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College Student Resume Writing Tips


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The prospect of creating a resume can be a daunting one for a college student. After all what of great significance have you done at this early stage of your life? However, you may be surprised about the types of things that employers value in a college applicant and how simple it might be for you to demonstrate that you have the right stuff!

Here are some pointers to help you represent your background in the most favorable way:

College Student Resume Writing Tips

Take inventory of your experiences prior to taking on the challenging task of crafting the precise language to compose your resume descriptions. Brainstorm a list of your most significant experiences drawing from all aspects of your life including academics, school activities, community service, athletics, jobs and internships. Place a star next to the experiences when you learned the most, excelled the most or were most motivated.

The most effective resumes are targeted towards a specific job or set of jobs highlighting the candidate's most relevant skills and experiences. So meet with Career Services staff, research careers and learn about what employers in those niches are looking for in candidates for jobs or internships. If you have several different employment goals then devise corresponding versions of your resume.

Paint a dynamic picture of yourself as you write descriptions of your experiences. Focus on the most active components of your role. Begin your statements with skills or action verbs like organized, taught, trained, oriented, interviewed, wrote, calculated, led, researched, evaluated etc.

Start your descriptions with the most responsible and impressive elements of your experience. Your resume should include mostly the highlights of your individual experiences so feel free to leave out the mundane aspects!

Employers look for candidates who can generate positive results for their organization and add value. Review each of your experiences and try to portray any mini successes or accomplishments which you achieved in your role. Ask yourself how you helped make that club, class, organization or team just a little bit better. Note anything which you helped to improve or initiated. Start your phrases with words which denote positive change like enhanced, improved, established, upgraded, revitalized, initiated, increased, expanded, created etc. Use numbers if possible to indicate measurable positive outcomes.

Your most significant "job" as a college student is usually being an engaged learner. Make sure you include any references to your success as a student. Of course this might include a high GPA, a high GPA in your major (particularly if you major is demanding or relevant to your job objective) or good grades in the last few semesters. For students who struggled early on but came into their own, you might include "Junior/Senior GPA" or "GPA last 3 semesters" as a device to underscore your current productivity.

Include descriptions of academic projects such as capstones, senior theses and independent studies which showcase writing, research and presentation skills.

Employers value leadership so be sure to include any references to organizing, recruiting, leading, training and motivating your peers while engaged in co-curricular activities. Not everyone can be captain or president so work with fellow club/group members to devise descriptive and impressive titles for your roles like promotions coordinator, recruitment director, finance director or peer counselor.

Employers in most sectors value community service and view it as an indication of maturity so be sure to include any reference to volunteer pursuits in your resume.

Obsessively review your document and make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Have advisors, parents, friends and career services staff critique your resume as well. Meet with alumni in your targeted field to get some feedback regarding how well you have tailored your document to their needs.

Entice employers to view samples of your work and recommendations by including a link on your resume to your webpage, LinkedIn page or other portfolio site (ask your Career Service staff for recommendation for your school).

Don't have any regrets, take the time to follow these steps and make the best possible impression on employers so that you can land interviews for exciting jobs and internships.

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