Figuring out what to include in the resume can be challenging when you're a college student or recent graduate and that is because most college students do not have an extensive employment history. However, you do not need to worry too much about that as most employers know this, and therefore don't expect you to have significant work experience. There are many things to include in your resume even if you are at the beginning of your career. Do not think that you don’t have significant accomplishments to include in your resume. To make your resume look attractive, you can include volunteering, summer jobs, internships (both paid and unpaid), coursework and accomplishments made in school as well. Read below for more tips on building a resume as a college student or a fresh graduate.
What to Include in the Resume
Start with all of your past experiences, including work-related positions, volunteering, academic experience, campus leadership positions, extracurricular activities, internships, and any awards or special recognition you may have received in school and college which you think are big achievements for that stage.
After you have created the list, look back at the job listing you are applying for and compare these to your list and circle the experiences and skills on your list that relate directly to the job you have targeted. These are the skills that are most suitable so that give special mention to them. You can also elaborate on some of these experiences by writing a line or two in a bulleted list under each one.
You education is your biggest strength
You can emphasize your academic history if you have limited work and extracurricular experience. Put the 'education' section at the top of your resume so that it is the first thing the interviewers see. Include things like name of your school, degree, other achievements such as a high GPA or any academic award. If you have taken courses related to the job you’re applying for or competed in school or college competition that required skills related to the job, list those as well.
How to Organize Your Resume
Based on whatever your experiences have been, you can choose to divide your resume into different categories like
If you do not have much relevant experience to fill all these categories, you might put all of them under the same category of 'related experience'.
You can create a separate section 'skills' in your resume to highlight skills you have gained throughout your experiences. For example, if you are applying for a job as an copy writer, you might list the all the internships you have done for various publications or the assignments and projects you have written for. Here's a more detailed list of what you can include in your resume and how to organize it.
How to Review Your Resume
It is always good to have someone from your campus career office or perhaps a senior who is working in the same field that you are interested in, take a look at your resume. They will make sure that you have included as much relevant information as possible. This person can also read through your resume to proofread and weed out any errors including grammar and spelling errors, and issues with the format of your resume.
Write your objective
This is where you should address the specific position and how your knowledge and skills make you suitable for the role. The section shouldn't take more than three or four lines. If you are just writing a general resume, leave it blank and write it later based on each job's requirements. Avoid generic statements and adjectives such as "hard-working" or "committed". Instead, you should draw attention to what makes you unique. Keep the focus on your future career goals rather than your personal qualities, and list clearly and concisely what you want to achieve and why this particular job can help you achieve it.
Once you have graduated, it can be hard to face the world outside college, look for a job or even imagine yourself as an employable person. The first step you need to take is write a resume that can increase your chances of getting hired. This can be a little intimidating at first, since what you are basically asked to do is to squeeze your life experience in a couple of pages.