Whether you’re applying for part-time or full-time work, having an up-to-date resume is necessary. While you’re earning a degree, your college student resume will help to showcase what you have accomplished so far and give prospective employees an indication as to when you will graduate.
There are many different ways to write a resume, so it’s useful to know these tips for college students specifically and to take a look at resume examples.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a document that you provide to employers when you apply for a job. The document shares some personal information like your name and contact information, and then dives deeper into your career objectives, educational background, work experience, range of skills and accomplishments.
A resume is different from a curriculum vitae (CV) as it is more like a marketing document while a CV is highly based on credentials and academic achievement. Also, resumes tend to be shorter than CVs.
Top Tips to Write Your College Student Resume
While you’re still in college, you may not have work experience that is directly related to the degree or field in which you want to enter. But that’s okay! You can still make all previous experiences count to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
These are some useful tips and examples to help you create your college student resume:
1. Focus on education:
Once you graduate and have accrued work experience, your educational background falls to the bottom of your resume. But, while you are in college, it should be listed at the top. In this section, you should include the name of the institution at which you are studying, its location, your major field of study, extracurricular activities and any coursework that is relevant for the job position for which you are applying.
2. Focus on the right skills:
Depending on the job you’re applying for and your experience, not all skills will be relevant. Instead, focus on the skills that make sense for the position. For example, if you are applying for a business development job and have experience as a waiter, you don’t need to describe how you served customers. Instead, you can focus on the communication aspect of the job as that’s relevant to business development.
3. Include keywords:
These days, job applications and resumes often get filtered electronically. For this reason, you should optimize your resume with keywords and key phrases that directly relate to the position you want. One of the easiest ways to do this is to pull keywords from job descriptions for the position you are seeking.
4. Include extracurriculars:
Listing your extracurricular activities showcases your well-roundedness and can also provide insight into your interests and skills.
Choose Your Format
When writing your first resume, you may feel overwhelmed by where to start. But, with the help of tools and templates, this process can be made easy. There are many different ways to create your resume.
Some options include:
Use a pre-made resume template that has the sections and fonts already laid out for you.
2. Free software:
You can leverage free software to write your resume, like ResumeGenius.
3. Create your own:
Another option is to get ideas for formats from friends, family or online. Then, you can create your own resume using software like Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign.
The process of writing a resume can be made enjoyable if you take it step by step.
1. Start by listing everything:
Write everything you’ve done down with bullet point descriptions. Organize the information into their sectors like Education, Experience, Extracurriculars, etc.
2. Narrow down to relevant info:
Once you have everything listed, you can extract the relevant jobs and information depending on the position for which you are applying. Since you’ll want to keep your resume to just one page, this is how you can edit it down.
3. Include keywords from job requirement in your resume:
As mentioned before, take a look at job descriptions for the position. Then pull and include relevant keywords so that electronic resume filtering systems can match your resume to open positions.
4. Use action verbs:
In the description bullet points under job titles, start each sentence with strong action verbs. Instead of saying “Responsible for x,y, z” you can use verbs like “created,” “designed,” “implemented,” etc.
5. Quantify your impact:
Additionally, in your descriptions, you should try to quantify your impact as much as possible. For example, if you worked as a marketing intern and improved a process or helped to increase newsletter open rates, you should share that kind of information. This shows employers ways in which you can make their business better.
6. Edit and receive feedback first:
Before pushing send, be sure to edit your resume, and of course, use spell check. The format and overall presentation says a lot about you, as well, so you want to make sure you avoid any mistakes. Ask people you trust for feedback because they may catch a mistake that you may have missed.
Once you’re done writing your resume, there are certain best practices for submission.
1. Cover letter:
Write a cover letter that is professionally formatted. In this letter, you will help to further describe why you are a good fit for the position and it will complement your resume.
2. Follow up:
Be sure to show interest in the job by following up if you haven’t heard back after about a week.
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash
With a well-written resume, you open the door for many opportunities. Regardless of the amount of work experience you’ve acquired thus far in your college career, you can construct a strategic resume to land the position of your dreams.
Starting with your education and including your work experience and various extracurricular activities and skills helps to showcase more about who you are to a prospective employer. Once you’ve reviewed your resume and gotten feedback, you can submit it with a cover letter and await a response to hopefully get an interview!
Once you enter the workforce, you should continuously update your resume with new experiences so that you’re ready to submit a resume when a position of interest becomes available.