Survival Guide: Resumes

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Freaking out about your resume? College Magazine’s Survival Guide has you covered. Employers want a clean, 1-page, no-nonsense run down of your experiences. And most importantly, they’re looking for a resume that correlates to the desired position. To get started, follow our 5 steps, check out our top resume examples and even send us your college resume for a makeover.



STEP 1: Name

Start with your name, address, phone number and email address. Increase the font size of your name so it stands out on the page.

STEP 2: Education

Because you’re a student, list your college education first. Include your university’s name, expected graduation date, major and GPA. If you GPA is below a 3.0, you may want to leave it off. Instead, consider listing your GPA for only the classes in your major, because often those grades tend to be higher than your overall average. Or include both.

STEP 3: Experience

Feature internships, jobs or leadership experiences next. Below each position, list 2-3 bullet points on the important work you performed. If possible, include quantifiable information such as the number of events you planned, the number of people you led or the number of dollars you raised. And describe your work using strong action verbs such as “led,” “managed,” “created,” “organized” or “launched.” The list should be in chronological order or in the order of most relevant. Make sure to use past tense unless it’s a position that you currently hold and write in the third person. Example labels for this section are: Professional Experience, Work Experience, Related Experience or Employment.

STEP 4: Organizations

Include organizations you’re involved with and be sure to highlight your leadership roles and responsibilities within that organization. This section is an opportunity to list your involvement with any clubs on campus, sports teams, the Student Government Association, a fraternity or sorority and/or volunteer work. Also add details on how you contributed to that organization’s mission. Try to focus on your involvement during your college career. If you don’t have enough material, you may include one or two significant experiences from high school. Label this section one of the following: Organizations, Community Involvement, Activities or Campus Involvement.

STEP 5: Skills & More

At the end of you resume, list the specific skills that set you apart from the competition. Can you speak French, Mandarin and Spanish? Or how about C++? Do you know how to use InDesign or Photoshop? These are impressive skills—brag about them. If you’ve been published, list the publications and include the article title. Or you can use this section to share your hobbies: surfing, yoga, traveling, playing the saxophone etc. Listing activities you’re passionate about adds color to your resume and gives an employer another way to connect with you—who knows, your employer may love surfing too. Choose from any of these labels: Skills, Interests, Publications, Additional Skills and Interests, Passions, Languages.


Full Name
Street Address •  City, State Zip
Phone number • Email
University Name, City, State
Bachelor of ____ expected ____
Major: _____; GPA: _____
List honors and deans list here
Company Name, City, State, Dates
Your Position
·      Description 1
·      Description 2
·      Description 3
Company Name, City, State, Dates
Your Position
·      Description 1
·      Description 2
·      Description 3
Organization Name, City, State, Dates
Your Position/Role
·      Description 1
·      Description 2
Organization Name, City, State, Dates
Your Position/Role
·      Description 1
·      Description 2
List of skills with commas in between.
List of hobbies with commas in between.


Does your resume need work? Submit your college resume for a makeover. Email it to [email protected] with the subject line: “Resume Makeover.”





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