For students with little or no relevant work experience it can be difficult trying to get a job.
The reality is that most students don’t have an employment track record that will make prospective employers jump out of their seats with excitement. However it’s worth remembering that employers will know that students have little or no employment track record, and will take this into account when reviewing their application. This in turn means that a student does not need to worry about explaining their lack of experience.
The purpose of this page is to provide you with information about writing a student resume. It does this is two ways, firstly by giving you expert tips and guidance on what to write, and secondly by allowing you free access to 50 professionally written resume examples.
What is a student resume?
A resume is essentially a brief summary of your background, and a snapshot of your skills and abilities. Its primary purpose is to generate the interest of a potential employer enough to secure you an interview. To do this it must outline a job applicant’s unique work related education, skills sets, accomplishments, and experience.
The importance of a resume
Your resume is important because it’s the first interaction you will have with an employer and usually the only contact you have with the potential employer. Bear in mind that most employers are actually looking for a reason NOT to interview you, meaning there is no room for anything but a flawless, compelling document. It’s your calling card, something that should make you shine and look extra special. Many studies have shown that the average hiring manager spends approximately 30 seconds looking at a resume, so it’s vital that you do everything possible to make sure that your resume is actually read rather than just skimmed over. You you can have the best resume in the world but if no one notices it then it’s wasted.
STUDENT RESUME TEMPLATE EXAMPLES
On this page there are 50 professionally written resume examples that have been created from the perspective of a student who has no work experience. They are targeted at various roles, and will give you a good idea of how to design and focus your resume at a specific job. Click on the templates to see the full PDF version.
MAKING YOUR STUDENT RESUME STAND OUT
No matter what people say, first impressions do count.
There is no right way to write a resume, but there are many wrong ways to write one. The key point to note is that if its getting you invited to interviews then its working, if it isn’t then it’s not.
Shortcomings in your resume can be overcome by highlighting other competencies that employers look for, such as your communication skills, transferable skills and future potential. It’s definitely well worth spending time on putting together your resume, as a well constructed and easy to comprehend CV, has a much better chance of being noticed, read and acknowledged. Below are tips on how to spice up your resume and get noticed by those all important Hiring Managers;
Show that you know what the job is about
Do this by researching a prospective employer and then mentioning their products or services. Check their press releases or see if they’ve been in the news, then pass comment on what you have discovered.
Use words that will be different from the mainstream can help you to stand apart from others. A good example of this when using the word ‘exemplary’ instead of ‘excellent’.
- So ‘I have excellent communication skills’, becomes ‘I have exemplary communication skills’.
Always put a positive spin on anything you’ve done, below are some examples;
- ‘I used my organisational skills to come up with a better way to ………………’
- ‘After two months I was put in charge of ……………… ’
- ‘I quickly became the ‘go to’ person for…………….’
Focus on your future potential
Do this by demonstrating your knowledge of the market they are in. Research it, find out interesting facts and future market predictions, then mention these in your resume. This is a great way of showing that you have an in-depth understanding of their industry and are keen to enter and progress in it. When talking about your future potential the sky really is the limit.
Show off your communication skills
You can impress a employer by writing a highly readable piece of work that is much better written than any others that they receive. If they like the way you have written your resume then you have a real chance of success.
Work experience, charity work or volunteering
if you have any type of unpaid work experience then try to find information, responsibilities, achievements or experience in there that is relevant to the job you are applying for. This can be anything such as;
- Class/course research projects.
- Certificates and licenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Part time job
- Relevant Coursework
- Technical/Computer Skills
- Work placements
Personal qualities that impress employers
Employers want adaptive recruits, people who can rapidly fit into an existing workplace culture. Below are a list of positive characteristics that they typically look for in potential employees:
- Analytical and conceptual skills.
- Adaptability and flexibility.
- Ability to handle pressure.
- Capacity to quickly ‘fit in’ to an organisation.
- Considerate and helpful.
- Common sense.
- Completing a task in more than just one way.
- Decision making.
- Emotional maturity.
- Getting things done.
- High energy levels – shows you have the drive required to carry out difficult tasks or projects.
- Honesty and integrity.
- Leadership potential.
- Loyalty and discretion to the employer.
- Remaining calm and determined under pressure.
- Personal effectiveness.
- Positive attitude towards work.
- Relationship-building and relationship-management.
- Results orientated.
- Self assurance.
- Supervisory and leadership skills.
- Time management.
- Tactful and patient communicator.
- Team working (ability to work well with others whilst pursuing a common goal).
- Willingness to accept responsibility.
- Willingness to learn.
Transferable skills (also known as soft skills)
These are competencies learnt in one environment, but which can be utilised in another. They can be carried over from one job to another, and are useful across a range of different roles and industries. Transferable skills can be acquired through employment, voluntary work, hobbies, sports, virtually anything. Below are a list of common transferable skills;
- Attention to detail.
- Articulate communicator.
- Awareness of diversity issues.
- Being professional.
- Communication skills -the ability to communicate both formally and informally.
- Conflict resolution.
- Customer service.
- Customer-facing skills.
- Commercial awareness.
- Evaluation / Critical Thinking.
- Handle pressure and meet deadlines.
- Literacy and writing.
- Initiative – being able to anticipate challenges and opportunities before they arise.
- Problem solving.
- Making and saving money for an employer.
- Making decisions.
- Numeracy – understanding and using information such as numbers, statistics and graphs.
- Obtaining and processing information.
- Planning, organizing, and prioritizing work.
- Speaking foreign languages.
- Verbal communication skills (speaking clearly).
Coming up with ideas
Show that you have or can come up with unique and exciting ideas or solutions to intractable problems. Even consider making sensible and well thought out suggestion on how they can improve their current business operations.
Highlight your achievements
Don’t be shy, instead shout about your most noteworthy accomplishments.
Use industry related keywords (research the field you want to enter and look for current buzz words).
Mention if you are a member of professional organisations or bodies.
Language proficiency is also something that can impress many employers.
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