Starting this fall, a program implemented by the Career Planning Center called "Optimal Resume" aims to take the headache out of creating a resume.
The web-based program guides students through the process of creating and managing a resume, from formatting to presentation.
A small company called The Hunter Group first created OptimalResume.com in 2004, and worked closely with the director of the Career Center at the University of North Carolina when developing the program.
"The company worked with career professionals to develop the resume software, and a strength of that is that the resume formats are generally very good for most fields," said James Westhoff, Bowdoin's assistant director of career exploration and internships. "They put a lot of thought into that."
Optimal Resume has seen a substantial jump in its number of clients?primarily colleges?from 10 to well over 50. A number of schools from the Consortium of Liberal Arts, including Bowdoin, signed up for the program together, allowing for a better deal financially than if they had gone in separately.
Feedback from students did play into the College's decision to implement the program, and the Career Planning Center feels that it will be a valuable tool for students to supplement career counseling.
"It helps us with the layout question, and helps us be able to counsel students on content more. Less time is spent worrying about where to put the dates, and more time is spent on content," said Westhoff.
In describing the system, Westhoff emphasized its simplicity and flexibility. Users can decide to format each section differently, or use one of nine pre-existing templates that will format the whole resume in a way standard to that template. Samples are also provided for each section of the resume to give users an idea about what things should look like.
It is not known how many students on campus currently use Optimal Resume, but the number is expected to increase as more become aware of the program. Seniors know about the service and are using it because it was introduced to them at a senior meeting.
Optimal Resume is open to all students for their four years at Bowdoin, as well as graduates for a six-month period. In the future, it may be possible for alumni to gain access to the tool for an annual fee.
"It really does help students who don't have a resume, or students who do have a resume that is not in a good format," said Westhoff.
A link to Optimal Resume can be found on the CPC homepage, bowdoin.edu/cpc.