Resume PSA - all FRC students should read

So I am in the process of looking for interns/co-ops to fill some positions at my company. I can’t tell you the number of FRC kids I’ve talked to who HAD NO MENTION OF FRC ON THEIR RESUME :ahh:
Did you make parts on a mill? Yes? THEN WHY ISN’T THAT ON YOUR RESUME?
Did you design a 4 wheel independent steering mechanism? Yes? I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT!

Pro tip for resumes, if you are studying engineering and looking for a job on the field, saying something like " I built robots through all 4 years of high school" is far better than listing you were the manager at the local frozen yogurt stand. I don’t care about yogurt, but given the limited amount of experience you have in this stage of your careers you should be embracing and highlighting something like FIRST.

And, as an added bonus, someday you might be interviewing with someone like me who understands how much of a rockstar that makes you. On the other hand if the person you are interviewing with doesn’t know what FIRST is, then you get a chance to explain it and also sound like a rockstar. Get it??


ps- I’m still looking for 1 rockstar co-op or intern pm me for details.

I’m sure you didn’t intend it this way, but it’s not about yogurt. It’s about managing.

Managing requires people skills, responsibility, and decision-making… all essential (or desirable) skills for an engineer (and most other careers).

But yes, certainly mention the FRC experience.

If you are graduated from college, should that still be listed on a resume? One of my classes that had resume building as a few lessons said that once you have hit junior year of college, nothing with regards to high school should be listed anymore.

I list FIRST on my resume.
It gets exactly one line in one column and I have the URL of FIRST on there as a reference.
I was never a student while in FIRST but it is on my resume.
As is my vocational education I took consequetively with high school.

In previous career changes on several occasions I have encountered people that either were former mentors or students and it breaks the ice.

It surely can’t hurt to list the activity briefly.
Just don’t distract from the goal of a resume which is to advertise you.

Considering it’s been on my resume for 4 previous jobs and I am CTO of one company, own several others and an Assistant Vice President at a large corporation: works for me - YMMV.

Having taken the same types of classes in the last few years I agree the general rule is that you should omit anything from high school. However FRC differs significantly from other clubs. The skills you learned in FRC if they are relevant to your field should be included on your resume until you have more significant experience to replace it with.

It is important how you include it one your resume. If you are an engineering student then don’t just list that you were on the team. You need to list specific responsibilities and skills that are applicable to the positions you are applying for. If you have significant Research and/or Co-op or internship positions that more directly relate to your current job search then FRC should be minimized in your resume.

When you get advice to remove HS clubs and honors from your resume they are right, a recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t care if you were a member of a club, however they will care what skills you developed as a member if they are applicable to the position they are hiring for.

I certainly say you should keep it on there… perhaps it would move down to a smaller role (background & interests… worst case), but I would definitely keep it on there.

If you’ve been involved with mentoring since highschool, I would definitely put that on there.

Really, I’d recommend looking at your resume through the lens of “what things make me an eligible candidate?” If you were quite involved in FRC in highschool, odds are good that’ll play a very big role on your resume until you’ve had at least a couple different technical jobs. If you were barely a member of a team and it had little impact on you, perhaps only mention it in one line… Really, I’m saying it’s somewhat situation-dependent… but don’t underestimate the value of FIRST on your resume!

I can verify that putting FIRST experience on your resume as a college student is a HUGE help when trying for internships in a technology-related field. As a Computer Science student, I got a great-paying internship with a major tech company before my freshman year of college was over, primarily because of my FRC experience in high school(not to mention the internship I had in high school as a direct result of FRC).

FRC has helped me get every job I have ever had (including all the design, analytic, and teaming/management aspects of it). Some employers (like mine) see FIRST as a positive.

I would at the very least give FIRST Robotics a single line so someone glancing at your resume can ask you about it, especially if you were very involved in it (I would equate it to how it is beneficial for Eagle Scouts to list that award on their resumes, even though that happened in high school). I’m a recruiter. I would ask you about it in an interview.

I would at the very least give FIRST Robotics a single line so someone glancing at your resume can ask you about it, especially if you were very involved in it (I would equate it to how it is beneficial for Eagle Scouts to list that award on their resumes, even though that happened in high school).

The only things I had from high school on my college resume were my Eagle Scout rank and FIRST experience, and I talked quite a bit about both of them during subsequent interviews. One of the managers I interviewed with did FIRST back in '94! There are very few things from HS that matter in college, but FIRST and Eagle/Gold are definitely in that small club.

If you want an excuse to put FRC on your resume after graduating, then volunteer! It can lead to very nice conversations during interviews…:slight_smile:

Haha that is my only mention of FIRST on my resume :stuck_out_tongue:

I have a couple of mentions of FIRST on my resume.

One is as an engineering project, alongside SAE Aero Design and my senior design project. Each has a short paragraph of the competition objective and what I did/learned on the team.

The other is with honors/awards, alongside Eagle Scout. I kept that one to the major awards, including World Champion (2005) and a safety award that was for me instead of the team as a whole.

I can also verify that putting your FIRST experience on your resume is very helpful. Several years ago after losing an engineering position from lack of work at my company then, I was contacted on a Monday afternoon by a placement service for an open position they were trying to fill. The office manager had also worked as a substitute teacher and had a daughter that had been on an FRC team. She made two reference phone calls on Tuesday, one to the public school that had hired me to be an FLL coach, and one to FIRST HQ to confirm that I was an FRC volunteer. In Michigan, there are state laws that public schools have to follow to hire anybody, and the quick take on that is the local police do all the criminal background checks, and collect your fingerprints. I interviewed on Wednesday, hire on Thursday and back to work the following Monday.
For current FIRST high school students, not putting your FIRST experience on a college application is one of the biggest mistakes you can make! Colleges that know what FIRST is about are looking for FIRST alumni students, and will make being accepted nearly automatic.

A good amount of resumes with a keyword of FIRST in the document has been forwarded onto me at the company I work at. We consider both students and mentors that have had heavy FIRST experience rockstars.

Just as the OP mentioned, it’s totally in your favor to list what you did on the team and keep it there no matter how long ago it was. It really does help you stand out in the crowd.