Would you leave the same status up on Twitter for two years?
Or forget to share an Instagram photo of an exciting event or milestone that took place?
So why would you enter the job market or complete graduate school applications without updating important documents, such as your resume, cover letter, or said applications?
As you stare down the pipeline toward your post-UMBC plans, which are now fast approaching, it’s important to spend time updating and editing the documents that will help propel you towards your next chapter.
Resumes and Cover Letters
While your resume is always a work in progress, you want to make sure it is as up-to-date as possible for networking opportunities, job applications, and interviews.
Consider updating your resume with the following:
•Team projects you’ve led
•Professional conferences you’ve attended
•Anything you’ve independently or co-published or presented
This would also be the time to start removing activities or jobs that you held in high school, unless they are still relevant (e.g. – if you are still holding the same job you had in high school)
Additionally, consider transferable skills you’ve acquired throughout college. Whether it’s managing a budget as treasurer of a student organization, customer-service experience at your summer job, or a skill set in critical analysis you’ve developed through your Philosophy major –transferable skills are especially important to highlight if you don’t have direct experience in the field in which you are trying to land a job.
Finally, have multiple people review your resume and cover letters. This should include those who know you well and those who don’t. Do both groups have a similar impression of who you are when they read your documents? Are you coming across as authentic to both sets of people?
As part of this review process, take advantage of “Walk-in Resume Critiques” offered by the Career Center, Monday-Friday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm – Room 212 in the Math and Psychology building.
Graduate School Applications
Are you in the process of completing applications?
Don’t wait until the night before a deadline to finish off an application. Waiting until the last minute increases the likelihood that you will forget to include something important and the risk of spelling and grammatical errors.
Similar to your resume and cover letters, if you are comfortable, have at least one other set of eyes look over your application to check for errors.
Have you already submitted applications?
While not all schools will consider updated application information, it is definitely worth looking into!
This can include:
•Updated official transcript showing fall semester grades
•Notification of awards or honors received
•Notification of a new job or a promotion
Inquiries regarding application updates can be sent directly to the admissions office via email or phone. Just remember, do not become overbearing. One inquiry, with a polite follow-up if needed, will suffice.
Consider When to Contact the Graduate Admissions Office by Dr. Don Martin via U.S. News
6 Steps to Polish up Your Resume by Alex Kingsbury via U.S. News