Resume Application Essay

Seth had been sending out an old resume to his networks that was not achievement and metrics focused, and he was getting a lukewarm response. We loaded his resume with lots of numbers that would convey his value to his next employer.

One of the issues we negotiated with Seth is that he wanted to market himself both as a capital projects executive and a sourcing/supply chain executive. While these two areas often intersect, there was potential to write different resumes for these two focal points. We ended up with three versions of his resume: this one (which was all-encompassing but through a capital projects lens), plus a version targeted for capital projects and another for sourcing. In the end, he ended up using this more complete version for the majority of his job search activities.

We mentioned the companies where Seth had worked in the top summary because BIGBIO is an extremely well-known large company and we also wanted him to come across as marketable to smaller companies.

Rather than have a Core Competencies section, we placed Seth’s 3 most important skills under his title, and, since they fit, put the rest of his key competencies in a bullet. We also used the top bullets to provide a sense of the range of industries and functions where he has experience/expertise.

For each of his positions, we chose an overarching accomplishment followed by bullets of how he achieved the larger project wins.

Seth had a huge uptick in the response he was getting from his networks. He obtained a position as Senior Director of Capital Project Management at a global engineering & consulting company in the biotech sphere.

Capital Project Management Executive – VP / Director Sample Resume

If the thought of writing college application essays makes you hyperventilate, want to run away, or even cry a little, don't worry. With these simple tips, you'll learn what college admissions are looking for and how to show off your best side. And stick around for the puppy.

1. Don’t restate your resume

Admissions officers have your application and credentials in front of them, so try to stay away from listing your achievements and activities. Besides, there’s a ton of information that’s not readily available on your resume. What my old volleyball coach would call the “intangibles.”

2. Be humble

Courtesy of Wikia

Heck yes, you're obviously the coolest thing since sliced bread. But admissions officers are looking for candidates who aren’t self-obsessed and solely self-promoting. The point of the essay is to make your application more human — to learn about your work ethic, your willingness to take risks, your character, what you can contribute to the community. Give credit to the people who inspire you! Acknowledge that you don’t know everything (yet). The reason you’re going to college is to learn. Why would a college want you if they assume you have it all figured out? These are the things that will make you different from the other candidates.

3. Be yourself

Courtesy of No More Mom Jeans

Some websites will tell you not to be “too funny” or “too creative” in your application essays. To that I say, major eye roll. If you’re a funny person, be funny. This shouldn’t be rocket science. The essay is the admissions team’s opportunity to get to know you. Don’t try to censor your personality, and don’t try to force something you aren’t.

When I sat down to write my college application essay, I had this idea of doing a creative writing piece, but I kept hitting a wall. At the same time, I was writing a research paper on a topic I'm immensely passionate about and the words just flowed. I finally realized that my problem was that I was trying to create something that didn't reflect my interests and personality. I wanted to get accepted to a liberal arts school, so I thought that creativity was the way to go, but I lost my quirky, passionate self in the middle of trying to be someone else.

Be authentic. But honest. Be awesome. Because at the end of the day, you’re #flawless.

4. Your personal story is the answer

Courtesy of Know Your Meme

“South Central is gang territory, addict central, and not a particularly ‘safe’ or ‘comfortable’ place, but it is there — serving and interacting with the homeless — that I feel absolutely content and full of purpose.” This is the opening sentence from my college application essay answering a question that asked me where I felt most comfortable, and why. I knew it was a risk, but I knew it was the story I wanted — or needed — to tell.

So, then, what's your story? What I mean to say is, at the heart of every college application essay prompt is the question, "What makes you tick?" "Who are you?" If you were standing in front of a college admissions counselor, what's the most important thing you’d want them to know? Once you have this story, find a way to phrase it as an answer to one of the questions. If it helps you, put a couple of sentences at the top of your page to remind yourself of what you want to get across: “This experience is meaningful to me because it revealed the importance of education and fueled my passion for education reform.”

5. Use words that express who you really are

Make sure you haven’t just plugged in random words from the thesaurus without knowing what they actually mean. The college application essay is your chance to communicate who you are to the admissions officers. If you’ve used words or phrases that you don’t really understand, how can you possibly convey your authentic self? “Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.”

6. Proofread, proofread, proofread

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And I don’t just mean Word's spell-check! Check for those awkward moments where you used “their” instead of “there” (yikes!), comma-spliced, forgot capitalization rules, or the spelling of weird last names. Sloppy writing hinders the power of your essay. Have peers, parents, even teachers read through your essay. Ask them how they think it reflects who you are as an individual. Ask them if you’re accurately representing the best version of yourself.

So I promised y’all there’d be a puppy ... and here are BONUS PUPPIES! Enjoy these puppies playing in the snow, just like you will be when you’re done with these applications. Aww!

Courtesy of Reddit

After writing a killer college application essay, you'll probably start thinking about paying for college. Find your perfect match from over three million scholarships with our Scholarship Match.

About the author

Sabrina is an upcoming sophomore at the University of Richmond, majoring in international studies and minoring in education and society, with plans to revolutionize global education standards. She is involved in the Virginia Eta chapter of Pi Beta Phi and the women’s ultimate Frisbee team, loves elephants and pistachio ice cream, and has her own blog.

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