Resumes are a necessary part of the job search process and as college students are preparing to graduate or enter the work force, their first resume needs to create a powerful first impression. College student resumes are going to differ slightly from a resume of a person who has been working for several years and is changing careers or positions, as their work experience and employment history will be showcased more prominently. So can a college student resume still create that strong impact and get those interview calls coming? Absolutely! Here are some tips to consider when creating your resume right out of college.
- Tip #1 – Format Is Everything. If you have never written a resume before, you might think that there is only one resume format available and that you must write your resume to that exact format. Wrong! There are several resume formats available and they each have their own pros and cons. The three standard resume formats that are widely used in the job market today are the chronological, functional, and combination (or hybrid) formats. Choose a format that compliments your prior work history during college or one that focuses more on showcasing your skills and achievements during your time in school. Extra tip – We’ve written hundreds of resumes and our most popular format for college student resumes is the combination resume format.
- Tip #2 – What’s Your Objective? Starting your resume with a plain and boring resume objective statement is not going to make the impression that you need to stand out from the crowd. Everyone knows that you are hard-working and they expect you to be a team player and so on. What you need is a powerful paragraph that sets the stage for the rest of your resume. That type of a paragraph is known as a skill summary or a summary of qualifications. A summary of qualifications can effectively present your college experience in a way that’s attractive to your potential employer, by focusing on your skills and what you can bring to the table.
- Tip #3. – Fill Their Needs In Your Resume With Your Skills. When you are first coming out of college, most employers will see that you do not have a wealth of employment experience. This does not mean that your resume can’t be just as effective in demonstrating what you can offer your potential employer. If you do not have a wealth of employment experience under your belt, then we recommend selecting the combination resume format and really showcase your skills up front in your resume. What skills do you include on your college student resume? All of the skills you’ve been acquiring during your college education! There are many that you many not have even thought of so here’s a quick way to being listing some of them with a simple brainstorming process. Begin by writing a list of all of the associations, organizations, activities, clubs, events and more that you have ever participated in during your college career. Next to each item, try and list some of the skills that were needed to perform any of the functions or if you lead the event, what was required of you? For Example: If you were a member of a fraternity or student council, did you hold any offices or chair any committees? Did you assist with planning or organizing any events? If so, then list those great skills such as communication, coordination, leadership, organization, time management, and others on your brainstorming sheet an include them in your resume.
College student resumes can be powerful and effective when they demonstrate a graduate’s skills and ability to make an immediate impact for a company. So take time to review what you’ve accomplished over your college education and the skills you’ve acquired and make that the start of a great resume.
Here’s to success in your job search!