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College Interview Resume' Help Answered

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Hey Instructablers, I have an interview this coming tuesday for MIT, and my EC told me to bring a resume/activities list. My school has this funky format for writing a "resume," but I'm not sure if I should follow it. I've included my school's resume/activities list. Thanks, -Muffin P.S. Anyone else applying to school now? We could help each other out with essays and stuff like that ;)

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evonbarrys (author)2012-02-09

This is important information but also provide some more information related to resume like provide resume format, templates, examples etc here.

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Kiteman (author)2007-10-14

Excellent.... but.... (these are all minor points).

The in school stuff - add some results/victories.

Is "Y" a widely-known abbreviation in the US? I don't get it.

What does KISS stand for?

Autistic Children may be important, but don't need capitalised.

You are definitely going to get questions about the catapult (like "why?")

Do you need to give any more details about the MIT students, like what departments they graduated from, with and when? (To make it easier for MIT to check them out?)

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T3h_Muffinator (author)Kiteman2007-10-14

I don't know what Y stands for... I don't even think it even stands for anything. It's just in quotes 'cause that's how the foundation titled itself. I'll ask my mom about the KISS stuff... she'd know better than I My mom typed in that part..... which is probably why they're capitalized I'm really excited to answer his questions about the catapult I don't know much more about all of the students.... actually..... I do. Hehe.... nevermind! I'll add those in now. Yes, I did realize that I gave you my info..... but I trust you ;)

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Patrik (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-10-14

KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid!

I.e. don't bombard your audience with useless details. It'll just make them loose sight of (or even skip!) the important points.

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T3h_Muffinator (author)Patrik2007-10-14

nonono...... It's a Special-Ed program for kids with autism. I'm just not sure what it stands for.

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Patrik (author)2007-10-14

Definitely use the standard form, if that's what they ask for. However, since this is an in-person interview, there's no reason you cannot bring other materials as well.

So... make sure to print out a nice portfolio with your Instructables! This is MIT after all - I'm sure they'd love to see that kind of creativity. And if you haven't already - ask the Instaructables crew to write you a letter of recommendation for your internship there.

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Patrik (author)Patrik2007-10-14

Wait - is that form recommended by MIT, or by your current school? If the latter, just consider it as a general guideline - you can probably find a more polished template online somewhere.

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T3h_Muffinator (author)Patrik2007-10-14

Thanks for the advice! Yeah, Star told me to print out a bunch of my Instructables, and I think that I'm going to right.............. now! Anyhow, I've e-mailed Christy on the subject of writing me an interview.... but I haven't gotten a response. I'm kind of getting worried now, as she hasn't responded in about a week, and I think she might be missing..... I hope she's alright. Thanks again, -Muffin

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Kiteman (author)2007-10-14
  • Use the template you've been given - it will make the interviewers' lives easier if they don't have to hunt for information.
  • Keep it short, a single side of A4, 12 or 14 point Time New Roman (any smaller will unconsciously bias interviewers in the early stages of long sight, seriously)
  • Use a slightly heavier paper, than the norm, but not card. Normal printer paper is 80gsm, see if you can get 100gsm, possibly with a slight texture to it.
  • Print in a dark colour, but slightly different to black, say a very dark blue or brown, especially if you have gotten hold of a slightly creamy-coloured paper. Do not use bright colours, weird fonts or glossy paper.
  • Be clear, accurate and to the point in all your descriptions. Avoid "flowery phrases" that could invite sarcasm.
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms unless you are absolutely certain that your interviewers will be comfortable using them as well.
  • If a position included several relevant skills, bullet-point them at a further indentation.
  • Be aware of anything on your resume that may not be familiar to your interviewers, or that will be most familiar to them - those will be the areas most likely to be picked on when questioned.
  • If you mention cultural pastimes as a hobby, such as reading or music, be prepared to enter into a critical sideline with an interviewer with similar/clashing opinions on the subject. It doesn't matter what your opinions are, but be prepared to state them clearly and to defend them confidently.

At the interview;

  • Dress smartly (yes, a suit is appropriate, even if you don't wear it again until you graduate)
  • Be polite to everybody, all the time. Don't fuss while you wait - many interviewers ask their admin staff what you were like beforehand.
  • If you get a chance to go to the bathroom, take it while you can. If nothing else, it gives a moment of privacy in a cool space to collect your thoughts.
  • If you need glasses, wear them, even if your prescription is weak. Squinting looks bad, and you can scan the room for cues to discussion (Oh, I see you have a photograph of a Bentley on your wall - my <fake elderly relative> had one of those, such a dream to ride in...)
  • Aim for an "average" handshake - no wet lettuce, no bonecrushers.
  • If they offer you a drink, take it. Even if it's only a glass of water, it gives you something to do with nervous hands, can be a useful prop to gesture with and a casual sip gives you time to gather your thoughts.
  • Don't ramble or prattle on. Listen to what you are saying. If you get off the point, stop, admit you're straying from the point ("Oh, but I digress..") and get back to where you want to be.
  • If you are nervous, admit it. Blame it on the exciting prospect of going to MIT/Disneyland and fear of missing out on the perfect opportunity just because of one poor interview.
  • Don't flirt. If you can't help flirting, spread your attention equally, even amongst members of the sex you are not interested in. Hopefully it will come over as charm.
  • They usually give you the opportunity to ask questions afterwards, so prepare two or three that sound like you might already know the answer ("I saw in a recent paper by <Professor X> that such-a-thing happened - has he had the opportunity to take the concept any further?") If your mind goes blank, or they manage to answer your prepared questions in the pre-amble or interview, just say "I was going to ask about X, but we covered that point quite clearly earlier".
  • Instead of a question, be prepared to make a statement to summarise your good points - "I'd just like to thank you for taking the time ....blah...especially since I would be perfect here because ...blah..."

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T3h_Muffinator (author)Kiteman2007-10-14

Thanks so much! As for the interview, I'm going to be interviewed by one (1) EC or Educational Counselor from MIT. He graduated with the class of '59. We're meeting at the "club house" in what I would expect to be his home community. I was planning on wearing some nice pants (khakis?) my LED heart t-shirt, and a suit jacket over that. Do you think that'd be appropriate? Again, thanks for all of the advice!

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Kiteman (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-10-14

Good grief, it's a different world - two decades ago, I was interviewed for my university place by a committee that turned out to be the whole department faculty, in a dark, wood-panelled room. They sat behind a long table at one end of the room, I was sat in a single upright chair in the centre of the room.

Mind you, back then, only 1 in 20 pupils stayed in school past 16, and only a minority of them went on to University. A university education was a rare and precious commodity, so valuable that just having the letters BSc after your name got a job in even an unrelated area. Now, you need BSc, MSc and PhD to get even a fraction of the kudos.

Unfortunately, the drop in value is restrospective as well - the low value of modern degrees has devalued those qualifications earned before universities were forced to be inclusive.

(Be honest, am I ranting again?)

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whatsisface (author)Kiteman2007-10-14

Of sorts, yes. But in a good way.

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Tool Using Animal (author)2007-10-14

Ballpoint on the back of a cocktail napkin, so they know you're "cool".

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Pat Sowers (author)2007-10-14

I would go with a more formal one, but dont overload them with to much info.

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its a lion (author)2007-10-14

you could follow your schools or you can do more of a general one... cant think of the word im trying to use... formal maybe? i think the fact that you have one and have taken the time to make one will help win some brownie points for you. plus it gives them a sheet with all of your stuff on it right there without having to flip through different things or ask you about them. thats what im thinking anyways.

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Well... my interviewer told me to bring one, so no brownie points =/
I was thinking about writing a more formal one, too.... I dunno. I guess I'll follow the format of this and then add some more stuff (ie. I'm a member of Instructables!)

Thanks =)

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oh. so its a requirement then... i would personally go with a more formal one, but idk... wonder what someone else thinks.

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yeah.... maybe more people should comment!

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