Are you a victim of “Justan’ Only”? — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

With the fall career fair only a few weeks away, Fulton Schools students are keeping peer career coaches and professional staff busy with résumé review appointments. Naturally, everyone wants their resumes to portray their best selves. Unfortunately, students will often express concerns that they “have not done enough” or are “not good enough”.

“I have no real experience, JUST my involvement in student organizations.”

“The ONLY things I have to put on my résumé are jobs that have nothing to do with my major.”

Students will frequently neglect to include the technical experience that comes from the academic projects done in classes and from personal projects done on their own. The interpersonal skills developed and demonstrated through involvement in student organizations and any employment are “real experience”.

Very often, when having conversations with students while reviewing their résumés, we discover that they have omitted some of their most valuable experiences and accomplishments. I think this happens because when students create their first résumé, they look at a sample document and try to fill in the blanks to create something similar. They skip the deep thinking and self-assessment.

It is necessary to reflect on what you have learned and what you are able to do. What are the challenges that you have overcome and what have you accomplished? It is a useful exercise to study a job description and put yourself into the place of the recruiter. Evaluate your knowledge and experience. Then, choose the words to show that you can do the job.

As a job seeker, one of the most important skills you must have is being able to describe what you are able to do for the employer – the value of hiring YOU. To do this well does take practice. Work with your career center. We are here to help you.


Joyce Donahue is a Certified Career Coach in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Center.