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Thread: Resume for graduate school

  1. #1
    Aug 2012
    columbia, MO

    Resume for graduate school

    A lot of Graduate programs ask for a resume. I have a few questions about this.

    1. Does the request of a resume tend to signify that a Program is looking for people with Professional Planning experience over people with none?

    2. How many incoming graduates actually have professional experience?

    3. should this resume include non-planning work history, like food-industry work?

    4. How can I gain some experience within the next couple of months?

    5. Why are they asking people who want to get into a profession if they have any experience in it? Isn't that why we want to join your program? Duh!

  2. #2
    Apr 2012
    The resume is meant to show that you are able to apply yourself consistently to something. The resume isn't meant to "weed-out" people without professional experience. It just shows what you have been doing.

    Make sure to include as much as you think is relevant. That includes food-industry work. Before I had professional experience I included it. It shows that you can multi-task, deal with different types of people, work in stressful environments, etc. This is very important. So include Everything.

    If you can, try to gain volunteer experience. Any type of volunteer experience is good. It doesn't need to be related to the planning profession either.

    I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Mar 2011
    SW VT
    I agree with what's above. As for the "why are they asking" elements, it also helps to consider the nature of planning programs and planning applicants.

    Since undergraduate planning majors are uncommon, graduate programs are very likely to receive college transcripts from a variety of majors. You may have several good reasons for studying planning, but if you majored in French and minored in American Studies, it could be hard to get that message across without something more concrete. In this case, the resume is a bit like a second transcript. Similarly, "professional" degree programs - planning, social work, and teaching, for example - frequently receive applications from people who have been in the field for a bit and want more education to advance their careers, or from people who have worked in a related field long enough to realize that they'd like to change careers but can't do it without a degree. Imagine someone serving on a town council, volunteering for AmeriCorps, or filling in as a substitute teacher, who decides to apply for the programs I mentioned. None of the activities would show up on an academic transcript, so how could someone tell a committee about these experiences? The resume is useful there.

    On the flip side, "academic" programs like literature, history, and mathematics are less likely to have any interest in a resume, because it's unlikely that any experiences outside academia will be relevant. A planning applicant might say "in the wake of Katrina, I became interested in economic redevelopment," but a math applicant is not likely to say "the events of last year's Arab Spring brought my interest in fractal analysis into focus."

    One last point: faculty often make use of resumes in determining any research or teaching assistantships. This is where some volunteer work can be very helpful, especially if you're applying to schools with internship programs.

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