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UI College of Business to start requiring resumes for admission

BY NICK HASSETT | AUGUST 31, 2012 6:30 AM

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The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business will start requiring undergraduate students to send in a résumé for admission in spring 2013, a move that officials say will better prepare their students for the real world.

Susan Felker, the associate dean and director of the Undergraduate Program Office at the school, said the requirement will begin in the spring 2013 semester.

“We think it’s very important from a developmental standpoint for students to be prepared when they’re admitted, and hit the ground running right as they get in [to the school],” Felker said.

Currently, the College of Business requires students to self-report their high-school GPA, class rank, and ACT scores to apply for admission. There are currently 4,000 undergraduate students in the college, with half of those enrolled as “pre-business,” according to the college’s website.

Felker and other college officials believe writing a résumé is a vital skill for business students to have, and the earlier they write one, the better.

“It’s definitely more helpful earlier on, to get them to write a résume sooner, because students need time to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are and determine where they need more experience,” Felker said.

In addition, she said, many opportunities for students throughout the school year require written résumés, such as scholarships and meetings with business firm representatives.

Danny Johnson, the associate dean for the Iowa State University College of Business, said Iowa State does not have a similar requirement for undergraduate students, and from an admissions standpoint, he doesn’t believe writing a résumé should be a requirement.

“It depends on the reason for the résumé being used,” he said. “If it’s to get practice writing résumés, I think that’s a good idea, but if the content is considered during admission, from our standpoint we don’t see that as necessary.”

However, he stressed the importance of students learning to write résumés.

“Students need to know how to write résumés and put them together, and we offer several classes in the business college teaching them how to do that,” Johnson said. “We also have resources available to students for those purposes.

“Writing résumés is extremely critical to get a job in today’s business world.”

However, while not many other colleges have such a requirement, Felker believes requiring students to submit résumés for admission is a good idea.

“In terms of how students develop throughout college, it’s a lot easier for them to learn how to write professional résumés early on,” she said. “It would be more difficult to start learning how to write résumés as a senior.”

While students starting in the business school this semester did not have to write résumés for admission, they aren’t left in the dark.

Brad Gott, a first-year student at the college, said his admission was only based on GPA and ACT scores, and he is currently learning how to write résumés in a seminar.

The college is offering résumé workshops throughout the year, and direct help is available through the Pomerantz Career Center.

While there are resources available for students who are already in the college to learn to write résumés, Gott believe the requirement for new students is a good thing.

“You definitely have to learn to [write résumés] somewhere, especially in a professional manner,” he said.

Incoming students may not have the résumé-writing expertise that an outgoing senior from the College of Business would have, but Felker isn’t worried.

“We expect most students to have quite a bit of experience [to put on a résumé],” she said. “It’s about getting it down on paper and generating thought about the future. That’s what this requirement is about.”


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