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You are likely reading this article because you are in college and have to write a new resume for internship and entry-level job applications. You have looked at examples online, but most resume examples show resumes from people with years of experience. You don’t have years of professional work experience — you are still taking classes. What do you do?
Writing a resume as a current college student can seem daunting, but there is a lot of opportunities to make your resume stand out because of your student status.
As a college student, you have many unique opportunities to experience and showcase on a resume. You have the chance to volunteer, study abroad, take specialized classes and complete internships. You may have worked on interesting projects, had impressive leadership experiences or published research articles. If any of these experiences apply to you, keep them in mind. They will come in handy.
You probably had to write a brief resume for your college applications. Writing a resume as a college student is similar to that, except with a more professional edge.
When hiring managers look at a college student’s resume, they know what you are spending most of your time doing: studying. Having years of full-time work isn’t expected, but they will be wondering how you have applied yourself in college both inside and outside of the classroom.
As mentioned above, college is full of opportunities to have enriching experiences. Take advantage of them — they will greatly help you not only by filling out those blank spots on your resume, but also giving you something to stand out from the rest of the competition.
When writing a resume as a current college student, you will reflect these experiences and your education in your resume and what you choose to do with your college experience will greatly affect your resume.
The first thing you will focus on when writing a resume as a current college student is your education. That is the backbone of your resume and is what hiring managers expect to see highlighted on a resume from a college student.
Include your expected graduation date, your current GPA (if it is competitive, i.e. over 3.5 GPA) and your major. You can include your minor if it is relevant to the application. You can add academic honors to this section. Did you have any merit scholarships? Are you in the honors program? Include these details in the education section.
Another mini-section you can include under education is publications. If you are applying to a research-related position, you will want to include any scholarly journal publications you authored or help author. Research papers show initiative to working on advanced education projects — a good sign for many employers.
After detailing your education, you will want to include extracurriculars, awards, and most importantly, related work experience. Work experience can come in many forms, from internships to long-term volunteer opportunities, research projects and everything in between.
Do your research about the job or internship you are applying for and think about which experiences you have had in college that best fit the job description and speak to your ability as a good worker.
After deciding upon what to include, don’t just throw titles and dates of the experiences onto your resume and call it a day — be detailed. Quantify your deliverables when possible. If you were a volunteer coordinator, how many volunteers did you oversee? If you worked at an internship that focused on community engagement, how many people did you reach? These are the things recruiters are looking for when reading your resume.
When picking a resume format, choose one that offers an experience section over a work history section. You are in college, you don’t have much of a work history. But, you do have experiences that can be combined to make up a pseudo-work history.
Now that we have discussed the nuts and bolts of a college student resume, let’s look at an example of how one is done.
Remember, every resume should be job-specific. So if you don’t have the same background as the person depicted in this resume, keep searching for some examples and make sure to have the resume mirror your own experiences.
102 University Blvd.
University, CA 33409
(555) 555- 5555
The Pool Pros, University, California
Lifeguard Senior Manager and Educator (June 2015-May 2018
California State University, University, California
Outdoor Leadership Liaison and Leader, (August 2017- May 2018)
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Lander, Wyoming
Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester Team Leader, (August 2018- May 2019)
EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
California State University, University, California
Bachelor in Outdoor Education and a minor in emergency medical response
Graduated May 2018
Received NOLS scholarships for a semester abroad in India.
Dean’s list all semesters.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), California Licensure
Wilderness EMT certificate expiration date May 2020
EMT certification expiration date May 2020
BLS Healthcare responder expiration date August 2021
Certified Lifeguard, California Licensure
YMCA certification expiration date August 2021
Writing a resume as a current college student is exciting because of the flexibility you have in crafting it. Every college student will have a unique resume and that’s a great thing because it helps you stand out from each other.
When writing a resume as a current college student, keep in mind that the best way to make your resume stand out is by taking advantage of the many opportunities being in college gives you. Try new things: take on a new project or volunteer opportunity. It not only will help your resume but will also give you great pre-professional experience that will help you decide which career path you should take.
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