Transformative resume building and interview coaching for college seniors

Positioning your Experience to Job Market Expectations

Helen Koster

A key to developing a great resume is to be sure you position your experience to job market expectations.

College seniors already have rich work backgrounds in a wide range of experiences…. internships in a specific industry, work as camp counselors, lifeguards, childcare, or waiting table, to name just a few.

A small difference that can make a big difference in an interview is to demonstrate in your resume, no matter the job, that you have the ability to recognize and contribute to the goals of an employer.

It might be helpful to you to work from the question: What did I do to contribute to the mission/the goals/the profitability of the companies and organizations on my resume?

job market expectations

Positioning your Experience to Job Market Expectations

Here’s an example of how those questions changed the resume and the perspective of a college senior who worked as a summer recreation intern at a large and fashionable resort. She was about to get her degree in Sport and Event Management. One of the bullets on her resume was:

  • Research, design and implement special projects/event descriptions to benefit the interns and the recreation department.

That bullet suggests she had a job to do and she did it. Maybe her boss told her that was her job. Maybe it was in her job description when she was hired.

The interviewer might assume the binder was something she was given to do and overlook that bullet.

But, here’s what she really did:

  • Proposed and produced a 50-page binder detailing all aspects of weekly programs and events including resource personnel, budgets, program supplies, program directions and tips for success.

Building this binder wasn’t in her job description at all. She knew, at summer’s end, how helpful it would be to others who follow to have something she didn’t have to do her job. She provided an invaluable tool…a road map.

Now she was fully prepared to let her interviewer know she contributed to the profitability of her employer while answering this typical question:

  • Tell me about your proudest accomplishment during your work for the resort?

Referencing the binder, she was able to respond: “It was probably discovering the need for a resource for all of the events a summer intern is charged with. I felt by creating that binder I not only contributed to the next interns’ success but in some small measure to their productivity and, who knows, even to the profitability of the recreation department.”

As we moved deeper into this senior’s resume, she learned a lot about herself and her contributions to the business world. She became comfortable speaking about how she believed her success was connected to other people’s success and theirs to hers. And, her resume demonstrated these beliefs and her accomplishments.

Please pass this along to your college friends and visit again next month to learn about how important it is to an employer that you can articulate not just what you’ve done but who you are, too!