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How To Write A College Resume

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How to write a college resume

The thought of creating a college student resume can be daunting when you consider how little job experience you might have compared to other applicants. However, you may find that when you look closely at job advertisements you actually have many of the skills employers are interested in and there’s really no cause for concern.

Due to the fact that you’re likely still young and relatively inexperienced in terms of the broad field of candidates on offer, your main focus should be your educational achievements as well as any work experience or positions you’ve already held down. By focusing on your strengths you’ll appear a far stronger candidate than you might have assumed.

Hire Me Student Sign

With a little bit of forward planning and work, you can create the best resume for college student without even making it obvious you’re inexperienced. As one of the most important resumes, you’ll ever craft in your professional life, making the best first impression with your college resume is essential to achieve and it can be done by following just a few smart tips.

What To Include In Your College Resume

While you might think that your college degree is enough to get your foot in the door, unfortunately, this alone won’t cut it these days. In an increasingly competitive job market, especially for those out of college, you’ll need to think outside of the box for what you should put on your resume.

This is where it pays off to have been forward planning for your career out of college and taking every opportunity that was presented.

On your resume, you can put things such as volunteer work, internships, unpaid work experience, participation in clubs and organizations around campus, and anything else you think might shine a positive light on your time in college.

The Intership Numbers

Depending on your major and areas of interests, there are other skills that you can enter onto your resume. Take a look through your subjects to find the hard skills you learned and use those that are applicable to the organization and job posting, and then look for feedback from your lecturers and professors about your soft skills.

You may also ask a few of them to act as a professional reference for you in the absence of any managers or supervisors in work duties.

How To Organize Your College Resume

While there are a few formats that usually get yourself noticed when writing a resume, you’ll need to consider your work and employment history before you decide which order is best.

For those who have limited work experience, a functional resume is the best option as this allows you to list your key strengths and skills first with very little focus on the actual dates of employment. This is a common format for high school and college students, but employers may want to see a little more so you’ll need to gauge for each position you apply for.

Secondly, if you feel that you have a solid work history that was built up over your college skills whether it was with paid or unpaid work experience, you can enter these in chronological format on your resume.

This gives the hiring manager a clear story about what you’ve achieved so far and how it’s working towards your ultimate career goal, whatever that may be.

Tips For The Ideal College Resume

If you’ve never made a resume before, or only have one from your high school years, it can be daunting to think where you should even start. Here are a few tips to consider that might make it easier to write the perfect college student resume.

Make A List Of All Your Skills

Before you even sit down to write your resume you should construct a master list of both hard and soft skills so you can refer back to it. For each new role, look at the job description and see what you can match up with your own skills and be sure to put these on your resume for the application.

Hard vs Soft Skills on Job

Include Personal Successes In Each Role

While it’s great to just say what roles you’ve had, it has more impact if you can give a specific personal success you achieved while working that position.

Show Your Leadership Skills

Employers want to see that you can lead, so be sure to put down any time you have motivated, taught, recruited or organized events around campus or at previous workplaces.

Focus On Community Service

Showing that you care about improving your community will put you in far better standing than other applicants, so things such as volunteer work, bake sales, and anything else that you gave your time to selflessly is great to mention.

Making The Best First Impression

After putting in the hard years to achieve your study goals, or even if you’re midway through your degree and looking for work, getting your first real job at this age is an important thing.

This is why your resume should be carefully planned and proofread over and over to ensure that you are selling the best version of yourself possible.

Proofreading resume

Just as you’d do with any resume, have someone look over it to give you some constructive criticism or highlight strengths of your own that you might have missed out.

With so many competitors in your age range and industry, you need to ensure that your resume will stand out as something special so you can get yourself noticed by potential employers.

Your college resume will be the first of many you create in your lifetime, so by knowing all of the things that employers look for now will set you up for years of successful job hunting in your future.

With the right foundations for a good resume, you’ll already be many steps ahead of your competitors in creating something that can make your limited experience shine.

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Matthew Gibbs

Matthew Gibbs

Matt is the Co-Founder of Recruiterly and a veteran recruitment professional. He has worked for, managed and owned recruitment agencies in the UK, Australia and Asia.

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