Resume Roundtable

Hello Spartan Engineers! I hope your first week back in class has been treating you well. I know I am trying to get off to a fast start this semester with everything to make sure that I have time to make space for career related activities as we move through the semester. (PSTTTT There was some advice there).


My goal for this post is a resume roundtable. I don't want to rehash the same things that we discussed in September (if you are just tuning in, I highly recommend revisiting the Breaking Through Series Part one from September 15th). We understand what employers are looking for on resumes, we understand which methods The Center recommends we use to build our resume, and we understand just how important having a good resume can be. My goal for this is for you to analyze your resume in a different way with hopes that you will be able to find a way to improve it.


Over the break I took a look at the version of my resume that I had used for every job application. This iteration had been able to get me noticed and through to some interviews (not all but some), and a few employers had complimented on how my resume presented. All great things, but here I am without a job. I assumed that my interviewing skills were the problem and I would continue to use this version of my resume. However, I realized that your resume CAN IMPACT your interviews.


Let me explain. Your resume doesn't just highlight your experiences, your skills, and demonstrate to a company why they should hire you. It tells a story. Your story. It doesn't matter if you have had internships every summer or you never landed one, your resume is a snapshot of your journey through college. It is a summary of the last 3+ years of your life boiled down to a singular page. What you choose to put on that page impacts how a recruiter/employer is going to view you when they first meet you. There is no "first impression" in this virtual world. Often times, the first contact an employer has with us is through our resumes.


The information that you choose to emphasize dictates the skills that the employers are going to assume you have or don't have before they meet you in either a screening or an interview. If your resume is filled with technical work upon technical work, employers will likely not doubt your knowledge of a topic, but they might question some of your soft skills or people skills. Or maybe you only highlight your leadership, and employers will question how well you follow direction and complete technical tasks.


The version of the resume that we use in this final iteration of MSU career searching has to be 100% true to who you are. When you hand someone your resume, you need to be confident that if they were to read every word of it, they will have a good guess as to the type of person that you are and what you value as an individual. I know that we know the formatting, the structure, and the best way to describe our experiences. The question is are we telling employers our story through our resume?


My focus for the next few days will be on tweaking my resume. Not completely overhauling. Just tweaking it. I want to make sure that my best skills and most valuable experiences are described in a way that reflects who I am. If employers wanted people who could do a specific set of tasks or held a certain set of skills, they would be looking for robots. They aren't. They are looking for people. As we move closer to career fair season, over the next few days this is the approach that I will be taking to my resume, and I hope this vantage points helps all of you. We will continue on our "crash course" next time. Stay Tuned and Keep Grinding Spartans!

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