Job hunting is no walk in the park, particularly if you’re a college student. After all, not everyone in college or even those who just graduated have a lot of relevant work experience. This makes writing a resume an extra tricky task.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create a strong resume. With the right resume writing tips for college students, you can leverage your current skills and experience to enter and succeed in the workforce.
Focus on Your Education
As a college student, your education will likely be one of, if not the strongest assets in your arsenal. This is especially true if you’re applying for a position that’s in line with your current studies.
When writing your resume, put your education section towards the top. Include your current college then your major and minor. Other education information that may help include:
- A strong GPA
- Expected graduation date
- Study abroad or exchange student experience
You can also highlight relevant coursework and classes you may have attended even if they weren’t necessarily part of your curriculum, if they helped you learn valuable skills.
Highlight Volunteer Work and Extracurriculars
One of the best resume building tips for college students is to highlight your current related experience. Even if you haven’t had any formal work experience, you can still include other paid work like tutoring or part-time jobs. Make sure you describe your work or responsibilities in a clear, simple, and concise manner.
Other experiences you should also include are:
- Unpaid internships
- Part-time work at the university
- Unpaid work in school organizations
- Extracurricular activities
Related experiences such as these show you’ve got a good work ethic, can work well with others, and can handle responsibility.
It’s also a great idea to include volunteer experience, particularly if the work you do helps you hone valuable soft skills.
Emphasize Your Hard and Soft Skills
Another important section to include in your resume as a college student is the skills section. These include hard or technical skills you may have learned through your course or own study. Examples of these include photo and video editing, foreign languages, and even first aid training.
It’s also important to emphasize your soft skills — particularly if your list of hard skills still aren’t much. Key soft skills employers will look for include time management, team work, and effective communication.
Include High Quality References
Make sure to include high-quality and trustworthy references in your college student resume. Avoid putting down your friends or classmates. Even if they know you better, they likely have the same lack of practical work experience as you.
As much as possible, list individuals who have experience in your career or industry of choice. Your professor, dean, or organization head of your volunteer group are also ideal choices.
Format Your Resume Well
Resumes are often formatted to highlight work history or experience. Look for designs (or make your own, if you’re in the creative field) that would highlight your education, hard and soft skills, and related experience instead.
More importantly, tailor the resume content according to the position you’re applying for. Take a look at the preferred qualifications and skills of the job posting and emphasize those that apply for you.
Last Words of Advice
There are many other resume tips for college students with no experience. However, even with just these five tips, you can already make your CV stand out. By tweaking your resume, you can successfully navigate the job hunting landscape. Remember, everyone starts off with little to no experience — what’s important is learning how to highlight what skills you currently have.