidate has an advanced degree such as an MBA; the undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 but the graduate GPA is above 3.0? Is one ineligible for consideration because of the undergraduate GPA?

    1. Hi Dario, Good question. We do look at cumulative GPAs. however it varies from group to group. Some groups are okay if the higher level grad degree has a 3.0 or better, even if the undergrad is below, but there are some groups that do look at all GPAs before making a decision on who to interview.

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