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Writing a student resume is challenging.
Few things in life can be as frustrating as looking for a job as a student, after all.
Whatever gig you’re trying to land, your main problem stays the same:
You’re facing a lot of competition—and most of them have way more professional experience than you.
How are you going to beat them?
The answer is simple. By writing a perfect student resume. One that impresses every recruiter and gets your foot in the door.
Seem impossible? Take heart. I’m going to teach you how to make a job-winning student resume in a flash.
This guide will show you:
Below, you’ll see a student resume example.
Want to save time and have your student resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you'll get tips and right vs. wrong examples while writing your resume. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Student Resume Example - See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.
If you’re writing a college scholarship resume, or any other student resume for a scholarship, here’s a guide that will answer all your questions: Scholarship Resume (Template & Complete Guide 20+ Examples)
Want to make an internship student resume that will help you outperform your peers? Learn how to do it here: Internship Resume for College Students: Guide (+20 Examples)
And if you need to make an academic CV for college admissions have a look at our comprehensive guide: Academic CV: Example, Template & Writing Guide [with 20+ Expert Tips]
Before you start writing your resume, ask yourself the following question:
What’s the most important difference between your student resume and any other piece of writing you’ve done so far?
Well—nobody really cares about your resume.
As a high school or college student, you’ve had all your writing assignments carefully reviewed and assessed by your supervisors.
This won’t be the case with your student resume. In fact, it will most likely get no more than 6 seconds of the recruiter’s attention.
How can you turn that 6-second glance into a 60-minute interview?
To begin with, choose the proper student resume format.
See—recruiters look for very specific information on a resume. A good resume format serves them this information on a silver platter.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an internship student resume, a high school student resume for a part-time gig, or a graduate student resume for your first job. The rules of a good student resume format are the same.
The most important thing about formatting your student resume is dividing it into sections.
What to put on a college resume?
If you want to make sure you’ll get your student resume format and layout the right way and grab every recruiter’s attention, here’s a must-read guide for you: Resume Formats: How to Format a Resume for Greatest Impact?
Once you’ve got this simple student resume outline, keep in mind some basic student resume formatting rules.
Here are the six best student resume tips you should follow:
Pro Tip: After you finish writing, save your student resume in PDF. This way, your layout will remain intact. But double-check the job description. Some employers don’t accept PDFs. If such is the case, submit your student resume in Word.
Right, so now you’ve seen a sample college student resume layout and you’ve learned the most important resume design tricks.
Let’s break down each section so that your resume makes you the future Steve Wozniak, Umberto Eco, Nikola Tesla, Iron Man, or whoever else you’re aspiring to become!
Listing contact information on your student resume might seem like a walk in the park. Truth is, it’s not always as straightforward as you think!
Here’s what you need to include:
“Wow, this one’s really interesting.”
You want the hiring manager to say these words as soon as she sees your student resume.
Here’s how to make that happen:
Write a student resume objective and put it right below the contact information.
A resume objective is a short, snappy paragraph in which you say why you’re the perfect candidate.
The tricky part?
You have to make your student resume objective about your employer’s gain, not your personal benefit.
And the good news? There’s a proven formula for that.
See how it works on an example of a college student resume objective. Let’s say our candidate majors in Business Administration.
|Highly-motivated (strong trait) Business Administration graduate with a 3.9 GPA (education) looking to fill a position as a Management Assistant at ABC Corp (position and company). Wishing to use strong data-analysis and management skills to help the ABC Corp with your upcoming challenges (added value).|
Writing a high school student resume with no experience? The formula is the same. Have a look.
In this high school resume objective example, the candidate’s looking for a part-time job as a server.
|Dedicated team player (captain of the swim team for 2 years) (education) with proven leadership and communication skills (strong traits). Seeking an opportunity to leverage my talents as a server at the Mele e Pere Restaurant (position and company). I have the follow-through and positive attitude that will allow me to achieve company targets (added value).|
Nailed it. It’s a perfect objective to put on a resume for teens.
Notice how both the grad resume objective and the high school resume objective emphasize how the two candidates are going to use their talents to their future employers’ benefit.
Also—both sample student resume objectives above include the name of the prospective company.
That’s a strategy you have to use too. Sure, it means you cannot randomly spam your resume around. And that’s the point. Employers are more likely to give you a shot if you address them personally.
Pro Tip: Don’t make your student resume objective longer than 60 words. Feel like it’s not enough? Write a compelling cover letter. Especially if you haven’t got much work experience, a good student cover letter is your best chance for getting a foot in the door!
If you want to learn more about writing a professional objectives for student resumes and see student resume objective samples for various industries, have a look at this guide: 20+ Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume (Tips)
What goes under the resume objective on a college or high school resume?
That’s right, the Education section.
It’s time for all those courses you’ve slaved over for years to start paying off!
What to put in a student resume education section?
That depends on the highest degree of your education. The rule of thumb is: include only your highest degree. The only exception? If you’re doing or have done a Master’s degree, include also your Bachelor’s. On a college grad resume, omit your high school.
Anyways—always put your current or most recent educational institution at the top. Then, follow it with the previous ones.
In each education entry, include:
These are included in a basic resume for students. But a basic student resume won’t impress anyone.
How much do you want this job? This much? Good. So let’s boost your student resume education section.
To make your resume more impressive, add the following to your education entries:
Pro Tip: Listing your GPA is optional. In general, add it only if it’s higher than 3.5. The most important part? Be consistent. If you list more than one educational institution you’ve attended—either include all GPAs or none.
Let’s have a look at some examples of student resume education sections.
2017 BSc in Marketing and New Media
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Favorite fields of study: Global Media Systems, New Perspectives on B2C Marketing, Macroeconomy Basics, Film Theory, Marketing of the Media
Thesis title: “The Paradox of Luxury Goods Marketing—Examined”
Key achievements and extracurricular activities:
Even if this candidate doesn’t have a lot of experience, her education section makes hiring her a no-brainer.
What if you’re still studying? Include an expected completion date on your student resume. Like this:
Expected completion date - 2019
Current GPA - 3.7
If you want to learn more amazing tips and tricks on how to put education on a student resume to make recruiters want to interview you, read our handy guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]
Thinking: Oh, but I don’t have any professional experience...?
Let me stop you right there.
You’re writing a student resume. Recruiters are aware that, as a student, you haven’t had the time to pursue a full-blown job in your field.
Yet 91% of recruiters want to see experience on your resume.
That’s rough, but remember: they want to know you’ve got what it takes to hit the ground running in your new job.
Prove them you can!
On your student resume experience section, list all your past professional experiences. Think you don’t have any? Think again. Even the smallest activities count.
Such as? Have a look.
Even if some of the gigs you’ve done in the past aren’t related to your industry, you should still put them in the work experience section. This way, you’ll show that you’re dependable, well-organized, responsible, and willing to self-improve.
Here’s what employers value most in a college student resume (or any student resume for that matter):
Just as you did with education, list your work experiences in reverse-chronological order. Start with the last one, then add the one before it, then the one before, and so on.
Want to have a look at a high school and college resume examples? Here you go.
Events and Marketing Intern
Adidas Originals, 06-2017 - 10-2017
Notice how the candidate used action words in the description of his duties.
What do I mean by that?
“Created,” “researched,” and “produced” sound so much better than “responsible for creating, researching, and producing.” You want to come across as an achiever, not merely a doer.
And what if you’ve got no internship experience to showcase yet? Say, you’re writing a high schooler resume and the only job you’ve done so far was at a fast food chain.
Here’s an example of a high school resume experience section.
McDonald’s (06-2016 - 09-2016)
This candidate might not have an all-star professional experience. But the entry above clearly shows that she’s dedicated, attentive to detail, and a good team player!
For more actionable student resume samples and ideas on how to make the most of your freshman college student resume, or any other resume with little work experience, check out our guide: First Resume with No Work Experience Samples (A Step-by-Step Guide)
Alright. So now you’ve got your education and work experience sections taken care of. Job done?
Not yet. Here’s where the student resume skills section comes in!
You’ll want to do two things with your skills.
First, make a separate skills section. Put your strongest, most relevant skills here.
By relevant, I mean these skills that will help you perform well in the job you’re trying to land. (Yes, that means you’ll have to skip your amazing dancehall skills in a resume for an accounting internship.)
Next, have a look at a job description. See some skills-related words?
Ask yourself how many of these skills you have. Quite a few?
Good! Pepper these skills throughout your student resume. Include some in your resume objective, coursework description, and experience section.
Pro Tip: Pay special attention to soft skills. Are you a good writer? Do you have sales experience? What about leadership skills? Soft skills are valuable in almost any position. Put your strongest soft skills as close to the top third of your high school or college resume as possible.
One last thing: be as specific as possible when talking about your skills.
For example, don’t say that you’re “Computer Literate.” What does that even mean? That you can spell out the name of your PC brand?
Instead, say that you can create and test data source connections in Microsoft Performancepoint Server. That’ll clearly indicate your proficiency level, right?
A recent study found out what skills employers value most in their student candidates:
|ATTRIBUTE||% OF RESPONDENTS|
|Ability to work in a team||82.9%|
|Communication skills (written)||80.3%|
|Strong work ethic||68.4%|
|Communication skills (verbal)||67.5%|
|Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)||54.7%|
|Strategic planning skills||39.3%|
|Fluency in a foreign language||4.3%|
A good list of skills is crucial for every student resume. Want to know what skills hiring managers seek, and see some great examples of how to put them on your college resume? Here’s the guide you need: 30+ Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)
Most students end their resumes with their skills section.
And that’s one of the reasons they struggle to get a job.
Want to outshine other candidates? Add an additional section to your graduate resume. Show hiring managers that your skills and experiences have been awarded and appreciated by others.
Here are three types of sections you could add to your student resume to make it perfect:
You could add a separate section if you received quite a few awards in school. You can also add honors and awards to your education section if you received only one or two.
If you graduated with Latin honors, such as magna cum laude or summa cum laude, or were the valedictorian or the salutatorian of your graduating class, you can put that in your education section next to your degree.
Have a look at this master’s student resume example.
Purdue University 2005 - 2009
BA in English Literature - Valedictorian, Magna Cum Laude
Other honors and awards could include:
Adding an activities and associations section is good for high school student resumes and for recent college graduate resumes with little to no experience.
It gives you a chance to show where and how you developed certain skill sets. Pick those activities that reflect the type of work you’ll be doing and illustrate skills you found in the job description.
Boy Scouts of America Assistant Scoutmaster
2015 - present
Provided guidance and assistance for scouts wishing to achieve a higher rank.
Your activities can range from on-campus student body organizations, publications, and clubs to volunteer work, athletics, and other activities off campus.
Adding a hobbies and interests section boosts just about any resume.
And it’s a super easy section to put on a student resume because you probably have a lot of hobbies and interests beyond your school activities.
The key is matching your hobbies to your future company’s work culture. Want to learn exactly how to do it? Here’s a guide you’ve been looking for, give it a read: 20+ Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests to Put on a Resume (5 Tips)
Actually, it’s your best chance.
Because as a student, you probably don’t have enough achievements to fill up your resume up to the brim.
Cover letters do what even best resumes can’t. They tell a story. And humans love stories a lot more than data sheets.
In your student cover letter, you can explain your passion for the industry, talk more about your skills and support them with solid evidence.
45 out of 100 recruiters won’t even be bothered to open your student resume if there’s no cover letter attached. So writing a cover letter basically doubles your chances of landing that interview.
Yes. You read that right. There’s no arguing with stats, is there?
You can learn how to write a cover letter that gets every recruiter hooked and excited to interview you from our beast of a guide: Writing a Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps (12+ Examples)
And what about a student cover letter for an internship? Give us 10 minutes and you’ll know how to make one. Check out this guide: How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship [+20 Examples]
Getting your first job is hard work. Preparing your graduate resume shouldn’t be.
As a student, you’ve got the skills and education it takes to do a good job. It’s just harder to convince a hiring manager that you’ve learned to apply them.
Just remember the key strategies we covered.
Don’t forget to include links to your SFW and employer-friendly social media profiles.
Write a student resume objective and put it at the very top of your resume.
Elaborate a bit on your education. Mention your academic achievements, relevant coursework, and favorite fields of study.
In the work experience section, include every position you’ve ever had. Even part-time jobs or volunteering.
All check? Get ready for interview calls!
Need more details? Still not sure how to make the perfect student resume? Write us a comment with your problem and we will help you solve it. Thanks for reading!
Michael is a writer and a resume expert at Zety. When he's not busy passing on career advice, he's probably somewhere out there swinging a tennis racket, reading Russian poetry, or enjoying his triple espresso.