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Five Resume Tips for College Students

Five Resume Tips for College Students

Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

September 04, 2009

Describe Unrelated Jobs the Right Way

Many students have part-time, seasonal or temporary work experience that is unrelated to future career goals. You don’t want to pack your document with irrelevant details, says Feldberg. On the other hand, prospective employers value candidates who demonstrate dependability and a strong work ethic, even if the experience is in a different industry.

Pull out the most important aspects of your work experience, advises Lorie Lebert, CEO of career management firm Resumes for Results and contributor to numerous resume books, including Best Resumes for College Students and New Grads. “Go into detail about projects you were involved in that show leadership, drive and determination,” she says. Campbell suggests students extract the skills and achievements that are most relevant to employers’ needs and leave out details that don’t add value.

Think Like an Employer — and Like a Job Seeker

If you’re applying to jobs or internships, “look at your experience through two pairs of eyes: the potential employer’s and your own,” says Campbell.

Study job ads or internship announcements that interest you. “For example, if an ad states that communication skills are important, think about times when your communication skills came into play,” Campbell says. “If you worked in any customer service-related position, you definitely used communication skills.” You can emphasize these skills on your resume.

“Next, look at your experience through your own eyes,” says Campbell. “What work did you enjoy? While these skills and experiences may not be directly relevant to the positions you’re targeting, they’re good indicators of areas where you’re likely to excel in the future.”

Pick the Right Resume Length and Format

“For most college students, a one-page resume is plenty,” says Feldberg. But she adds that this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, particularly for students who have established a track record through internships or work experience. For these students, “a one-page resume would sell them short,” she says, and it’s OK to go to two pages.

This article originally appeared in Monster’s Career Advice Section.