The resume is still essential in selling yourself to employers, and even in our digital age providing a printed one or two pages to summarize what you bring to the job hasn’t gone out of style. We list fourteen resume tips for college students who may be unfamiliar with how resumes are reviewed, who reviews them, and the best ways to highlight a limited job experience history and skill set.
Resume tips for college students cover some general territory for all resumes and add a few specific pieces of advice for those just getting started in their careers.
What Is a Resume?
The resume summarizes education, training, job experience, and relevant information about the job candidate. It has changed slightly over the years, but not by much. Your resume should list work experience, education, additional training or certification, your name and contact information, volunteer experience and skills – in a specific order.
What Is a Curriculum Vitae?
The CV is a shorter acronym for curriculum vitae. It is a document that shows a general summary of your personal information, educational background, previous job experiences, and references for your upright moral upbringing. It was primarily used for applying employment in the academe of any educational institution. Later on, almost all industry require the submission of a CV.
If the position that you are applying for requires for your compliance in the submission of a well-drafted CV, it needs to be tailored as to what field you would like to dedicate your career with.
The example included on this section, your application for a liberal arts position must highlight your teaching experience and other important seminar or training that would make you fit for a career that you want to dedicate your time with. Your research accomplishments must be clearly presented also.
What Is the Difference between a Resume and a CV?
The CV stands for “curriculum vitae” which summarizes education, training, and skills but in academic environments. The CV is used by those working in professions where many years of education are required, such as medicine or academia. It lists educational achievements in great detail, including academic papers and completion of internships. Most job seekers will not use CVs but if a job asks for a CV, it is okay to send in a resume in place. Asking for a CV is often code for “you have a high level of education.”
When and where to use a Resume?
Using a resume is ideal if you would like to present yourself as a high-skilled applicant and conceal any gaps in employment and/or not much relevant job experience. If a functional resume format is the best fit for you, this article will guide you through how to use a functional resume template to highlight your skills and achievements and how to present you in the best light to potential employers.
Usually, employers are looking at a potential hire’s resume to see if they have relevant and extensive job experience. You can choose to explain why you have employment gaps in your resume, or just emphasize your experience, skills, and major achievements. There are many strategies to make unemployment gaps less noticeable.
Using a functional resume template will help you conceal any unemployment gaps and emphasize your skills and achievements. But, it is not only the structure that counts; to write an effective functional resume, you must tell a compelling story about your skills and achievements. How can you present yourself and land an interview? To do this, you should choose powerful and relevant keywords that will show the recruiter you fit the job description and are a good candidate for the position. There also Templates to Download online for an easier way of building your own resume.
When and where to use a Curriculum Vitae?
Having a Curriculum Vitae is not only beneficial for you, but it is also advantageous for your potential clients and employers. It provides them with a convenient sneak preview to get to know your skills, services, and work output better before going through the selection process. Hiring managers and clients rely on a CV because it expedites the process of selecting the best candidates or services that suit your potential client or employer’s needs.
For graphic designers, photographers, writers, comic book illustrators, and animators, having an impressive CV could mean gaining a new project or winning a long-term relationship with a new client. A showcase of their best work through a CV highlights their unique qualities and skills set — it’s what distinguishes them from their competitors. The effective CV presents yourself as a high-skilled applicant and conceals any gaps in employment and/or not much relevant experience. Some fill-in CV Templates to Download online to make sure you are doing the right things.
What is the best resume format?
In these resume tips for college students, we recommend sticking with one-page formatting for the best resume. For those with ten or more years of experience, or who are using a CV, two pages is an appropriate length. Employers prefer one-pagers in entry-level positions. Try to balance the main categories of Education, Work Experience, Skills and Other. Other can include awards, projects, or links to work you want to show. You can opt to look for Templates to Download which is free in some sites online.
How to Write a Resume That Will Get You an Interview
In today’s day and age, your resume is just as important as your experience itself. Some large companies won’t even take a look at your portfolio unless you’ve included a concise resume and cover letter. Resumes for freelance photographers are not only a must if you want to reach high-end clients but it’s a great way for you to keep track of and catalog your accomplishments.
Step 1: Choose a Resume Format
Finding a job is a complicated process. It takes time to scour job sites and other avenues to find a job that fits you. Once you find it, you need to send in a resume that will impress enough to get you an interview. It’s a daunting task, but there is something that can make it easier—resume templates.
A resume is your first impression to a prospective employer. You need it to be as impressive as possible, and you’re right to want to make the perfect resume. With the right resume templates, you can craft the best resume that will wow employers and gets you in the door.
Resume templates offer you a way to avoid spending your time setting up Microsoft Word and just writing your resume, but they aren’t perfect either. Many people believe that because resume templates are so easy to make, they come across as basic to hiring managers. However, it’s important to remember that resumes are supposed to communicate your qualifications in a simple and direct way. In addition, there are so many resume templates available that you can still create something unique that communicates your professional information.
Having so many templates available can be a hindrance. It’s easy to pick resume templates that might not work for the position you want. However, just like you narrowed down what job you wanted, you can narrow down the right template, too. It just requires asking yourself a few questions about what you need. Formats, Samples, & Templates are available online to make sure you are on the right track.
Step 2: Decide on the content of your resume
Now that you understand what goes into finding a format for your resume, it’s time to examine the content of your resume. Remember that Formats, Samples, & Templates are available online as a guide as to what content you need to place on your resume.
Who Is the Audience?
Your resume is going to be seen by specific companies. Therefore, you need simple resume templates that appeal to them. For example, don’t pick something flashy for a more conservative company. Do your research and pick from resume templates that appeal to the company you’re applying to.
What Does My Template Say about Me?
It can’t be overstated that your resume is your first impression to a potential employer. It’s the deciding factor between getting an interview and being ignored. Make sure that the template you choose reflects you properly. It should show your qualifications and other factors that may help you get the job.
How Do I Find a Balance?
Resume templates can help show your personality, which may help potential employers choose you from among several applicants. However, that will only get you so far. Your resume needs a proper balance of personality and ability. Hiring managers will want to see a qualified employee that feels right for their workplace.
Step 3: Collate all Professional and Personal Information
There are services that will write resumes for you and check all details to make sure it meets professional standards. You supply the information, and someone else puts it into the right format. You will pay for such a service and the first draft should be attempted by you, the job seeker. You know yourself best. If you don’t want to pay, get help from a trusted friend or older sibling who has a little more experience in the workforce than you do. They will be happy to at least show you their resume as a model.
You need to list your personal contact information at the beginning of the resume. Put your name, address, and phone number. Include your social media profile, website, if you have one, and don’t forget your proper email address. If you are concerned about giving away too much personal information, then only provide what the company needs to get in touch with you. Also, include the date, so they know when you sent it to them.
The introduction is critical. This happens in the very first paragraph of your resume, and for the employer, it is the first time meeting you. Think of it as an interview; make it brief and concise. In a few short lines, tell the company about yourself and explain why you are interested in working for them. Your earlier research comes in handy for this paragraph.
Now is the time to pull out all the stops. Don’t be shy on this step and let your confidence shine through. You want them to know you have the qualifications to work in their company because you have the experience. Now is not the time to recite your previous jobs or list all of your skills; that is what a resume does for you. It is a time for you to tell them how you can be an asset to their team and tell them how qualified you are.
It is important to remember that you are letting them know you are competent, but you don’t want to sound like you are bragging or overselling yourself. You won’t win any points with that type of communication. Let them know what you have been doing regarding relevant experience, and how this will be of value to them. This can be divided into two paragraphs if needed, but do not overdo it. You are trying to impress them in a short amount of time. Being too wordy will cause them to lose interest.
Think of this as the highlight of a book. You want the reader to read the book, so you write a teaser, in the beginning, to keep them interested. This is the same with this section of your letter. It is your teaser to keep them wanting more. Tell them enough so they become interested and want to meet with you.
Step 4: Fill out the parts of your resume
Include your name, phone number, and email in the resume’s header. The font size for this section should be larger than the rest of the resume, so your name and contact information stands out – 20-24 points is recommended. You can also add a link to your website or samples of your work in this section of your resume.
Starting with a summary is a good strategy to help you stand out and conceal unemployment gaps and spotty work experience. A powerful summary should include your most relevant experience and your greatest career achievements written in a short paragraph or bulleted list. With a powerful summary, you will present yourself like an outstanding and multi-faceted candidate, and you’ll be one step closer to getting your foot in the door.
Writing a good summary is also a great way to introduce yourself and increases your chances of landing an interview. Since it is the first thing hiring managers to see after your contact information, it is a great opportunity to impress them by including your highest achievements, relevant skills, and relevant work experience. It also allows you to use relevant keywords and pass the Applicant Tracking (ATS) software.
In a functional resume template, proper skills are emphasized over work experience. Since job candidates using this format seek to conceal or minimize any gaps in employment or are changing careers, listing relevant skills before work experience is important to make the candidate stand out.
Work or Professional Experience
If you have long gaps of employment, you can include a well-written reason why you were unemployed in your resume; for example, you can explain that you were a full-time student, you were unemployed because of an illness in the family, or you have recently become a parent. If you don’t want to explain your employment gaps in the resume, be prepared to answer the recruiter when these topics are addressed during your interview. Also, remember to list your work experience chronologically, but do not include months.
Your educational background must be well-written in the same way as it is in a chronological or combination resume unless your education relates directly to your work experience and the job you are applying to. In this case, add more details like relevant coursework and research papers.
Start by writing the name of the university, city, and state, the degree earned, your graduation date, and your GPA. If you had a low GPA, consider leaving this information out. Also, you may want to leave out the date of graduation if older to avoid being discriminated against because of your age. If your education is relevant, add a few bullets points with the details.
One of the things that’s widely debated amongst resume writers is the idea of including or skipping schooling. If you’re just out of school, even with a lot of experience, sometimes adding your graduation date can make hiring managers pass you by. Although we live in a world where companies want fresh graduates to somehow have years of internship and real-world experience under their belts, it doesn’t always help you if you do. Unfortunately, a lot of large companies and older individuals still value age as the best indicator of experience.
If you feel your age or graduation date could play a negative role in a hiring managers decision process, leave it out. We’re seeing more and more resumes from seasoned professionals remove schooling to ensure it no longer plays a factor in the decision making processes.
Step 5: Formatting
As mentioned, there are many resume formats that are well-written out there for you to consider. We’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the best formats to consider. However, don’t be afraid to go beyond our list as well. For a hassle-free resume-writing, you can check for Formats, Samples, & Templates online.
This is the most common of resume formats. This template is accepted in every industry and works for every role. A solid choice if you are unsure which template would work best. It works well for jobs in law, production, or for people with long/short job histories,
This format is best used for jobs representing strong brands ever. It’s also useful for any job that requires up-to-the-minute knowledge. As such, it’s popular for tech, consulting, or sales jobs.
As its name suggests, this works best for job seekers that are applying in creative fields. Those fields usually require more effort to stand out more and also double as an example included of your skill. Be sure to pick a good one! This template is best for design, entertainment, social media, and similar fields.
Step 6: Polishing
The CV must have a well-written strong ending just as it has a strong beginning. Don’t rehash what you have said earlier or ask them to respond to you within a specific timeframe. This is your CV, not an interview. You hope it will generate an interview, but you must not pressure them to do so.
The two things to keep in mind is respecting their time and getting a possible meeting or on the next stage of the interview. When you end your CV, thank them for the opportunity and ask for the chance to meet with them when it is convenient. One more thing to remember at the end is your signature. You will want to sign your CV by hand to add personalization. After it’s been printed, you can sign your name in ink. Some people’s signatures are illegible and printing your name right after helps with legibility.
Step 7: Proofread like a Pro
This step is essential to writing any kind of document, personal or professional. Go over your completed template carefully, making everything (spelling, punctuation, etc.) is accurate. You also need to make sure the resume as a whole looks it’s absolute best. A polished, well-done resume can be the difference between being hired and being pushed aside.
How do I make a resume for a job?
A resume includes five components: personal information, summary, relevant skills, professional experience, and education – in that order. But, the most important section of a resume is the summary. A well-written summary allows you to present your greatest career achievements and relevant experience and hooks the recruiter’s attention. Pick your greatest achievements and relevant work experience and break them down into four categories: authority, creativity, efficiency, and recognition.
First, list your strongest skills, length of experience in the industry, and an overview of your latest position (see the functional resume template for guidance). Next, include creative examples, such as a challenging project you started and successfully saw through to completion (an example included of your ability to solve projects; what problem did you solve for the project?).
Last, in this category, list your creative process and strategies to increase productivity than ever. Continue with the efficiency category by listing examples of how you managed or contributed to a particular project by increasing productivity and saving time and resources while producing high-quality work. Also, list in the summary any major awards, mentions, and honors you’ve received. Finally, you should highlight your management and communication skills by the specific examples included.
Make sure your resume is easy to read by using a simple and respected font like Times, Arial, or Helvetica and by using concise sentences and paragraphs. If you want to give yourself the best chance to go on the next stage of the interview and be hired, you’ll want to ensure everything on your resume is relevant to the application process. Too many professionals keep things like sports accomplishments, GPAs, and volunteer experience on resumes when they’re not completely relevant.
This goes for your work experience as well as your personal information. Most hiring managers won’t care if you helped put together the company Christmas party, so don’t highlight it. Don’t be afraid to add things and take things out to ensure your resume makes sense for each specific job posting.
Tailor Your Resume
Whether you are applying for a talent acquisition specialist role or any other role, you need to tailor your resume to the job you are applying. Carefully read the job description you are applying for and take note of which soft and hard skills are noted as required or preferred and highlight these in your resume. Also, make sure you include relevant experience.
Use of Industry Keywords
Sometimes, a recruiter will read your entire resume. Larger companies may use a computer program to scan your resume searching for keywords relevant to the industry position. If you fail to use industry keywords, computer software may prevent your resume from ever being seen by human eyes or a recruiter may not pass your resume along.
Use a Header
How your resume looks impacts how favorably it is viewed by the recruiter or hiring manager. Use a header to put your name, contact information, and the position you are applying for. This makes it look like you are tailoring your resume to the position and makes you stand out for all the right reasons.
Back up Your Skills
Do not just talk about your skills. Use examples to show how you have used them to benefit your previous companies. Rather than saying you have sales skills, say you increased placement by 31%. Always use metrics to demonstrate what your skills have brought to the table in the past so your recruiter can determine if your skills will be beneficial in this role.
10 Tips for Writing Great Resumes
We chose ten resume tips for college students, for those who are attempting a resume for the first time or who are updating one to include college experiences and coursework. The resume tips for college students we’ve listed aren’t meant as a step-by-step guide but should be considered as you approach your first resume. Read the whole list first to use these resume tips for college students selectively or as an overview.
Tip #1: Customize your resume for the job position
Write a list of all jobs, no matter how small. Include delivering newspapers, babysitting, pet sitting, or fixing neighbors’ computers. Make a list of all volunteer work including church or neighborhood related events for expats in the Philippines. Include school awards or special positions (Editor of the school newspaper, for example), especially any office such as student council. Don’t limit it to academics: sports, travel, and internships count, too. If you are a college student, listing high school activities is entirely appropriate.
Tip #2: Quantify your Resume
Because you are in college your most important asset is your education. List the degree you’ve received or the plan to receive, the name of the college, and your major and minor. List coursework relevant to the position you are applying for or that has given you special skills. List both your high school education and college, beginning with the most recent (college) at the top. Be sure to write the full name of both schools. For high school, it is appropriate to write your “major” or main course of study or even list the focus of the school, whether science or arts.
Tip #3: Action Verbs in Bullet Points
Bullet points are a great way to slim down a lot of content. Like we mentioned above, most hiring managers aren’t going to want to spend a lot of time reviewing a resume. If someone can glance at your resume and understand your qualifications in a few seconds, then you’ll be well on your way to new opportunities. Just make sure that you reserve bullet point information for the most important and relevant snippets possible. After all, the eye is going to be drawn to read bullet points well before a paragraph, so make sure the most pertinent accomplishments are listed there.
After Education, the next category you should address is either Skills or Experience—whichever is your strongest area. If you have several jobs under your belt, move from Education directly to Work Experience. If, however, you have a specific skill set such as computer repair or landscaping, present what you are capable of doing in a bulleted list.
If you are an overseas Filipino applicant, you need to use action-oriented verbs to describe yourself and your experiences. For example, if your summer job for two years in a row was McDonald’s, state that you have years of experience in the restaurant industry especially if you are one of the expats in the Philippines. Describe your position as, for example, “Managed front counter while multi-tasking in food preparation, payments, and order-taking for a variety of customers on a tight schedule.”
Tip #4: Leave no gaps in your work history
As you are dynamic, you come across not only as a professional but as emotionally invested in the job. As a new graduate, the type of work experience you describe is sometimes less important than your initiative in getting the work done on time, or completing projects. If you mowed lawns for several summers in the neighborhood and recruited a friend to help, you can represent what you did realistically but also give yourself credit for the amount of responsibility.
Tip #5: Leave out your hobbies and interests
Does your experience consist entirely of delivering pizza a driving for Lyft as an Overseas Filipino? Make sure to present these jobs as “transportation” and tie together the common skills and knowledge, such as knowing the local area, professional driving experience, and customer service. You may have three jobs that are entirely unrelated, so focus on the skills needed to do them or the knowledge acquired. In some cases, you may have the same role in each job, so focus on the importance of that role. If you were a cashier at a restaurant, retail shop, an amusement park, highlight your skills at cashiering.
Tip #6: Be professional all throughout
Employers are looking for good matches for any new graduate than any other expats in the Philippines. They are deluged with paper resumes and go through them as quickly as possible searching for specific attributes. The three main attributes are: (1) a well-written, grammatically correct resume; (2) having enough education; and (3) a match in experience or skills, or have a specific skill to perform the basic job function so little to no training is required.
Tip #7: Write your resume as if you’re hooked to a lie detector machine
All resume tips for college students need to emphasize specific projects or a role you took own to achieve something extraordinary. This is especially true because including experiences in high school is necessary if you are currently in college. Did you organize an event, lead a volunteer campaign, or take on extra responsibility to help a teacher, neighbor, or employer? Did you re-organize work, alter workflows, or come up with a new idea to improve old practices? If you are a new graduate, highlight your achievements, even small ones, so the employer gets an idea of what you did and can do again.
Tip #8: Use a professional-looking format
Indicate where and when you’ve acquired education and include experiences that go beyond the classroom especially if you are one of the expats in the Philippines. Did you travel and take a course in the local language? Perhaps you shadowed someone in a specific profession to find out more about day-to-day work. A police ride-along, attending a community or city council meeting, or mentoring kids in learning are all great examples of showing an interest in learning. Even online courses show initiative and that you are interested in the field and in acquiring skills.
Tip #9: Sell yourself in just a few lines
Include with your resume artwork, published writing, acclaimed writing, the code you have written, or a photograph of something as an overseas Filipino you have created. Better yet as a new graduate, share a URL to a link with a webpage where your work is posted. There is a caveat to this tip, however. Do not share work that is racy, irrelevant, or amateurish because it can easily backfire. If you are a tattoo artist or graphic designer, you will probably have a portfolio but if you are a criminal justice major, you may not have work to “show.” Use a well-written essay or an example for a well-reviewed group project that go you an A.
Leadership comes in many forms and can include leading groups of children, organizing events, or getting others involved in community events. Leadership in high school includes creating clubs, running for or getting elected to office, taking a lead role in any job, or starting your own business. Introducing others to your sport or hobby can sometimes be leadership, or being chosen for special events or retreats as part of a group of leaders. If this isn’t your strong point, emphasize instead the skills you have that will contribute to a team or organization.
Tip #10: Be Ruthless in Editing Your Resume
Putting together a resume that is too short highlights how little experience you have, and this is especially problematic for college students. Many college students have held only one job, and that doesn’t fill up a page. But far more commonly, job seekers write resumes of more than a page which is never called for when you are a college student and will always come across as pretentious. You are competing with individuals who have years, sometimes decades, of experience and are able to limit their resumes to two pages, sometimes one.
Resume writers quickly become jaded and bored with reading and re-reading their resumes as a new graduate. One of the most important resume tips for college students is the polished, professional appearance of the final product. It must be perfect. Every “i” should be dotted and every “t” crossed, or a reviewer may see the error and then all shots at employment disappear.
If you aren’t an experienced writer or particularly skilled at highly detailed work, have someone older and more experienced review your resume and ask for feedback, including proofreading. Then read it again for errors. Put it aside for a day, and re-read once more.
Benefits of CV
If you are getting nervous because you’ve sent numerous resumes but have generated no interest? If so, you may be using the wrong format for your resume or haven’t sufficiently focused on your strengths in your resume. A resume doesn’t fully reflect your capabilities or intelligence but is a great tool to sell yourself and help you get your foot in the door. But, what if you have periods of unemployment or no relevant work experience? There three commonly used resume formats: the chronological resume, the functional resume template, and the combination resume.
A strong resume is essential in today’s’ competitive job market. Recruiters are bombarded with dozens of resumes daily. The functional resume for a new graduate is not the best format; all formats have pros and cons. A functional resume may make the recruiter think you have something to hide. But, it’s still a more creative way of writing a resume, and because it emphasizes your skills and accomplishments, it will get the hiring manager’s attention and help you stand out.
The functional resume is also the best resume if you have gaps in employment or are changing careers. If either applies to you, choose the functional resume template that best suits your needs and creates a compelling resume that helps you land your dream job.
Learning how to make money in college without a job is not difficult. It is a matter of drive and determination. Start by curating excellent study habits so you can balance all your commitments effectively and make your Overseas Filipino parents proud. Look out for shady schemes that promise you easy ways to make money. Put your classes first, and look for other ways to save money to supplement your income. Finally, examine all your options for how to make money in college without a job, and decide which one is the best for you. You can even do multiple jobs so you can earn a steady income while completing your education.