If you’re a university or college student, you’re probably breaking out into a sweat thinking about writing your resume, and more importantly, what to add to it? You probably haven’t held a job with an esteemed company before so what could you add in your resume that a potential employer would find valuable? However, writing a resume while still in school is a good way to get a jump start on your job search goals.
Tips to Write a Great Resume While Still in School
Before you panic, here are some tips to help you write a winning resume that portrays your skills and achievements in the best possible way.
Make a List of Your Significant Experiences
As you begin to write your resume, take an inventory of the most significant experiences you have had over the last few years as a student. These experiences should cover all areas of your life, such as school activities, academics, athletics, community service, jobs, and internships. Highlight those experiences that taught you something significant – consider the things that motivated you and that you excelled in.
Highlight Your Unique Skills
Some of the most effective resumes for college students are those that highlight the skills of a candidate that are specifically relevant to a specific job or set of jobs. The best way to get an insight on the skill sets to highlight in your resume and what potential employers specific niches are looking for in candidates for internships or, is by speaking to career advisors. If you have different employment goals, you should also have different versions of your resume.
Use Action Words to Describe Experiences
Your resume should paint a dynamic picture of who you are and what you have experienced in your career and educational history. Start by charting out the components of your role that are most active. Your statements should begin with skills or action verbs like taught, organized, oriented, trained, wrote, interviewed, led, calculated, evaluated researched, and so forth.
Start with Something Impressive
While developing job descriptions, consider having them begin with elements of your experiences that are the most impressive. Show that you can accept progressive amounts of responsibility and that you are working towards goals in your career, if possible. It is important that your resume doesn’t go into too much detail on the mundane aspects of each job or internship you’ve held, but focuses mainly on the highlights of your individual experiences.
Add Things you Have Contributed To
Employers are constantly on the lookout for candidates who have been able to add value to generate positive results for their organization. Mentally review each of your experiences and chalk out any whose success you may have been responsible for. List out your achievements in this regard. Anything that you may have initiated or helped to improve, counts here. Begin your phrases with words like improved, enhanced, upgraded, established, initiated, revitalized, created, expanded, to denote positive changes. Numbers and percentages help indicate measurable results.
Describe Your Academic Projects and Include Scores
As a student, your main task is to be a good learner. Include references to your success as a student by highlighting your scores and your grades. Include concise descriptions of your academic projects such as practicums you’ve completed, capstones, and independent studies which showcase research, writing, and presentation skills. Include your GPA alongside of your graduation date if it stands out as being above average.
Show off Your Leadership Skills
Potential employers value candidates who demonstrate leadership skills, so be sure to include any references to co-curricular activities that involved recruiting, organizing, training, leading, and motivating. If you have started a group or community to highlight your passion for a particular area of your industry, be sure to include information about this too. Step up and recognize your leadership abilities as early as possible in your career.
By creating your resume using the above tips, you are well on your way to finding long term success as a college graduate. Use this time to define your career goals, make the right connections, and forge a career path that means something.
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