Quality of your work speaks louder than words on resume

By David Lee, Columnist

A captivating description on your resume underneath “Opinions Columnist | Daily Illini | Champaign, IL” is important when applying to be a columnist for Fox News. This will help get your foot in the door.

After the recruiter looks at your resume and gains a general sense of your qualifications, they can review your work at dailyillini.com before considering an interview. At that point, there is little a resume can do to highlight your performance since the columns you write directly testify toward your ability as a writer.

With journalists and jobs with “artistic” portfolios, the quality of your work will speak for itself. While it is less obvious, the quality of your work shines through in other fields of employment.

At the end of the day, employers look for quality workers, not flashy resumes. Even though a work portfolio is one of the best ways to find a quality worker, it can be inapplicable or inappropriate depending on the position. This is where the interview process becomes relevant. The process is not perfect, but it gives a job candidate the opportunity to tell their own story and give an employer an idea of the kind of person the candidate is.

During the interview process, it is much more difficult to convince a recruiter you were an outstanding worker compared to convincing them through your resume.

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On a resume, you can state how you were the president of a student organization, an intern at a Fortune 500 company or a volunteer with a respectable nonprofit. However, during the interview stage, the only stories you have to tell are the actual versions of what’s listed on your resume.

You’ll talk about how your student group is only limited to your four best friends, how your internship entailed pouring coffee and moving data from one Excel spreadsheet to the other and how you only attended general meetings for the nonprofit, not helping with any of the groundwork.

There is no reason to stretch your abilities as a worker on a resume. When you say you are proficient in, say, Java, and you manage to land an interview, you are going to look like a fool when you are unable to start the process of solving the coding interview. The same could be said for when you just straight up lie about your GPA, which then calls for self-reflection late at night.

On the flip side, if you are focused on the quality of your work over the headlines on your resume, you will have great things to talk about. You can talk about how your work, with or without a title, made you an indispensable member of that organization.

Everybody wants to land an internship at Google, but the interview stage separates the honest hard workers from those who fabricate their resumes. It is as simple as that.

Don’t fall into the trap of beefing up your resume and not the caliber of your work. Commitment to your current work is not only the right thing to do, but it is often the best way to accomplish your long-term goals.

David is a junior in LAS.

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