Resume Help For College Students: Expert Tips
Like many college students, you probably aim for an accomplished career, don’t you? To achieve that, you need to take your first professional employment seriously and get hired by a reputable company. And it’s a well-written resume that can help you with getting your first job. Most students and graduates feel frustrated at the necessity to write their own resume. Employers are looking for relevant experience, but what if all you have to offer is 1-2 part-time jobs? How to write a really strong resume that can present your skills and freshly gained knowledge under the right angle?
Professional resume writers online know how to write a resume if you’ve just graduated from college (or only anticipate graduation). Read the guidance below to finally get that resume written and get it written really well.
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Student services resume guidance: key tips
What differentiates you from the experienced applicants in the job market? In a nutshell, they know how to get the job done, their skills are stronger and they need less training. On the other hand, you have vast theoretical knowledge, strong cognitive abilities and are far more enthusiastic. So, this is what you should focus on when creating your resume.
- Choose the appropriate resume length
All career experts agree that a one page resume is the optimal length for students (for more guidance on choosing the right length for your resume, see here: https://resumeperk.com/blog/perfect-length-of-your-resume) . And this makes sense, as the lack of experience will unlikely allow you to make it longer.
Nevertheless, even if you can make your resume long because of numerous summer jobs and community involvement, it isn’t worth doing. If you have a plenty of experience, you’ll need to prioritize what you have to impress the hiring manager, not overwhelm them with tons of irrelevant details.
- Stay on combination resume format
Combination resume is the best alternative for recent graduates. If you are new to resume formats, you can read about each of them here: https://resumeperk.com/blog/write-my-resume-for-me-resume-formats.
As a student, you don’t have enough relevant experience to make a decent reverse chronological resume. On the other hand, you haven’t developed a strong set of professional skills either; thus, a functional resume isn’t the best choice either.
Combination format allows you to show a plenty of jobs you had and present your transferable skills at the same time. This combination will best present you as a promising and motivated employee.
- Start with a summary of qualifications
Although summary of qualifications works best for seasoned professionals, students can benefit from including it as well. Summary typically includes a few of your skills, both hard and soft, accomplishments or areas of knowledge which are 1) the top ones you have to offer and 2)highly relevant for the role. Make it really brief and up to the point – but no longer than 5-6 lines in length.
Including a career objective can make sense as well, provided that you have a clear career goal in mind. If yours are quite vague (which is okay for students), summary is the better option for you.
- Put the primary focus on your education
Students or recent graduates need to place the Education section right after the summary of qualification or career objective (whichever you prefer to include). This is because the education is the most significant thing you have to offer so far. If you have 3+ years of relevant experience behind you, it is okay to neglect this rule, though.
How to organize your education section?
- List the school name, degree name, your major and year of graduation. If you’re still in college, indicate the year of anticipated graduation.
- Include any honors/achievements, i.e. dean’s list, phi beta cappa or others. If your GPA is high (3.0 or above), include it as well.
- Consider adding a list of coursework which is relevant for the job you’ll be applying for. Listing all the coursework you had makes little sense and just takes the space off your resume. Nevertheless, listing around 5 courses will show that you’re familiar with the theoretical side of prospective job and serve the keyword purpose. It is also okay to include the coursework outside of your major if it’s relevant for the role.
- Create a result-oriented experience section
Don’t know how to get away from those “Responsible for waiting tables” and “Managed incoming correspondence” that typically are present on student resumes? Our resume help for college students will help you look much better on paper and meet the employers’ attention.
Before you put your mind to writing the experience section, here’s what you can do:
- Write down a detailed list of all significant experiences, both relevant and irrelevant for the prospective role. Moreover, these should not include paid employment only; internship, volunteering, community service and extracurricular activities will do as well.
- Highlight the most relevant experiences from each job or internship. Rewrite them, using the PAR (problem-action-result) formula. For a student/graduate, 4-5 bullet points with strong statements for each role will be enough.
- Use strong resume action verbs to make your experiences sound more responsible and significant. Words matter; so, try avoiding using standard “managed”, “was responsible for” and “was involved”.
- Use our service to create a resume free. If you need some inspiration for writing your own resume, our professionally written samples are at your disposal. You can apply the same structure for your resume.
- Showcase your soft skills
As we’ve mentioned above, since you don’t have the experience and skills the experience workers have, you need to focus on your adaptability and eagerness to learn. These are soft skills; and in a modern working environment soft skills start to determine career success. So, whether you have people skills, leadership abilities or any other personality traits valuable at the workplace – be sure your resume reflects that appropriately.
Here you can also learn which skills matter for career success.
- Use the right angle for describing irrelevant jobs
Have you worked as a waiter/babysitter/cashier but not sure whether this should be included in your resume for a bank teller position? This is the common problem with student resumes. Such kinds of experience may benefit you, but only if you describe it in the right way.
For instance, the roles most of us may call menial jobs can be outlined in a way to show your dependability, team collaboration and business ethics – traits which are crucial for many jobs. Just look at your resume from the employer’s perspective, and think of how the apparently irrelevant experience can be tailored to their needs.
- Take advantage of the unpaid expertise
You don’t have to focus on paid employment when writing a student resume. Volunteering and community service of any kind counts as experience as well. You can put these experiences under the separate section – or, if the experience section is too short, summarize all of your experience, both paid and unpaid, under the same section. In this case, you can simply name it “Experience”.
- Provide samples of your work
If possible, provide the samples of your previous work to the employer along with your resume – or provide a link to an online website or portfolio. When you lack relevant experience to include in your resume, it’s the samples that can advocate for you.
The nature of your work doesn’t allow you to provide samples? Then, it’s a good idea to include testimonials or references from people you worked with. You can even quote your professor or former employer in your resume.
- Give it a thorough proofread prior to submission
If you are excited about a job posting you’ve discovered online and can’t wait to apply for it, it’s easy to miss a few grammar errors or typos in your resume or cover. In this case, perfectionism will do you any harm. Probably, you’ll need to rewrite your resume a few times until it looks as good as you want it to look. Editing and proofreading a resume and cover letter again and again should become your routine task as well.
It’s even better to have another pair of eyes to have a look at it. Your classmate, friend or family member can spot the mistakes you have possibly omitted. It’s even better to refer to best proofreader resume. An editor by trade can not only remove the typical mistakes, but also give a helpful advice on how to improve your resume in general.
Start your career with the job you really want!
Writing a student resume is always a challenge. Since you are new to writing your own resume and marketing yourself at the labor market, this task can seem petrifying. If you have a clear career goal and cannot allow a poor resume putting you down, it’s a sensible decision to find resume maker online.
In our website, you can get your resume written professionally – all you’ll need to do is to fill out a brief questionnaire. We will match you to a writer with years of resume expertise who will work with you until you are happy with the finalized product. Moreover, it’s quite affordable – we have special discounts for students and recent graduates.