How To Write a Student Resume

Creating a strong, professional resume as a student or recent graduate can be challenging. Without hands-on work experience, it can be difficult to grab the attention of prospective employers and internships. Despite these obstacles, there are a number of strategies you can use to create an impactful resume that highlights the strongest aspects of your education. Throughout this guide, we’ll provide expert tips to help you market your skill set effectively as you pursue internships and entry-level jobs.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Level
  • Senior-Level
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1. Create a profile by summarizing your student qualifications

As a student without years of hands-on work experience, you’ll need to create an impactful opening summary to grab the attention of prospective employers. Start by mentioning that you’re a recent graduate in a specific field, and then provide three to four industry-specific skills in your opening sentence. Be sure to incorporate key terms that match the job posting, as this will show hiring managers that you have their desired skill set, even if you lack industry experience.

Professional Profile - Example #1


A recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics, specializing in finance, financial modeling, accounting principles, and risk assessment. Adept at forecasting long-term business outlooks and identifying financial risks.

Professional Profile - Example #2


A recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, specializing in social media, communication, content writing, and brand messaging. Adept at developing and implementing engaging content to grow brand awareness and expand social media presence.

2. Outline your experience in a compelling list

If you’ve completed internships or held an entry-level position in your field, you’ll want to feature this information prominently in your professional experience section. Focus on your positive contributions to the organization and the industry knowledge you’ve cultivated. If your work experience isn’t relevant to your field, you should still include it on your resume, as these jobs can still help to demonstrate your ability to interface effectively with diverse teams and customers.

Professional Experience - Example #1


Academic Projects

Financial Analyst Projects, University of Syracuse, New York, NY

September 2022 – June 2023

  • Developed financial documentation for a three-month simulation of a startup e-commerce business, which included translating hypothetical business events into financial reporting
  • Created 12 pages of journal entries and financial statements using MS Excel, including reconciliations and month-end close

Professional Experience - Example #2


Professional Experience

Marketing Intern, Roque & Harmen Legal Associates, Seattle, WA

February 2023 – June 2023

  • Provided support to the marketing team for all digital initiatives, including copy for social media posts, blog content, and strategy development
  • Contributed to a 150% increase in click rates and a 100% increase in followership on LinkedIn over a three-month period
  • Attended meetings with the marketing department to discuss social media strategy

4. Make a list of your key skills and proficiencies as a student

In addition to your education, consider completing certifications to bolster your job applications. This will also show employers that you’re furthering your knowledge of the field even without hands-on work experience. For example, if you’re a computer science student, completing a bootcamp course or obtaining a CompTIA certification will show prospective employers that you have a strong understanding of the basics.

Certifications

Template

  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]

Example

  • Social Media Marketing Certification, Hootsuite Academy, 2023
  • CompTIA A+ Certification, 2023

Education

Template

  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] [Dates Enrolled]

Example

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Software Engineering
  • MIAMI DADE COLLEGE, Miami, FL September 2019 – June 2023

4. Make a list of your student-related skills and proficiencies

Most organizations utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to identify qualified candidates for job openings. If your resume lacks a certain number of key skills, you may be rejected before your resume reaches the hiring manager. To mitigate this risk, you’ll want to incorporate key terms directly from the job description into your profile, professional experience, and skills sections. Below, you’ll find a list of common keywords across a wide range of industries:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Accounting Business Strategy
Client Relations Communication
Customer Service Data Analytics
Data Analysis Digital Marketing
Economics Financial Analysis
Financial Reporting Healthcare
Information Technology Operations Management
Marketing Strategy Patient Care
Process Improvement Project Management
Sales Software Development

5. Highlight Volunteerism or Extracurricular Activities

As a student, you may want to consider highlighting volunteer experience and extracurricular activities on your resume, especially if you find yourself struggling to reach the one-page mark. Although much of this experience won’t be explicitly relevant to your target industry, it can help prospective employers gain a better sense of who you are as a candidate.

How To Pick the Best Student Resume Template

If you find yourself struggling to find the right template, you’re not alone. With such a wide variety of options, it can be hard to select the right template for your individual needs. Try to find a template that is well-organized with a visual appeal that doesn’t distract the reader from your content. Ultimately, your qualifications, academic projects, and education will always be the determining factors in whether or not the hiring manager decides to bring you in for an interview.

Student Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Level
  • Senior-Level

Amar Singh
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
LinkedIn | Portfolio
New York, NY 12345

Profile

A recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics, specializing in finance, financial modeling, accounting principles, and risk assessment. Adept at forecasting long-term business outlooks and identifying financial risks.

Key Skills

  • Financial Analysis
  • SAP
  • Financial Modeling
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Forecasting

Professional Experience

Financial Analyst Internship, Cadence Investment Firm, New York, NY
January 2022 – June 2023

  • Supported financial analysts in conducting financial reporting, evaluating business financials, and identifying risk factors for investors
  • Coordinated with the finance team to create presentations on business intelligence reports and due diligence on businesses to determine investment viability

Academic Projects

Financial Analyst Projects, University of Syracuse, New York, NY
September 2022 – June 2023

  • Developed financial documentation for a three-month simulation of a startup e-commerce business, which included translating hypothetical business events into financial reporting
  • Created 12 pages of journal entries and financial statements using MS Excel, including reconciliations and month-end close

Education

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Economics
UNIVERSITY OF SYRACUSE, Syracuse, NY September 2019 – June 2023

Frequently Asked Questions: Student Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for student resumes?+

It’s easy to find yourself running short on action verbs during the resume-building process, especially as a student. Often there are only a limited number of verbs you can use to describe your academic projects, internships, and work experience. That being said, differentiating your usage of action verbs will keep your bullet points fresh and compelling. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of verbs you can use to build out your resume:

Action Verbs
Achieved Analyzed
Collaborated Communicated
Conducted Coordinated
Created Delivered
Designed Developed
Enhanced Evaluated
Identified Implemented
Improved Managed
Oversaw Performed
Planned Provided
Supported Troubleshot

How do you align your resume with a job description?+

Aligning your resume with the job description is essential for generating interviews on the open market as a student or recent graduate. You’ll likely encounter strong competition, even for entry-level positions. As you craft your document, take the time to carefully analyze each job posting before submitting your application and incorporate skill sets and qualifications that match that organization’s needs.
 
For example, if a company is looking for a software developer with a firm grasp of application development, you’d want to highlight academic or independent projects that demonstrate this knowledge. If you’re applying for an entry-level financial analyst role that is centered around business intelligence, you may want to showcase your knowledge of financial modeling. If you can’t showcase an internship or project, you should highlight skills and coursework that matches the role you’re applying for.

What is the best student resume format?+

Although a functional resume approach may seem appealing for a student with limited experience, you should still avoid crafting a resume that only highlights your skills. Providing details for your academic projects and even work experience outside of your target field is still important for differentiating yourself from the applicant field. Try using a combination approach that features your most relevant skill sets and coursework while providing hiring managers with enough information to assess who you are as a candidate.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume
Including a matching cover letter can help bolster your application as a student or recent graduate. Instead of industry experience, this is an opportunity to tell prospective employers who you are and why you’re interested in joining their team. Be sure to mention something specific about the organization’s mission statement, reputation, or culture and why this draws you to apply for the position. For more information, visit our student cover letter guide.

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Frank headshot

Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

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