Student Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

12 April
16 min read
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Whether you just graduated college or you’re taking a gap year before continuing your studies, one thing is for sure.

You’re looking for a job.

All that’s standing between you and your next position is a great resume.

But how can you write a resume that stands out from the crowd if all your experience so far is studying?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Creating a compelling resume to help you stand out from the crowd is easy, even if you’re just starting on your career journey.

And in this guide, we’re going to teach you how. 

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • What Makes a Great Student Resume Example
  • 9 Steps to Writing an Amazing Student Resume
  • What to Include In Your Student Resume

…and more!

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Student Resume Example

Student Resume Example

That’s a great example of a student resume.

Let’s get into the ins and outs of what it does right:

  • Keeps everything on one page. Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes daily, so it’s important to stick to a one-page resume so they don’t discard your application straight away.
  • Uses a reverse-chronological resume format. This is the favorite resume format for hiring managers worldwide since it puts your most recent achievements and experiences first.
  • Includes professional contact details. This section should always contain your full name, a professional email address, phone number, location, and any relevant links to professional websites or social media profiles that might boost your application.
  • Starts with an eye-catching resume objective. To grab the hiring manager’s attention, this student resume example starts with a strong resume objective to convey their top skills and their professional goal.
  • Lists education first. Since this candidate is a recent graduate, their student resume places their education section at the very top and provides details on the relevant courses they’ve taken.
  • Focuses on skills. The student resume example pictured above includes a tailored skills section that aligns with the job and shows what they can do for the employer.
  • Organizes text in bullet points. This resume uses bullet points instead of large paragraphs, so the content of the resume is organized and easy to read.
  • Includes optional sections. The candidate leverages optional sections such as languages and personal projects to add more value to their resume and stand out from other applicants with similar skills and qualifications.

9 Steps Toward the Perfect Student Resume

Now you know what an excellent student resume looks like.

It’s time to create your own.

First things first, let’s go over all the sections your resume should include.

The essential sections of a student resume are:

If you have leftover space on your resume, you can also use some of the following sections to make your application stand out:

  • Languages
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Personal Projects
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Volunteering
  • Certificates
  • Awards and Recognitions
  • Publications

As a student or recent graduate, don’t expect to include all of these sections in your resume. Instead, use them to your advantage. 

For example, you might not have any work experience, in which case you can replace that section with something else, such as an internship that helped you hone some essential skills for the job you're applying to.

We’ve split the process of creating your student resume into easy-to-follow steps, starting with:

#1. Pick the Right Format

Before you can fill out your resume, you need to decide on the best format for your job application.

There are three resume formats you can choose from:

For 99% of cases, we recommend that you choose the reverse-chronological resume format when making your student resume.

The reverse-chronological format is the most practical, since it lists your most recent experience and achievements first, making it the perfect format when you’re applying for a job.

It’s also hiring managers’ favorite format worldwide, so it’s what they expect to see in your application.

Here’s an example of what the reverse-chronological resume format looks like:

student reverse-chronological resume format

#2. Pay Attention to the Layout

Now that you have the formatting out of the way, it’s time to consider your resume’s layout.

Before the hiring manager reads your resume, they’re going to look at it. And if they see a messy, unorganized document, they aren’t going to be impressed.

Follow these tips to make sure your student resume makes a good first impression:

  • Keep it on one page. A good resume should never exceed one page, especially if you’re a student with limited experience. Hiring managers only want the most important details about why you’re the right person for the job.
  • Set the line spacing. Make sure your text is easy to read by setting appropriate line spacing. Use 1.0 between text and 1.15 between double lines and after subheadings.
  • Adjust the page margins. To make your resume look neat, set your resume’s margins to one inch on all sides of the page. Otherwise, you might end up with a stretched-out or empty-looking document.
  • Choose a professional font. Another important aspect of your resume is the font. Pick something professional but not overused. Instead of Times New Roman, go for something understated like Roboto, Lora, or Ubuntu.
  • Save it to the right file format. Unless the hiring manager asks for another format, your resume should always be saved as a PDF file. This way, your student resume’s layout is going to look the same across any device or software that the hiring manager uses to open it.

Use a Professional Resume Template Instead

Getting the format and layout of your resume just right can sure get tricky. 

You’ll have to spend hours tweaking the margins, adjusting font sizes, and fixing the line spacing – all the while having to make sure nothing spills over to page two. 

What if you could skip all the hassle?

Just use one of our free resume templates and create your student resume in minutes.

Each of our professional templates is designed in cooperation with HR professionals from around the world to make sure your application is ATS-friendly, easy to read, and beautiful to look at.

Not to mention, you can choose a resume template that shows off a bit of your personality while adhering to industry standards. 

Just look at how one of our templates compares to a standard text editor resume:

novoresume vs text editor

#3. Add Your Contact Information

Once you’re ready to fill in the contents of your student resume, it’s time to start with your contact information.

This usually goes in a designated resume header, so it’s easy for the hiring manager to find it at a glance.

Here’s what to include:

  • Full Name. (E.g.: John Smith)
  • Professional Title. We recommend matching the title to the job you’re targeting (E.g.: Paralegal) or specifying your education. (E.g.: Graphic Design Graduate)
  • Email Address. Use a professional email address, not a quirky handle from your World of Warcraft days. (E.g.: write down, not
  • Phone Number. If you’re applying abroad, always include the dialing code in front of your phone number.
  • Location. The city and state/country are enough information.
  • Relevant Links. Any other information, such as a link to your LinkedIn profile, GitHub, or a portfolio website, is optional and depends on the job you’re applying for.

Ultimately, your contact information section is the easiest, yet most crucial, section of your student resume.

If you make a single typo in your email or phone number, the hiring manager won’t be able to reach you, and you’ll miss out on an opportunity.

So, before submitting your resume, make sure to double-check, and even triple-check that everything in this section is up-to-date and accurate.

Correct Example:

John Smith - Graphic Design Graduate

+1 907 446 1234

Fairbanks, Alaska

Incorrect Example:

J Smith



#4. Write a Resume Headline (Summary or Objective)

Hiring managers have to look at countless resumes daily.

So, they won’t spend more than six seconds on each before deciding if it’s worth reading in detail.

This is where a snappy resume summary or objective can make a difference.

Your resume summary or objective is a brief paragraph at the start of your resume that tells hiring managers who you are and what you bring to the table, in just 2-4 sentences.

Depending on your experience, you can take one of two routes:

  • Resume summary. If you've got a bit of professional experience under your belt, write a resume summary. It's your chance to give a quick snapshot of your experience, skills, and what you've accomplished so far.
  • Resume objective. If you're just starting, a resume objective is the right choice for you. It outlines your skills, any relevant experiences, and your professional goals.

To paint a clearer picture, here’s what a student’s resume summary with more experience might look like:

Student Resume Summary Example:

Recent college graduate with a B.A. in English from University X seeking an entry-level job as a content writer. Previous experience includes working as an English tutor for 2 years at University X, where I worked with 100+ students, helping them improve their essays. Additionally, I managed a personal blog about tech, publishing over 40 articles in the last 3 years.

But if you’re still a student, you probably don’t have a lot of work experience to rely on for your resume summary.

Don’t worry! You can still write a fantastic resume objective, like so:

Student Resume Objective Example:

Enthusiastic recent graduate with a degree in Environmental Science, aiming to secure an entry-level position at Green Solutions Ltd. Experienced in conducting field research and using GIS software through university projects and internships. With a strong passion for sustainability and environmental advocacy, I’m looking to apply academic knowledge in a practical, impactful way.

This goes to show that even without any work experience to leverage, you can still write a job-winning resume.

#5. List Your Education First

While the work experience section is what your resume would usually start with, the rule is reversed when you’re a student or a recent graduate.

If you’re applying for a job in the same field as your education, you want to emphasize the knowledge and skills you’ve gained so far.

So, the less work experience you have, the more detailed your education section should be.

Here’s the most important information that you should include when listing your education:

  • Degree Name. (E.g.: BSc in Business Administration)
  • University Name. (E.g.: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)
  • Location. (E.g.: Philadelphia, PA, USA)
  • Years Attended. (E.g.: 09/2018 - 06/2022)

You should always list your degrees in reverse chronological order, starting with your newest degree (such as a Ph.D. or MBA) and ending with your oldest.

Next, there are a ton of optional details that can look great on your student resume. These include:

  • Honors and Awards. Your resume is a great place to show off a little. List any awards or acknowledgments you received during your education. (E.g.: Summa Cum Laude)
  • Relevant Coursework. List a few courses that are directly related to the job you’re applying for. (E.g.: Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Surgical Nursing)
  • Thesis or Dissertation. We recommend that graduate and post-graduate students include this, especially if applying to research-heavy fields like data science.
  • Minor. If you minored in another field and it’s relevant to the job, include it. (E.g.: BA in Political Science, Minor in Economics)
  • Grade Point Average. Include your GPA on your resume if it’s impressive. Anything below 3.5 isn’t worth listing.

Here’s an example of what this looks like on a resume:

education on student resume

There’s no need to list your high school education unless it’s the only degree you have.

#6. Expand on Your Work Experience

The first thing hiring managers usually want to see is your work experience section.

It’s probably the most important section of your whole resume, and it’s where you need to wow the hiring manager. Here’s how to format it correctly:

  • List jobs in reverse chronological order. Start with your latest work experience and work your way back to older roles. Just don’t go too far back – your part-time job over summer break probably doesn’t belong on your resume.
  • Add your exact job title. Be accurate when describing your previous job, and avoid buzzwords. If you were a babysitter, say that instead of trying to be witty and going with ‘toddler whisperer.’
  • Include the company details. All you need to add are the most important details, such as the company’s name and location. If it’s not a well-known business, you can describe what it does.
  • Specify the employment period. Use the mm/yyyy format throughout your student resume instead of specifying the exact dates you started and quit.
  • Mention your responsibilities and achievements. Use several bullet points, no more than 5-6 for your most recent work experience and 2-3 for older roles.

Here’s an example of what that looks like in practice:

work experience on student resume

What If My Work Experience Isn’t Relevant?

If you’re applying for a job in the field you’ve been studying for, you might have picked up a part-time job while you were a student.

So, you’re probably wondering - is that summer gig you did worth mentioning in your resume?

The answer is yes.

Even if your only work experience so far seemingly has nothing to do with the job you’re applying for, it’s probably better for you to include it.

For example, if you worked as a cashier at your local supermarket and now you’re applying for a job as an accountant, there are enough similarities between the two jobs for you to make a great resume.

Just focus on the transferable skills from your time as a cashier. Both jobs require working with numbers, being good at mathematics, and attention to detail.

Usually, showing you have some work experience is better than presenting a resume with zero work experience.

What If I Don’t Have Any Work Experience?

If you’re still a student or you just graduated, you probably don’t have any work experience to leverage.

Don’t worry - most college students don’t.

But that doesn’t have to stop you from writing a great resume!

Hiring managers know that most candidates applying for entry-level jobs aren’t super experienced, and that’s okay.

So, instead of work experience, you can focus on any of the following sections:

  • Internships. If your program included any internships or hands-on experiences, mention them. Internships can be super useful on your resume, especially if they help you develop skills for the position you’re applying for, and they can look better on your resume than any part-time job in an unrelated field.
  • Volunteering. Having a cause that you care about and are willing to work for shows hiring managers that you’d be a dedicated employee, and that’s why volunteer work looks great on a resume. Whether you spent some time at a local soup kitchen or just helped collect trash in the parks, you can always mention it in your application.
  • Projects. Any project you’ve participated in can go here, so long as it’s relevant to the job. Your graduation thesis, coursework, or personal projects can all make a difference. For example, if you’re an aspiring animator and you make funny flash animations that you upload on YouTube for your friends, that’s always a great addition to a first-time job application.

Here’s an example of a student resume that focuses on volunteer experience and personal projects instead of work experience:

volunteer projects on student resume

Do you want to join a cause you’re passionate about? Learn how to write a volunteer resume here.

#7. Emphasize Your Relevant Skills

The skills section of your resume should tell the hiring manager what your expertise is and why you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

There are two types of essential skills you can mention:

  • Soft skills. These are a mix of social skills, characteristics, and other personal traits. For example, leadership, critical thinking, time management, and so on.
  • Hard skills. These are your measurable abilities. So, anything from baking cupcakes to complex coding skills.

Your resume should aim for a mix of both soft and hard skills.

If written correctly, the skill section can look something like this:

skills on student resume

Now, when listing skills on your resume, here are a few essential tips to keep in mind:

  • List hard skills with experience levels. For each skill you list, you can mention your proficiency, from beginner to expert. This tells the hiring manager how much training you might need if they hire you.
  • Keep it relevant and tailored to the job. You might have some awesome and rare skills, but they’re not always going to be useful. Your Photoshop skills won’t make a difference in an application for a job as a writer.
  • Include some universal skills. Some skills can be useful anywhere. These include both soft skills (like communication) and hard skills (like using Microsoft Office or Google Office Suite).
  • Back up your skills. Instead of just listing skills as buzzwords (like “critical thinker” or “problem-solving-master”), make sure you prove what you’re saying. Give examples of when you’ve put those skills to good use, such as in your work experience section.

And for a student resume, here are a few of the top skills almost every single employer will value:

#8. Leverage Optional Sections

So far, we’ve covered the essential information for your student resume.

But if you have any leftover space, there are a few other sections you can add.

Imagine this: the hiring manager has to decide between you and another candidate, but your resumes are nearly identical. You have very similar experiences, backgrounds, and credentials.

This is where some less essential resume sections can tip the scales in your favor.

Optional sections can help you backup your skills and experience and set you apart from candidates with the same professional background as yours.

These sections include:


Are you fluent in more than one language?

If you’re bilingual or even trilingual, you should always mention that in your resume!

Even if the position you’re applying for doesn’t require any specific language skills, it can still come in handy at some point.

Companies are becoming increasingly international, and you never know when you might end up working on a project or a client where you can put your knowledge to good use.

To list languages in your resume, simply write them down and include your proficiency level:

  • Native
  • Fluent
  • Proficient
  • Intermediate
  • Basic

Optionally, you can also use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) or the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scales.

And remember - you should never lie about your language skills. You never know when the interviewer might turn out to be fluent in the language you claim to know!

Extracurricular Activities

As you might remember from your college application, extracurricular activities look great on a resume.

Different after-school projects and clubs can help you gain practical skills and increase your chances of landing a good job right after college. For example, if you were part of a debate team and you’re applying for a job as a lawyer, that could give your resume a boost.

Some activities, like student council responsibilities, show maturity and leadership skills that would translate well to a work environment. 

Here’s an example of how to list extracurricular activities on your resume:

Example of Extracurricular Activities:


Public Speaking Club

Founder and President

09/2018 - 09/2019

  • Founded a club to help fellow students improve at public speaking and promote discussion-based events.
  • Organized 5+ public speaking lectures.
  • Brought in professors from the university and organized 2 speaking workshops.

But regardless of whether they’re related to the job or not, extracurricular activities still show the hiring manager that you’re hard-working and committed.

Hobbies and Interests

If you want the hiring manager to get a more well-rounded idea of you as a person, you can include hobbies and interests on your resume.

While this section isn’t going to get you hired, it could tip the scales in your favor.

When the hiring manager is looking at two near-identical resumes from two equally qualified candidates, the deciding factor might come down to something as minor as your personality and interests.

For example, imagine that the company you’re applying to values teamwork and promotes health amongst its employees. If your resume says your hobbies include team sports like basketball, that could convince the hiring manager that you’d be a good cultural fit for their team.


The best investment is always in your future, and hiring managers love candidates who do just that.

If you have any extra qualifications or certificates, add them to your resume.

For example, if you graduated with a BA in Marketing, and you’re applying for a Digital Marketing role, that’s great. But it’s even better if the hiring manager sees that you completed an advanced SEO course and that you’re ready to roll!

Awards and Recognitions

Do you have a piece of paper with your name on it that says why you’re so smart and qualified? If so, add it to your resume.

It could be an award from a competition or some other recognition of your excellence - academic or otherwise.

For example, you might have been selected for a very rare scholarship, or your hard work as an illustrator won your project a nomination.

You don’t need to be modest on your resume - if you earned something cool, show it off. Any awards can back up your expertise and show the hiring manager that you’re worth a chance.


Have you worked on your university’s student paper? Maybe you’re a freelance writer or a distinguished academic.

Whatever the case is, publications are always impressive on a resume.

Include them under a designated “Publications” section and provide a URL so the hiring manager can check out your work.

#9. Include a Cover Letter

Cover letters are essential for a successful job search, and your student resume won’t be complete without one.

Forbes reports that 56% of hiring managers prefer that applicants include a cover letter with their resume.

Crafting a great cover letter tells the hiring manager that you have an eye for detail and that you’re ready to go the extra mile to join the team. You’re not just randomly sending out the same resume to every job listing you find.

So, to learn how to write your own, let's explore what makes an effective cover letter:

student cover letter structure

Here are some straightforward tips to make your cover letter great:

  • Check your contact information. The information in your cover letter’s header should be the same as what’s on your resume, so double-check for any mistakes.
  • Use the hiring manager’s name. A little research can help you find it, and it helps establish a more personal connection than just writing “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Start with a strong opening. Mention a couple of your best skills or achievements right at the start to grab the hiring manager’s attention.
  • Go into more detail in the body. Talk about your accomplishments or skills in more detail, and mention anything you couldn’t fit on your resume, like explaining why you want to work remotely.
  • Conclude by asking them to reach out. A good closing paragraph includes a call to action that asks the hiring manager to do something, like contact you or arrange an interview.
  • Sing it like a professional. Choose an appropriate closing line, like “Best regards” or “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Here’s a great example of a student cover letter:

student cover letter

5 Student Resume Examples

Looking for more resume inspiration?

Check out the different student resume examples below to see what a job-winning resume might look like.

#1. Recent Graduate Resume

college resume sample

#2. Experienced Student Resume

master student resume example

#3. Internship Student Resume

Internship Student Resume

#4. College Freshman Resume

College Freshman Resume

#5. High School Student Resume

high school resume sample

Key Takeaways

And there you go!

That’s how you create a powerful student resume from scratch.

Now, let’s quickly summarize what we’ve learned so far:

  • Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes every day, so you want yours to grab their attention immediately. Write a brief paragraph in your resume header to tell them who you are and why you’re perfect for the job.
  • Unlike in most resumes, where work experience goes first, if you’re a student, your education should be at the top of your resume.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have any work experience yet - when you’re applying for an entry-level job, hiring managers don’t expect you to.
  • Instead of work experience, you can focus on internships, volunteering, personal projects, or extracurricular activities to show off your skills and fill in your resume.
  • Your skills could make or break your job application. Research the most in-demand skills for the job you want and list the ones you have in your resume.
  • Always add a matching cover letter to your student resume to show the hiring manager you’re ready to go the extra mile for the job.