As a college student, you need to approach your resume writing a little differently than someone already working and looking to change their job or career path.
You should try to put more emphasis not only on your work history, but also on your educational experience too. It can be difficult to demonstrate your skills to someone when you haven’t got a lengthy work history, but highlighting your experience of any volunteer work that you have undertaken as well as any relevant extra-curricular activities that you think would help add value to your resume will certainly help.
Let’s take a closer look at some top tips and advice about piecing together your college resume that really show off your educational awards and achievements.
Writing a strong college resume should start with a focus on your education.
You should go all out to emphasize your academic record and highlight any areas of high achievement that are more relevant to the role you are applying for.
Obviously, you should list the name of your college and details of the degree you studied, but remember to include notable achievements that will help you to stand out from the next college student. If you won any academic awards or scored a high GPA, then list these as eye-catching points.
While it is important to include any relevant work experience or jobs that you have done, don’t forget that any sort of work experience can be beneficial to mention here too. You pick up all sorts of soft and hard skills from the work that you do. So even if you held down a job that isn’t directly related to the post you are after, if you learned some valuable transferable skills from doing the job that will come in handy in your new role – list them!
Why Extra-curricular Activities are important
You may be wondering if you should include any extra-curricular activities on your college resume. After all, would a potential new employer really be that interested to know about these things?
The answer to this question is ‘YES’.
You should include your extra-curricular activities simply because you may have very little actual work experience to back up your resume with. Doing activities outside of the college environment can show a potential employer that you have good skills and abilities to bring to the role.
Whether you spent time as part of a club or sporting group, did some volunteering work or walked and took care of your neighbors’ dogs, you would have developed some good interpersonal skills, prioritizing and organizational skills that can be very valuable.
You should also mention any examples where you took on a leadership role. If you managed or organized a club or a team, you can demonstrate that you have the ability to lead. This shows an employer that you would be able to handle more responsibility in your role in the future.
Word your Resume Carefully
Your college resume isn’t the place to be modest or reserved about your talents. You need to make yourself stand out from all the other generic applications coming through from others. You can do this by using strong action verbs.
Wording your resume with action verbs will help to make your experiences sound more dynamic and responsible. This will help your resume to look more energetic to the eye and make you stand out better than an applicant using a passive or modest voice.
While on the subject of wording your resume, remember to quantify your statements wherever possible. Break up the text with numbers to better demonstrate your achievements. For example, rather than say that you volunteered as a cashier in a visitor center, instead say that you helped between 80 to 100 customers per day, handling cash sales and customer queries, in a busy gift shop within a popular visitor center.
One Edit is Never Enough!
Finally, and probably the most important tip when building your college resume, make sure you edit your resume more than once. In fact you should edit, edit, and edit again! Get someone to proofread your resume carefully for you or make use of a grammar checker such as Grammarly . Having a fresh pair of eyes look over your resume will give you a chance to pick up on any missed typos that your brain doesn’t see.
When in doubt, use a Resume Template
Even if you take on-board all of the above tips, it can still be difficult to create your first resume layout. Using a good quality customizable resume template is just like using a guide to help you through creating your own resume. Take a look at our helpful guide about choosing the right resume template to suit your needs, with examples of our professionally designed free to use resume templates.
A template can help you to organize your content as well as show you where to include it. Formatting is very easy and you can tailor your resume template to become quite unique and individual, yet give it a very professional and organized edge that employers like to read.