How College Students and Graduates Should Write Resume

It’s absolutely hard to know why one flopped in an interview and didn't get the job. It's even tougher for a college student or recent graduate whose experience and exposure is very minimal. A research on recruiter's decision making process while looking at resumes found out that it takes six seconds to make the verdict whether your resume is what they're looking for or not. It means new grads and college students have less than ten seconds to make an impression and astound the recruiter. To write a great new grad and student resume, pay attention to a number of things.

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How Students and Graduates Should Write Resume

Recruiter is looking at specific areas

A student resume mightn’t have much but the eyes of the recruiter and where they spend more time should inform the writing. In the same study, recruiters were found to first peek at the name of the individual, current company and title they hold, when the current position commenced and ended, prior company and title, prior position held and when it begun and ended as well as the education section. To help the recruiter find this information with ease, use a concise and clear format.

Why the format? You're constrained by time and should help the recruiter find the details they need first and fast. Ensure the student resume is clearly done in a visually concise order; steer clear of distracting visuals to avoid hampering the decision making and reasoned process of the recruiter. The best student resume format concentrates on the content and not distracting sideshows.

Professional profile

Most new grads and college resumes lack a professional profile. It's important for employers to find your professional profile online with ease. For instance, including a link to your LinkedIn profile in a superbly crafted resume in a clear and concise format will most likely tempt them to follow the link and find more about you beyond the six seconds they give every document. Note that millions of students graduate every year from college. You must hit the nail on the head fast.

Professional summary

No employer or recruiter wants to labor through fluffy words in a student resume. There's actually no need to repeat them so many times. Employers and recruiters won't be impressed. Rather than tell the recruiter you're an effective team player try another angle. Tell the potential employer the way the team you led or played a part in enhanced a specific job or process.

The little matter of GPA

You're recently graduated or still a college student perhaps about to graduate. If you've a GPA of more than 3.0, it should find a place in the resume. At times, your major might have a higher GPA than the average one. Use it instead. On the other hand, a GPA of below 3.0 should never find its way in the document. The recruiters might guess why you didn't include the GPA; prepare an explanation in case you're called for the interview.

What about high school accomplishments?

There's probably no employer interested in what you did 4-5 years ago in high school or before you entered the university. Your most recent activities are more important. Keep your eyes on the experiences, accomplishments and activities you engaged in throughout college like college occupation as you indicate those details that support your qualification for the current job applied for.

When course work should be mentioned

If you've been in a college career before or internship, indicate the relevant experience that demonstrate certain skills, such as marketing, communication and sales skills rather than indicate you did “Communication 101”. However, in case you lack these skills, listing the relevant course work can help. The trick is to avoid low-tier courses like “Introduction to Marketing”.

Pronouns and yourself

Most recent grads and college students are tempted to use first person pronouns. Most refer to themselves as ‘me’ or ‘I’. Avoid using pronouns describing you in the first person while refraining from using descriptions like “she is looking for opportunities” or “Allen is a recently graduated communications…”

Go for active verbs

Dull and dreary action verbs should be avoided, such as aided, helped or assisted. Active verbs bring life and action to your experience. These include such active verbs like persuade, publicize and convince. The tense should be past where the experience isn’t ongoing and simple present tense where the experience hasn't ended yet.


Most recent college grads and students are tempted to include references or indicate they're available on request. The entry-level resume only has a single page and wasting it with lots of references takes lots of critical space. No employer expects this information at the level of a resume submission. It's usually requested at the interview juncture. Until then, just ignore the temptation to add a comprehensive list of references.

Education summary

It's expected that recent grads and college students have education as their strongest points. Ensure education comes before the section for work experiences. Scholarships, summa cum laude and other honors can be indicated here.

Creative and expansive viewpoint

Experience isn’t that comprehensive for a recent grad or college student. However, don't just ignore those menial jobs you did over the holidays or currently doing. With a little creativity and expansive viewpoint, you can transform them into appealing experience for a potential employer. For example, if you did some babysitting or tended lawns and flower gardens indicate you managed a “child care enterprise” and “garden management business” respectively.

Work history

Under work history the positions and dates need to be clear in a chronological order. The company names, job titles and positions and dates should be included. Volunteer work? Include the position as well. Volunteer work done is perfect and almost expected from a typical new grad or college student.

Editing the resume is important

Before you submit or print the resume, read through the document. Revise and edit all the areas that don’t fall into place. Spelling errors are a no-no. You can have another set of eyes read through the document and raise any errors and mistakes before you send it.

Resume example can help a lot

Hand in hand with editing your student resume is using a resume example or resume template. It can help you put everything in a concise, clear, clean, visible and easy to peruse format. The template also ensures important sections aren’t missed or listed disorderly.

The typical student resume or college grad resume is a critical marketing document that has to be carefully undertaken. The coursework, career objectives, education, professional profile, work experience, among other relevant items to the job being applied for need to be excellently included.

Home > Resume Tips > How College Students and Graduates Should Write Resume

Wondershare Editor

Posted by to Resume Tips

Published Jan 11,2018 20:30 pm / Updated Nov 04,2018 23:53 pm


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