Last month on the Cultivate Academics blog we discussed how the college admissions process can help prepare you for applying to jobs after you graduate. One of the key points discussed was that of resume building. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how to create a WHY-Driven Resume and how it can help you expand on your accomplishments as you go through the college admissions process.

What Is A Why-Driven Resume?

The why-driven resume is based on Simon Sinek’s resume of the same name. Unlike a traditional resume that lists out WHAT your academic and extracurricular activities were, a why-driven resume goes two steps further to explain why you chose to engage in each experience and how you were impacted by it. This can make a significant difference when it comes to the applicant screening process as it helps your resume (and you!) stand out!

Going From “What” To “Why”

When it comes to most resumes, many— if not all applicants will write down what they did and leave it at that. Simon Sinek uses the concept of the “golden circle” (shown below) in order to demonstrate the hierarchy of understanding what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. The idea is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This translates into a college resume incredibly well because explaining your WHY adds a level of depth to your achievements that would otherwise be lost on your standard resume.

Why-Driven Resumes

Why Does a Why-Driven Resume Matter?

When you’re communicating to potential colleges, you want to focus on how and why your achievements make you a great candidate. A why-driven resume can help you do this by shaping the way that you communicate your achievements in a way that speaks to the emotions of others. If you can pivot from listing your achievements to speaking to what compelled you to pursue those achievements, you are more likely to invoke a positive emotional response that will ultimately help you stand out in any application process.