5 Tips to Craft a Rockin' College Resume

Posted by The Editors on January 9, 2012
5 Tips to Craft a Rockin' College Resume

This weekend, my college-aged cousin asked me for some first-time resume guidance and I couldn’t have been more excited to help due to my geeky love of awesome resume designs and on-the-job experience. But as I searched around for help on the web and through friends, I noticed a shortage of resume advice for college students.

While there are plenty of helpful articles on how students can attain experience and fill in resume gaps during four years of college (see here, here, and here), there is a lack of guidance on formatting, writing, and editing the resume to make sure it’s in shipshape form and ready to be sent.

During my college years and now while looking though others’ resumes, I’ve realized that many people (not just college students) make simple spelling mistakes, formatting errors, disastrous design blunders, and other resume no-nos that are sure to put them in the trash pile. So I thought back to what I did in college and what a few professors recommended in order to avoid these resume worries.

1. Take a Class
During my senior year of college, I took a web design class featuring the entire Adobe series. I’m not a design person and as painful as it was to spend my last quarter hunched over a computer in the library night after night completing assignments, I can honestly say this is the class that has taken my resume skills to the next level.

If your college offers a class in digital design tools, take it! Make use of that extra elective you’ve been dying to fit into your schedule. If you’re cringing because you’ve heard or seen how hard Photoshop or InDesign can be, know that the hardest classes are usually the ones with the biggest payoff in the end. Trust me, you’ll be thanking yourself for it long after college.

2. Visit Your Adviser or a Professor
Your adviser or a trusted professor are there to give you undivided attention, not just for helping you arrange your class schedule, but for anything related to your future career success. The best thing about them is they were schooled in your major and have probably had to write multiple resumes and CVs over the course of their career. Take advantage of these resources because most students don’t, which leaves more time for you!

3. Visit the Career Center
Counselors at your college career center are trained to help you with resumes and all things pertaining to finding an internship or job. Use them because they’re there and they’re free!

4. Go to the Tutor Center
No, you’re not going to look like a slacker if you visit the tutor or writing center. Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes and even though you’re not going there to solve a formula or write an English paper, smart, fresh eyes on your resume are always helpful and can catch errors you may not see. 

5. Make Friends with a Journalism/English Major
This is an untapped resource that students of all majors should get in on. English and journalism majors are experienced in copyediting, summarizing, using proper syntax, and regularly putting their creative juices to work. Propose a trade. Maybe they can help you with your resume if you can help them learn a subject you’re knowledgeable in. If all else fails, just offer to buy them a drink or dinner. Everyone appreciates a good meal in college!

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