13 Student Resume Examples
High school and college students sometimes feel trapped in a vicious cycle. They can’t get a job without experience, and they can’t get experience without a job.
How do you write a resume if you have limited job experience?
It’s not as difficult as you might think.
The art of a resume is to present yourself as the best candidate for a position. For high school and college students, a strong job history is not necessary for a strong resume. Instead, you can emphasize the skills and knowledge you’ve developed in your studies, internships, volunteering, or part-time work.
If your work history has nothing to do with the jobs you’re applying for, you can still highlight skills and experiences you possess that are relevant to the job you want. In this guide, we’ll show you how.
Creating a Successful Student Resume
Identify your skills and experience
Resume writing starts with brainstorming. Jot down your past jobs, internships, school projects, and volunteer work.
At this stage, don’t leave anything out. Past work that seems irrelevant to your current job search, like lawn-mowing or babysitting, might still demonstrate some skills that employers are looking for.
These notes don’t have to be polished. This is just information for you to refer to as you write your resume. Taking detailed notes about your past experiences now will make the resume writing process easier later on.
Consider which skills are most useful for the job you are applying for
If you’re looking for a customer service job, communication skills will be important. For an entry-level job at a bank, cash handling skills will be needed.
Look over the work history notes you took in step 1. Did you use communication skills to defuse an argument between the kids you were babysitting? Or did you handle money while volunteering at a fundraising event?
Write down what skills you used, and how they might relate to the job you want. This is an easy way to figure out what to put on your resume when describing your experience or skills.
By customizing your resume for the job you want, you can show employers you have the skills and experience they’re looking for.
To guide your brainstorming, here are a few skills employers might be looking for:
- Ability to work in a team
- Communication skills (written and verbal)
- Problem-solving skills
- Strong work ethic
- Analytical/quantitative skills
- Technical skills
- Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
See results of the NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 survey for more ideas on what employers look for in new college graduate applications.
Choose a great resume design
Below, we’ve listed some sample resumes that are perfect for high school and college students.
Choose the resume template that works best for you. Some resumes are geared toward a specific field. Others are general purpose and work for a variety of job types.
Look over the notes you took on your experience and skills. Think about what you will be putting on your resume, and choose your template accordingly.
Write resume text
This is where the real work begins. Now, let’s learn about the basic components of a resume and how to put them together.
Your resume will be divided into sections. Any resume should always include sections for Contact Information, Education, and Experience or Work History.
Aside from that, you can choose other sections to add, and decide how best to arrange them. Here are some you might include:
- Career Objective or Professional Summary
- Interests and Activities
- Relevant Skills
- Achievements and Awards
You may not need every section on this list. Choose the ones that work best for you. That way, the resume you make will be completely unique to you.
Let’s go through each section, step by step, and learn how to put them together.
Your contact information should always go at the top of your resume, so that employers can easily find it.
Here’s what you’ll need to include:
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number
- City and state
- LinkedIn URL, if you have good endorsements and a significant network
A few tips:
- Make sure your email address is professional. It’s best to use one that includes your first and last names, not a nickname or other reference.
- Have a mature, appropriate voicemail greeting on your phone.
- You don’t need to include your full street address. Only add it if location is important to the job. (For example, if you will need to travel to multiple locations for that job and you live somewhere centrally located, showing your address might be beneficial.)
The education section will likely go near the top of your resume if you’re a high school or college student. As you gain more work experience, you may move your education section farther down in your resume.
In reverse chronological order, list these details:
- School name
- Major or focus
- Degree and year obtained (either the year you graduated or that you expect to graduate)
If you’re a high school student, you can just put your high school name on your resume – no need to go back to middle or elementary school. If you’re in college, you don’t need to include your high school name.
If you are a high schooler who has been accepted to a college already, you can also state your college’s name and the date you will begin attending.
Don’t have a lot of work experience? You can talk about what you’ve learned in your courses in this section. Use a heading like “Relevant Coursework” to list classes or projects that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Here’s a sample education listing for a college student applying for a research assistant position:
Your education can show employers that you’re motivated and committed to learning, even without much work experience.
A career objective statement is an optional part of your resume that acts as your “elevator pitch.” It tells an employer what you have to offer in just a few sentences.
Objective statements aren’t always necessary. However, for high school and college students who don’t have a lot of work history, stating an objective is a good way to quickly indicate how their experience lines up with what the employer is seeking in a candidate.
This section should be short and to the point. Let employers know, in 1-3 sentences, what your ultimate goal or objective for employment is.
A common mistake when writing objective statements is talking about how the job will benefit you, rather than how you will benefit your employer. Stand out from the crowd by writing an objective that makes it clear why you’re the best choice for their business.
Here’s an example of a BAD objective statement:
This objective statement outlines some personal goals but doesn’t tell the employer how they would benefit by them – it only tells how the job would benefit the candidate.
It’s also needlessly vague: “gain experience and learn about the field” isn’t specific enough to be of interest to employers. There’s no need to mention that you had a marketing internship in this section, as that information can go under Experience or Work History.
Now, here’s an example of a GOOD objective statement:
This objective statement tells prospective employers exactly what you have to offer. It provides details that might not be found elsewhere in your resume. This is what the objective statement should do: provide specific, important information about what would make you a desirable employee.
Your Work History section (or Work Experience section) will list the past jobs you’ve had. Start with the most recent one, and list each job in reverse chronological order.
For each job, show the job title, the name of the company, and the length of employment. You can also include the city and state where the company is located if you’d like.
It can be appropriate to list internships or volunteer work in this section, if they are relevant to the job you’re seeking. You can also leave off any jobs that are completely unrelated to the job you want.
However, be careful not to leave any unexplained gaps in your work history. If you’re applying for a banking job but you worked in a restaurant for 2 years, it’s better to list the restaurant job than to make it look like you were unemployed for 2 years.
Give specifics about what your responsibilities or accomplishments were at each job. Bullet points are an easy way to do this. Use two or three bullets to describe the skills you used, or how you improved the business.
Here, you can describe skills or responsibilities from a past job that apply to the job you want, even if it’s in a completely different field.
For example, if you were to put your restaurant work history on a resume for a banking job, it might look like this:
With this work history listing, you’ve shown that you can provide good customer service in a busy environment, learn new computer software, and reliably handle cash registers. These are all skills you might use at a banking job, even though your experience was at a restaurant.
Remember to be detailed and specific in your Work History section. Saying “good customer service” is not enough. Employers want to know exactly what you did or learned so they know what you have to offer as an employee.
Interests and Activities
For students who are new to the job market, interests and activities are a good way to show employers you have skills they are looking for. If you were on a sports team, or were active in the chess club, those can show you are a team player. If you took dance lessons for 10 years, that shows you are passionate and committed.
As with your Work History section, in this section you’ll want to mention what you did, where you did it, and how long you did it for.
If you didn’t have much work history to list, you could add details about specific responsibilities or skills related to your interests and activities. Just make sure it’s all relevant to your job search.
These activities show commitment, responsibility, and leadership. Information like this can help employers realize that you could be the best candidate for the job.
For this section, you can go back to the notes you took about your skills in steps 1 and 2. Fill out this section using the skills that relate to the job you want.
Having a detailed skills section on your resume can make up for a limited work history.
You don’t need to list things like email or Microsoft Word under Skills. It’s expected that students will know how to use these.
However, if you’ve designed a website on WordPress, conducted interviews for the school newspaper, or have photography experience, you may want to put these on your resume. They show you have something to offer that other job seekers might not.
As with every section on your resume, always add relevant details. This section doesn’t need to be lengthy, but it is helpful to say what kind of photography you’ve done rather than just “photography experience.”
Here’s what your Relevant Skills section might look like:
Achievements and Awards
Maybe you were in the Honor Society, or were Employee of the Month. Awards, honors, and achievements from your academics, activities, or jobs are worth listing on a resume.
Here’s an example Achievements and Awards section:
If you feel it would benefit your resume, you can list the contact information of up to three references.
Keep in mind that no matter what it says on your resume, employers may ask you for references. You should always have at least three references available.
Avoid using friends or family members as professional references. Ask former employers, professors, teachers, or coaches instead. Be sure to have handy your references’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and places of employment, to share with prospective employers.
Always make sure to stay in touch with anyone you’re actively using as a reference. Your former coach may be confused if they get a call about you from a potential employer but actually haven’t heard from you in a year.
This is the final step in creating a great resume that will get you a great job.
Employers will often pass up a resume that’s full of typos and mistakes, even if the content is impressive.
Show employers you are detail-oriented and organized by proofreading your resume. Before sending your resume out, double check it for spelling and grammar errors. If you can, have a friend look over it to catch anything you might have missed.
- Keep your resume short and simple – resumes should be no more than one page.
- Focus on relevant skills and experiences – two weekends of mowing your neighbour’s lawn is not worth mentioning if you’re applying an accounting assistant position.
- Avoid needless information – your resume doesn’t need to include your elementary school, a picture of you, or other things employers won’t care about. Focus on the areas where you think you may have an edge over other candidates.
- Format for easy reading: the most important or newest information goes at the top, to the least important or oldest at the bottom.
Free Student Resume Samples
Use the resume template samples below to help you create your own resume.
Each template comes with sample content that you will change to your own information. You should modify each example by rearranging, adding, or deleting sections to highlight your unique experience and skills.
You should also look at the templates that don’t have much to do with the position you are applying for. They can still give you ideas on what to include and how to format your resume.