This year, College Possible Oregon entered a new phase of partnership with Oregon State University. As a part of this deepened partnership, College Possible has a dedicated AmeriCorps college success coach on campus to support Oregon State College Possible students as they navigate common higher education barriers. For our Oregon State college coach, Joanna, meeting with students face-to-face has been a highlight of the year. Through one-on-one sessions, Joanna has been able to gather information from students and tailor her coaching to students’ specific needs and aspirations.
One theme that emerged consistently in conversations with students was the need for targeted resume building and career development coaching. “When talking to students and taking a look at their resumes, I realized that many of them hadn’t received support on fundamental resume-writing skills,” said Joanna. “A lot of students knew about resources available from the Career Services Center, but they hadn’t taken the first steps needed to utilize these campus resources.”
After noticing this common area of opportunity for her students, Joanna executed a plan to collaborate with Zach Moore, College Possible Oregon’s Career Pathways Manager. Together, Zach and Joanna designed a resume writing workshop for Oregon State College Possible students. They created a welcoming space for students to practice foundational resume-writing skills before going on to access more advanced resources from university faculty or career services.
At the workshop, students learned about strategies for creating standout resumes for obtaining internships, enrichment opportunities and jobs. Zach was committed to gearing resume guidance toward the identities and experiences of College Possible students. “Resume writing is tough for all of us, but it’s made even harder when things like self-doubt or impostor syndrome show up, as they often do for the population of students we serve,” said Zach. “I wanted to validate those feelings, while also giving our students self-confidence strategies and resume templates to work from.”
Zach coached students on ways to translate college courses in the “experience” sections of their resumes to relevant retail or service experience language to suit the roles they apply for. “The approach we took was to center ‘transferable skills’ and demonstrate how there is value in every professional experience. We gave the students a bank of action verbs to draw from and highlight the work they’ve done.”
“My hope for the students who’ve attended is that they are one step closer to having resumes that accurately reflect who they are, and that they’re worthy of a second look,” said Joanna. “I know from personal experience that having a strong resume is a big confidence booster, especially when entering interviews or new career territory.”
College Possible Oregon is grateful to partner with Oregon State University to support students in achieving their college aspirations and entering meaningful careers!