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How To Build A Great College Resume

Pick The Ideal Resume Layout

How To Write a Resume (For College Students)

The hard part is over. Youve written your resume, and are feeling confident about getting that interview. Now its time to take a moment and consider your resumes design.

Depending on the industry you work in or the job you want, you may need to adjust your resume layout to fit the expectations of the hiring manager.

Make Your College Resume Easy To Scan

Put your full name, address, phone number, e-mail, and your high school at the top. Here are some commonly used approaches to listing your entries.

  • Reverse chronological order, with the most recent entry listed first

You might want to have a second version of your college resumeone that includes your weighted and unweighted GPAs and your standardized test scoresto use for scholarship applications.

A good college resume will be helpful throughout the admissions processand even later as you apply for internships, scholarships, leadership positions and jobs during your freshman year of college. It takes time to create an effective college resume, but most students find its worth the effort.

Connect With Your Campus Career Coach

At Southeastern University, our campus career coaches play a key role in helping students design a professional resume, secure internships, refine their networking skills and more. Our career coach team includes a representative from each of our six academic colleges, who serves as a specialist on the majors offered in his or her college and the opportunities available to students pursuing those particular majors. Whether or not you have this specific resource at your college or university, there is sure to be a representative at your campus career center who can help you get started on preparing for your professional future.

For more information about the career resources available at Southeastern University, or call 800.500.8760. Also be sure to check out our for additional ideas on preparing for your future profession.


Southeastern University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. We are committed to equipping the next generation of leaders so that they can go into the world as influential servants in their careers and their communities.


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Sincere Specific And Well

The personal statement is an important part of your college application as it’s one of the only areas where you can really showcase your personality.

According to the 2019 NACAC survey, 56% of schools consider application essays moderately or considerably important. While some colleges don’t require essays, those that do usually place at least moderate importance on them.

So how can you ensure your essay will impress the admissions committee? Generally, colleges are looking for three main qualities in a personal essay:

  • Honesty: What you write about should have actually happened to you and should be how you actually feel. Exaggerating details and outright lying are big no-noes here!
  • Specificity: Using concrete details to effectively convey your thoughts, view, and experiences will make your essay a lot more memorable, personable, andmost importantlyunique.
  • Eloquence: Don’t expect to get accepted anywhere if your essay is poorly written and full of grammar and spelling errors. A great personal statement has a sensible organization, tells a compelling story, and is completely free of technical errors.

Below are some steps you can take to guarantee that your essay will have all three qualities.

Step 1: Brainstorm Significant Moments From Your Life

What you write about for your college essay will vary depending on the prompt you’re given from your school or the prompt you choose .

In general, you’ll want to pick a topic that meets the following criteria:

Takeaways: What Looks Good On A College Application

How to Write a College Student Resume?

Applying to college is tough, and knowing what to put on your applications to make yourself stand out is even tougher. What looks really good on a college application?

Generally speaking, colleges want to see your passion, intellectual curiosity, willingness to challenge yourself, and academic accomplishments.

More specifically, though, colleges typically prefer applicants who have most or all of the following characteristics:

  • Good grades and a challenging course load
  • Strong test scores
  • Honest, specific, and eloquent essays
  • A spike in your extracurricular activities
  • Compelling letters of recommendation
  • Volunteer experience with clear impact on the groups or places you’ve helped
  • Any relevant or impactful work experience

Finally, as you apply to college and try to think of good things to put on a college application, make sure you’re aware of the following truths about the application process:

  • It’s better to have a spike than to be well rounded
  • Essays are important!
  • A B in a hard course is more impressive than an A in an easy course
  • You can still get into your dream school even if your application isn’t perfect

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Resume Experience Sample: The Secret Advantage

Many college students and new graduates simply give up on this resume section. Without a history of employment, many job seekers don’t see the point. You do, however.

So let’s look at how this resume section can give you an edge by reflecting your life experience and your vibrant, productive personality.

  • Internship experience. This is one of the most impressive substitutes for “full” employment experience. Recruiters pay special attention to this when considering student or graduate resumes.
  • Summer / temp jobs. Experience as a waitress, clerk or nanny counts for more than you might think in terms of transferable skills. Courtesy, patience, discipline, dependability, willingness to work long hours are just a few examples.
  • Social initiatives / volunteer work. These are almost always impressive on a college student resume. Volunteering demonstrates altruistic traits and a cooperative team spirit.
  • Self-directed or community projects. Cite examples of commitments and collaborations that extended from your personal interests and talents.

According to studies done by the American Association of University Professors, the “ideal” work time for college students is 10 to 15 hours a week. Surveys have shown that working less or more actually decreases your chances of staying in college. This trend shows that the competition for part-time work is increasing in the college environment.

Below is a resume example for a college student with experience as a teacher’s assistant.

How Many Pages Should A Resume Be

The short answer is that one page is the ideal resume length for most candidates. However, if you have a lot of relevant work experience, it can be two or even three pages.

Just note that unless youre applying for an upper-management position or an academic post, one page will be enough for hiring managers. Even Elon Musks resume could be tightened into one page.

If youre applying for an academic position, youll need to send a CV instead of a resume. Keep in mind that CV templates are often several pages long, and contain more information to show the progression of your academic career.

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Take Advantage Of Career Services

Need help identifying resume building activities specific to your major or career interests? Be sure to make an appointment with your colleges Career Services office. The Career Services staff is here to help students identify curricular, co-curricular, volunteer and work opportunities that will help them develop the skills and experiences needed to be competitive for the professional world or graduate school, says Wheelock College Career Services Director Kelly Graham.

Not only do you need to build experiences and develop skills relevant to your career interests, you need to think about how you will articulate the value of these experiences. Career Services will guide you in building your resume, preparing for interviews and marketing yourself to employers so that you stand-out in the application process, Graham says.

Include Professional Contact Information

How to Write a Resume for College Students | Step by Step Video

The first thing potential employers should see is a section at the top of your resume with your name, contact information and a link to your professional profile or website if you have one. In this section, you should include:

  • First and last name

  • Current phone number

  • Current and professional email address

Preferably, your initial contact information should fill one to two lines of the page just under your name at the top. Your name should be the largest heading on the page with 16 to 18 point font. Use the City, State format to list your locationtheres no need to include your physical address on your resume. Remember, your resume is not a legal document, which means you can select whichever name represents you best and what youd like to be called during the hiring process and eventually at work.

Heres an example of what your contact information section might look like:

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College Student Resume Example

Here is an example of a college student resume, based on the tips above:

OBJECTIVEI am a creative and highly motivated student seeking a part-time internship where I can lend my knowledge of digital advertising to help your organization improve profitability and grow my industry experience.

EDUCATIONNew York UniversityMajor: Advertising I GPA: 3.8 – Expected Graduation Date: May 2022

Relevant Coursework:Media Planning, Psychology in Advertising, Communication LawClubs:Ad Club, Student Newspaper, Students for Environmental Action

EXPERIENCEGrey Media Agency | New York, New YorkDigital Advertising Intern, May 2019 August 2019

  • Served as lead advertising intern as part of a summer-long apprenticeship program

  • Assisted in building, launching and managing Google AdWords campaigns for leading clients

  • Successfully grew client ad spend return-on-investment more than 30% quarter over quarter

Student Newspaper | New York, New YorkAdvertising Sales Representative, August 2017 Present

  • Act as the primary point of contact for a subset of publication advertisers

  • Scout new advertiser opportunities and build relationships with local businesses

  • Helped newspaper increase annual ad sales nearly 20% from 2017 to 2018

SKILLS & ABILITIESTeam leadership I Verbal and written communication I Time management I Problem-solving I Adobe Creative Suite I Google AdWords Certified I Fluency in English and French



Additionally Work Experience Is Often Considered The Meat Of A Resume And You Likely Dont Have Much At This Point

How to build a good resume with no work experience. You need work experience to list on your resume, but to gain the job experience, you need a document explaining what makes you qualified for the position. As you learn how to write a resume, remember the best resume templates will highlight your experience and eligibility. It should only be a motivator for you to try even harder to write a cv.

Fortunately, you can create a resume that highlights your skills even if you have no job experience. We have prepared a resume guide for beginners, where youll find: Elaborate on your volunteer work.

How do i make a resume with absolutely no job experience or volunteer experience. Even though it didnt pay, volunteer work looks great on a resume. Your resumes summary statement is a chance to grab the attention of the hiring manager, so use it to focus on your strengths.

As such, this section could be key in moving you forward in the hiring process. To get a job you need some experience. What to put in a resume with no work experience so its not blank.

Do you mean that you have no experience whatsoever that is relevant to the job youre applying for, or do you mean that you dont have professional experience ?. Well, this makes crafting the perfect resume that much more challengingas if it needed to be any harder! To get a quick idea of your employment history, your prospective employer will most likely read the work experience section first.

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Choose The Most Suitable Format

Before you start writing anything, the first step is to decide on the right format for your resume. There are three basic resume formats used by job seekers today: reverse-chronological, functional, and combination. Each format has advantages and disadvantages based on how the resume sections are arranged:

Excellent Grades In Challenging Courses

College Student Resume Sample &  Writing Tips

The first important part of the college application is the transcript, which consists of your GPA and the names and types of classes you’ve taken in high school.

Most people believe a high GPA will make an application stronger. And this is true!

According to NACAC, 75% of colleges ranked grades in high school classes considerably important. In fact, this factor was ranked the most important of any in the report.

What’s truly important, though, isn’t that you simply have a high GPA overall but rather that you have a GPA that’s higher than the average GPA of admitted students at the college you’re applying to.

To find a college’s average GPA, search ” PrepScholar admission requirements” on Google and then click our database link to that school. This page will show you what the school’s average GPA is, in addition to other admission requirements.

For example, if you want to apply to Notre Dame, you would search for “Notre Dame PrepScholar admission requirements” and click the link to our Notre Dame admission reqs page, which looks like this:

As you can see, Notre Dame’s average GPA for admitted applicants is 4.06. As a result, if you’re applying here, you’ll want to have a GPA of at least 4.06, preferably higher so you will be an above-average applicant.

The 2019 NACAC report found that a whopping 84% of colleges ranked an applicant’s rigor of curriculum moderately or considerably important.

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Make Sure It Can Pass Through An Application Tracking System

Formatting is also important because your resume will likely pass through something called an applicant tracking system , a type of software that helps recruiters organize incoming candidate applications. Recruiters can apply filters or search for keywords, and the ATS will show candidates matching the desired criteria, making it easier to identify good candidates in large applicant pools.

In order for your resume to pass this first round and make it to the human who has the power to get you to an interview, the ATS needs to see youre a good match. But there are formatting choices that can confuse an ATSfor example, some wont read the content inside tables, text boxes, or graphics. And if the ATS cant read your materials, your resume might be filtered out.

This all means that using one of the fancy resume templates you see online isnt necessarily the best move. Most basic formatting can be achieved with bolding, italics, and spacing, and you will still end up with a good-looking resumemeaning that starting with a blank document can actually be a better bet.

Use These Additional Sections

If youve followed all our tips till now, congrats – youre around 90% into creating a top-notch college application resume.

Now, lets talk about how you can take that to 100%!

In addition to the conventional resume sections weve covered till now, you can include the following to help you stand out in a sea of other applicants:

  • Awards. Here, you can list any awards won in competitions .
  • Volunteer experience. Did you clean up your town, or maybe you volunteered at an animal rescue center as a high school student? Any kind of volunteering can help your college application resume because it shows youre a responsible community member. If its somehow related to your field or future major, thats a big plus.
  • Projects. Be them individual , or school-related , projects can show that youre passionate and creative.
  • Sports. Poet Juvenal said a healthy mind in a healthy body. This means that physical exercise is an important part of mental and psychological well-being . Do you excel at specific sports? Include them in your resume!.
  • Languages. Being fluent in a foreign language is another plus for a prospective college student. Make sure to show it in your college application resume.

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College Application Resume Template

Making a resume from scratch can take what feels like agesespecially if its your first time doing it.

Youve got to tweak the formatting.

You make a change at MS Word and the layout falls apart in front of your eyes. Or you end up using a bland and outdated template.

Well, you dont have to worry about any of these things with Nóvóresumes free resume templates.

With 8 free templates to choose from – college application resume included – you dont have to worry about anything other than inputting your information.

Let our resume builder do the rest!

Work Experience And Projects

How to Write a Resume for College Students (2019)

In any resume, no matter the stage of your career, your work experience and projects should take up at least 70% of the overall space. As such, these are the most important sections and will decide whether you get an interview or not.

When you have a few years of experience then the size of your projects section will decrease as the size of your work experience section expands.

If you have an internship relevant to the job you’re applying to, then of course this should be detailed in your “work experience” section. As a college student your work experience can also contain any part-time jobs you had while in school even if they don’t seem relevant to the job you’re applying to.

It’s not easy to balance work and school and having a part-time job demonstrates responsibility and drive, key attributes employers are looking for in prospective employees.

When talking about your work experience, there are a few key tips you should follow:

  • Mention the skills you demonstrated on the job.
  • Quantify the impact of your work whenever possible.
  • Talk specifically about your role, avoid being too general.
  • Use action verbs like “owned” or “led” to highlight your leadership abilities.

I’m sure you’ve heard that numbers speak louder than words, and that’s especially true on your resume. By providing numerical context around your work, you convince the hiring manager of your ability to meaningfully contribute.

WRONG – general work experience descriptions

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