Make admissions go "wow"
January 14, 2008 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Resume filter: I'm applying to the business program at my university and I need to include a resume with my application. I want admissions to say "wow."

This is for an undergrad program that starts 3rd year (I'm currently finishing off second). My GPA stands for 60% of my evaluation and the other 40% rests on my application essay and resume. I think I should be in good standing as far as the GPA is concerned, I won't have the highest but I certainly will not have the lowest.

So, I want to wow admissions with my resume. I'm not overly concerned about the essay portion, as I feel pretty confident that I can deliver.

What would be the best things to include on this resume? I feel that the "Education" portion will not be as important as they already have all the information, so I'm thinking volunteer work, work experience, skills, etc. But what is the etcetera?

P.S. I feel that I will have more than one page, is it best to edit it down so that it all fits on one page?

posted by 913 to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use a combination resume that starts off with your objective and moves into a profile and experience highlights. Then you can include everything and spin as needed.
posted by acoutu at 2:26 PM on January 14, 2008

I do not work in college admissions, and I live in the US, so add the necessary amount of salt. I think that the way to make a resume stand out in this case is with substance. The admissions people look at hundreds, maybe thousands of these, and you don't have to look at all that many to start seeing the many ways people pad out their resumes. Present yourself in the best light possible, but don't pad, don't exaggerate, and don't use all those empty words that people stuff in their resumes to sound more impressive.
posted by Forktine at 2:28 PM on January 14, 2008

Nothing screams "filler" like an objective section in a resume.
posted by grouse at 2:58 PM on January 14, 2008

Grouse, every HR manager and university careers admin with whom I've ever worked has said that they want an objective section. I happen to think they are completely useless, but sometimes you have to jump through hoops with university administrators and other "by the books" people. I have not noticed that hiring managers or other people care about objective sections on resumes.
posted by acoutu at 3:03 PM on January 14, 2008

This may sound too obvious...but be sure to spell-check the resume!
posted by Carol Anne at 3:47 PM on January 14, 2008

P.S. I feel that I will have more than one page, is it best to edit it down so that it all fits on one page?

I've been out of college for nearly 8 years now. I've worked in a few different jobs and been to graduate school and put all my educational info in there and it all fits on a page. I know there's a tendency to want to put everything you can think of on these things but stick to the most formative and most important experiences you've had.

I like to put an objective section in there but I make it nice, short and sweet. No more than one short sentence, and its purpose is to tell the person reading your resume the "flavor" of your resume.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:50 PM on January 14, 2008

I would check whether they ask for a resume or a C.V. Resumes should generally fit on one page, while C.V.s can be considerably longer. In either case, though, avoid filler.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 5:12 PM on January 14, 2008

Rule of thumb is not to make it more than a page unless you have enough to create a full second page. As an undergrad applying for a business school, I would be very surprised if you couldn't fit all the relevant information on one page.

To make it go "wow" I would put the things which make you a clearly excellent candidate for the department. For instance, listing all the jobs you've ever had (including babysitting and lawn mowing) will not be as helpful as listing two jobs you've worked at which have been instrumental in go into the field you want to go into. Your statement/objective would make me think "s/he knows what they're getting into and wants to be here."

Red flags would be things that don't fit with something you've written in the essay, inconsistent or incoherent things writing, vague statements that seem to be hiding something.

If you're already at a college/university most schools have a career services department where they often have either resume workshops or drop in editing sessions where you can get someone to look at your resume. In my experience these are invaluable.

Also, it's a very good idea to spell check and have at least two other people check it over to be sure nothing is misspelled.

Good luck!
posted by mulkey at 5:39 PM on January 14, 2008

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