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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: Building Your Resume
August 2, 2022

Woman sitting writingA successful candidate for the Mandela Washington Fellowship demonstrates an ability to get things done. Take a marketing approach to your resume that will command the ultimate amount of attention. Think about how you want the person who reads your resume to think of you.

In preparing your resume, remember three important tips:

  1. Keep your answers brief.
  2. Write in the third person (do not use the pronoun “I”). [Tip: for the Personal Writing Statement, first person is appropriate.)
  3. Proofread your resume for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare a Mandela Washington Fellowship resume:

Please note that applicants are not required to submit a resume document. You may choose to upload a resume, writing sample, or transcript to strengthen your application, but it is not a requirement to apply for the Fellowship at this time. Read the eligibility requirements for the most up-to-date information regarding Fellowship applications.

  • Professional Experience: What professional experiences have you had? Make a list up to five paid or volunteer positions and summarize your work in these positions to give an instant picture of the breadth of your work or volunteer background. For example, you could list your role as program officer or head of sales.


  • Education: Have you received any type of formal education? If so, make a list of the education and training you received from established universities, colleges or trade schools. For example, you could list your secondary school or university degree. Include the dates you attended these schools, what you studied, and what degrees you earned.


  • Professional Training and Certificates: Did you receive professional training outside of an established educational institution? Name up to five relevant professional certifications and/or training courses you completed, including the type of training or the name of the certification and the city and country where the training occurred. For example, you could list a project management certification.


  • Community and Volunteer Work: In addition to your professional experience, do you perform unpaid work in your community? Make a list of up to 5 of your volunteer activities with local charities or NGOs and summarize your work with these organizations. For example, you could list the time you spend mentoring young entrepreneurs.


  • Honors, Awards, Fellowship, Grants, and/or Scholarships: Have you been recognized for your efforts in something that you have done? List up to 10 honors or awards you have received at the university or professional level, from which organizations, and for what type of work.  For example, you could list that you were recognized as employee of the month.


  • Professional Skills: Think about the skills you have acquired over time. What languages do you speak? Are you proficient in computer and software skills? List up to eight languages and/or up to 10 computer or software skills you possess. For example, you could include that you speak French and English and are familiar with Microsoft Office.


  • Publications, Conferences, and Notable Presentations: List any of your professional publications as well as conferences and presentations that you have participated in. For example, you could list that you were a panelist in a discussion at your university.


  • Associations and Affiliations: List any professional organizations, leadership groups, or community organizations that have not otherwise been captured and any leadership roles you hold in these organizations. For example, you could list your role as president of your local trade association or co-founder of a women’s leadership group.

You also may be interested in reading Get Your Resume Noticed.