Defining Yourself Through The Resume

Filed in Finding a Job by on November 14, 2013

In today’s fast-paced and competitive job application environment, the average time an employer glazes over each resume is about 10 seconds.

Checking for buzz words, the quality of the content on the page, and how extensive experience is on applicants’ credentials, among other important factors.

But how can someone know if you’re a great fit through just a piece of paper?!

It’s for this reason that defining yourself through the resume is so essential!  Here are some tips on how to present yourself in a resume so that you’re put in the “follow up” pile instead of the “disregard” pile:

Don't be caught with a poorly presented resume.  It's embarrassing.

Don’t be caught with a poorly presented resume. It’s embarrassing.

1.  The order of the information.

Always put your personal contact information at the top, but immediately follow it with Education, Experience (work or research), as these are the two biggest concerns for most employers.  Then, follow these sections with things such as Skills, Leadership Experience, and Community Involvement.

2.  Include dates, locations, specific titles, and brief summaries of contributions.

Help the employers answer the questions that you’d be asking if you were in their shoes.  “How long did he/she have this experience?  What did they do SPECIFICALLY?  Where did it happen?” Be thorough but concise.

Let the CDC help you get this feeling.

Let the CDC help you get this feeling.

3. Keep content relevant to the position.

Even if you’ve had amazing opportunities and experiences, present them in a way that it would be attractive for employers to relate that to the position for which you’re applying.  Think about what they need, and how your experience can help match that.

4. Put student or community leadership that demonstrates character and values.

Employers that look for WPI students understand our involvement in the community, which often leads to leadership opportunities.  It’s okay to talk yourself up, so long as it doesn’t sound boastful, and so that it helps them paint a picture of your work style and ethic.

JobFinder has seriously helpful resources.  Do a little digging to understand the potential it has!

JobFinder has seriously helpful resources. Do a little digging to understand the potential it has!


There are also a number of CDC resources to help on helping you stand out!

TONIGHT Thursday, Nov. 14th: Top 5 Resume Tips Workshop, 5:00pm – 5:30pm in SL402

Other workshops:
Dec. 3rd –
 How To Find An Internship, 5:00pm in SL402.
Dec. 4th – How To Introduce Yourself To Employers, 5:00pm in SL105

You can also find points of contact in JobFinder job postings, and send your resume and cover letter directly to them following the actual application.

Last but not least, there are always CDC Walk-In appointments this term from Tuesday through Thursday, 10am – 4pm.

For advice on international students and the job market, check out Ahmad’s latest post, and for quality B-Term advice, Sam just wrote up some helpful tips as well!

Until next time!

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About the Author ()

Hey there! My name's Adam and I'm currently a senior at WPI majoring in Management Engineering, focus in Operations Management. On campus I'm involved in Greek Life, Undergraduate Admissions, and campus programming. My blog topics will be focused primarily on staying focused and realistic when it comes to career building, as well as personal improvements and confidence builders in knowing yourself and your skill set. If you have any suggestions for topics or improvements along the way, feel free to let me know at any point! Keep searching, Adam

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