The Woes of Resume Review

If I have to review another resume, I’m going to . . .

Let’s be candid with one another. Although we are dedicated career planning professionals, I am certain that at one time or another, we have thought or said these words…Am I right?

You know the drill and it goes something like this. A student sits down across from you, provides their resume to you for review and says something like…“looks pretty good doesn’t it” or “just write it up for me” or “I just don’t know where to begin.” You nod approvingly, hoping that it is just a matter of few quick glances and it is done…not so fast!

As you look closer, the e-mail address is something that brings to mind a rather unflattering sitcom title and of one of the jobs they held was “chief golf ball fetcher” for a rather well known golf resort. And one of their “accomplishment” statements, if you could call it that, says “Retrieved golf balls on driving range.” Oh, and yes, did I mention that the student wants to be an investment banker like her big sister!

You look into the student’s eyes with that reassuring professionalism and say as kindly as you can “Well, this is good start.” In your heart you know there is much work to be done and you are running out of time. You have more students with whom to meet, a couple of staff meetings, special project team meetings, an industry panel to facilitate and oh yes, a report demonstrating that all the programming and coaching is truly improving the school’s goal of increasing employment numbers for graduates v. last year, despite what the economy is doing! You tell the student that you’ll provide some feedback via e-mail shortly, convincingly shake their hand, and wish them a good day.

Arriving at home about 7:45pm, you quickly eat a few leftovers while watching a re-run of “Friends.” Now it is time to tackle that resume. You give it your all with recommendations on re-doing the format, moving ill-placed statements into appropriate categories, changing job description statements into truly meaningful accomplishment statements, checking the accuracy of dates, consistency of tenses etc., etc., etc. And now you send it off to the student with a wonderful feeling of relief. And you think, the student will meet with you again in a few days and would have done nothing with your recommendations and you have not moved one step in a positive direction…and there the student sits waiting for yet another handout.

The next day you look at your in-box and see all the resume review requests from students wanting to get help in time for the career fair that is coming in three weeks. You rub your forehead and think, wouldn’t it be great to give this resume review and development stuff to someone else?

Well, one of our clients did just that with all their business undergraduate and full-time MBA students. They realized that, just by having an outside career management consulting organization review the resumes and categorize them into groups (“ready,” “some work needed,” and “not ready”) along with recommendations provided to the students for next steps, they were refocusing time which would be the equivalent of 33% of their year to coaching and other key activities.

We believe your staff’s time is a valuable commodity better spent in other areas of support. If you are ready to explore innovative ways to maximize the impact of career services for your students we are open to partnering with you to reach your goals.

Visit us at or call 800-924-8865, ext. 301

Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales


About University Solutions

Meridian University Solutions partners with Business and Professional School Administrators to deliver career coaching to their most important asset - students and alumni. We enhance existing career services through customized coaching solutions well integrated into the program. Our goal is to equip students past and present with the skills and resources to leverage their degree toward career growth upon graduation and beyond. In so doing, we assist Business and Professional Schools to differentiate themselves by delivering significant return on their students' academic investments.
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