Today we’ll turn to Henry, with a few pointers about creating an effective resume:
Applicants to Fletcher are required to submit a resume, and frequently ask the Admissions Office what exactly to put on it or what advice we may have to ensure it is in the right formatting.
Welp, leave it to me to help ensure that your resume is Memerable.
The first puzzle that most applicants must solve regarding their resume is how long should it be. Many have a resume that is either too short or too long. The majority of successful candidates will upload a resume of 1-2 pages. If you find yourself outside of this range, I encourage you to ask yourself if a certain experience is truly necessary.
This is also good practice! As you will learn in Fletcher’s Professional Development Program (PDP), job recruiters generally spend less than 15 seconds reviewing a resume. While application readers aren’t that hasty, with a 3-4 page resume you risk a committee member not being able to identify your most relevant experience and could truly do yourself a disservice.
Speaking of experience, one that you may want to consider taking off is anything that you did in high school. Just as your undergraduate institution was interested in the approximately four years prior to enrollment, the same can be said for the Fletcher Admissions team. This is not to say we don’t enjoy seeing how awesome you have been since birth, but we are most interested in your most recent achievements. So, to ensure you are on the same playing field as other applicants, include only the most recent/relevant experiences.
Another way to easily reduce the length of your resume is to remove “relevant coursework” or anything else that may come off as repetitive. Although an employer may find value in such a section, since the resume is one component of the application and another is uploading your academic transcripts, committee members will already be able to identify what is academically relevant to your degree program.
Now that we have length and experience(s) sorted, let’s talk about formatting. I often will tell applicants that there is no specific format to follow. Instead, you should simply ensure that it is professional. There are many resources online and off that can ensure that your resume is appropriate without coming off as either gaudy or tacky. Give the committee “something extra” in content not format.
Finally, I encourage you all to utilize any technological resources you may have available. More often than one would think, resumes are submitted without being reviewed for typos or other errors. Please take the time to utilize your resources to ensure you do not make a bad impression over something that is easily avoidable.
And with that, folks, hopefully you can now tailor your resume to ensure that you stand out…positively.