College Student Resume Objective: How to Write + Examples
College students are facing high competition for entry-level jobs. The statistic reveals that only 86% of college graduates are employed. Landing an entry-level job is stressful, and you have to compete with your peers who are working towards the same degree as you. Moreover, as a student, you may lack professional experience, and be unaware of how to write a college freshman resume that would be of interest to a recruiter.
Crafting a persuasive resume is your real chance to stand out. In particular, you need to start from the very first section that appears at the top of your resume – an objective. Today, the top resume writers from our company will explain why you should be using a career objective, how to write one as well as give some examples for your inspiration. So, open the word processor and grab a cup of coffee – let’s start.
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Why use an objective instead of a summary?
Typically, our career experts recommend the job-seekers to use a career summary. This section allows concentrating your most notable accomplishments, skills and relevant experience so that upon its review the employer could know what your key selling points are.
But for a student resume, we strongly insist that you opt for an objective. Here are our top three reasons why:
✓ Firstly, as an unexperienced young professional, you probably have no strengths and accomplishments to brag about. That’s totally fine – you’ll gain the practical skills and experience later – but at this point in your career, there isn’t much to summarize so an objective makes more sense.
✓ Secondly, an objective makes career goals clear. Again, you have no prior experience, and the recruiter cannot see your strengths. So, you’ll have to outline this information for them in 1-2 sentences of your summary.
✓ Finally, it allows you to show personality. Imagine a recruiter who reviews dozens of student resumes. All the applicants have similar education level and extracurricular activities, so it’s quite complicated to make a choice. But if you manage to capture their attention with your objective, your interview chances will skyrocket.
Do not forget about workplace etiquette rules. Stay on a good note with colleagues.
How to write a powerful resume objective?
To get noticed and shortlisted, you want to pour enough time and effort into crafting the statement that presents your best side to the employer. As you write, follow these principles:
✓ Use descriptive resume words
Descriptive resume words should be used carefully on a resume since an overuse of them might turn the reader off. However, using 1-2 adjectives to highlight your personality traits can be a lot of good. Through these descriptive words you can reveal your attitude to work and working style. Some good examples of descriptive words are: self-directed, organized, teamwork-driven, responsible, knowledgeable, disciplined, etc.
You can vary the choice of words depending on the position. For instance, if you’re applying for an administrative assistant role, it’s best to highlight that you are organized and deadline-oriented.
✓ Show what you expect to deliver
The resume objectives that are focused on your persona and your expectations are out of date. Good modern objectives also throw lights on what you can offer to the employer or even which results you plan to deliver if hired. For instance, a sales rep may write something like ‘looking to deliver exceptional client service and great in-store experience’. This approach works great for two reasons. Firstly, it differentiates you from other applicants who only write about what they expect from the employer. And secondly, it shows that you have high professional standards and are eager to hit the ground running once hired.
✓ Briefly outline your professional goals
Since this section is called ‘Objective’, you might also want to show what your goals are. The employers want to understand your desired career direction so that they could know if you’re a right fit. Moreover, job search is a two-way process: you want to get hired by a company that allows you to realize your potential.
That’s why it’s helpful to include statements like ‘looking for a position with a company that offers extensive training in finance management’. If the company offers that, they’ll appreciate your enthusiasm. You can choose to leave your goals out, though.
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The examples of objectives
To get an idea of how a persuasive objective looks like, take a look at the examples offered below. Avoid copying these examples word for word. Your resume objective should be unique and reflect your educational and professional background.
• Diligent and self-directed marketing student looking to leverage strong written communication, sales, and online marketing skills to help XYZ Company reach more customers and increase sales.
• Psychology major student seeking to apply research and communication skills in a position of Research Associate. Coming with strong learning abilities, attention to detail, and prior academic research experience.
• Hardworking and organized business management student seeking a summer internship position of a Business Analyst. Looking to apply selling skills, business acumen and communication etiquette to foster client relationships for XYZ company.
• Detail-driven student looking for an Administrative Assistant positon to apply knowledge of office procedures and equipment and multitasking skills to ensure excellent administrative support.
• Knowledgeable software engineering student seeking a Junior Web Developer position to write well-designed and efficient code using the best practices in web development.
Writing a student resume: General guidelines
Now that you are aware of how to write an impressive objective, it’s time to take care of the rest of your resume as well. Follow our expert tips specific to college student resume writing:
- Highlight academic accomplishments
As a student, you should place the Education section above the Work experience. Don’t limit this section to the school name and degree – as a student, you can brag any college-related accomplishments and strengths. In particular, you might want to highlight academic awards such as Dean’s List, and share the research paper or thesis topics if they align with your target job. It’s also a good idea to list relevant coursework to show that you have theoretic foundation needed for the position.
- Experience is transferrable
If you’ve worked as a cashier in McDonalds or a sales rep in a local accessories store, don’t discount this stage. In particular, most typical college jobs teach such skills as sales, customer interaction, work ethic, time management, organization, and more. These skills will definitely be beneficial for your first ‘serious’ job. If you had relevant internships or freelance jobs, that’s even better as you can present them as relevant professional experience.
- Keep it to one page
For a student resume, one-page rule is a must. You don’t have much experience, so your college activities will easily fit into one page. If you had lots of activities, volunteering project or part-time jobs in college, consider removing the ones that are irrelevant to your target position to save the resume space. Recruiters are unlikely to read a student’s resume that exceeds one page. By the way, if you want to strengthen your business writing skills, here’s exactly how to do this: http://resumeperk.com/blog/9-tips-to-improve-your-business-writing-skills.
- Consider the design
Don’t underestimate the importance of effective formatting in getting your resume liked by an employer. A good formatting will naturally draw the reader’s eye to the most important information on a resume, and the design that is easy on the eye increases the chance that your resume will be read top to bottom. However, be careful with resume templates and builders if you want to be original.
Bonus: 4 ways to find college student jobs
Curious how to find a dream job after college graduation as soon as possible? Make sure you are taking advantage of all available job-hunting methods. In particular, be sure to do the following:
- Job boards
Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com, and more are the most popular resources for landing new jobs, so don’t neglect them. You can search for jobs using various filters such as location, salary range, job level, and more. These boards also allow you to post your own resume and get found by recruiters.
- Visit college career centers
Career center in your college and university is a comprehensive resource to find job opportunities, get prepared for job interviews, and even get resume help. Many companies prefer to hire the top students once they graduate, so the college center may be a source of opportunities you won’t find anywhere else.
- Attend the job fairs
Job fairs give you an opportunity to meet lots of employers, talk about career prospects with them, and hand in an enormous number of resumes in one day. In addition to the fact that you may land a job or an internship if the company representative likes you, it’s also a great opportunity to expand your knowledge about existing career options in general.
- Use the power of social media
Sign up for the companies that you’d like to work for in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. This is the best way to stay updated and to be the first to hear about the fresh opportunities with them. You might also want to look for jobs on social media using hashtags.
Is your resume up to scratch?
If you’re writing your first resume, it may be hard for you to understand if it’s good enough to land you a job. Your application should be perfect in terms of content, orthography, and aligned with your aims. At Resumeperk.com, you can find resume writing help from the top professionals. Grab your 20% discount for the first discount.