Resume Writing Tips for College Students

7 Steps for optimal resume writing

A new school year is upon us, which means many college students, like you, are wrapping up another summer job or internship. Now is a great time to update your resume. Not only do you have new experiences to add, but you may be looking for a part-time job, or even next summer’s internship.

As a college student, you may think it’s not important to have a resume. However, this isn’t the case. Having an updated resume, ready to send to a potential employer at all times, can set you apart from your competition.

Nevertheless, resume writing is a little different for college students than for graduates.
Make sure that while you are still enrolled in school, you include the following:

Qualifications Summary

First off, start your resume with a Qualifications Summary at the top. This should be a quick couple of sentences summarizing what you’re really all about. A qualifications summary is a much better way to open your resume than an objective statement, which is pretty obvious.


Make sure you include the name of the school you are attending and the degree you are working towards. If it’s not a nationally known school, put the location as well. Since you are a current student, you will want to say something along the lines of “Currently enrolled” or “Expected Graduation date 2017.” Don’t try and be sly, and make the hiring manager work to figure out if you have your degree or if you are still in school.

Relevant Courses

Courses that are relevant to your major are a great way to show hiring managers areas you have theoretical knowledge in. Even if you don’t have much practical experience, you are probably familiar with and can speak intelligently on a lot of subjects. If your courses included special research projects or a thesis, be sure to include that information here as well.

Work/Internship Experience

Describe unrelated part-time jobs the right way. Regardless of whether you were flipping burgers, lifeguarding at the local pool, or working in the community library, you were bound to have valuable skills and experience to share on your resume. Organize the information in short, bulleted sections so it’s easy to read.

Volunteer Experience

You may not have much work experience, but throughout the course of your college career, you are bound to have lots of volunteer opportunities. Take advantage of them, as they can provide you with experience just as valuable as if you were getting paid to do it. Just remember on your resume to be succinct when detailing the causes you worked for. This is a chance to show what you can do, not promote the charity.


This section of your resume is devoted to your specific abilities including software programs, design skills, research methods, and languages spoken.

Activities & Affiliations

As a college student, you are bound to be in some sort of club or organization. Most social clubs, sports teams, and other activities offer opportunities to hold offices and take charge of events. They are a great way to gain leadership experience and other achievements that can impress the hiring manager looking at your resume.

For most college students, a one page resume is enough. But use your best judgment. There may be situations causing yours to be longer than the average student’s. When writing your resume, remember to be specific with your word choices. They should be action-oriented, and add value. Make every word count!

For more resume writing tips, check out our blogs posts here.