College Resume Examples & Writing Tips
Written by James Bunes, Author • Last updated on July 1, 2024

College Resume Examples & Writing Tips

Managing your studies is hard enough without expending the effort to create a winning college resume. You need a resume capable of accurately displaying your education, projects, and skills to properly show the hiring manager that you’re the ideal candidate. This guide provides realistic resume examples for college students, as well as tips and tricks to get you an interview for a successful job or internship.

Key sections to include in a college student resume

Most college resume templates follow the same basic structure: a header with contact details, a resume objective, education, skills, and work experience (if you have it). It’s also a good idea to include extra sections, like volunteer work, to reinforce your qualifications and knowledge.

Let’s explore the top elements of a winning resume and actionable college resume examples for each of them.

Your personal details are crucial to ensure the hiring manager can quickly contact you if they’re interested, so be sure to place them in a convenient, centralized location – typically right at the top of your resume. The top details to include are:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Location (city and state)
  • LinkedIn URL

Here’s an example header for a college student:

Julie Kim
Content Creator
Pittsburgh, PA

Note: Because this guide aims to help every college student, we simply used “Content creator” as an example. Please fill in whichever job role you’re targeting.

Resume objective or summary

Resume objectives are two- to four-sentence descriptions detailing your aspirations and skills, giving hiring managers a quick glance into your qualifications before they dive in fully. Here’s an example resume objective for a college student seeking a content creator role:

Dedicated college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications seeking an entry-level Content Creator position at Creative Scaling. Eager to use critical thinking, adaptability, and innovation to write actionable content that builds organic traffic and increases conversions. Looking forward to starting my writing career by working collaboratively and building content strategy skills.

Resume objectives are similar to resume summaries, which are recommended for experienced professionals and discuss your work experience. Objectives are perfect for college students because they focus on your goals instead of work history.

Check out our resume examples for realistic examples of both resume summaries and objectives.


For most resumes, work experience would go next, but we recommend placing education first. Much like high school student resumes, college students generally have little to no work experience, so your most impactful achievements are your degrees, coursework, and projects. Ensure you use flexible resume templates so you can put your education section wherever you want it.

The education section doesn’t need to be long, but students should add more details than the average job seeker. Start with the name of your degree, then add the institution, location, and graduation date. After this, you can add a bullet list of honors and achievements.

Here’s an example:

Bachelor’s Degree in Communication
Annenberg School for Communication, Philadelphia, PA
September 2020 – May 2024

  • Managed the university's social media accounts, posting engaging updates and answering comments
  • Dean’s List 2023
  • GPA: 3.9

Work experience

This section isn’t an absolute necessity, and many college student resume templates may even omit it. However, if you do have part-time work or internships, we encourage you to list them to show recruiters your experience and work ethic.

For each work entry, provide your job title, the company name, location, and date of employment. Afterward, add a bullet list of achievements to add tangible outcomes to your work.

Here’s a quick example:

Content Writer Intern
Peace & Harmony, Pittsburgh, PA
March 2022 – April 2023

  • Assisted the Head of Content by researching trends and proofreading writing briefs, increasing content accuracy and improving productivity by 10%
  • Produced two engaging, informative 1,500W blog posts per month for the company website
  • Collaborated with editors, building healthy working relationships and adapting to feedback

For more examples like this, check out our intern resume examples.

Hard and soft skills

Skills are an essential element of every resume, giving the hiring manager a quick glance at your capabilities. However, we can’t give specific examples because you could be applying for many different roles.

We recommend you critically examine the job description and choose the best five to 10 abilities to list. This shows your relevance to the role and helps you get picked up by applicant tracking systems (ATS) by using similar terminology.

Optional sections

Optional resume elements aren’t vital, but they help reinforce your abilities and experience, particularly when you have little work experience. For example, if you don’t have a professional history in healthcare, it helps to have volunteer experience at an elderly care facility.

The most common optional sections include:

  • Volunteer work
  • Languages
  • Certificates
  • Hobbies and interests

Even hobbies help communicate your value to recruiters. Let’s say you’re applying for a sales role – your public speaking hobby and interest in negotiation techniques will help enormously.

Tips for writing a college resume

The basics are a great start, but we can add more value to your college resume with our resume tips. Showcase your academic achievements, use a stellar resume format, and show the hiring manager that you’re the best new talent they’ve seen.

Use the Harvard resume format

The Harvard resume format is a special structure created by experts at Harvard University. This resume format aims to showcase educational achievements above all else and puts an emphasis on high-priority accomplishments, rather than just listing points in reverse-chronological order.

Read our guide on Harvard resumes to learn how to build one of these effective documents.

Make your education stand out

For most college students, your education is the most impactful part of your resume, so it’s important to dress it up and make it stand out. Don’t be shy – include projects, coursework, extracurricular activities, and honors. Hiring managers need this information and they want you to give them the details on why your application is relevant.

For more detailed tips, check out our article on how to place education on resumes.

Create a college resume that turns heads

Don’t let a lack of professional experience intimidate you – you can build a successful college student resume that impresses recruiters and secures you your dream role. Just follow our tips:

  • Focus on your education and add honors, coursework, and projects
  • Craft an engaging resume objective to showcase your goals and skills
  • Consider your extra accomplishments to reinforce your value, like volunteer work and hobbies
  • Use the Harvard resume format to put your education front and center

Let’s turn these best practices into a tangible resume. Head over to CVwizard’s resume builder to create a professional, attractive college resume in minutes.

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James Bunes
James Bunes
James Bunes, copywriter, editor, and strategist, combines job search and HR writing experience to produce actionable content on resumes, career advice, and job search tactics.

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