The main section of any resume is the work history and job experience section. Whether it’s an internship, a summer job, or babysitting for your neighbors’ kids, include your experience and give a brief explanation of your role and responsibilities. Use action verbs to keep it positive and impactful, and focus on the positive results and lasting impression you made in that role.
If you’re applying to a specific college program or job description, talk about the relevant skills that make you an excellent candidate for that program or position. These can include soft skills, like good communication and interpersonal relationship building, or technical skills, like graphic design or programming. List them all. This is also a good spot to call out any foreign languages you speak.
If your professional work history is limited by lack of experience, that’s okay. Expand on your abilities in the leadership section instead. If you were president of the debate club, sat on the student council, or were the captain of your swimming team, college admissions departments want to know. Don’t forget to expand on the additional responsibilities of each leadership opportunity.
Whether you participated in sports, the arts, science clubs, or musical instruments, consider including your extracurricular activities. This section gives you an opportunity to share what you’re passionate about and how you’ve used that passion to achieve. Extracurriculars take time and show work ethic, commitment, and responsibility, so don’t be afraid to include a list of the clubs and teams you participated in.
Community service is another way you can show initiative, empathy, and activism. Whether you regularly volunteer at a retirement home or spend a weekend helping at your local food bank, think about including it in your college resume.
Don’t forget to list your educational experience. If you’re applying to college, include the name of your high school and your graduation date. If you’re a current college student or recent graduate, add the name of your university, community college, or program, as well as the degree you’re working toward and your expected graduation date. This is also the perfect place to include any academic awards or achievements you’ve received, like a spot on the dean’s list.
If you’re applying for a specialized program or professional job, consider including the classes or courses you’ve taken that apply to that role. If you’re applying to a film studies program, include a list of classes or courses you’ve taken that give you experience in and exposure to videography.
How to design an eye-catching resume.
While the content of your resume is highly important, how that information is laid out can make a huge difference. If you have great experience but it’s buried in your resume, recruiters and hiring managers might not find it. Plus, a beautiful or interesting resume can grab attention and make people pause while considering your experience.
Thoughtfully design your layout.
Resumes should be skimmable. People reading them often have a stack to get through, so they don’t have that much time. Break up your experience into sections, like those listed above, and use bullet points to highlight your responsibilities for each. You can also use white space and columns to add breathing room and draw the viewer’s eye down the page and to important information.