We’re getting news right and left these days about interview invites from Brave Supplicants and it’s an exciting time indeed! Some of you intrepid types may even be looking at ways to optimize the process by using a new-and-improved resume for the interview.
What, it didn’t occur to you to update the resume for the purpose of the interview?
Indeed! That might make some sense!
If you were to send your interviewer the exact-same interview that you submitted in the app, then obviously there’s no problem at all. Most people do exactly that.
However, we got a very good question about using this opportunity to provide a new resume to the school, and we figured we’d capture our answer for all of you here today.
Adding some new and fairly minor activity to the resume is totally fine. Same goes with correcting a typo or fixing a formatting glitch. Updating the resume more substantively, though, to reflect a brand new job that you’ve taken, or making any changes to the data reflecting your background — job title, company name, location, start and end dates — those should be called out explicitly to the school, by sending it in with a quick cover note or in some other way flagging that it’s been revised from the original you submitted with the app. If it’s fixing an error in that data, no problem, just offer explicit remark to the admissions office of what you are correcting. Much better to be proactive and inform them that there was a mistake. You don’t want that to bite you later on when you go through the background check process.
We don’t really suggest doing a full overhaul of the resume at this stage, since that could make it really tough for an admissions person to appreciate the deltas. If you have a completely new-and-improved layout, then hang onto that for use in any future apps that you submit (which hopefully will be zero, because these current ones will be landing you a plum spot in a great school!). You don’t want the same admissions team to have to deal with two very different versions of a resume for your one application; that’s enough to make them go crazy if they had been using one document to get this far in the process, and then you switch things up and now they don’t know what’s changed or why. So don’t go overboard with any revisions or edits.
But if there’s a need to pass along a slightly revised version of the resume for your interviewer to use, no problem. Just be above-board in how you handle it. Overdisclosure may be a better approach at this stage. You don’t want them to assume that you’re trying to be sneaky in changing something up on the sly!
Good luck with those interviews, BSers! We have high hopes for happy outcomes for all of you.
*Note: There may be advice floating around somewhere on this here blahg that suggests doing a more thorough resume revision at the interview stage; we used to recommend that in some situations. We’ve changed our stance on that now. However if you did far enough into the ‘snarchives, you’re likely to find all kinds of alternate views!! The industry has evolved over the years, and so have we. If you come across any such inconsistency and wonder about it, you can always ask us what’s up and we’re happy to get into a discussion on the best practices of today.