Student Resume Example & Writing Guide

Writing your first resume as a student can be tricky. What should you include? How should you format it? This straightforward guide walks you through creating an effective student resume, section by section. It also includes a complete sample resume to use as a model. Read on for all the tips you need to build a resume that gets results.

Creating a resume as a student can be tough. You may not have much work experience yet, but that doesn't mean you can't make a great resume. Your resume is often the first thing potential employers see, so it needs to make a good impression. A well-written resume can help you get your foot in the door and land that interview.

In this article, you'll find a step-by-step guide on how to write a student resume that showcases your skills, education, and experiences. You'll also see an example of a student resume to give you an idea of what yours could look like. By following these tips and using the example as a starting point, you'll be able to create a resume that helps you stand out from other applicants and gets you closer to your dream job or internship. Let's dive in and start building your student resume together!

Common Responsibilities Listed on Student Resumes

  • Attending lectures and taking notes
  • Completing assignments and projects on time
  • Conducting research and writing academic papers
  • Participating in class discussions and group activities
  • Managing time effectively to balance studies and extracurricular activities
  • Maintaining good academic standing by achieving satisfactory grades
  • Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Collaborating with classmates on group projects
  • Utilizing library and online resources for research and study
  • Seeking guidance and support from professors and academic advisors

How to write a Resume Summary

When it comes to writing an effective resume, a claim to fame is your summary or objective section. As a student, this is an exceptional opportunity to showcase your potential, aligning it with the academic and personal skills you possess. Here is a breakdown of steps and strategies, providing you with a roadmap on how to construct an outstanding summary or objective section for your resume.

Understanding the Aim

This initial section is fundamentally a snapshot of your entire resume, aimed at capturing attention while also conveying a clear picture of your capacity and insight. It's not just about stating what you aspire to achieve, but more about highlighting your potential to provide value. Importantly, remember to be genuine; let your natural abilities and characteristics radiate.

Focusing on Relevant Skills

As a student, you may not possess an abundance of professional experience to lean on. But fear not, skills you've garnered from class projects, clubs, internships, part-time roles, or volunteer work can be just as influential. Considering the requirements of the role you're interested in, reflect on your skill set and determine which are most applicable. Streamlining this list to only the most relevant can make the difference between a restatement of your resume and a focused sneak peek, stirring interest in the reader.

Built on Affirmative Action

Employers appreciate a proactive attitude. Use action verbs to display initiative and illustrate your ability to bring results. Phrases like "improved," "Managed," "initiated," or "Deployed" paint a dynamic picture of you being at the center of action and driving change.

Showcase your Traits

This is your chance to project more than just your skills and achievements. Highlight your attitude, work ethic, and admiral qualities, proving you're more than just a student looking for a role; you're a whole person set to bring value.

Avoid Redundancy

It's easy to dive into the skills portion and end up restating facts from other areas of your resume. A summary is a synopsis, not just a retelling. Instead of delving too deep into any one area, offer a clear, straight to the point representation that prompts the reader to want to learn more.

Tailor to Target

To wrap it all up, tailor your resume objective or summary according to the specific role you're interested in. Not all roles require the same skills or traits, remember to tap into the individuality of each job posting. Recruiters appreciate it when candidates have tailored their resumes showing an understanding of the role at stake.

So there you have it, a breakdown of how to put together a strong summary/objective section in your resume, even as a student. While this may seem like a lot to absorb, keep in mind that with practice comes perfection. Armed with these strategies, you're well on your way to crafting a resume that does any student proud.

Strong Summaries

  • Self-motivated and disciplined student currently studying Computer Science at XYZ University. Demonstrated ability to work in team-driven environments and strong skills in project management, coding, and software development. Seeking to apply my skills in a professional setting and take on new challenges.
  • Commerce student with a GPA of 3.8/4, experienced in business strategies and forecasting at a leading business club. Possesses strong analytical, strategic planning, and interpersonal communication skills. Proven leadership capability demonstrated through diverse school projects and club activities.
  • Dedicated psychology major with a passion for understanding human behavior and serving society. Experience in research, counseling, and data analysis. Committed to implementing these skills in a professional practice.
  • Educated and motivated Engineering student with a proven track record of delivering high-quality projects on time. Proficient in their understanding and application of CAD software and mechanical engineering theory. Seeking to start a professional career in a challenging roles.

Why these are strong?

The above are good examples because they clearly identify the students' field of study, overall skills, major achievements, and career aspirations. They also use active language and detail their experience, making them attractive to employers. The summaries demonstrate their dedication and a readiness to apply what they've learned in a professional setting, which is a good practice because employers seek candidates who can apply theoretical knowledge in practical situations. Finally, they are succinct and concise, making them easy to read and understand which is crucial in a resume.

Weak Summaries

  • I am a student, want to make money. I am available to work every day. I like music and waiting for your call.
  • Dedicated student seeking for any job just to pay my bills. I can do anything you want, whether it's dish washing or folding clothes. Done with school stuff but still need to graduate.
  • ACC Major, 1 year of school left. Looking for part-time job just to kill time. Don't know what to do after graduation but will figure it out soon.

Why these are weak?

The above examples are clear instances of poor professional summaries for a student resume. In the first example, the summary is too casual, almost like a social media post. Moreover, it provides no information about the candidate's skills, professional aspirations or what they can bring to the prospective company.

The second example, even though honest, portrays the candidate as desperate and unprofessional. It does not specify any skills or experiences that the candidate may have and does not illustrate how the candidate can provide value to the employer.

The third example also fails to provide any meaningful information. The statement 'don't know what to do after graduation' is a red flag as it shows lack of planning or ambition.

These summaries are not suitable because they do not market the candidate effectively. A professional summary should be concise and to the point, highlighting the candidate's abilities, and clearly stating their professional goals.

Showcase your Work Experience

Sure, we can certainly explore this together. Since you're still a student and likely stepping into the professional world, tailoring a work experience section might seem daunting. Thankfully, it's not as complicated as it seems.

Understanding the Basics and Purpose of Work Experience

Think of the Work Experience part of your resume as a showcase of what you've achieved—like a highlight reel of your past roles. It's not just a laundry list of jobs. It’s an opportunity to display how your academic and extra-curricular activities match what employers seek in a potential candidate.

How to Begin

Start by jotting down any part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer experiences you've had. Remember, even seemingly insignificant roles can demonstrate transferable skills like teamwork, problem-solving, or time management.

Expert Tip

Quantify your achievements and impact using concrete numbers, metrics, and percentages to demonstrate the value you brought to your previous roles.

Impressing with Achievements and Skills

Industry standards usually recommend using bulleted lists to register your contributions in each role while keeping your language simple and easy to understand. Every item should ideally begin with an action verb to add dynamism to your descriptions—used, improved, developed, etc. are just a few examples.

Numbers Speak Louder than Words

Wherever possible, quantify your achievements with numbers and data. It nudges employers to see you as capable and result-oriented. For example, instead of saying "improved customer service," you can say "boosted customer satisfaction by 20%".

Staying Relevant and Concise

Unless an experience intensely develops transferable skills, keep your focus on experiences most relevant to the position you're applying for. Remember: the aim is not to fill space, but to provide potential employers with a snapshot of what you can do.

Lastly, tailor each work experience section to align with each specific role you apply for. This signals to employers that you've done your due diligence and that you're not just mass-applying.

Remember, your resume is the first touchpoint for recruiters. Ensure all entries in your Work Experience section are truthful, organised, and impactful. You might still be a student, but with careful and thoughtful representation of your experiences, you can undoubtedly carve a niche for yourself.

Strong Experiences

  • Assisted with preparation of lab outings and planning for new student orientation.
  • Provided tutorial help to my peers in math and science.
  • Participated in university events and seminars to improve soft skills such as public speaking and networking.
  • Conducted lab experiments under supervision and documented findings in reports.
  • Worked in teams on special projects, improving team collaboration and project management skills.
  • Regularly attended club meetings, contributing to the organization and planning of events.
  • Performed administrative duties, including managing student files and scheduling appointments.
  • Volunteered at local community centre, improving interpersonal skills and contributing to community service.

Why these are strong?

These are good examples since they offer clear descriptions of the responsibilities or tasks handled in a particular role, highlighting skills and achievements. These points not only show the student's involvement in extra-curricular activities but also illustrate their transferable skills like teamwork, time management, problem-solving, and communication. The bullet points are detailed and directly target the required experience and skills which a student might demonstrate in a professional setting.

Weak Experiences

  • • Went to classes.
  • • Was part of club.
  • • Did study sessions.
  • • Was a student in a school.
  • • Passed my classes.
  • • Completed assignments on time.
  • • Graduated after 4 years.

Why these are weak?

The above examples are bad for a work experience section on a student resume. The reasons are as follows: Firstly, they are too generic. Statements like 'Went to classes' or 'Was a student in a school' don’t provide any specific details about what the student did or accomplished. They also don't make the candidate stand out as they could apply to virtually any student. Secondly, they do not demonstrate the student's abilities, skills, or accomplishments. Good resume bullet points should convey what the individual did, how they did it, and the results or impact of their work. 'Did study sessions' or 'Completed assignments on time' don't show how these actions contributed to a greater goal or project. Thirdly, they lack power verbs. Starting the bullet points with weak words like 'Was' or 'Did' does not create a strong impression. A solid resume will start each bullet point with dynamic action verbs, such as 'Led', 'Managed', or 'Achieved'. Lastly, they don't make use of numbers or metrics to quantify achievements. Including numbers can add credibility and make the accomplishments more impactful.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

Creating a strong resume is crucial for students as it is their chance to showcase their abilities before landing their first job. Although we must consider a plethora of aspects when crafting a student resume, our focus here will be on hard and soft skills. Moreover, we'll delve into how keywords and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) interrelate with skills.

The Importance of Hard and Soft Skills

Hard skills refer to technical abilities that you gain through education or training. These include skills like coding, data analysis, machine operation and additional languages. Having hard skills shows employers the practical capabilities you bring to the table. For students, such skills indicate that they have gained knowledge and are ready to apply it in real-world settings.

On the other hand, soft skills are people-focused. They include teamwork, resilience, time management, adaptability, and problem-solving. Soft skills make you a well-rounded employee who can handle various aspects of a job beyond technical tasks. For students, these skills can show that they are not only academically adept but can also thrive in social and professional settings.

Connection Between Keywords, ATS and Matching Skills

When you submit your resume online, chances are an ATS will reviewing it before a human does. An ATS is a software tool used by employers to sort and filter resumes. It scans a resume's content for keywords and phrases that are related to the job posting. The ATS then assigns a score to each resume based on how closely it matches the job description.

Words or phrases used in the job posting are your keywords. To increase your chances of passing through an ATS, you should tailor your resume using the same keywords found in the job posting, especially in the skills section. For instance, if the job posting seeks someone with "strong communication skills", include "strong communication skills" in your resume.

However, it's essential to only include skills you genuinely possess to maintain honesty and integrity. If you make it to the interview stage, you'll need to back up the skills you listed on your resume.

To summarize, both hard and soft skills are vital in a student resume as they showcase one's overall capabilities. Intelligent use of keywords improves a resume's chances of passing through an ATS, helping the specific skills needed by the employer to stand out.

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Research Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Data Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Programming Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Technical Writing
  • Project Management
  • Experimental Design
  • Laboratory Techniques
  • Data Visualization
  • Machine Learning
  • Database Management
  • Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Attention to Detail
  • Self-Motivation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Analytical Skills
  • Flexibility
  • Top Action Verbs

    Use action verbs to highlight achievements and responsibilities on your resume.

  • Researched
  • Analyzed
  • Programmed
  • Designed
  • Managed
  • Collaborated
  • Communicated
  • Presented
  • Implemented
  • Evaluated
  • Documented
  • Organized
  • Developed
  • Solved
  • Innovated
  • Coordinated
  • Facilitated
  • Adapted
  • Led
  • Prioritized
  • Negotiated
  • Resolved
  • Synthesized
  • Optimized
  • Conducted
  • Assessed
  • Critiqued
  • Demonstrated
  • Utilized
  • Operated
  • Maintained
  • Validated
  • Calibrated
  • Debugged
  • Troubleshooted
  • Programmed
  • Scripted
  • Automated
  • Education

    Adding your education and certificates to your resume is vital in boosting your overall profile, especially as a student without much working experience. Start by locating the 'Education' segment, typically found after the 'Objective' and 'Skills' sections. Then, list your most recent accomplishment, such as your degree, major, university name, and graduation date. Subsequently, note your certificates, just like your education background, but under a new 'Certifications' heading. Start from the highest or the most recent. Remember, precision and simplicity are crucial.

    Resume FAQs for Students


    What is the ideal length for a student resume?


    For students and recent graduates, a one-page resume is generally recommended. This allows you to highlight your relevant experiences, education, and skills concisely.


    What is the best resume format for students?


    The reverse-chronological format is often the most suitable for students and recent graduates. This format lists your most recent experiences and achievements first, making it easy for employers to quickly identify your qualifications.


    How should I list my extracurricular activities on a student resume?


    Extracurricular activities can be a valuable addition to a student resume, as they demonstrate your interests, leadership skills, and time management abilities. List them under a separate section, such as 'Activities' or 'Involvement,' and include your role, any achievements, and the dates of participation.


    Should I include my GPA on my student resume?


    Including your GPA on a student resume is generally recommended, especially if it is above a 3.0 or if you have a high GPA in your major. However, if your GPA is lower, you may choose to omit it or provide an explanation for any extenuating circumstances.


    How can I make my student resume stand out?


    To make your student resume stand out, focus on highlighting your relevant experiences, skills, and achievements. Use strong action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments, and quantify your achievements whenever possible. Additionally, tailor your resume to the specific job or internship you're applying for, and ensure it is well-organized and free of errors.

    Student Resume Example

    A student's role is to acquire knowledge, develop skills, and prepare for a future profession. When writing a resume: 1. Highlight relevant experiences like internships, projects, and extracurricular activities. 2. Quantify achievements and showcase transferable skills like leadership, teamwork, and time management. 3. Keep it concise, use clear language, and tailor it to the role.

    Ritthy Richardson
    (365) 947-5727

    Highly motivated and dedicated student with a passion for learning and a strong desire to make a positive impact. Possesses excellent communication skills, a keen eye for detail, and a proactive approach to problem-solving. Thrives in collaborative environments and consistently delivers high-quality results.

    Work Experience
    Research Assistant
    09/2022 - Present
    Columbia University
    • Assisted in conducting extensive literature reviews and data analysis for various research projects
    • Contributed to the development of research proposals and grant applications
    • Collaborated with a diverse team of researchers to ensure timely completion of project milestones
    • Presented research findings at departmental seminars and conferences
    • Received recognition for exceptional attention to detail and strong analytical skills
    Peer Tutor
    01/2021 - 06/2022
    City College of New York
    • Provided one-on-one tutoring sessions to students in various academic subjects
    • Developed customized study plans and learning strategies to help students improve their performance
    • Collaborated with faculty members to identify areas of improvement and implement effective tutoring methods
    • Received consistently positive feedback from students and faculty for dedication and teaching abilities
    • Increased student success rates by an average of 20% through personalized tutoring approach
    Student Volunteer
    09/2020 - 05/2021
    New York Cares
    • Actively participated in various community service projects, including park cleanups and food drives
    • Demonstrated strong leadership skills by coordinating and leading volunteer teams
    • Collaborated with local organizations to identify and address community needs
    • Received recognition for outstanding commitment to community service and volunteer work
    • Contributed to the successful completion of over 20 community service projects
  • Research and data analysis
  • Project management
  • Public speaking and presentations
  • Tutoring and teaching
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Time management and organization
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Statistical analysis software (SPSS, R)
  • Online learning platforms (Blackboard, Canvas)
  • Social media management
  • Event planning and coordination
  • Education
    Bachelor of Science in Psychology
    08/2020 - Present
    City College of New York, New York, NY