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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Mar 29 / Carmen Gamlin

Two “Resumes” For Your Career

Most of us know about the resume that we all write highlighting education, skills, experience and service. This resume is continuously rewritten throughout our careers as we acquire and seek new adventures. However, I would like to focus on the other “resume” that recruiters and HR professionals use to evaluate candidates. This is the resume that you do not write. Instead, you earn it. This is your transcript.

We all know what transcripts are but many students are not aware of how transcripts are used in hiring decisions. Ask any engineering alum who has their WSU degree proudly displayed in their office. They were not asked to take the beautiful document with the University seal on it when applying for the job; they had to submit official transcripts to secure their jobs.

Not only will your transcript display the courses that you have completed and what grades you have earned – it displays more about your skills than your resume ever could.

For example, let’s say that a recruiter has two candidates for an internship. Both candidates have the same major, GPA and university. The two candidates even interviewed with excellence for this highly competitive engineering position a local firm. If a side by side resume review is not enough, then a side by side transcript review may be needed. The transcript is the “other resume” that can make a huge difference between the two candidates.

* Manage Responsibility
A couple semesters of academic challenges are typical, but what if one of our candidates had a pattern of withdrawals from most enrolled semesters. Perhaps this student routinely takes on more assignments than they can handle and may display the same behavior at work.

* Ability to Multitask
What if one of the candidates only achieved high grades when they took major classes one at a time. Can this candidate manage a full time engineering internship?

* Manage Multiple Bosses with Different Deadlines
Faculty provide students with the opportunity to manage assignments with deadlines. This is similar to firms that have multiple project leaders with different deadlines on the job. This is evidence that grades do matter. Grades are an indicator of how well you managed your assignments.

* How many “attempts” did they need to acquire a key skill in a course?
If one candidate successfully completed a key course on the first attempt and the second needed three semesters to successfully master the skill, then one candidate does outshine the other, even if the overall GPA is the same.

As the Engineering Career Service Consultant, I encourage our students to write excellent resumes to secure engineering and computer science positions. In fact, our WSU Career Services office, careerservices.wayne.edu has Mock Interviews and Resume Reviews, MIRR on April 3rd & 4th. MIRR is designed to provide individualized feedback with an industry recruiter. I do believe that every spot should be filled with a WSU warrior. I also encourage students to make informed course choices, and course load choices with their Academic Advisors so that they can earn a WSU transcript that is filled with compliments to further their careers.

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