Plenty of college students need to work while they’re still in school—especially considering that infamous catch 22 of needing experience, but struggling to get it. You’ve already learned an impressive array of skills, though, and might even have some cool projects or internships under your belt!
So, how do you spin your (relatively) limited experiences on your resume in favor of the qualifications you have for that job you want?
It’s all good: I’ve spent years helping students and new graduates break into their industries of choice for years. I can help you too—just try out these 3 resume templates and handy tips!
Current College Student Resume
Modern Current College Student Resume
Professional Current College Student Resume
What Matters Most: Your Skills & Past Experience
Since you may have limited or less-than-relevant work experience as a current college student, your skills are super important! You need to show recruiters that you have solid bricks to build a promising career with.
Make sure you’re crystal clear on what profession you’re hoping to break into by listing skills that directly relate to the field. Including a couple of classics like MS Suite programs can help show that you’ve got solid footing, but use most of your skills to point to your niche.
Being specific is one of the best ways to do this! Use skills that are unique to your field whenever possible. For example, consider how these student skills still relate to HR:
9 most popular current college student skills
- LinkedIn Sourcing
- MS Excel
- Google Sheets
- Greenhouse ATS
- Lever ATS
- Employee Benefits
Sample current college ctudent work experience bullet points
Now, don’t freak out, but this is the area where some current college students tend to falter. They often think things like “What do I even put here? I’ve barely had the chance to work yet.”
But don’t worry–recruiters take your student role into consideration while they skim your resume, and most will understand. What they really want to see is initiative and potential! Show these qualities by getting creative and referencing projects and internships that relate to your field.
And don’t forget to back up any accomplishments with quantifiable data! Metrics of your impact are especially important for a student resume.
Here are a couple of samples:
- Collaborated with HR staff to create a mentorship program for new hires, increasing staff retention by 23%
- Answered employees’ questions about coverage and company health benefits by efficiently pulling plan documentation data, reducing HR staff workload by 10 hours per month
- Participated in interview and provided feedback, updating candidates on their status within 2-3 days and boosting positive ratings by 12%
- Iterated on messaging to qualified candidates for given roles to improve the response rate from 8% to 17%
- Proactively sourced candidates using LinkedIn Recruiter for technical roles, gaining 4 full-time hires within one month
Top 5 Tips for Your Current College Student Resume
- Play up those internships!
- Internships offer many of the same experiences as entry level jobs do–whether they’re paid or unpaid. So take them seriously and don’t hesitate to emphasize them if they’ve guided you towards some of your best achievements!
- Include relevant courses
- Of course, it’s always important to include an education section–especially as a college student. While some students aren’t super confident about their qualifications, you have the unique opportunity to list specific, relevant courses to boost your credibility without sounding weird.
- Now’s the time for an objective
- Student resumes provide the perfect opportunity to make the most of an objective statement. Since you may not have a ton of experience to summarize and are still taking courses, it’ll help recruiters out if you plainly state what kind of job you want and how you’re qualified.
- Keep your layout organized
- When you’re freshly entering a field, you’ll want to put your best foot forward–and that goes for your resume’s appearance, too. Your layout should be clear, cohesive, and polished. It’s like the “interview suit” for your job application!
- Be upfront about your start date
- Since you’re currently still in college, you may not be ready to take on a job role just yet. And that’s fine: Just make sure you’re clear in your objective statement about when you’re looking to join the team.
Just one page–or even less. And if you’re more worried about filling the page than you are about overflowing onto a second one, don’t sweat that either. You don’t have to fill the page: Just pick a layout that makes your accomplishments look solid.
Besides your resume, you can include a cover letter that highlights your qualifying background in more depth. And you can add in a couple of professional recommendation letters, too!
Always refer to the job description and make sure you look for key company phrases, skills, and buzzwords that you can reflect in your resume. Don’t miss this opportunity to show that you can go the extra mile!