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Act Like a Resume, Think Like an Admissions Officer

Act Like a Resume, Think Like an Admissions Officer

This post was contributed by our friends at Admit.Me.

To write a great resume, you need to be empathetic and get into the mind of the reviewer.

Imagine that you are the person reviewing your resume. You’re trying to assess whether you’re qualified, unique and have potential to grow as a professional on paper. With so many candidates and so much material to go through, you don’t start by reading it through from beginning to end. Instead, you spend 10 – 15 seconds skimming the resume and deciding if the candidate looks interesting enough to want to dig deeper. While skipping over a lot of the text, you look for things like:

  • Current employer and job title
  • Length of time worked
  • Promotions or advancement to larger roles
  • School(s) attended and degree(s)
  • Overall impression of whether the resume feels professional and polished

If the candidate looks promising, you start to look for interesting details on your second pass:

  • Accomplishments and impact
  • Demonstrated skills and expertise
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Experience leading people and initiatives
  • Where you have lived and gone to school
  • Personal interests and activities

If the resume you are reviewing is concise and well-organized, it is easy to find what you are looking for. But if the resume is dense and jam-packed with information, it is harder for you to find what you are looking for. So, when you write your own resume with the reader in mind, challenge yourself to be as brief as possible, focus on what is most important for them to know about you, and make sure there is a good reason for everything you include.

Jay Mixter is an admissions expert for Admit.me, the first online social platform for applicants where they can connect with current students, alums, and experts and get a free evaluation of their admissions profile. Prior to his work in management and consulting, he received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and his BA in Economics from Tufts University.

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