This article contains a guide on how to write a college resume as a recent graduate.
Applying to colleges can be a stressful experience. Some high-level institutions require a resume with the application and entrance essay for a well-rounded picture of the applicant.
Creating a college resume is still recommended if your chosen school doesn’t require it. This document is helpful for scholarship applications, requesting letters of recommendation, and bolstering standardized application forms.
Start with Contact Information
Start with up-to-date contact information in a resume header. This portion should include your full name, address, phone number, and email. If you have a high school or novel email address, it’s integral to upgrade to a personal, professional address. In essence, your first and last name; not a social media tag or callback to your childhood hobbies.
Craft a Summary Paragraph
Most resumes include a professional summary section. As a recent graduate, you likely don’t have relevant content. Instead, craft a paragraph outlining a bit about yourself and what you aspire to become.
Suppose you were applying to a veterinary college, for example. In that case, you could highlight your academic success in high school, passion for animals, experience volunteering at shelters, and what you hope to accomplish in your career.
This paragraph should be no more than five sentences and tell a brief story about you. If you’re struggling with this section, look into resume writing services to help.
Lead with Educational Experience
As this document is designed for continuing your schooling, leading with educational experience is advised. List the high school from which you graduated and any additional training or coursework you’ve completed. Include dates for context.
This section also lists academic achievements, like honors, a high GPA score, your SAT score, etc.
Include Relevant Work Experience
Work experience should only be listed if it’s relevant to your chosen career path. Working at a fast food restaurant to put money away for post-secondary is admirable, but shouldn’t be listed on a college resume.
Using the veterinary example above, if you worked at a doggy daycare or horse farm, that experience would be relevant. Similarly, participating in an internship or mentoring program is also worthy of mention.
Include Volunteer Experience
Volunteer experience adds tremendous value to a college resume. These endeavors showcase your dedication to bettering your community and are a green flag for the admissions department.
Include the organization’s name, your responsibilities, and the timeframe of your volunteer efforts.
Consider Adding Extracurriculars
Adding extracurricular activities can also give admissions departments a better picture of who you are. List any sports, clubs, or programs you were involved in.
Involvement in extracurriculars shows admissions decision-makers that you have soft skills like teamwork, time management, responsibility, etc. These activities may also resonate with people in admissions who see the common ground or feel that your interests and values align with the school.
List Other Applicable Skills
Include any other relevant skills that may appeal to the educational institution or future employers. These skills could include specific computer programs you work with, languages you’re learning or speak fluently, and soft skills like compassion, leadership, communication, etc.
Keep it to One Page
A college resume should never be more than one page. Use a template to help you organize your experiences and include lists and bullet points as needed. Use a standard font (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman) and font size between 10-12pt with 14-16pt for headers.
Creating a college resume doesn’t have to be a struggle. Keep these key concepts in mind and don’t hesitate to reach out to a resume writing service for assistance.