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Ace Your Resume: 10 Top Tips for College Students’ Success

college student resume

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A captivating resume is vital for securing your ideal job. As a college student, your work history might be limited, but you can still showcase noteworthy achievements. Explore our top 10 tips for crafting a stellar college student resume.

What Employers Really Want

Employers aren’t interested in your GPA or a long list of your barista duties. Every company has its own way of doing things. They teach you how to do things “their” way which will be different than the way you learned to do them in school or at a previous job.

Hiring managers understand that college students may lack extensive job experience and will require training to perform their duties according to company standards. Examining resume examples can be beneficial in creating an attention-grabbing resume for your college student profile.

Hiring managers seek evidence of leadership, problem-solving, and communication abilities in candidates who can excel in team settings and eventually assume leadership roles. Instead of merely listing your accomplishments, explain your approach and demonstrate how these experiences can benefit the company.

As a college student, you can showcase these skills without years of job experience. Your resume may contain more valuable information than you initially realized. We’ll guide you on how to effectively communicate this information to potential employers.

1. Summarize Your Skills and Objectives

List all of your skills including computer skills and any skills you learned in college, working, volunteering, or interning. You won’t use all of them on your resume but list everything you can think of in the beginning and you can whittle them down later.

Review your list and identify the most relevant items for the job you’re applying to. Resumes that concentrate on specific job requirements have a higher chance of securing an interview. This presents a valuable opportunity for you to envision your future in a particular career and comprehend the essential skills it demands.

Your objectives should state some past accomplishments and the accomplishments you want to achieve for the job you are applying for. Objectives can show employers that you know what you want for your future and are familiar with their company and industry.

2. Your Education is Key

Without experience in the job market, your education information is more relevant now than it will be on later resumes. Gather the critical facts about your education, especially if you have an advanced degree.

List the colleges or universities you attended, the degree program, years attended, and any honors you earned, like a place on the Dean’s List.

Include serious academic projects you took part in like independent studies or senior theses. These things will show that you are an active learner and highlight skills in presentation, research, and writing.

If you have taken any courses specific to the job you’re applying for, include those courses on your resume.

3. Take the Lead

Because leadership abilities are something hiring managers are looking for, you want to highlight things like opportunities you had to motivate, train, lead, recruit, and organize your peers. Good examples of a college student resume can include things like having a leadership role in a club, organization, or sports team since you likely don’t have leadership experience in a job setting.

Use action words like “led, created, and implemented,” when describing your activities with these groups.

4. Work It

Even if you have only worked part-time, you should list those jobs on your resume. Any job teaches you things all employers want in a potential employee.

Highlight “transferable skills.” Transferable skills are skills that you carry with you from one job or experience to the next and are relevant to any field.

A server who used a POS system, you could write that you are quick to pick up new computer systems. If you worked in a call center, you have excellent listening skills. If you worked in retail, you have customer service and sales abilities.

5. Community Service and Volunteer Work

Well, maybe leave off any court-ordered community service! While community service and volunteer work are not paid, they still provided you with valuable experience and show employers that you have a willingness to give without expecting anything in return.

These experiences should be listed as a job with a title, such as an essay writer, that explains the role you played in the organization and should include a description of your duties and accomplishments.

6. Extracurricular Activities and Hobbies

Potential employers want to know what you do in your spare time. If you were a member of a sports team, that shows you work well with others. If you run marathons, that shows commitment and dedication, two traits any employer would like.

Hobbies like rock climbing and camping show a willingness to leave your comfort zone, also desirable traits employers look for.

7. Put a Number on It

When you can, include numbers tied to your achievements. If you worked in retail, give a number to how many customers you helped per day and a dollar amount of your monthly sales.

If you raised money for a charity, organization, or sports team you played on, include how much money you raised.

8. Keywords are Key

Keywords are words that describe requirements in a job posting, and the skills, qualities, and credentials that the hiring manager is looking for. Because they are inundated with hundreds or even thousands of resumes, one way to get through them quickly is to scan for these words. Leverage examples of existing resumes, but make sure that your resume is original, you can use AResearchGuide’s online plagiarism checker to ensure your resume is original.

Some companies even use a computer program to scan for keywords so if you don’t include them; a human may not even see your resume. Be sure to cram as many keywords into your resume as you can.

9. Keep it Short

Even someone with twenty years of relevant experience is advised to keep their resume short so as a soon-to-be or recent grad; you certainly need to keep your college student resume to one page. No exceptions.

10. The Usual Suspects

When hiring managers have so many resumes to look through, they look for ways to cull them quickly. Nothing will get your resume sent to the “circular file” faster than typos, spelling and grammar errors, mismatched and weird fonts, and poor formatting.

Make sure your resume doesn’t include any of those. Re-read it ten times, ask ten people to read it, and run it through Grammarly. Whatever it takes to make sure it looks and reads perfectly. There is a lot of competition out there so don’t lose out before you even get a chance to get in the game.

You Have A Lot to Offer

It might feel like your college student resume is skimpy but remember, you aren’t applying for the CEO position. You are applying for an entry-level position, and the hiring manager knows that. They aren’t looking for someone with ten years of experience.

So as long as you have put together a thoughtful resume highlighting your skills and strengths, you’ll find a job in no time.  If this all seems daunting, try creating a resume with online resume builders or use a resume writing service. Happy hunting!

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