Represent the Document - Don't Defend

Alright Spartans. Career fairs are here and we are ready. Starting next week there will be career fairs throughout the month of February. Here is the link to the MSU Engineering Career Website: https://www.careers.egr.msu.edu/. As you scroll down the main page you will see a list of all the fairs that will be happening this month. If you still feel like you are not quite ready for the fairs, please check out some of the other resources that they have on their site. Whenever I am feeling stuck that is the first place that I go to for help. There are plenty of resources there that can guide you through whatever you need assistance with.


Today I wanted to talk about "Representing the Document" AKA your resume. I know for myself I always feel that I have to prove myself to the recruiters that I am meeting. I always feel that as they read through my resume, I am going to have to justify the experiences that I have listed. I find myself spending so much time defending the content that is on my resume that I neglect to talk about anything else. For this reason, I thought it might be helpful to talk about how you should present yourself knowing that someone has your resume in hand or has seen it in the past.


For starters, you absolutely need to "Represent the Document" well, but not in the way that I always do. The content that you have on your resume is what it is. It might be super impressive and employers will ask you questions trying to learn more, or it might be super boring and employers will question why you have it on there. If employers choose to ask questions about the things you have listed on your resume, do not feel like you need to prove to them that the experience is real. Employers are not out to get you, they are just gathering information. I personally am not good at REPRESENTING my resume. I am always DEFENDING my resume. It if very difficult to not be defensive when you know that you are being judged. However, there is absolutely ZERO REASON to be defensive. Your experiences play a huge role in defining who you are as an individual. Be confident in your skills and abilities and do not doubt all of the amazing things that you have accomplished.


That being said, you need to "Represent" your resume well. Why?? Think of your resume as a paper version of you. In the virtual world that we are living in, employers will most likely be meeting you through your resume. When you meet an employer or recruiter for the first time, you should find comfort in the fact knowing that they have seen your resume. The biggest advantage of the WHO Method and other tools that we use in developing our resume, is that these tools showcase our skills. They give us the ability to take an experience and highlight the skills that we have acquired throughout the past four years.


It is so important that as you talk to employers at career fairs that you represent all the skills that you highlighted. If an employer has reached out to you, it means they want to know more about you. They don't want to hear your resume regurgitated to them. They wanna meet you and here your story. Your resume is just the appetizer, if you will. It is simply a summary of who you are as a person that allows companies to see if you are a fit for what they are looking for. It's a match-making process not a test. There is no fail and there is no pass. The best way to represent your resume is to be true to who you are because your resume is simply an extension of yourself.


As your interactions with employers pick up over the next several weeks, do not be discouraged by an negative interactions that you have. I was fortunate enough to have both good and bad interactions last semester. My biggest takeaway was that there is no failing despite what anyone may want you to believe. You have to stay true to yourself and your experiences throughout the process because this process truly is like dating. The more you hide behind the experiences on your resume, the less an employer will want to hear from you. Be confident in who you are and all that you have accomplished. We are coming to the end of our college careers, but we will always be Spartans. Now is not the time for a muffed punt (Yes I said it #BooUofM). Stay positive and keep your head up no matter what. This next month will be a big one, so GOOD LUCK! Stay Tuned and Keep Grinding Spartans!

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