Alums ensure student resumes are polished, accurate, and clear

September 1, 2014

On July 24, the Ford School piloted a worldwide Alumni Resume Review Program. In-person resume reviews, for Ford School students completing internships in Washington, DC, were hosted at the University of Michigan's DC-office. For students who weren't in the capital, the school organized 20 additional resume reviews via Skype, phone, and, if students and alumni were in the same city, one-on-one meetings.

Winnie Zhou, the master's of public policy candidate who helped coordinate the DC event, said that 13 students signed up to have their resumes edited by the six Ford School alumni who volunteered their time to ensure Fordie resumes were polished, accurate, and clear:

  • Tony DiGiovanni (MPP ’00), deputy division director, budget division, National Science Foundation
  • Keith Fudge (MPP ’09), policy analyst, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Bev Godwin, (MPP ’82), director (retired), U.S. General Services Administration
  • Justin Marsico (MPP ’10), special advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Ben Sossa (MPP ’01), senior project manager, Covance
  • Paul Weech (MPP ’81), executive vice president, Housing Partnership Network

Zhou matched students with alums and, while they were waiting for their sessions, encouraged them to review the Ford School’s resume books. Each year, the school compiles all student resumes—current students seeking internships and graduating students looking for full-time policy jobs—into electronic resume books that are shared with prospective employers and internship hosts. Each book features roughly 100 resumes, and they're a great way for students to pick up ideas and for hiring managers to identify top job and internship candidates.

Participating alumni gave students advice on formatting, content and presentation, and more general guidance on career planning and life in the policy sector. Ben Sossa, who volunteered his time to review student resumes, enjoyed meeting the students. "These folks have great experiences and interesting stories to tell—certainly stories that potential employers would find compelling," he says. Students enjoyed it, too. "Like most Ford School students, I've probably spent way too much time looking over the same few details on my resume," said one, "and it's good to have someone with fresh eyes and knowledge of the field simply give it a look."

"Based on the success of the program, we expect to invite more students and alumni to participate in the coming year," says Amy Fredell, recruitment services coordinator at the Ford School.