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Resume Guide

Attention ! To Register to apply for a FULBRIGHT through Smith College, including resume instructions, please start at

This is an introduction to resume-writing that serves also to stimulate an aspiring fellowships applicant into thinking in the right direction. While most fellowship applications do not require free-standing resumes, a few important ones do, and virtually all end up asking the same questions that should be covered in a comprehensive resume of the sort required here to apply for admission to the Smith Fellowships Program.

Consult the tips on writing an effective resume at
This guide includes information on writing a specialized academic resume (curriculum vitae) and a sample CV.

The Fellowships Resume must be expanded to include all extra-curricular and extra-mural activities, be they community and public service, leadership roles, internships, jobs, sports, the arts, clubs, research, honors, awards, volunteerism, publications, activism, politics, initiatives and enterprises.

Do not limit yourself to any number of pages. Start by listing every involvement of any and all kinds. The hard part, to begin, is remembering all you've achieved. Usually it is far more than you realize. One can shorten and compress afterwards, if necessary. Build a master resume of your life. Keep adding to it. Use it to tailor resumes pertinent to each kind of application.

Whereas presentation and strategic phrasing can go a long way to creating a favorable impression on paper, never misrepresent yourself by implying more than you can substantiate under questioning. While you do not exaggerate claims, do not underplay them either. There is a tendency to do one or the other. Hence, composing a striking resume is an art, although it never compensates for substantive experiences that have produced results. I did such-and-such but what was the outcome, the gain? Fellowship foundations want to read resumes that evidence: "I fit your profile and match your objectives, and am therefore the kind of person you are looking for."

Applicants sometimes seek to fill the optimum two-page fellowships resume with unnecessary information that ends up as clutter that tends to crowd out distinguishing facts. The virtually meaningless bare-bone list of one-word "other activities and interests" is an example. If you can't say something about something, rather not say it because it weakens the overall effect. Pick one or two interests and expand on your involvement in this activity so that it comes alive and casts you in a favorable light. If you want to say you like rock climbing, then mention some rock faces you have scaled or abseiled off, even if they are not famous spots. Maybe how frequently. Or mention some adventure from which you learned.

Listing widely held computer skills does not advantage an applicant. Stating you know how to use Microsoft Word is like recording that you can touch-type, which suggests you are short of the kinds of extraordinary qualities sought by fellowship foundations. Better flesh out your resume with more detail about your more outstanding accomplishments than pad with the rudimentary. Operating more obscure computer programs such as Final Cut Pro does qualify for a mention.

For your application to the Smith Fellowships Program, resume content is far more important than layout. Spend far more time thinking of things to say and how best to say them, than worrying too much about design. More assistance, including with formatting, will be forthcoming for those entering fellowship competitions that require a free-standing resume, which often goes by a different name depending on the fellowship.

To register, your resume MUST be accompanied by a registration form and transcript, all attached to the same email.