If you are starting college soon, or been through your half of the college years, one of the technical terms you should be acquainted with is a resume, which you might have heard already, if you are a graduate.
To quote the literal meaning of resume, it is a summary, as defined by various dictionaries. Hence, the most popular meaning of a resume, used by professionals: academicians and non-academic professionals, is a professional summary that needs to be produced when you apply for a job. As your potential to get hired depends on a professional resume, your resume must communicate well to the recruiter on your behalf.
You must know the specific elements that are required to make your student resume more expressive. Whether you need a high school student resume or a college student resume, the key elements which you must keep in mind are almost the same as required in a perfect professional resume.
Let’s discuss these 7 key elements to make a perfect student resume:
This is the prime element of any resume. The basic motive is to introduce the job applicant to the recruiter through the summary and to highlight his/her capabilities. Make sure to add an apposite summary that attracts the recruiter’s attention. Since your resume will create your first impression and tell your personality to the employer, your summary should be informative enough to introduce you as a suitable applicant. In order to secure the position you are applying for and to convince the recruiter to consider you as the perfect fit, your resume should be able to communicate well, for which being full of facts, to the point, and being clear are the easiest ways. Making sections for different areas makes a resume organized, saves it from being chaotic, and achieves its purpose of introducing the applicant aptly & efficiently.
The next thing a resume should do is to compete on behalf of you. Be fearless while describing the responsibilities you’ve taken up in your past position, to create a sense of trust and portray your abilities in front of the employer. Mention some milestones you have achieved in your area of expertise so that your resume stands out among the crowd. Especially, when you are making a student resume, this is a tricky part with your limited work experience to make it look professional. Mention various school societies and the best of the social welfare activities you have taken up or were engaged with as a student. Your potential to get hired depends on your near-accurate professional resume, as a great deal of the recruiter’s judgment depends upon it.
A customized professional resume is one that is relevant to the job and targeted at the particular kind of position applied. It is always better to have separate customized resumes than to have a common one for all. You must make sure that the resume fits the job description, responsibilities in the job.
Depending on the area of interest and field of specialization, a student's resume must contain a number of specific information relevant to the field. Know what to add and what to avoid by carefully reading the job description, because what one recruiter needs in a resume might not be similar to another recruiter’s needs. Similarly, the demands in every position are different. Make sure that your resume includes the references properly and use them only when asked in the JD.
In a recent study by The Ladders - the job matching company, in the age of ATS (Applicant Tracking System) software, the recruiter spends only six seconds of their time on a resume. While making your resume as a student, this fact must be kept in mind that a short and crisp resume is what they look for. Over usage of paragraphs is not desired in a professional resume because it impacts brevity. Instead, bullet points can be used to highlight or a timeline can be used to show your professional progress. A logo and an expressive color palette can be used, which might help in stealing the employer’s attention to the particular area.
A student resume should only count one or two pages yet must be information-driven. Trimming long paragraphs into a sentence while carrying the important information might actually be helpful as it shows the value applicant puts in time management.
Take yourself as a product in the job market and in the next step try to sell yourself by demonstrating your ability and skills in your professional resume. Your resume as a student might not have a section on work experience, but by focusing on the skills and abilities relevant to the applied position, it is actually possible to persuade the recruiter.
A detailed section on different skills in a resume helps the recruiter to understand how you are going to add value to the brand and be a suitable candidate for the post. Soft skills are equally important to demonstrate your abilities in the job market as work ethics is what you need to sustain yourself at the workplace. To build a resume with no work experience, the volunteering and internship experiences are the point of attraction along with your academic achievements, which can be used as the ‘pitching point’ for sure.
A Career Builder study found that 49% of recruiters consider a covering letter the second best thing after a customized resume to add to the candidature. Though it is not widely popular, the study indicates that with a cover letter, the chance of approval gets higher for your resume. A cover letter that showcases the potential of the candidate fits perfectly as a complement to the professional resume. Other than the cover letter, professional social media account URLs also can be added to the personal information section in the resume.
Edit, edit, and edit:
Editing is the ‘unavoidable’ element to make a perfect resume, which shows your enthusiasm. Therefore, double-checking for spelling errors and personal information before submitting the resume is very important, as typing error is one of the most common reasons for CV and resume rejections.
Use consistent grammar, tenses, upper/lower case letters and punctuation, and a proper format that includes a proper font style and size as well. Heading, margins, alignment, etc. throughout your resume are also important. Polish your resume by reviewing it as much as possible to direct the employer’s focus in a better way.
Apart from these 7 tips, there are hundreds of professional resume-making websites that can complement the entire process of creating a resume. Try to find the free options if you are on a tight budget, and leverage the best of free samples available on a Google search.
By adding these elements to your student resume, you can definitely attract recruiters' attention and you can be among the most preferred choices for that job.