Scandal’s Olivia Pope Shares Her First Resume
When it comes to her taste in romantic partners or her relationship with her parents, Olivia Pope (lead protagonist of ABC’s hit drama Scandal) might *not* be the best role model; but when it comes to her career, you can’t deny she really is a gladiator in every way. Smart, confident, polished, and ambitious, Ms. Pope has earned herself a place on the speed-dial of America’s wealthiest elite by being better at her job than anyone else.
But long before she was the founder of Pope & Associates and working in the White House’s (very) inner circle, Olivia was just a bright college graduate looking for her first entry-level job. Granted, because she’s Olivia Pope, she did everything flawlessly: she had a strong personal brand, she knew how to use her network, and her resume was compelling, cohesive, and of course typo-free. Take a look at how we imagined Olivia might have created a resume around two summer internships and a part-time job during her senior year to land the gig as a media consultant on Fitzgerald Grant’s presidential campaign.
Pope’s summary statement of “solving problems discreetly and completely” succinctly describes her as a problem solver who navigates sticky situations with finesse. Make your summary sing with a similarly focused statement about who you are and what you do.
She demonstrates the impact she had in each of her internships by quantifying her contribution to the organization’s goals or the outcome of the campaign, using numbers where possible. Don’t write a recap of the job description. Talk about what you accomplished, not just what you did.
While Pope is proud of her Ivy League education, she knows that everyone else applying for these positions graduated with a four-year degree so she put it at the bottom of her resume. Her experience differentiates her so that is front and center for the reader. A four-year degree is a credential most employers require, but it is not going to separate you from the crowd. Focus a future employer’s attention on what makes you distinctive.
Keep this sample around as a handy template when drafting your own resume. And if you’re ever doubting yourself (during the job hunting process, or otherwise), do what I do, and channel your own inner-Olivia-Pope.
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Written by Wes Janisen
Image from ABC