4 Resume Tips for Students and Graduating Seniors

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A lot of graduating seniors, or students who are still in school, are intimidated by resume writing because they don’t feel they have enough experience.

We’ve already written about the basics on what to include in your resume.  These tips show that you already have everything you need to write a stellar resume. 

1. Education at the Top

Since your college or graduate school education is likely the most prominent “job” you’ve held, include that information at the top of your resume, above any of the experience you will share. Include your school, the city and state it is located in, your major, degree, and any honors or certificates you received. Include your GPA as well. If your major GPA is better, include that instead, calling out that it is specific to your major. If your GPA is so low you think it may become an issue, leave it off. Be prepared to discuss it in an interview, but there’s a good chance it won’t even come up.

2. If You Have Work Experience, Use It

Most jobs won’t expect someone coming out of school to have work experience, so list anything you have done to show that you are already familiar with the responsibilities and expectations of the work world. Whether your work involves an off-campus job, or contributions made on-campus–as a resident advisor, working in the library, dining hall cashier, or teacher’s assistant–it all helps.

3. It’s Still Experience if You Didn’t Get Paid

Make a list of all the projects and programs you’ve been involved with at school that highlight skills you have acquired during your time in school. This could include internships, academics, extra-curricular activities, and community service. Pick your greatest accomplishments and highlight the best parts. Make sure it is factual, but feel free to position them in the best light. For example, rather than saying you threw a rager frat party with proceeds going towards reclaiming your roommate’s car from the tow pound, you might say, “Spearheaded and managed local fundraiser that raised $400 to help local citizen with bills.” Just make sure you’ll be able to speak to anything on your resume in a way that won’t embarrass you in an interview.

4. Soft Skills Matter

93% of employers say that “soft skills” are an important consideration in any hire they make. Soft skills are the kinds of knowledge that aren’t specific to a particular task, but more generalized abilities like communication, openness to learning, adaptability, critical thinking, and a positive attitude. These are important, especially when it comes to interacting with colleagues, so show these off in your resume and any interactions you have with a potential employer. 

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