Helping Students Build a Better Résumé through AI

Benjamin Beggs ‘20, Communication Studies
Career counselor works with student on their resume using VMock system
Lauren Barlow, senior career counselor, helps a student review a résumé using the new VMock platform.

Widener University students have access to a new high-tech tool to help them land a job.

The Office of Career Design and Development recently unveiled VMock, an artificial intelligence-based résumé evaluation program. Students can submit their résumés for revisions before ever sitting down with a career advisor. 

Widener is one of the first higher education institutions in the area to subscribe to VMock’s service, and while its availability is currently being piloted to only business and engineering students, the goal is to expand the opportunity to all students in the near future so that they can access similar benefits and advantages. 

“VMock was not only very easy to use, but it gave great feedback that was laid out in a simple format,” said Allison Kovacs ’22, a management major with a concentration in sport management, who recently used the system.

Through an algorithm that reflects over 300 examples from the Career Design and Development team, VMock applies professional standards for presentation and content in a constructive manner, and its provision of instant feedback increases the efficiency of the résumé-building process for both students and team members. 

“Our office is tasked with evaluating several hundred student résumés each year, so we wanted a way to make our work more effective while maintaining the highest quality standards,” said Janet Long, executive director of Career Design and Development.

The program is not meant to replace face-to-face interaction between students and Long’s staff, but rather to save time and shift the focus to more complex writing aspects during meetings. 

“Platforms like this provide students with the best of both worlds by giving them constant access to résumé feedback without sacrificing their ability to consult with someone in person for more help,” said Long. 

Students tend to struggle in similar areas when constructing their résumés, but in many cases the areas that need attention are quite simple. 

“VMock helped me to expand on my skill sets and past job positions, and a lot of that help was in the form of grammar and layout fixes,” Kovacs said.

Long and her staff, including program manager Kelly Tierney, assistant director of experiential learning, see VMock as a way to add more tools to an already expansive Widener career-development toolbox, helping students land not only their first job, but place them on a path to a lifetime of success.

“Part of VMock’s effectiveness lies within its ability to ‘gamify’ the intimidating task of developing a résumé. If we can create a more fun environment for our students to build their résumés, then that is nothing short of a win,” said Long.

Kovacs agrees. “I would recommend VMock to anyone who is writing their first résumé because it really facilitates perfection.”

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