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How College Students can Write a Powerful Resume

Resume Writing for College Students-

  1. Gather the info:  Get all of your data, such as your grades, main courses, projects, internship details, achievements and experience.  With all the information in one place, you are ready to start your resume.
  2. Understand the Job Needs:  Read the job ad carefully and find out what skill and experience it needs.  If you feel you are a good fit, begin to build a resume.
  3. Tailor Your Resume to the Job: Employers only spend about 30 seconds on each resume unless you catch their attention. You need to make your resume look like you were custom tailored for the job. Explain how your specific experience makes you the perfect fit for the job. With the ease of Wordprocessing software, each resume should be custom tailored. There is no excuse for a generic resume anymore. So turn the spotlight on your resume.

College Students Practice InterviewResume Format and Elements for College Students:

  • Margin:  The left, right, top and bottom margins should be one inch.  Remember, plenty of white space attracts the reader to the text.
  • Font:  Use a serif font like the Times New Roman or Helvetica.  Limit the type of fonts you use to one or two.  Ensure also that the fonts you use are common fonts usually available on all the computers.  Otherwise, the computer will use a default font and your resume may not look good.

 Resume Elements:

Your resume should have the following elements:

  • Name, address, Cell phone and landline number, e-mail ID and Skype ID (optional).
  • Profile
  • Internship
  • Certifications
  • Computer skills
  • Academic accomplishments
  • Core courses specific to the job
  • •GPA.  Is your GPA 3.0 or more?  If yes, include it.  Otherwise skip the GPA.
  • Foreign languages
  • On- and Off-campus work / volunteer experience – List those experience first that has a strong match with the job needs
  • Membership in professional associations, institutes or societies

In the above list of elements, not all of them may apply to you.  If that’s the case, skip such items.

Order the Elements of your Resume: You must change the order of the elements so those that have a good fit with the job needs are at the top of your resume.

For example, if you have on- or off-campus work experience that is in line with the employer needs, place the Work Experience section right below your Profile.

A key method to craft a powerful resume is to make the info that satisfies the job needs quickly visible to the reader.  Reorder the elements in your resume to achieve that goal.

Resume Keywords:

Mold your Resume with Keywords- Search for the keywords and keyword phrases in the job ad.  Weave such text in your resume so it has a strong sync with the job needs.  This will make your resume shine.

Add jargon words in your resume that are common to your field and are also present in the ad.  The keywords and industry jargon words in your resume can make the reviewer give more attention to it.

Check for Typos and Grammar Errors:

Use a spellchecker, Proofread your resume at least a few times and have someone else with good grammar skills proofread it as well. A single misspelled word or grammar mistake can tip the scales against you! Be sure to catch and fix any spelling or grammar mistakes.

See Also:

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Photo Credits: College Students Practice Interviewing  By bpsusf on flickr

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+