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Introducing Hybrid NUflex—study in person or remotely this fall. Learn More.

How an Experiential Graduate Education Impacts Each Section of Your Resumé

How to add education to your resumé in the most effective way is harder to determine the more time you spend in the workforce. With each new professional experience, your education tends to inch farther down your resumé, losing priority to the other major milestones you think will really set you apart from the pool of applicants vying for your desired job.

But what if you had a graduate education that could enhance each section of your resumé—one that provided the experience you needed while also equipping you with today’s most sought-after skills?

Northeastern’s experiential learning model combines classroom study with practical, hands-on experience to help you take the next step in your career. Let us show you what that means. Below is a look at how an experiential graduate education can strengthen each section of your resumé.

The Skills Summary

Employers spend an average six seconds reviewing a resumé before deciding whether to contact an applicant. By adding a “Skills Summary” to the top of your resumé, you can highlight the keywords—such as “strategic planning” and “project management”—hiring managers are looking for in an easily identifiable way.

Relevancy is key here: You should tailor your Skills Summary to the position you’re applying for. If it’s a project management role, note the software you’re proficient in, such as Basecamp, Asana, Trello, or Microsoft Project, as well as any certifications you’ve received from organizations like the Project Management Institute.

If the role requires a level of social media savvy, state specifics when highlighting the platforms you have the most experience with. Saying you’re “proficient at Twitter advertising” describes your expertise better than simply listing “Twitter.”

At Northeastern, you have the chance to develop those skills inside and outside the classroom in a variety of ways, which we’ll expand on next.

The Experience Section

Hiring managers value experience. In a recent Gallup survey, 84 percent of employers said the amount of knowledge a candidate has in a particular field was “very important,” followed by 79 percent who said they most value a candidate’s applied skills.

At Northeastern, graduate students earn more than an education—they gain those relevant skills and experience. Our experiential learning opportunities vary in scope and delivery, whether virtual or on-site, so you can find the option that best fits your schedule.

As a student, you have the opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to the working world through:

  • Short-Term Projects: Northeastern’s Experiential Network pairs you with a sponsoring organization. You then complete a project over a six-week period that informs a critical business decision for that organization. Through the process, you learn how to collaborate in a virtual environment—a crucial skill in today’s globalized workforce—while also breaking into your desired field.
  • Co-ops: While on co-op, you work in a paid, full-time position in your field of study for three to six months. Beyond getting experience you can add to your resumé, you’re able to build your network by working for and within a leading company.
  • Research and In-Class Case Studies: Professors bring a real-world perspective to the classroom through case studies, and help students gain hands-on experience they can leverage to advance their own research through lab-based work.

No matter the experiential learning opportunity you pursue, just remember that how you communicate your new experience is crucial.

Make sure to describe each role in quantified achievements. Meaning, rather than listing “Developed a marketing strategy” on your resumé, try: “Developed an email marketing strategy that converted 12 leads, generating $10,000 in revenue for the company.” The more specific you can be, the better. Metrics like the number of customers you served, the size of the team you led, or the frequency in which you completed a particular task all apply here.

The Education Section

Although this section might be listed closer to the bottom of your resumé, the skills and experience gained through your Northeastern graduate education will keep recruiters reading until the end. By the time they actually reach your education, those familiar with the university will understand why you’re an impressive candidate.

The Northeastern network is strong. It spans five campuses—Boston, Charlotte, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto—and includes more than 230,000 alumni and 3,000-plus employer partners in 150 countries. The benefit for you is that you’re networked for success starting on day one.

References

Throughout your time at Northeastern, you can build a high-quality reference list. The university’s faculty members will be able to speak to your professionalism and the skills you acquired on-the-job that you applied in the classroom. And if you form strong connections with employers you worked for along the way, it’s likely they’ll also be willing to vouch for your experience.

Overall, how you incorporate your education on your resumé will continue to evolve over time. Depending on the education you receive, however, you can enhance every section of your resumé, not just one part of it.


If you’re interested in enhancing your resumé—starting first by pursuing a graduate education—visit Northeastern’s list of more than 350 graduate certificate, master’s degree, and doctoral programs.