Education Career Services

July 8, 2009

A Great Bad Resume

Filed under: Uncategorized — EducationCS @ 7:20 pm
Tags: , ,

The formatting was terrible.  I read resumes every day and from look to layout, this resume from an MBA student was awful.

But it was also GREAT.

Traditionally, student resumes struggle to fill a page (and I’ve seen a lot of executives who fill two or even three pages with just as little content).  The student will typically say they haven’t done anything yet, as if four years of project work didn’t yield transferable results.

But this kid saw through all that.  He documented as transferable skills some impressive volunteer work, major class projects, internships, and a part-time job.  All of it was geared to marketing.  I have no doubt that this candidate could repurpose all of those projects to management or purchasing or several other things.

Because he gets it.  He made strong choices and documented them.  He even dug into each project to pull out measurable results.  Clearly, he went in prepared.

While fortune favors the prepared, it’s never too late to look at what you’ve done and find the transferable value. 

Confession time: my degrees are in theater, among them playwrighting and directing.   Although engineering was far from my mind at the time, when a promising position at Boeing came up, I turned directing and writing plays into exactly what they are: project work.  I managed a budget, recruited and led a cross-functional team of specialists, oversaw marketing and PR, worked to strict deadlines, and developed structured writing.  My interviewer’s biggest problem was explaining to his superior why he hired a theater guy as an industrial engineer.

That student’s great bad resume?  Shaping it up will be a breeze.  How about you?   Have you leveraged your background to the fullest?  If you don’t, our student may take your job!

Rob Swanson

Writing Manager – Career Services International –; Education Career Services –

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