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The Weekly Talk: Kate Korpi From NMU’s Career Services Helps Us Build A Resume That Stands Out

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Marquette, MI  –  11/10/2019  – One of my most informative interviews yet took place this week with Katie Korpi, the assistant director of NMU Career Services. We went over some myths and facts about resume building. During our interview, Katie was able to answer some questions I had about the process of building a resume that stands out.


How do you make a resume stand out to an employer?

One of the most important things that you can do is connect your resume with the job you’re applying for. So the last thing you want to do is just slap your experiences on a page without thinking about what you’re applying for. You want to take the time to custom fit that resume to the application. So if you’re applying for a job that wants you to have social media experience, you’re not going to just list everything and hope they can find that, you’re going to structure your resume to make those things stand out, and then make sure that you have things like key terms, or key programs, or specific experiences that relate to what you’re applying to.

What are important facts to keep in mind when making a resume?

Always keep the reader in mind. Always think about more than just your work experience. When you incorporate your education, make sure that you talk about your educational accomplishments, and projects that are related to the job you’re applying to. Don’t assume that the only thing they care about is work experience and just list that, talk about student organizations, talk about volunteer experience, talk about presentations you’ve given. Give detail where they might be interested, don’t give detail that isn’t necessary. If there’s requirements of the job like a certification, then make sure those make an appearance on your resume.

What are things you do not want to have on your resume?

I wouldn’t recommend a photo. It depends on if you’re applying internationally. Internationally a lot of times they do look for a photo on a resume, and some people feel ya need to do that in order to demonstrate their personal brand, but generally people who do my job at other institutions, and in general we’re in agreement at NMU as an institution, that using a photo on a resume only leads to the potential for needless discrimination. You want your experiences and your capabilities to speak for itself, not necessarily your appearance. If you really want to make that a part of your resume, you could include LinkedIn. That’s a living resume that has your photo, but it doesn’t require it on the actual document. But some international opportunities do want to see your photo on your resume.

What is one thing that every employer looks for on a resume? 

They’ll look for, why is this person applying? When they look at it, they want to see that this is an obvious fit, otherwise it gets confusing. What is your motivation for applying here? They want it to be obvious by reviewing that resume for a quick scan, that this person really suits this opportunity and that’s why they’re applying. I’ve been in roles in HR where I’m looking at resumes trying to figure out why this person even applied. Make the connection to the job. Make it clear you want the employer to know why it is that you’re a good fit, or a good candidate, and don’t leave them guessing on some of that important stuff. That’s especially crucial to people who are transforming to a new postition that they’ve never taken on before. Finding those transferable skills and making sure they are evident in the document is key. Also when students are new graduates and they have limited experience, structuring their resume in a way that makes it clear “hey I’m fresh in the field, but I have a lot of great ideas, and a lot of great skills and capability to bring to the table.

Anything else you would want to add about what to put on a resume?

I can’t stress enough to check the job description. Pay attention to things they’re looking for. If they say they want to see 2-3 years experience using social media in a commercial business setting, then make sure that that makes an appearance in your qualification section. If you notice in the job description that they want you to be CPR certified, don’t hide that. Make sure it’s on your resume. Make sure that dates that are necessary and needed are making an appearance. Some people forget those things. City/State next to education and your employers, it gives people an idea how to quantify that amount of experience that you actually have.


I’m so happy that I stopped into NMU’s Career Services talk to Katie about resume building. This information will be especially helpful with graduation being right around the corner! I will definitely be visiting Katie again to have her help me build a perfect resume.

Students and alumni that would like help with building their resume can contact NMU’s Career Services to make an appointment, or stop by their walk-in hours Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For contact information and walk-in hours visit their website here.

To see more interview from The Weekly Talk, click here.

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