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Applying for Internships (Part 2): Auditing my Current Resume

PREVIOUS PART: Applying for Internships (Part 1): Research

Now that the research from the previous part is complete and I know what internships I will be applying for, I will use this research as context while auditing my resume. In this audit I will be critiquing my current resume from the perspective of myself, the client, and the employers which will be the audience of my application.

Empathy for your audience(s) is a powerful tool when critiquing your own work because it allows you to think objectively. If you only look at your work from your own point-of-view, you risk targeting your work at the wrong audience or leaving work as "good enough" when you're capable of better work. I'll expand more on the importance of empathy in the next post when I begin the designing stage.

Defining and Evaluating Stakeholders, Resources, and Measures of Success

In the context of problem solving, I began by defining a problem statement in Part 0. Then by doing research in Part 1, I discovered who the stakeholders are: myself and the employers. A stakeholder is any person, group of people, or entity that is affected by the problem and any potential solution.

Although I am a stakeholder, the result of possible solutions are irrelavant to me. The content and the presentation of the solution does not affect me in any meaningful way. What does impact me is time and effort invested in a solution. On the other hand, employers are exactly the oposite, as shown in the table below. Employers will never know of see the amount of time and effort I have invested into applying for their internship (unless you're an employer and you're reading this now).

Measures & Resources Me Employers
Time (quantitative) X
Effort (quantitative) X
Presentation (qualitative) X
Content (qualitative) X

These measures have already been applied to my current resume, but if we re-evaluate my resume in the context of my current resources, the resulting solution changes and I can achieve a higher quality product.

December 2015 (current)

Measures & Resources Me Employers
Time (quantitative) high
Effort (quantitative) high
Presentation (qualitative) high
Content (qualitative) high

I currently have a large amount of free time and effort while on winter break as compared to when I developed my current resume in summer 2015 while taking several intersession courses. The course work was fairly easy, but time consuming. So time was scarce but I could still manage to apply a decent amount of effort.

July 2015

Measures & Resources Me Employers
Time (quantitative) low
Effort (quantitative) medium
Presentation (qualitative) medium
Content (qualitative) medium

Traditional Resume

With these measures of success and availability of resources in mind, I added annotations to my current resume which you can see here: Annotated Resume

Origami Resume

Origami Resume Folded Origami Resume Flat

To complement my traditional resume, I created an origami resume. This version of my resume was intended to solidify connections made in person at conferences, career fairs, and other networking events. It's power is in its uniqueness. While events provide great opportunities to meet dozens of people in a particular field of work, the trade-off is that the connections are often weak and easily forgotten. If a company representative goes to a conference and returns to their office with 20 business cards from people they met, all with "Software Developer" as a title, these connections are almost meaningless. Nothing about your business card stands out and when an opening comes up at that company, it's a lottery of who gets an offer.

Now, replay the same scenario but with 19 seemingly identical business cards and one artfully folded card containing not only your contact information but also a brief, yet detailed, summary of skills, experience, and work ethic, while maintaining the portability of a business card. Some employers will think this fortune-teller style resume is corny and unprofessional -- and I don't mind one bit. This resume demonstrates uniqueness and creativity. I would rather make a lasting impression on an employer who appreciates and values creative thinking in the IT industry than take my chances of having my card randomly drawn from a pile of ordinary business card.

If you're still not convinced, I gave my origami resume a trial run at a recent career fair and the responses I got were overwhelmingly positive and even resulted in several on-the-spot offers of employment. And as expected, there were some employers who were confused and indifferent about this style of resume, but the lasting positive connections I made by far outweigh the occasional missed connection.

Although in the scope of this project, the origami resume is not a feasible component to the solution because most of the internships I have chosen will not involve an in-person encounter. So this rules out the value of any physical components in a solution since I will be submitting applications via email or through an web form.

This leaves the door open to developing a digital alternative to the origami resume.

What's Next?

Trello Board with Audit done.

Stage 2 is now complete! The next stage is designing a solution. This will be the largest stage of the project and would be difficult to approach without first doing research and an audit of the current solution. The work done in these first two stages will constrain my design in the next stage and guide decision making in order to arrive at a successful solution.

NEXT PART: Applying for Internships (Part 3): Designing a Single-Page Resume

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