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Being a college student comes with many challenges; the job search shouldn’t be another one. If you’re a college student looking for the best free resume templates, you’ll find everything you need: a complete, step-by-step guide on how to write your resume, premium resume examples for specific degrees and academic levels plus writing tips.

Resumes for Every College Student

Browse these resume examples for all your college student needs. Whether you’re doing an MBA, attending law school, have graduated or are about to graduate college, you can find a resume that’s the right fit for you.

  • Resume for MBA Student
  • Resume for Medical School Student
  • Resume for Law School Student
  • Resume for Graduate School Student
  • Resume for Bachelor’s Degree Student
  • Resume for Soon-to-Be Graduate Student
  • Resume for College Internship
  • Resume for Work-Study Student

Free Downloadable College Resume Templates

Take your pick from any of these free resume templates for college students. Simply hit the download button, open the file and edit in Word or your favorite word processor.

How to Write Your College Resume

On a basic level, a resume involves writing five key sections: the professional summary, work history, skills, education and contact information. Before you begin writing any of those sections, you’ll first need to gather your professional information, such as previous job titles, dates of employment, lists of skills and any certifications or qualifications.

Once you’ve got a good bulk of that information, you’ll need to tailor it to the job for which you’ll be applying. One resume won’t work perfectly for every single job for which you apply. The key to making a top-performing resume lies in making one that responds to each role’s specific needs. Let’s get started.

1. Prepare to write a resume.

Narrow the job search: As a college student or recent graduate, you may choose from different types of jobs: a part-time job to make some quick cash while studying or, perhaps, an internship to get practical experience in your field. You may even want to start looking for a full-time job as your graduation approaches. Once you have made that clear distinction, you’ll be able to narrow down the skills, work experiences and qualifications you should be focusing on in your resume.

Make a list of skills and achievements: Compile a list of all your skills and your previous roles, including your official job titles and dates of employment. Make a note of any significant achievements you have accomplished in these roles or in school, as these will strengthen your resume. You should think back and pinpoint these strengths because they will become the essential parts of your resume.

Study the job ad: A resume shouldn’t be a document you recycle for every job application. Instead, you should fine-tune it to highlight the skills and qualifications the employer will value the most. Thoroughly scan the job ad for repeated skills and keywords to add to your resume. This insight will help you curate your skills section and work history to better tailor them to the job for which you’re applying.

Browse resume examples: As a college student, you might have never written a resume before. Browse trusted, professionally-made resume examples for your desired role to understand better how a resume should look. These resumes have real-life examples of skills and experiences you can use as a guide to writing your own.

2. Choose the correct resume format.

Once you’ve done your prep work, you need to learn which kind of resume is best for your current professional situation. Resumes are categorized into three formats, which highlight different professional strengths. Choosing the appropriate format ensures you showcase your strengths to their highest potential.

Functional format: The functional resume is all about skills, so if you choose this, you’ll need to spend a lot of time crafting your multiple skills sections. This format is particularly beneficial if you have little formal experience but lots of relevant qualifications and skills for your desired position. Let’s say you’re a marketing major who’s participated in a couple marketing competitions and you’re ready to get professional experience in the form of an internship. The functional format will be the best choice when writing your resume.


Combination format: In combination resumes, you need to put a lot of effort into the work history and skills sections. This format is excellent for college students because you’ve probably had some professional experience here and there as well as valuable skills acquired through education. If you’re a college student with limited experience applying for your first formal job related to your degree, a combination resume is a great choice.


Chronological format: Chronological resumes focus on the work history section, meaning that’s the section you should put in the most effort. Although generally impractical for college students (unless you’ve had 10+ years of work experience), this format is ideal for those candidates who have had a long and consistent career and lots of accomplishments. For example, suppose you’ve been working for years in office management and decided to get a master’s degree in computer science to increase your chances of getting hired. In that case, you could use a chronological resume to showcase your extensive experience.


3. Add your skills.

You should carefully craft your skills section to display your most valuable assets regardless of the type of resume format you choose. Every skills section should be diverse and include a balanced amount of soft, hard and technical skills. Let’s go over what these skill types mean.

Soft skills determine your ability to work in the most efficient way possible. In a way, soft skills are descriptors of how you work. For example, some soft skills can be conflict resolution, time management, leadership and collaboration.


Hard skills relate specifically to the type of work you do and the industry in which you work. You can learn hard skills through education or practical experience. As a college student, some hard skills you might possess are writing, typing speed, basic math skills, budgeting and proficiency in a foreign language.


Technical skills have to do with your ability to use specific digital tools in various roles and industries. For example, college students can have technical skills like Microsoft Office Suite expertise, knowledge of Adobe programs and proficiency with email platforms like Gmail or Outlook.


We’ve compiled a list of general skills college students in a broad range of degrees can apply to their resumes. Browse through these skills, pick the ones that truly represent your abilities, and include them in your resume.


  • Hard skills:

    • Data analysis
    • Data management
    • Bookkeeping
    • Filing
    • Office management
    • Writing
    • Editing
    • Teaching
    • Research
    • Mathematical skills
    • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Social content creation
  • Photo and video editing
  • Fundraising
  • Event planning
  • Event production
  • Scheduling
  • Sales
  • Project management
  • Bilingual
  • Soft skills:

    • Verbal and written communication
    • Creative thinking
    • Collaboration
    • Teamwork
    • Leadership
    • Critical thinking
    • Problem-solving
    • Conflict resolution
    • Flexibility
    • Adaptability
    • Punctual
  • Organizational skills
  • Delegation
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Takes initiative
  • Networking
  • Negotiation
  • Enthusiastic
  • Persistent
Technical skills:

  • Expertise in Microsoft Office Suite, i.e., Word, Excel, Outlook
  • Basic Adobe Photoshop skills
  • Knowledge of project management software, i.e., Trello, Basecamp, Smartsheet, Monday

Although listed skills sections mainly belong in chronological and combination resumes, functional resumes center around an expanded skills section. Instead of just listing skills, choose three primary professional skills and list instances where you’ve exhibited your mastery of said skill.

Check out this example of an English major college student’s functional skills section to visualize it better:

Skills

Copy editing

  • Proofread and edit monthly issues of the English department’s literary magazine, including opinion pieces, chronicles, poetry, short stories and academic essays.
  • File, read and review 100+ monthly submissions for the literary magazine, making sure they follow institutional guidelines and proper academic formatting.
  • Create social media copy and promotional materials for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and print advertisements.

Research

  • Compiled dozens of primary and secondary sources for research papers and one final thesis.
  • Sifted through federal, state and local historical archives to deepen the scope and rigor of my thesis.
  • Efficiently browsed online archives to find relevant peer-reviewed articles to reference in 10+ research papers which received A+ evaluations and glowing reviews.

Self-starter

  • Revived a decades-long dormant institutional publication and single-handedly recruited a team of editors and volunteers to create an online and print magazine with 5,000+ monthly views.
  • Sourced funds from institutions, government entities, cultural organizations and private investors to launch an online literary magazine and compensate workers fairly.
  • Created a tutoring and literacy program for disadvantaged youth powered by volunteer students, teacher’s assistants and professors to provide supervised studies, tutoring, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and SAT prep for high school students in our local community.

4. Outline your work history.

When writing your work history section, each current or previous experience should include your official title, the name of the company you worked for, its location and dates of employment. Each role needs to be listed in reverse-chronological order, meaning you start with your current or most recent position first and work backward to your oldest jobs.

However, on functional resumes, the work history is much more limited, and you can omit the bullet points detailing accomplishments.

To maximize the impact of your work history section, you must do more than list your job responsibilities. Don’t simply write the daily tasks anyone in that job can do, but instead feature personal achievements that demonstrate how you overcame challenges or went above and beyond your plain duties. It also helps if you use strong action phrases and incorporate numbers to quantify your accomplishments.

For example, look at this work history entry for a Journalism grad school student:

Work History

Vox Populis Media Group, Journalist

Chicago, IL | 02/2016 - Current

  • Pitch, research and draft long-form stories to promote investigative news topics.
  • Interview 10+ sources, contacts and leads to collect information and quotes for news articles weekly.
  • Report and write daily and front-page breaking news stories and publish real-time updates on social media and the online newspaper.

5. Showcase your education.

Your education section will consist of your current and past degrees listed in reverse chronological order. Each entry must include the degree title, the institution or institutions you attended (for example, if you transferred schools), attendance dates and graduation date if it applies to you.

Check out this example of an education section:

Education

MS in Instructional Design and Technology | 09/2020 - Current

Walden University- Minneapolis, MN

Bachelor of Arts, Education | 09/2014 - 07/2018

Minnesota State University - Mankato, MN


6. Add custom sections.

Besides your main resume sections, you can also pack your resume with additional sections highlighting more skills, qualifications and professional insight that you may not accurately express in just a work history or skills section.

Custom Sections to Include in a College Resume

  • Relevant coursework
  • Awards
  • Honors
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer work
  • Internships


7. Include your contact information.

In all resumes, you should head your document with your full name, email address, phone number, city and state, and — if appropriate for your desired role — professional social media accounts, LinkedIn or a link to an online work portfolio.

Strengthen Your Application with a Cover Letter

A cover letter strengthens any job application, especially for college students who may lack a lot of years of professional experience but can make up for it with valuable leadership and teamwork skills acquired through group projects, presentations and college associations.

Our Cover Letter Builder is the ideal tool to quickly yet efficiently create a full-page cover letter. Our builder prompts a personalized draft that uses formal, professional vocabulary and excellent writing by simply answering a handful of questions about your career background and writing style. Going in to edit with specific accomplishments is easy with our auto-save feature and spell-checker. Just pick your favorite, professionally-designed template, download your file and get ready to apply to your dream job.

administrative assistant cover letter

Enjoy the Benefits of Our Resume Builder

The foremost tool for writing a resume is Hloom’s Resume Builder. Save time from writing every little detail of your resume and use our innovative builder’s personalized content suggestions to fill in all your resume sections. Choose from 16 premium templates and customize the font type, size, colors, margins and more to make your resume look as professional as you are.

FAQ

How do you write a resume for a college application?

When applying for college, you won’t necessarily need to write a resume, but in some cases, institutions may ask you to submit an academic resume or curriculum vitae (CV). If you’re a high school student who’s about to apply for college and needs a job, you can check out our high school student resume writing guide for every detail on how to create a stellar resume.

How do you make a student CV in Microsoft Word?

You can make a student CV or an academic resume on Microsoft Word by using their native templates. Writing a CV differs from a resume because it is a much longer document (at least two pages) and includes a more detailed summary of your previous experience and academic achievements. You can also browse our CV samples to visualize a CV better and see real-life examples of work history and skills sections.

What type of resume is best for a college student?

Out of the three resume types or formats, the best one for a college student will likely be the functional format since it benefits candidates with little to no formal experience by emphasizing skills. A combination resume could also work for a student if they’ve had some limited work experience they want to detail alongside their sturdy skill set

What should be on a college resume?

If applying to a role within the field you’re studying, you should include sections that list any relevant coursework or special projects that demonstrate your practical and theoretical knowledge of the subject. These qualifications can guarantee that you have the tools to perform the job despite not having that much formal experience in the field.

More template pages we know you'll love!

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