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One Minute to a Better Resume

VMock, a new online tool, gives personalized feedback in under 60 seconds

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TAKEAWAYS:

  • VMock, a resume-reviewing platform, was released to students earlier this month.
  • Students can upload their resume online and receive feedback in less than 60 seconds.
  • Students can use VMock to review their resume ahead of the All-Majors Career Fair set for Wednesday, October 17.

Few things are more intimidating than writing a resume. Is the grammar correct? Have I stated my career objectives clearly? Have I given sufficient descriptions for my internship and job experience? Fortunately, BU students have a new tool at their disposal, and it arrives just in time to prepare for Wednesday’s annual All-Majors Fall Career Fair, sponsored by the Center for Career Development (CCD), which is expected to draw more than 100 companies and organizations.

It’s called VMock, an online resume-reviewing platform that the CCD made available free to students last week.

This powerful tool will analyze your resume and tell you exactly what is working and what isn’t, with stunning specificity and detail—all in less than 60 seconds.

And it’s easy to use. Just go to VMock.com/BU and sign up for an account with your BU credentials. (A step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process on your first login.) Upload your resume as a PDF, then sit back and relax as VMock does the work. The software crunches through hundreds of algorithms to compare your resume with resumes of your classmates at BU and at peer institutions around the country. In less than a minute, you’ll have an annotated version of your resume complete with personalized feedback on phrasing, word choice, format, and more.

“It’s so beyond a spell-checker,” says Lou Gaglini, executive director of the CCD, who helped bring VMock to BU.

The platform scores your resume in three areas: impact, presentation, and competencies. You can then dive deeper into the feedback with bullet-by-bullet insights. (To take advantage of this feature, your resume must use bullet points.) VMock gets down to the nitty-gritty details. For example, if you use a weak verb like “handled,” VMock highlights it and suggests synonyms like “spearheaded,” “designed,” “pitched,” and more.

If you want human feedback, VMock allows you to send your resume to family, friends, or mentors through the VMock platform; they can then add their comments directly through VMock.

“VMock will not write a resume for a student,” says Gaglini, “but it will enable them to write a better resume…. My hope is that it takes the anxiety, and especially the time pressure, out of writing a resume.”

And this isn’t just a generic platform, either. To make the software customized for the BU community, Gaglini says his office provided VMock with examples of high-quality resumes, as well as resumes that need improvement. “VMock now knows the 17 colleges that we have on campus, the hundreds of majors that we have,” says Gaglini. “We have shared with them our resume guides that are published by the Center for Career Development and all the other career offices on campus.”

The tool, now used by more than 100 leading educational institutions across the globe, including Stanford, Northeastern, Northwestern, and the University of California, Irvine, combines insights from a particular institution along with best practices, recruiter perspectives, and detailed analytics to provide personalized resume feedback and recommendations.

The scalability of VMock was important to Gaglini and the rest of the CCD team. It’s impossible for staff to meet in-person with tens of thousands of students individually for resume reviews, though they’ll continue to offer in-person resume review sessions for those who prefer that to an online tool.

Gaglini hopes that VMock will help free up CCD staff for other appointments that require one-on-one interaction, like job search advice and salary negotiation tactics.

Some students have already given it a try, and the early feedback is positive. “I liked how VMock gives out very concrete feedback on issues and mistakes that I didn’t notice,” says Peiying Huang (CAS’20). “It is intuitive and easy to navigate.”

“I think VMock is really helpful when it comes to checking the basic standards for the resume,” says Xueqing (Annie) Wu (CAS’20). “I will continue using it, but I will also use the in-person resume review after VMock, as the in-person review is more tailored for a specific position.”

How else can you prepare for Wednesday’s career fair? RSVP and check out attending organizations on Handshake. You can also stop by the Yawkey Center for Student Services tonight, Monday, October 15, and tomorrow, Tuesday, October 16, from 5 to 7 pm and chat with CCD student ambassadors who can address questions like how to dress for the fair. They’ll also help you with your elevator pitch and help calm any last-minute career fair jitters you may have.

And, of course, run that resume through VMock. It’ll only take a minute.

The All-Majors Career Fair will take place Wednesday, October 17, from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm in Metcalf Hall at the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. RSVP on Handshake.

Madeleine O’Keefe can be reached at mokeefe@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter @OKeefeMadeleine.

4 Comments

4 Comments on One Minute to a Better Resume

  • C/o 2018 alumna on 10.15.2018 at 5:44 am

    Hello, I am a recent graduate of BU. I tried logging in to the system but got the following message: “You are not allowed to access this community.” Is the website not going to be available to the alumni? If so, that is very disappointing as we need input on our resumes, too.

    • Lou Gaglini on 10.15.2018 at 4:14 pm

      This particular VMock application is for students. The Center for Career Development continues to offer a wide range of resources and services for BU alumni. Please visit https://www.bu.edu/careers/for-alumni/ for more information.

  • Shannon on 10.15.2018 at 11:42 am

    I was able to successfully upload my resume, but it looks like it doesn’t provide direct feedback unless you pay for the premium pricing. Is this true? I was curious because it didn’t mention paying for it anywhere in the article.

    • Lou Gaglini on 10.15.2018 at 8:39 pm

      Access to Boston University’s VMock platform is free for all current students in degree programs, whether online or on-campus. (Law and MBA students have access through their respective Career Offices) For more information: http://bu.edu/careers/vmock

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