Most college students wait until their
final year before they start thinking seriously about their job
search. At that point, they begin to worry about their resume and
the interviews they will take. These students know that many
employers review resumes first, to determine which students they
will interview. With this in mind, students often spend hours
trying to craft a resume that will impress prospective employers.
They consider the various resume styles, fonts, white space and
struggle with the words they will use. Although not paying
attention to these details may knock them out of the process, these
items seldom help to land a job. They are simply expected of every
Employers want more than a good looking, well written resume.
They much prefer applicants who have been active and have the
battle scars to prove it. Students like this are able to impress
employers with the accomplishments, achievements, successes and
positive results that they have accumulated. These students have
consciously and methodically worked, participated and led others.
They understand that a great resume is built slowly, throughout the
entire college experience.
Think about this. If one “B” student has been
actively involved on campus, at work or in the community while
another “B” student has simply attended class, which
student is more likely to have a list of accomplishments,
achievements, successes and positive results? Every employer wants
to learn about a student’s ability to get things done and
make things better. They believe that if the student was able to
improve something in the past, they will be able to do the same for
them in the future. However, when a student is unable to offer
examples of their ability to achieve results, the best employers
will move on to some one who can. “It’s your
accomplishments, achievements, successes, positive outcomes and
results that will interest employers, not your resume. Your resume
is nothing more than a vehicle for presentation.”
To build a great resume, students must get involved with the
things that they love. By accepting responsibility for completing a
task, students will gain confidence and build their knowledge and
skills. As their confidence and capabilities grow, students can
take on greater and greater responsibility. The size and importance
of an achievement will always interest the best employers. They
know that the size of the accomplishment is determined by the size
of the student’s capabilities. That’s why it is
important for students to grow their capabilities through
participation. Few capabilities are enhanced by sitting on the
sidelines. Students must get their hands dirty, make a few
mistakes, build a few bridges and fight a few battles.
Resumes that don’t emphasize a student’s
accomplishments and results will ring hollow with employers.
It’s the accomplishments that bring the resume to life. To
see what I mean, compare these two statements.
1. I was responsible for recruiting new members for the
2. I increased the Marketing Club membership from 18 to 31
students. This resulted in a
$2,000 increase in club revenue and allowed us to sponsor a
club visit to IBM, where we
spent time interacting with the Marketing Staff of the
Electronic Systems Division.
Example #2 is much more interesting and powerful. Remember,
accomplishments are the results of whatever you did. Because of
what you did in example #2, the number of Club members increased
from 18 to 31; Club revenue increased by $2,000; and, your
Marketing Club was able to interact with members of a marketing
department within IBM.
“Never Mistake Activity For Results”
The best employers are interested in the results that students
can achieve. They know that many students work hard and try hard
but don’t accomplish much. That’s why a resume must
tout the student’s capabilities. Every student can do that by
describing his or her most significant accomplishments,
achievements, successes, positive outcomes and results.
When students don’t take the time to build a list of
accomplishments throughout their college experience, their good
looking but sterile resume won’t help them get a job. Savvy
students understand that it’s their accomplishments that
impress employers, not their resumes. “A well written resume
is a poor substitute for an impressive accomplishment.”
In college, opportunities are all around. They exist in the
classroom, around campus, at work and in the local community. To
impress the best employers, students should seek out and accept
responsibility, perform in an exceptional way, overcome obstacles
and achieve outstanding results. Everyone can find something they
love to do and get involved. When students find ways to make
something better, they are on their way to creating a great resume,
one built on positive outcomes and impressive results.