College student resume

How to write a resume with little work experience out of college.

college student resume

As a college student it can be a little difficult writing a compelling resume since you are unlikely to have extensive employment history. Luckily, most employers are not expecting a lengthy employment history section on a college student’s resume. So before you write out your resume it would be a good idea to brainstorm any work-related positions, extracurricular activities, internships, and any awards or special recognition you may have received. To create a persuasive resume you will want to match any previous experiences with the specific criteria that the job you are applying for would be looking for. Starting to work on your resume while still in school can be a very wise choice, it makes you much more likely to find a good job after finishing college.  With enough mindful writing, you can write a powerful college student resume.

Emphasize your education

Being a college student will mean that most likely you have placed a large amount of your time on schoolwork, so be sure to emphasize attention to that. One thing you can do is to place that information at the top of your page so that it is the first thing that your employer sees. If you have a high GPA it could also be beneficial to include it in your resume. Be sure to include any information regarding academic awards such as making dean’s list. If you have taken any courses that directly apply to the job you are applying for, be sure to include them. Even just including information about any school projects that overlap skills with the job you are applying for can make your resume more competitive. Being a college student means that you have had to work through deadlines and be involved in teams, these are all pieces of information you can include if you lack work history in your resume. Being how you are a college student, employers are already expecting your resume to be shorter than someone who has a large amount of experience.


Divide your resume into separate sections

It increases readability to divide your resume into separate sections. Depending on what experience you have will determine what sections you will make in your resume. You can divide your resume into “education”, “work history”, “volunteer history”, and “relevant coursework”. It can also benefit your resume to include a skills section that mentions any relevant skills you learned inside college and outside of it. A strong college student resume should include a little of each, remember that you don’t need to write up a large resume.  Being how you are still in school, the likely best place to put your educational history information would be at the top. As you go along further into your career, you can place the information lower in the page.

Get someone to review your resume
Being a college student means that you most likely have access to someone who can assist you in seeking employment. So you should be able to find someone to review your resume to assure the highest quality possible. Finding someone who has experience in the work-field you are applying for to review your resume can be ideal as they will most likely know what specific criteria employers are looking for.

Add keywords

There are specific buzzwords that employers are often looking for so  be sure to include some of them. A good way to find these words is to look up job listings in the field you are applying for and if you see words reappearing, use those words in your resume.

Get involved in a work-study program

Getting involved with work-study can greatly benefit your resume. There is typically work-study opportunities at most colleges, and being a part of these can make you more competitive as a potential employee. Being involved with work that is unrelated to your field will likely not matter since most employers are only looking for documented diligent hard work from a college student resume. The work-study programs can also likely help you find employment when you are leaving college.

Search for internships

It would be a good idea to search for internships in your desired field while you are still in college. Most colleges will also have network connections to internship opportunities. Although they are typically unpaid, internships can give you relevant skills in a field that could be difficult to enter. If you are short on information to include in work history, you can include your internship experiences.

Get busy through the summer

Many students will spend a large amount of time relaxing through their summer break, it can greatly help your resume to instead focus on productivity. The summer holds a large amount of opportunities regarding internships so it can be a good idea to find one. There are even seasonal job options that can also benefit your resume. Even if you plan to do fun social activities with your friends, you should still have the free time for activities that will boost the appeal of your resume.

Be short on the descriptions for unrelated jobs

If you have worked an occupation that is unrelated to the job you want to apply for, be short on the description and emphasize the leadership, drive, and determination it took to work the job. Including any employee awards for performance can also help your resume stand out. Include your employer’s name, location, job title and dates of employment.


In summary

There is a lot you can do while in college to make your resume more competitive. Being a college student means that you should likely emphasize your education and place it on the top of your page. While you are still in college, it is a good idea to get involved in work-study programs to add work history to your resume. Be sure to also add keywords to your resume. Divide your resume into different sections to make it easily readable. Also use your colleges network to find internships related to your field while you are still in college. Follow these suggestions and you are sure to have a competitive college student resume.