How To Draft A Strong Resume?

You might be here because, in addition to an essay, the scholarship you're tracking also requires a resume. What a bummer, huh! Well, GrantMe is here to help you get started on it! By the end of this article, you will have known what a resume is (yeah, it's not only for grown-ups sadly 😔), its purpose, and the key parts that will make your resume stand out!

So what is a resume?

It is a document that highlights your key skills, competencies, values—all the good points you want the employer or scholarship committee to know—which: 

1) matches the institutions' values and goals 

2) the job requirements of course. 

That being said, you want to keep it brief, concise, and straightforward, so one page-resumes are the ones most preferred.

There are special cases where you will be required to put all your accomplishments, to which we say, go ham! However, make sure to only write any achievement or activity within the last 3 years to make sure your resume looks "fresh" and relevant!

Six Elements of a Strong Resume

Much like how the MCU Phase 1 could not exist without Tony Stark, there are important elements you need to complete in order to assemble, well, not exactly a group of superheroes but a resume impressive enough to have Nick Fury come knocking at your door 😉

Make sure to:

  1. include Keywords or Key Sections
  2. use the RATS Model
  3. write relevant experiences
  4. make your entries simple and direct
  5. provide concrete, measurable examples of success
  6. organize your resume well

1. Keywords or Key Sections

  • Contact Information

    Basically your name, address, and contact details (phone number, e-mail address or LinkedIn profile). This sits at the very top of your resume.

  • Profile

    This is where you provide the employer or scholarship a quick overview of your character and skills. Write about your top skills (e.g., decision making, communication, or leadership skills) and abilities (e.g., fluency in a foreign language, expertise in Photoshop, or mastery of ASL) in 2-3 sentences in third POV.

  • Education

    Here is where you provide details of the school/s you have attended and the achievements and awards you have attained during your stay there. You can also provide your grades in courses or subjects that match well with what the scholarship institution/company upholds.

  • Experience

    There are three types of experiences you can write in your resume, and you can put all three, or two or just one, depending on what the employer/scholarship requires.

    1. Work Experience

      Write your top 3 former employment here, which should have your job title, the company's name, and the inclusive dates of when you started and ended working with the company. In each employment, write 2-3 sentences of your accomplishments, not a description of your responsibility, using the RATS model.

      As per our definition of a resume earlier, you want this document to highlight your skills and abilities, so it is best that you highlight to the employer how you excelled in your work experiences, as this will give the employer a clearer understanding of how you performed here and what you can bring to their company.

    2. Volunteer Work

      This follows the same format as the Work Experience, but now talks more about your voluntary work or community initiatives.

      For every volunteer work, write 2–3 examples of your accomplishments using the RATS model.

      Pro tip: If you're wondering what volunteer work to write here, choose an experience where you were able to display skills or values that the scholarship committee puts emphasis on.

    3. Extracurricular Activities

      This section is where you can show your leadership and willingness to go beyond academics to improve yourself. These are especially desirable traits people look for, so if you have relevant experiences that fall under this section, make sure to provide those details!

      Like with the Work and Volunteer sections, you want to write 2-3 examples of your accomplishments in every extracurricular activity using the RATS model.

  • References

    You will notice that hiring managers or scholarship committees will ask you to write your References. This is so they can determine how you work with other people and if they (your references) recommend you for the job.

    Pro tip: To boost the credibility of your entries and add more points to your application, write the names of your former senior leader at work or the faculty head in your school.

2. RATS Model

Now you may be curious and thinking, "Just what is a RATS model? I keep hearing it over and over again! Is it the Splinter of work documents?"

Close enough!

GrantMe formulated the RATS model to make sure that your descriptions of your experiences are impressive and attractive to the scholarship committees and companies. They go through hundreds of these documents every day, so you always want to highlight then and there what you're capable of!

Results — What did you achieve from this experience?

Action — What did you do to achieve this Result?

Task — What was the purpose of your Action? What are your responsibilities?

Situation — When and where did this happen?

Example:

Improved customer service rating (Result) through my efficient and prompt attendance to the clients' needs (Action )in alignment with the company's mission-vision statement and goals (Task) in the first quarter (Situation).

Key steps here are: 

1) to know who you're applying for and what they want

2) write examples/activities that show your admirable qualities using the RATS model!

Having a hard time starting one? Head on to the platform and make use of the Resume Creator!

3. Relevant Experiences

Make sure the details in the resume—Education and Experience sections—match with what the company requires or what the school values!

If you're planning in applying for a scholarship at McMaster University, for example, where their purpose is to "advance human and societal health and well-being" and value collaborative learning and innovative thinking, you want to highlight your grades in either Social Science, Women Studies, or Physics.

If you're planning in collaborating with GrantMe, where the company puts emphasis on integrity, kaizen, and leadership, you can write about a project work you performed during your stay here that displays those values or awards of your outstanding leadership.

4. Simplicity and Minimalism

Keep your resume simple and direct to clearly convey your experiences and skills. You want to catch the eye of the employer/scholarship committee immediately and hook them in with direct and concise descriptions!

  • Your accomplishment statements should be direct and to the point. Avoid using unnecessary words that do not contribute to the point you are emphasizing.

    For example,

    Instead of writing: I completed the various tasks by multitasking...

    Rephrase to: Completed various tasks by multitasking...

  • Make sure you emphasize your actions and results for each position. This is why the RATS model will be very helpful here!

    For example,

    Instead of writing: Promoted the event at the school carnival.

    Rephrase to: Promoted the event by distributing brochures and engaging in meaningful conversations at the school carnival.

  • Focus on the positive!

    For example,

    Instead of writing: Was only able to complete one training module out of 10

    Rephrase to: Successfully completed one training module which enhanced my time-management skills.

5. Measurable Success

For your descriptions, make sure to use specific verbs like "organized files and inventory" instead of "helped the company's inventory" to make your resume impressive! For more examples of these verbs, check this table from the resume workshop!

6. Spacing and Flow

An important element of your resume is how it looks overall. The spacing and flow of your resume will distinguish you from other candidates in the employer’s eyes!

Pro tips:

  • Always write your name and contact information right at the top.
  • Make sure that your resume is easy to read. Use a readable font (like Times New Roman or Arial) and apt font size (minimum would be 11, maximum 12)
  • If you have multiple job positions in your work section, try and organize them according to latest to oldest in terms of the date.

Of course, these elements will only prove their worth if you start drafting your very own resume! You got this! Happy writing, Avenger! 💪🏼