Career skill building is an integral facet of being an Equine Scholar. In addition to participating in top-notch academic programs and consistently gaining industry experience, Equine Scholars focus on how best to package and promote their professional selves. The end goal is to ensure students are prepared for their post graduation objectives, which range from veterinary school and graduate school to entering the workforce. Regardless of the career trajectory, what better place to begin than with the resume, the snapshot of one’s professional qualifications and accolades?

The resume workshop hosted recently on campus at the Graves Center for Calling and Career was an Equine Scholars Program exclusive activity. The workshop was led by Holly James, the Associate Director for the Graves Center for Calling and Career. The Graves Center for Calling and Career is an invaluable on campus resource offering vocational support from resume review, to mock interview services, to career counseling, and much more. Luke McKeel, the gradute intern currently working at the center, assisted in leading the workshop for our students.

Holly began by reviewing nuggets of resume wisdom, such as the need to avoid spelling and grammatical errors and being mindful that most employers review resumes in 30 seconds or less. The workshop also included a group critique of participants’ resumes, complete with a large, flat screen monitor that highlighted well the strengths and weaknesses of each document.  The large screen format allowed all participants to view formatting and stylistic differences while allowing the resume author an opportunity to view their resume through a new lens.

Important questions such as, “I have leadership experience, how exactly do I best reflect that?” and “Do I include references at the end of resume or in a separate document?” were answered. For the record formatting preferences are endless and maintaining a separate document for one’s references is generally best. In the end, students came away with fresh perspectives and new tools to better enhance their resumes.

Each year, Equine Scholars are required to submit updated resumes. Resumes are living documents that need regular attention to accurately reflect our new and ever evolving experiences. One might possess a wealth of experience combined with apt qualifications, however, if one is unaware of how to effectively market said attributes, chances of obtaining desired opportunities are slight at best. The resume is only the tip of the iceberg. How does one market a resume? What role does social media play in showcasing our professional selves? Where do you go to find the revered, “networking opportunity” and what do you do upon arrival?

Stay tuned to read further about our Equine Scholars and their career skill building endeavors!