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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Mastering the resume

The Career Development Center takes scheduled or walk-in appointments (Photo by Matt Barrett ’21).

Career Center encourages in-person consultations

St. Joe’s recently made the switch from SJU Careers to Handshake and while the platform has changed, the Career Development Center still requires students to have their resumes approved by a staff member before they can be submitted through Handshake.

Patricia Shafer, executive director of the Career Development Center, said she thinks that extra step is necessary.

“Sometimes students think we’re getting too nitpicky, but these are things that matter to employers,” Shafer said. “The employer has to look at a static piece of paper and make a decision about interviewing you or not.”

On a typical day in October, the Career Development Center receives about 35 resumes, Shafer said.

During the weeks leading up to the Career Fair, however, they receive 180 to 200 resumes per day, with up to six staff members reviewing resumes daily.

A resume can go through two to three reviews depending on the quality of the initial submission, Shafer said.

Sometimes students become frustrated, especially when they are expecting a quicker turnaround for an approved resume.

“We’re not having fun writing back saying ‘Oh, good, we get to disapprove this again,’” Shafer said. “That is not where we’re coming from at all. We really want students to succeed in their job search and in their mastery of resume writing. ”

Shafer said while it is best for students to come into the Career Development Center to have their resumes reviewed, most do not.

In September, less than 20 percent of the 1,531 exchanges that the Career Development Center had with students over resumes were done in person.

“That’s where the conversation is going to help tremendously because I can’t tell from looking at a document what your career goals are,”  Shafer said. “That’s going to happen through a conversation and that’s where you’re going to take your resume from good to great. And isn’t it worth it?”

Hanna Neece ’19 said while she believes that the Career Development Center’s online resources are convenient, she also thinks that an in-person visit to discuss resume edits is much more efficient.

“It was way more helpful to talk it out, how to make it stronger, which bullet points or words to change,” Neece said. “It ended up being a one-and-done appointment.”

The St. Joe’s Writing Center also encourages students to visit for in-person resume revisions, according to Jordan Heil, assistant director of the Writing Center.

“I think some of the problem, especially with resumes, is that they’re so down to the detail,” Heil said. “You might get a piece of feedback from the Career Development Center that says ‘do this,’ but you don’t know how to take that comment and apply it in a way that make sense to you. So being able to sit down with someone can be really helpful.”

Ultimately, to make the process work smoothly, Shafer encouraged communication from students, especially those facing tight deadlines.

“It’s really helpful when students who are running up against a deadline call us or email us to say ‘I just uploaded a resume. The deadline is tonight at midnight. I would love if somebody would be able to take a look at it,’” Shafer said. “Reaching out and specifying that there is a deadline that needs to be met often makes the difference.”

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