It can be a very tricky thing for you as a college student to write a resume because of a lack of work experience. It is tricky because you need a job to get work experience but without any work experience, you can’t get a job. It is a tough position you are in, especially considering the fact that you might be competing for the role with someone else that has work experience. So, how do you get on top of the situation and turn it all around to suit you? Here are some few tips:
1. Write a professional summary
Nowadays, resumes do not usually include career objectives, not anymore. What is commonly added instead is a professional summary. This comes just after the contact information and usually includes around three sentences detailing your abilities, interests, and background.
You are also going to describe your work ethic, relevant skills, level of education, and your professional interests or passion in the professional summary. You must ensure that you tailor your professional summary specifically for the job you are interested in.
2. Include relevant experience and skills you have learned
You should include the skills that are relevant to the position you are seeking, and this section should precede your professional summary. If you are not sure of what skills are relevant to the job, just do some search online. Then list your skills in the qualifications section.
Even if you have not been able to practice your skills within a professional setting, you should be confident to include them if you have used it during extracurricular activity or you learned about them in college. However, you must be truthful enough to admit how competent you are during the interview process. Some of the common skills that you will need for the corporate world are leadership, time management, problem solving, critical thinking, organization, MS office proficiency, etc.
3. Mention all of your achievements
You should have a section in your resume where you list out all the achievements you have had from the most relevant to the least relevant. This section should come after you have listed your key skills. If you have also obtained other degrees or certifications, you should also include it here.
For all the degrees that you have obtained, write the school, location, degree, the field of study, and dates when you received the degrees. Other awards and academic honors should be included.
If you led a team on a successful project while carrying out some project management tasks, you should include it in your resume as well. Including a list of all your achievements is a good way to help the recruiters see how you are a fit for the job at hand. You should also know that you will have to defend these achievements while being interviewed, so it is important that you are honest with your achievements and smart to include them.
4. Include academic or personal projects that are relevant to the role
At some point during your college years, you might have worked on projects that are now relevant for the job you are seeking, so you should include them. For an academic project, you should include the project’s title, the relevant class, the date of completion, and a short summary of what the project is about and its purpose.
But if you have a personal project that you accomplished, you should also include it. For instance, if you organized a bake sale in the vicinity where you live, and you are now seeking to work with a grocery store as the cashier, you should include your personal project, and the date of completion. You will have time to explain during the interview how you had to practice and learn customer service while carrying out the project and how that is relevant for the position you are applying for.
5. Awards and accomplishments
If you have ever been recognized with an award for something you have done or a meritorious service, you should include this as well in your resume. Create another section where you will include your awards, accomplishments, and achievements. If you have school or academic accomplishments such as “highest grade,” “best presentation,” “best graduating student,” etc. or other personal achievement like winning a spelling bee competition or winning a sports medal, you should include them.
All your awards, accomplishments, and achievements are listed, starting with the award name, the date it was achieved, followed by a brief description.
6. Extracurricular activities
The next thing to do is to include your extracurricular activities. They should be things you are passionate about. Extracurricular activities can include things such as sporting and club activities, musical instruments etc.
7. Include your volunteer activities and other work
If you have ever volunteered for anything or carried out some community service, here is an opportunity for you to include it in your resume. It does not matter if it is an informal or formal volunteering. Even if it is something as simple as serving food at a local food bank. For all your volunteering activity, you should add the people you volunteered with, the role that you played, the hours volunteered with the date and a short description.
Having work experience will give job seekers an advantage. However, the fact that you are a student and do not have work experience does not mean that you can’t apply for a job too. What you need to do is be creative and learn how to write a resume that highlights your strengths.