How to Write a Stellar Resume in College
College is this weird time where you have little to no experience but expected to have a flawless resume in order to get internships or post- grad jobs. But have no fear! Creating a stellar resume with just college experience is easier than you think. I have also created a few printables that will help you beef up your resume.
Heads up!! I am studying PR and advertising so I am applying for jobs in a creative industry. Most of these tips are directed towards such industry and may not apply for everyone.
- Make a list of all the experience you have. Include any and all jobs, relevant classes you have taken, philanthropy work you have done, clubs you have been a part of and positions you held. Seriously, all of it. Now cross off any of these positions you had before college. Well- ah! You have the bare bones of your resume.
- Find or create a template. Personally, I created mine on InDesign (which is a built-in sample of my adobe experience) but you can also find resume templates on canva.com or purchase them on Etsy. Make sure the template you use reflects the position you are applying for. If you are going into a creative field, this is the first test of your skills. Make it catchy because you only have their attention for about 3 seconds before they judge you based off your resume. If you are going into a STEM or business related field, make it less cutesy and fun and go for a more black and white structure.
- Further narrow the skills you wrote down to just the ones that are relevant to the to you are applying to. You can also emphasize on specific things within one job that applies more towards what you are applying for.
The Nitty Gritty
- Use at least 5 keywords from the job description in your resume. These will stick out to recruiters (or recruiting programs) and set your resume apart from the masses.
- Make sure there are absolutely no spelling or grammar issues in your resume. Read it over, have your best friend read it over, ask your professor to read it, ask the career services office to read over it, ask your mom to read over it- the more eyes, the less likely you are to have a mistake and the more feedback you will receive. Some of it constructive, others not so much but take it all in and consider it before submitting your resume.
- Quantify your experience. Don't just say I reconciled banks, say I reconciled banks up to $6,000.
- Create a summary section instead of an object sentence. Here, put any relative experience you may have (including qualifications from the job description).
- Keep your resume to one full page. At the end of the day, you're a college student or recent grad, not the CEO of Apple. You don't have enough relevant experience to fill two full pages.
- Don't include references on your resume. You don't know how long someone will hold on to your resume for and you don't want those references to "expire" or forget who you are.
- Don't include a picture of yourself on your resume. Save it for your Linkedin. Due to discrimination laws in the US, a lot times employers will throw away a resume the second they receive it if a head shot is on it so an applicant can't go back and say they didn't get hired because of what they looked like. Just avoid the head ache and leave it off.
- Do include your social handles if they are professional and relevant. Hint: If you are applying to any kind of creative job, they are most likely relevant so keep 'em professional.
- Consider keeping color off your resume. Sure it looks pretty and 90% of the time it will be fine because employers will look at your resume online but if they print it out in black and white, it will not have the look you are going after.
- Keep your address, social security number, and any bank info off your resume. Save that for HR when you do get hired for personal security reasons.
Here is a printable I created about power words for your resume.
This week is career development week!! Check back every day this week for new tips and tricks in professional growth.
What do you do to make your resume stand out? Let's chat in the comments!