With the help of this guide, find out how to stand out above the rest with your student resume. Whether you are looking for your first job or an internship, our sample texts can help you craft your own resume.
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Resume with no experience or resume for an internship: how to get a top-rated student resume
When you are writing your resume, you need to remember that your goal is to make recruiters want to meet you in person. With this aim in mind, use this one-page document to demonstrate that you are the ideal candidate.
The following 10 tips will help you easily stand out with your student resume (first job, summer job or internship):
- Polished layout: ensure your presentation is appealing to make a good first impression and to capture the recruiter’s attention.
- Expand upon your education and training if you have little professional experiences: for example, include the title of your final dissertation at university, your A-level grades, your strongest subjects etc.
- Strike the perfect balance between know-how and social skills, especially if you are a student with no work experience.
- Do not leave the work experience section blank: even your work shadowing placement in Year 10 or your volunteer work could be a deciding factor for the recruiter.
- Opt for a chronological format: present your work and academic experiences starting with the most recent and going backward to make your resume easier to read.
- Use eye-catching keywords (refer back to the job description): on one hand, to arouse the interest of your potential employer; on the other hand, to cater to the ATS.
- Choose wisely when adding secondary information: even your interests and hobbies need to bring real added value to your application.
- Twin your student resume with a well-argued cover letter: ensure that these two documents are perfectly cohesive to give yourself more credibility.
- Steer clear of grammatical errors: (they really put off recruiters): produce a perfect resume to boost your chances of being called in for an interview.
The right layout for a student resume
1 to 3 minutes, that’s how much the average recruiter will spend reading a resume. Needless to say, you need to ensure your resume is impeccably presented to set it apart from the crowd.
Here are some ground rules for a successful student resume layout:
- Length: no more than one side of A4
- Muted color scheme, but without being too dull
- Graphics (logos, icons, pictograms) to be used sparingly
- Professional photo
- Professional font: Verdana, Times New Roman, Arial, etc.
- Easily readable font-size: between 14 and 16 for titles and no less than 10 for the rest.
- Contact information (in the resume header)
- Job title
- Your personal statement (a summary of your job profile)
- Education and training
- Technical skills and personal attributes
- Work experience
- Other sections: languages, computer skills; hobbies and interests (optional)
In any case, make sure you avoid the common mistakes found on student resumes, such as the following:
- Target position not indicated (from the very first glance, the recruiter needs to be able to see the title of the job offer you’re looking to secure: steer clear of titles such as ‘resume’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’)
- Use of a dull color scheme (simply combining black and white isn’t recommended if you want to capture the recruiter’s attention)
- Work experience section poorly developed (don’t just make a passing mention of your work history: list all the tasks previously assigned to you using action verbs
- Presentation of work experience and education in no particular order (you must always list them in order, starting from the most recent and going backward)
- organization of information identical to that of a traditional resume (in a student resume with no experience, present your academic background and skillset first)
- Resume written without taking the job or internship description into account (to lend more weight to a student resume, draw a link between your abilities and the expectations of your potential employer)
Sample Student Resume
First ever student resume: how should the work experience and education sections be presented?
Since recruiters will be aware that you’re a student, they will be more lenient if they see you lack experience. But beware however, this certainly does not mean you can bypass the work experience section.
Whether it’s an internship, a work-study program or seasonal work, you can mention these experiences in your student resume. Ideally, you should include experiences that are directly related to the job posting.
For college students, you can talk about any work experiences you have had such as part-time jobs or any volunteer work. The idea here is to show your recruiter that you have already had some experience in the working world. This will most likely put you one step ahead of other candidates who have the same level of study.
In any case, ensure you give plenty of detail in your resume.
The following points are good practice when presenting internships, education, or work experience:
- Mention the contract dates
- Indicate the name of the company
- Specify the position you held
- List the main tasks assigned to you (between 3 and 5) using action verbs
Sample student resume: Do’s when presenting work experienceSample student resume: Don’ts for outlining your work history
Showcasing your education for getting started in your career and landing a student job
In a student resume, this section is key. Indeed, if you don’t have a great deal of experience under your belt, recruiters are likely to home in on your academic background. This is why you need to focus on spotlighting your studies. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you place this section at the top of your resume if you are making your debut on the job market.
Again, it is worth including information that reflects the description of the job opening. For example, for a culinary apprenticeship, mention the practical exam you did for your Associate Degree in Culinary Arts – a great plus to help you annihilate the competition.
When highlighting your education on your student resume, indicate the following:
- Year of completion (don’t forget to specify if the course is still underway)
- The degree or qualification title (put your most recent level of study at the very top)
- The institution
- And above all, go into detail for an added boost: your grade, your best subjects, any competitions you took part in, if you were top of the class, etc.
Sample education section in a student resume with no experience
Additional skills and competencies: other assets for a successful student resume
If you want to win over your recruiter, make sure you put the right skills in your student resume. These abilities need to demonstrate what you have to offer your future employer.
Therefore, be sure to integrate relevant key words from the job or internship offer into this section. To find out what they are, you just need to select the terms and abbreviations which appear frequently in the job post.
Take note however of a key distinction between two types of skills: hard skills (learned abilities and know-how) and soft skills (interpersonal skills). These abilities are complementary, so you need to strike the right balance between the two.
And of course, the most important technical skills will vary from one job to another.
To give you an idea of the kind of know-how to include in your student resume, here are a few examples:
- Use of client management tools
- Project management
- Negotiation techniques
- Priority management
- Sales techniques
- organizational skills
- Performance under pressure
- Being a team player
- Interpersonal skills
- Listening skills
Let’s recap the key elements of a good student resume
To sum up, here are the must-have elements for a student resume that will land you an interview.
- Neat presentation to demonstrate your professionalism (use a ready-to-use template to save time)
- Presentation of work experience and education in reverse chronological order
- Sections organized according to their relevance (education at the very top for students with no experience)
- Detailed description of academic background for added value.
- Good balance between technical and behavioural skills
- Use of information that lines up with the job or internship offer description.
Put forward your career goals in your student cover letter
Why do you need to submit a cover letter to go alongside your student resume? As proof of your professionalism, on the one hand. On the other hand, because just a resume alone won’t be enough to persuade the recruiter to hire you.
However, the cover letter also needs to be well written if you want to maximize your chances of landing an interview. Here are a few tips to help you:
- Go beyond simply talking about your reasons for applying
- Mention that your profile is a perfect fit for what the company is looking for
- Describe your strengths and useful skills for the company in detail (you will need to research the company and the job offer)
- Make sure that what you mention in your resume is consistent with the content of your student cover letter
- Get straight to the point and write a concise and punchy cover letter (less than 250 words)
- Check both documents for spelling mistakes before you submit them
FAQ – Student resume
How can I best sum up my job profile in a student resume?
Here are 3 tips on how to write an attention-grabbing opener (personal statement) in your student resume:
- In the first sentence, indicate your highest level of study
- Follow that up with your highest level of accomplishment in your career to date (replace this with what you can offer the company if you have no previous work experience)
- Round it all off with a short phrase outlining your desire to join the company
What work experience should be included in a resume for a college student?
You could include for example a volunteering experience or any part-time job. In both cases, give plenty of detail about the tasks assigned to you. Opt for action verbs when describing them. Better still, include figures that showcase your achievements if you want to really impress the recruiter.
How can I quickly write up a good student resume?
If you want to save some time, use our student resume template. All you need to do is pick one from our selection of sample resumes. Then, enter your information online to have one automatically created for you.