Creating the Perfect College Resume

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a resume. I saw my two older sisters making one when they were in college and high school, so my middle school self thought, “Hey, I must need to make one too!” Of course all it had was a few volunteering jobs and one baby sitting job, but hey, it was a resume right? It wasn’t until the end of high school/ beginning of college I realized how much a good resume and cover letter can really do for me. And I’m here to tell you today exactly how you can have the perfect college resume and what it can do for you too!

Not only will having a professional resume help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, it might even help you land that dream job you’ve been wanting! Below are a few tips for those in and out of college that can help you create a resume to represent your best self!

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WHY DO I NEED A RESUME?

Resumes can be used not only for your future career, but for:

  • Part-time jobs
  • Internships
  • Freelance jobs
  • Volunteer opportunities.

By creating your perfect college resume, you’ll be able to gain experience in writing a resume- I created about 5 different resumes before I thought it finally represented me in the way I wanted to be represented. Not only this, but you’ll also be able to see your strengths and weaknesses. Some college students don’t even realize how little experience they have until they’ve finally written it out. A college resume allows you to keep track of your accomplishments and the experiences you’ve gained throughout the years!

BUT I HAVE NO REAL EXPERIENCES

Real experiences don’t just mean jobs (full or part time)! Okay, I’m not going to lie to you. A lot of employers write in a job description that they want someone with “1-2 years experience”. This does mean paid experience, but that also doesn’t mean that everything else you’ve done in college is negligible! Don’t ever let someone tell you the experience you’ve gained is unimportant!

Here are some ideas of college experience that can be added to your resume:

  • Club leadership roles (president of a sports club, secretary of a science club)
  • Tutoring jobs (on/ off of campus)
  • Full/ part time jobs (within the past 4 years)
  • Volunteer work (within the past 1-2 years, unless it’s been a recurring volunteer opportunity for x amount of years)
  • Internship opportunities
  • Research opportunities
  • Campus jobs (see my previous post for examples)
  • Academic accomplishments (dean’s list, scholarships)
  • Training you’ve completed (Microsoft Word Specialist, CPR training, EPIC trained)

Some things to not add to your resume:

  • Clubs you’ve only attended a few meetings for
  • A job you’ve had for a few months 5 years ago
  • A fun run from high school you participated in for cancer awareness

Things to keep in mind when creating your resume is that you need to base it off of your major and your career goals. Employers are looking for hardworking, committed people! Most employers are understanding and will realize that you may not have 5 years of paid experience. They will, however, be impressed with the efforts you have made to grow your skills in your respective field. For example, I’m a science major. During college, I tutored in science and math, worked in three different research labs, and volunteered in healthcare settings.

HOW DO I GET THESE OPPORTUNITIES?

Honestly, your college has pretty much every resource you will need to succeed – you just need to utilize them!

Ideas on who/ where to go for experience:

  • Go to your school’s career center
  • Speak with your advisor for opportunities they might know about
  • Ask your professors if they are looking for a TA or research assistant
  • Look at school boards around campus for posted job opportunities

There are so many places to find a job or opportunity. Sometimes it’s in the most simple of places- we just need to be actively looking.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PERFECT COLLEGE RESUME

If you look at any online website, they will tell you the standard list of things to include in your resume. Below are the most important things to have on it:

  • Contact information (email address, phone number)
  • Education history (school you’ve attended, years you’ve attended, GPA)
  • Work experience (how long you’ve worked there and a description of your duties)
  • Volunteer opportunities (how long you’ve volunteered there)
  • References (at least three with how they are related to you, phone numbers, and email addresses)

Some might say that this is enough to put in a resume. However, if you want to go above an beyond, here are some things you can add to your resume to allow future employers to see a well-rounded view of your personality and skills.

  • Profile: This is typically a 100-200 word overview about yourself in 3rd person. This section focuses on your career goals and experiences related to this goal.
  • Achievements: This is a brief list of your awards and achievements. These should be related to your academic and career goals. Examples of this would be making the dean’s list in college, placing in a research symposium, or earning a scholarship based off of your academic achievements.
  • Technical skills: If you happen to be certified in a certain skill or have experience with certain programs, add them to your resume! For example, I am a Microsoft Word and Powerpoint Specialist. I received training and earned a certificate after taking an exam for this title.

WHEN SHOULD I START MAKING ONE?

Honestly, now! Starting early is always best since you’ll be updating and altering your resume all throughout college. I had a basic template for my resume for the longest time, until I started my freshman year of college. After each experience I found relevant to my career goals, I would add it to my resume. This continued all throughout college until I graduated. All I had to do once I started applying for full-time jobs was alter a few things here and there and I was ready to go!

One thing for sure is you should always have someone look over your resume. Either a trusted adult, your school advisor, or the career center! There are so many people out there wanting to help you succeed! Just remember to go for it and utilize these opportunities!

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For all my college students or fellow post-grads out there, always remember that you’ve got this! So many people are rooting for you, including myself!

When did you start making your perfect college resume? Do you have any resume tips or tricks? Leave them in the comments below!

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