The Resume: Capital R Versus Lowercase r by Lisa Tandan

In a recent article in the NACE Blog, Lisa Tandan asks whether it’s possible that when people outside of Career Services refer to the resume, they mean something more than just a document, but rather a career toolbox or repertoire.

Students talk casually about being able to add something to their resume. We’ve often heard that “This experience will be great for my resume!” When we hear comments like this, I hypothesize the speaker doesn’t mean to limit this great experience to simply writing something on their resume document. While that’s part of it, they also likely mean adding it to their repertoire, to their story, to their life’s accomplishments, to their reasons why someone should select them for a position. It’s much more than just writing something on a piece of paper. It’s making this new experience a part of their career narrative.
-Lisa Tandan, “The Resume: Capital R Versus Lowercase r”

At Ashland University’s Career Services Center we also have been struggling with the bittersweet fact that students seem to be thinking first and foremost in terms of the resume – the vast majority of our appointments, walk-ins, and other contacts with students do tend to be for resumes more than anything. If we see a student wanting help to get ready for an interview, that student usually visits because of an impending interview – sometimes an interview later scheduled for that same day! I too hear the phrase “this will be great for my resume” and hope that they are using the word resume as a shorthand to mean something greater, like an overall career toolbox, but I can’t be sure.

To combat this, at Ashland University, one of the things we are planning to roll out shortly is a marketing push designed to shift conversations beyond the resume and towards the interview. While it’s possible “resume” means something greater than its dictionary definition, a term like “interview ready” intentionally drives the mind of the person to think of what’s involved in getting interview ready – what are all the things that one should be able to do in order to have a successful interview and land that job? One of the goals of this marketing campaign is to intentionally drive the conversation of career readiness beyond the resume document and towards the other skills that are vital for a successful job search. We also hope that this campaign will help drive student demand towards other services that our office can provide rather than just thinking that we help with resumes.

As we roll out this new “Interview Ready” initiative I will post any relevant updates on how the program unfolds!

Image credit: Verda L. Parker, Public domain

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