What Is a Takeaway Résumé and How Can It Help You?

Having trouble crafting your resume? Try making the "takeaway résumé" to enhance your applications and show what you've learned. Here's how to do it!

Résumés are an essential part of applying for jobs, colleges, and scholarships. They organize your experiences, convey your accomplishments, and are required for most applications. Traditional résumés detail information about what school you go to, what jobs you’ve had, and what organizations you’re a part of. They summarize what you did and when. But I’m here to talk about an alternate form of a résumé called the “takeaway résumé.” In a nutshell, the takeaway résumé should be a running log of specific skills and experiences you’ve gained from your jobs, classes, or clubs with examples. Traditional résumés focus on what you did and not what you learned. The takeaway résumé focuses on what you took away from the experience—what you learned or gained. This is what adds value. It’s not a traditional résumé, and it’s not the final product you’ll send to employers, but it’s an extremely useful tool you can use to prep for interviews, write cover letters, or add detail to your real résumé.

The difference between traditional and takeaway résumés

Here’s what a traditional résumé might look like:

Sales Associate

  • Maintain constant presence on sales floor and address customer needs
  • Sign customers up for marketing lists
  • Process customer payments

And here’s how a takeaway résumé differs:

Sales Associate

  • I learned effective interpersonal skills by dealing with difficult customers.
  • I learned how to use a combination of evidence and persuasive argument techniques to convince customers to sign up for mailing lists.
  • I learned computer and technology skills when working with a point of service register system, as I often had to troubleshoot problems on my own.

Related: Infographic: What Skills Should You Put on a Résumé to Land the Job?

How can a takeaway résumé help?

Many scholarship applications or interviews ask what you learned from certain organizations you’ve been a part of or which class has been the most impactful. A takeaway résumé can help you answer questions like these. It’s invaluable when applying to colleges and scholarships, and it’s never too early to start yours. It can also help you stretch your résumé if you lack job experience. Instead of thinking about your required chemistry class during sophomore year as learning about stoichiometry and balancing chemical equations, think about it as what you really took away from the class. Did you learn how to communicate and collaborate with a team on a lab? Did you learn how to carefully document and explain your work in a lab notebook? These skills are relevant, and they’re a lot more meaningful to a potential employer or college than simply listing the class on your résumé.

Related: How to Write a Cover Letter With Little or No Work Experience

Starting a takeaway résumé now will save you the headache come senior year when you’re trying to remember everything you’ve done over the last three years. Start doing this as soon as your freshman year, and writing your résumé will be a cinch!

Use your takeaways to your advantage! Find related scholarships with our Scholarship Search tool.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Chrissy Ramakrishnan

Chrissy is a sophomore Statistics major at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who loves all things Wisconsin, ice cream, coffee, and dancing no matter the occasion. A self-proclaimed college application and financial aid nerd, she thoroughly enjoyed taking the ACT and hopes to get her PhD in Education Policy so she can stay in school forever!

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

Tariq Adam Khatib

Tariq Adam Khatib

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me a lot. I am a Tanzania boy who finished my high school studies in Tanzania. I never knew I could get an opportunity to get a scholarship to study abroad. I am happy that now I know how to find the school to study abroad through CollegeXpress.

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Trine University

Angola, IN

Rockhurst University

Kansas City, MO

Hiram College

Hiram, OH

University of Idaho

Moscow, ID