Just about every human-being holds a burning desire to make a change and leave a lasting impression. College is a life-changing experience. It’s the place where most individuals find out what kind of person he or she is destined to become. With that being said, jobs and careers should be the places where many can continue their self-exploration. On November 4, 2015, Sharina Carruthers, Enactus Vice President of Operations, hosted the first resume workshop entitled, “Making Your Resume Talk.” The purpose of the workshop was to inform current Enactus members of ways to make their resumes speak louder than their competitors to future employers.
“Coming into the workshop I had a few goals,” mentioned Sharina. “One goal, in particular, was to inform the Enactus members that Enactus does equip you with skills that you should feel comfortable speaking about. We are all involved in multiple projects. Which means you should okay with being able to work cross-functionally, or being able to multitask, or the like.”
Companies of today are looking for effective communicators. Being an effective communicator plays on the question of whether or not a team would want to listen to an individual. The best leaders have learned that potent communication is as much about the genuineness as the words they speak and write. Companies are also looking for team players. Within their minds, employers will wonder, “Does the candidate enjoy working on a team? Has he or she ever worked on a team? Was it successful?” Employers are also interested in candidates who have a willingness to learn and be open to new things. Intelligence, confidence, and eagerness are all components of this type of applicant.
Within the workshop, Sharina focused mostly on a three step process to successfully create a resume, and translate what is written in an interview. The steps to this process are: 1. Reflect on specific experiences, 2. Translate the experiences onto the resume, and 3. Tell the story in the interview. Sharina gave a few examples that would assist the Enactus members in understanding the proper way to format a resume.
For the first step of reflection, Sharina used an example of one of her Enactus experiences. This part is written in bullet format with action words to describe the accomplishments. For instance:
- Volunteered to lead out on a specific part of a project team
- Observed ways to improve processes
- Helped VP’s or directors meet deadlines.
Next, she put these experiences in her resume in the same bullet and action word format. The difference, however, was that she used shorter phrases and more keywords, as demonstrated:
- Organized short-term goals
- Created rapport with team members cross-functionally
- Reported progress to directors.
Lastly, Sharina demonstrated how one would translate what is written on the resume through speech for an interview. The way a person translates this should be in the form of a story. Here is Sharina’s example: “I had the opportunity to lead put on the branding campaign for the India Project. I knew that in order to accomplish the goals of that project, I needed to find a team of people with different skills and ideas to reach the best outcome. With that, I’m happy to say that I was successfully able to accomplish the goals of the project by the desired deadline.”
After Sharina gave her example, the audience had an opportunity to try the three step process. Each person thought about an experience that stood out to them most. Afterward, they gave various examples from their own resumes, and then verbalized their stories using the STAR Method. For those who are unaware, the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) Method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific Situation, Task, Action, and Result of the situation that is being described. Everyone at the meeting gave their best interpretation of the STAR Method, and the concept was grasped exceptionally well.
When asked if there will be a sequel to workshop, Sharina said, “Definitely! There will be a part two to this workshop. It’s going to focus more on the interview part; so step three of the process. And we’ll be going over how to use the STAR Method more and how to organize your thoughts into the technique. This will assist in answering important interview questions in a more strategic way.”
“Making Your Resume Talk” was excellent in offering Enactus members the opportunity to expand their horizons for future endeavors. Having a job or career is beneficial for personal growth, and having a resume that shouts offers greater employment opportunities. Sharina’s efforts in instilling this mindset will certainly not go in vain. Gaining a sense of accomplishment, financial reward, and greater credibility are just some of a few benefits that a resume can offer. It’s not for casual individuals. It entails hard work, research, and writing. However, that is not to discourage, but to inspire all those individuals who are willing to go the extra mile.
-Jyremy Reid, MBA