The Freshmen Resume

While it may not be the U.S. Constitution, your resume is a living, breathing document.  As you grow older through time and experience, so does your resume, often times making it difficult for people to pick and choose past experiences that they feel truly illustrate their capabilities.  While someone who is 35 or 40 may have a difficult time deciding how they should fit their resume on a single page, many college freshmen and sophomores are wondering how they make their resume look less like a blank piece of paper.  

The other day, I had the pleasure of reviewing a resume for a girl who was a freshmen in college.  At first glance, I could tell that she had significantly more experience then most students her age, but still her resume seemed bare.  She had work experience prior to college, joined several extracurricular organizations, but the massive amounts of space between each section was an immediate concern.  Don’t get me wrong, a resume for a college freshmen is not nearly as important as it would be for a graduating senior, but we believe it’s always good to start early.  So how can younger college students “beef” up their resumes without misrepresenting themselves?  Here are a few quick tips:

1.  Provide a list of interests.  Whether at the beginning or end of your resume, offering a list of interests allows an employer, interviewer, teacher, etc… to get a better idea of what type of student/person you want to become.  Whether it’s baseball, astronomy or politics, show some of your true character through an personal interests section.

2.  Get involved with extracurricular activities at your school.  This is obviously a great way to meet people, gain leadership experience and stay involved, but it is also important for your resume to show that you are more than just a student.  If you are involved in extracurriculars, provide a brief description of the organization and your role as a member.  

3.  If it’s relevant to your future growth, discuss your high school job experience.  Many students volunteer with charities or political campaigns during their high school years and these are great things for you and your resume reader to talk about.  

4.  Provide a generalized objective of what you would like to do during and after your college years.  Limit it to a couple of sentences, but try and illustrate your ultimate goal for life after graduation.

 

The purpose of these tips is not to “pad” your resume, but to give younger college students the opportunity to provide more information about themselves through their resume.  Whether you’re applying for a summer job, honor society or executive board, having a solid and well-rounded resume is always a huge plus.

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