You’re about to write a college student resume. Whether you’re looking for a college internship in your field or a part-time job to help pay tuition, you’re ready to balance work and school. However—
To get your college job, you’ll need a college resume that’s damn compelling and dressed to the nines. But don’t worry.
One of our users, Nikos, had this to say:
[I used] a nice template I found on Zety. My resume is now
one page long, not three. With the same stuff.
We've got more specific guides for students—check the list below to see if one applies to you:
Now, let's learn how to write a college student resume without delay:
1 College Student Resume Example Clarice Zelmaski Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Motivated college student with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Montana State University, Bozeman seeking an internship opportunity with Synthex Inc., to use my interpersonal and communication skills to help create effective social campaigns. Experienced in project planning, time management, and problem-solving, with notable achievements in research projects and the workplace.
Experience Research Intern Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
June 2019–August 2019
Conducted research on the effects of media on society using SPSS and Excel to analyze data drawn from primary sources. Developed survey forms for data collection while collaborating with professors and other interns on assigned project tasks. Assisted professor in teaching sociology classes, including setting up classroom materials and preparing lectures. Graded papers and provided feedback to students. Key Achievement: Drafted an independent research paper that was published at an academic journal conference held at Stanford University in May 2020. Hospitality Intern The Baxter Hotel, Bozeman, MT
July 2017–August 2017
Assisted guests during their stay by answering questions, providing directions, and resolving complaints in a professional manner. Provided customer service support for hotel amenities such as restaurant reservations, laundry services, transportation arrangements, etc. Collaborated with front desk staff to fulfill requests quickly while maintaining accuracy of records according to established procedures. Key Achievement: Received an Employee of the Month award from The Baxter Hotel for excellent customer service satisfaction ratings throughout the summer season of 2017. Education Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Montana State University Bozeman, MT
September 2016–May 2020
Relevant Extracurricular Activities
Student Ambassador Program – Montana State University (September 2018–March 2020)
Represented the university at various career fairs while delivering presentations about academic programs and campus life events. Hosted community outreach events where students had the opportunity to give back by providing donations or volunteering their time. Academic Achievement Dean’s List Honor every semester since Fall 2016. Skills Interpersonal & Communication Project Planning & Time Management Data Analysis & Problem-Solving Research Methods & Writing Flexible & Detail-Oriented Teamwork & Organizational Skills Customer Service & Computer Literacy Certifications First Aid Certification American Red Cross - 2015 Awards Best Student Paper Award – Stanford Academic Conference - May 2020 Most Outstanding Student Volunteer – MSU Community Outreach Program – December 2019 Membership Member of the National Honors Society since 2018 Language English (Native) Spanish (Fluent) Interests Cooking (Culinary Certificate from Le Cordon Bleu Institute) Drawing (Awarded 1st place for sketching competition at a local art festival) Use the Right College Student Resume Format
Remember double spacing and 12pt fonts from English Composition I? Formatting rules apply here, too.
How many pages should a resume be? One. Once you build up plenty of relevant experience, it can hit two pages or longer. For now, keep it brief. The purpose of a resume is to show recruiters that your application is relevant to the opening. Too much information can only backfire.
Next, stick to the standard (reverse)
chronological resume format. You can experiment with the functional resume, but weight its pros and cons before putting a ring on it.
Using reverse-chron locks the document down and keeps it straight.
Here’s what a resume should look like: Start your college student resume with an attention-grabbing summary or objective. Cover your current academic accomplishments in detail, complete with Latin honors and relevant coursework. Document the work history you have, if any, along with quantifiable achievements. List college student resume skills relevant to the position by studying the job description. Add extra sections to stand out, such as languages, volunteer work, and hobbies.
Use white space and section headings to guide the employer’s eye through your
resume sections. Don’t cram it all together. Choose the best resume fonts to keep it legible.
Keep in mind that since you’re a current college student, your work experience is less relevant or nonexistent. If you add employment history, put it below your more-impressive education section.
Writing a resume for a current college student
with no experience? No worries. Skip the work history section—but beef up the other areas to make up for it.
remember to format your contact info section right: Place the contact info section in the right place. On a single-column resume, your contact deets go at the very top, above the summary or objective. On a two-column resume, though, it will go beside the heading statement. Use a professional email address—meaning no more “ email@example.com.” Be careful with social media URLs. An optimized LinkedIn profile is always ideal, but again, relevance is key, like a Pinterest link if you’re a designer. Skip unnecessary personal information, such as your date of birth, citizenship, marriage status, or political leanings. The address on your resume is only important for local jobs. Check the job description first to see if they only want candidates from a certain city or region. Pro Tip: As you’re writing your college student resume, save it as a PDF. The PDF format allows hiring managers to read it as you intended, no matter which device or browser they open it up on.
Not convinced using the reverse-chronological format is right for your resume for college students? There are other options. See our guide:
Best Resume Format: What Resume Model to Choose? [+ Resume Format Examples] 2 Write a Captivating College Student Resume Summary or Objective
Have you ever nodded off during a lecture? Don’t let it happen here. Your college student resume introduction is the first thing they’ll see, so captivate them from the get-go.
vitae to your curriculum with one of two choices: the resume summary or the resume objective.
Got a bit of work experience already?
Use a student resume summary. This brief paragraph gives key skills, experience, and a numbered achievement to bolster your candidacy. Here’s an example of a current college student resume summary: College Student Resume: Examples of Summaries
right Personable and dependable finance sophomore at SUNY with 1 year part-time experience in an accountancy internship. Top customer satisfaction score (98%) and instrumental in bringing in over 500 new clients because of campus outreach efforts.
wrong Data-driven, results-loving finance student with experience assisting clients with banking, managing assets, deposits and withdrawals, counting money, auditing books, and cross-selling bank products. Has great customer service skills and passion for growth and knowledge.
What do you think of these two student resume summary examples? That wrong example puts the
douche in fiduciary. It’s just one cliché after another. Also, it lists your past responsibilities, but they’ve no idea how well you fulfilled those duties.
It’s as undesirable as an exam day hangover. That right one tho—it gives a brief intro into your work experience and skills, and it offers up several wins with numbers to prove your know-how.
But, what if you have a resume for a college student with no experience?
Use a resume objective. The objective informs the prospective company about your career goals. A quick glance at your education, skills, and a quantifiable achievement strengthens your statement.
Here are two sample resume objectives for college students:
Resume Examples for College Students: Resume Objective
right Current undergraduate sophomore in business finance with dozens of classroom hours in finance management and banking related courses. Seeking to leverage top investment strategy sandbox rates (250%+ returns) and Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC) certification to grow with Astoria Investments as the new financial consultant.
wrong To obtain a challenging finance job or accounting position where I can develop myself and my accounting skills and become a high-level professional.
See the differences in these resume examples for college students? That wrong example somehow manages to take two lines while saying absolutely nothing at all.
The right one, however, aces Resume Objective 101. You talked up relevant coursework, included numbers with your accomplishments, and gave your career goals. Also, you included the company’s name to keep it exclusive.
Pro Tip: Don’t write your objective or summary first. Sure, it goes at the top, but save it for the end to use the rest of the college resume to inform what you’ll say here.
Want more advice on writing a career summary or career objective on resumes for college students? Check out our guides:
and Professional Resume Summary Examples [20+ Resume Summary Statement Examples] General Resume Objective Examples [20+Examples of Great Career Objectives]
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check?
Check. Start building a . professional resume template here for free
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will score your resume and our Zety’s resume builder will tell you resume checker exactly how to make it better. 3 Highlight Education on a College Student Resume
Would you listen to an English professor who constantly made grammatical errors? It’s similar here. The hiring manager will pass you by if you hand in a college student resume with a poorly written education section. Listing your education correctly is crucial.
Sample Resume for a College Student—Education Section Majoring in Finance (Bachelor of Science) SUNY College of Technology at Canton, Canton, NY Expected Graduation: 2021 Relevant Coursework: Macroeconomics, Accounting, Statistics, Financial Management, Banking, Investing, and Real Estate Add your high school info below that:
Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, NY
Finally, your academic section is probably more impressive than your work history section at this stage of your life, so put it on top below your resume heading statement.
Pro Tip: Instead of adding a date (“ expected graduation: 2023”), using credits or hours may be more suitable for your situation (“Completed 50 credits toward BS in Science”).
Got something other than these common educational scenarios? Check this guide out:
Education Resume Section: How to List High School & College Education
Don't know how to add unfinished college on your resume? Take a look at this guide:
How to List Unfinished College on a Resume 4 Include Relevant Experience in a College Student Resume
The NCES says
employment rates for bachelor’s holders were higher in 2000 than in 2017. But there were 50% more bachelor’s students during that time. With more of you competing for employment and fewer jobs to go around, it’s an uphill battle.
So, if you have
relevant experience, like an internship, write a work history section sure to put you at the head of the class. Here’s a sample college student resume: Resume Sample for College Students—Experience
right Finance & Accounting Intern January 2018–December 2018 Bowery Banking, New York, NY Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Assisted in bank reconciliations, processing purchase orders, and performing account analysis. Performed archiving of cash receipts and bank reconciliation documents. Collected and reviewed international market data and intelligence. Key Achievement Earned top investment strategy sandbox rates (250%+ returns).
wrong Financial Accountant Intern January 2018–December 2018 Bowery Banking, New York, NY Key Responsibilities Counted money. Helped clients. Microsoft Office.
Like a frat party without a keg, the second one is missing something crucial. Don’t just
list your job responsibilities. Include key achievements with numbers (like in the heading statement) to prove your skills.
hat if you haven’t yet had any relevant work at all? No problem. Still add that work experience. However, when making bullet points of your responsibilities and achievements, choose only the points most pertinent to the job.
Here’s a sample resume for a college student with less-relevant job history:
College Student Resume Example—Work History
right Assistant Supervisor January 2016–December 2017 Chloe’s Clothing Cabin, New York, NY Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Captured client data in accordance with company “data capture” procedures. Managed and approved billing from vendors with finance department. Processed all POS transactions swiftly and accurately while maintaining personable relationship with clients. Key Achievement Received top reviews (99%) for friendliest customer service.
See that? Even though you were just a clothing store manager, in this example, you talked up the
achievements and job responsibilities you had which are most relevant to your finance specialty.
Had several short-term freelance gigs? Add the most notable ones, only. If you have volunteer work you’d like to add, we’ll talk about that in a moment.
Pro Tip: Stop using weak and tired words, like “responsible for” such and such. Employers hate this and won’t call you in for an interview. Instead, choose action verbs and powerful words, like “cultivated,” “implemented,” or “spearheaded.”
Beefing up your experience section to land in a sorority? Check out our guide on how to write such a resume:
Sorority Resume for College Students 5 List Skills on a Resume for College Students
You’ve got some mad, bad, undergrad skills. But, guess what? So do all your college student competitors.
Show them you’re the
summa cum laude candidate while the others are subpar by listing the best skills to include on a resume. Which skills, though?
Begin with a basic skills list, and include both
: hard skills and soft skills Hard skills are those you learn (e.g., Adobe Photoshop) Soft skills are those you develop throughout life (e.g., creative thinking skills).
Here are the most popular college resume skills:
Skills for College Student Resumes
However, here’s the thing.
Don’t just add these basic skills and call it a day. Instead, go to the job ad and use that as open-book test notes.
Here’s a sample job advertisement:
Assist in development and analysis of the annual budget and quarterly reforecasts.  Participate in monthly, quarterly and annual closing and audit process. Partner closely with accounting team to assure recurring journal entries have been booked.  Provide financial analysis on operational metrics to help drive strategic decisions and drive organizational initiatives, working closely with senior corporate executives and system general managers. Support business development team with financial modeling in response to system RFPs. 
The job description is a cheat sheet you’re allowed—
encouraged!—to use: Resume Examples for College Students—Skills Section
right Knowledgeable in development and analysis of budgets  Effective at accounting and booking entries  Skilled at financial modeling 
wrong Deposits. Withdrawals. Bookkeeping.
How about these two college resume examples? The wrong skills repel them like a research paper without citations. If you
tailor your resume, though, it works just right.
play nice with the ATS. The applicant tracking system is a software program which allows larger companies, recruiters, and hiring agencies to manage the barrage of resumes they take in each day.
HR staff scan each resume into the program. Then, they ask it to find resumes which have specific
resume keywords. In return, they get a score back based on each applicant’s match to the job description.
To ensure your college student resume is
ATS compatible, follow the wording in the job ad.
Want more tips for writing the skills section for college student resumes? See our guide:
. 99 Key Skills for a Resume (All Types of Professional Skills with Examples Included!) 6 Add Other Sections to Your College Student Resume
From your clothing to your car to your friendly smile, making yourself unique is easy to do in person on the university campus. But on a college student resume, it’s a different story. Those last few sections were part of the
core curriculum, meaning every college student included them on their resumes.
Stand out by adding a few
electives—extra college resume sections. Here are some great choices for you: Resume for a College Student: Extra Sections
Many employers give more weight to certificates than degrees, particularly in specialized fields. Include relevant certifications, such as the
Chartered Market Technician (CMT) for finance or the ServSafe Food Handler Certification for food service professions.
Volunteer experience always looks great on a college student resume. It gives you a chance to highlight relevant skills and show you're a great person.
Proficiency in another language stands out like a beacon on a resume for a college student. Follow a standardized proficiency scale to ensure employers understand your knowledge.
Hobbies & Interests
Adding interests and hobbies on a college resume demonstrates soft skills like leadership and teamwork when simply listing them won’t do. The same thing goes for
extracurricular activities that you engaged in as a student. It’s a great place to show rather than tell.
Add your portfolio URL to the resume contact information section, which we’ll go over next. A portfolio is an awesome way to give concrete examples of your work—and bonus real estate as an addendum to your college student resume.
Listing projects as part of your work experience section or in a separate category can beef up your resume with additional valuable information. If it's relevant, it goes on the resume. If this
experience is irrelevant, leave it off your resume.
list references on a resume. If employers need them, they'll ask or simply do some back-channelling.
We’ve got a great guide on the best
things to add to a resume and a tutorial on resume sections and categories. Check them out! Pro Tip: There are other additional sections to add to a college student resume template, such as licenses, publications, lectures, awards, etc. Choose the ones which help get you to the college student job interview.
Write a Matching College Student Cover Letter
Sending a college student resume without a cover letter is like drinking a Red Bull before bedtime—not a bright idea.
Always submit a cover letter, because more than half of all HR managers say a college student resume alone isn’t enough. Here’s are several tips to ace the college student cover letter: Start with a compelling introduction, like you did in your resume heading. Explain why you are the best candidate they could possibly hire. Prove to them how competent you are with some numbered accomplishments. Show them you want to be part of their team with enthusiasm. Close it with a powerful ending statement and strong call-to-action. Pro Tip: Before you send your college student resume and cover letter off, use Grammarly to check it for typos and errors. Then, ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume draft to make sure it reads well.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our
Here's what it may look like: cover letter builder here.
cover letter templates and start writing.
Need more? Read our
and College Student Cover Letter Example & Guide How to Write a Cover Letter. Key Takeaway
Want a recap of our best tips for writing a college student resume? Let’s sum up.
Here's how to create a college resume that deserves honors:
Use reverse-chronological format. All employers are familiar with this resume format and will find it easy to read. Start with a captivating objective or summary. A good college student resume summary or career objective is compelling and sums up your resume nicely. Write a great resume education section. Your academic achievements are key on an college resume. Add relevant coursework, Latin honors, publications, etc. Document previous job history. Don’t just list your job responsibilities. Prove you were great at them with key wins and accomplishments. List relevant skills. Include both hard skills and soft skills with resume keywords from the job ad. Add extra resume sections. Stand out from the other college student applicants by adding volunteer work, certifications, hobbies, interests, and languages. Attach a college cover letter. Always include a cover letter for college student jobs. Proofread and edit. Check for typographical and timeline errors, and then ask a friend to see how it reads.
Now THIS is a college resume that takes the other candidates to school!
Got any questions on how to write a college resume? Need more professional resume tips for college students? Get at us in the comments below, and thanks for reading!