Resumes & Cover Letters

How to write a college student resume (with examples)

Written by Kate Lopaze

If you’re in college, you have probably done a lot of thinking about what comes next. What you’re studying, as well as the internships and knowledge you’re picked up along the way—those are all a big part of that future. So how do you wrangle that information into a successful resume, when you don’t yet have a ton of work experience? We can help!

Let’s walk through three different resumes for different types of post-college jobs. First up is Keenan, who is hoping to land his first job as a marketing assistant.


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Keenan Jones

1212 University Place, Apt. 3F

Milwaukee, WI 67676

(111) 222-3333

Tech-Savvy, Energetic College Student Seeking a Growth Role in Marketing


  • Motivated, high-achieving honors student with strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Adept at working as part of a creative team to accomplish goals
  • Well-versed in current social media platforms and trends


Western Wisconsin State University

BA, Marketing

Anticipated graduation: May 2018

Cumulative GPA: 3.87


Going Viral: 21st Century Marketing (Western Wisconsin State Marketing Department), Fall 2017

  • Develop sample marketing campaigns as part of a team
  • Discuss and evaluate best practices and real-world examples of social marketing strategies

Publicity Basics (Western Wisconsin State Marketing Department), Spring 2017

  • Analyze historical and current trends in methods of publicity
  • Review core concepts of public relations
  • Develop marketing and publicity plans based on real-world examples

Writing for Social Media (Western Wisconsin State English Department), Fall 2016

  • Review standard proofreading and copyediting
  • Develop writing strategies to maximize messaging and brand awareness in various social media formats


HealthFirst Industries, Milwaukee, WI

Summer Marketing Intern

Summer 2017

  • Provided administrative support to a 10-person Marketing team
  • Participated in campaign and brainstorming meetings
  • Monitored HealthFirst’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts and interacted with consumers


  • Social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp)
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Meeting time-sensitive deadlines
  • Writing creative, cogent, targeted text for marketing purposes
  • Leading team members to deliver projects in a timely manner

Keenan’s resume is very targeted and focused on his marketing-specific skills and experience. He makes his intent very clear—a position in marketing—and builds the rest of his narrative around that fact. Hiring managers understand that someone coming right out of school is likely to have a ton of work experience, especially in the field. So to show the reader what he does have, Keenan emphasizes the practical skills he has (social media), as well as the skills he’s picked up as both a student (the Related Coursework section) and an intern (the Marketing Work Experience section). Keenan doesn’t need to include every marketing class he’s taken as a student, but picks the ones where he gained a lot of practical, hands-on knowledge that may relate to an entry-level job in marketing.

Next, let’s look at Mireille, who is prepping a resume for a campus job fair.


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Mireille Hopkins

1056 Barnes Street, Apt. 2

Boston, MA 23232


Award-winning financial whiz with expertise in auditing and reporting


Finance Intern

Princeton Weitz LLC

September 2017 – present

  • Process month-end financial reports as part of the Auditing team
  • Assist with audits of external customers
  • Reconcile balance sheets
  • Post journal entries
  • Perform general office support (including meeting setup and taking/distributing meeting minutes)

Program Assistant

Grant College Accounting and Finance Department

Summer 2016 & Summer 2017

  • Answered phones and directed visitors to the college’s Finance and Accounting offices
  • Collated course packets for professors
  • Managed summer orientation programs for incoming Finance and Accounting students


Math Tutor

Grant College Academic Help Center

October 2014 – present

  • Assist fellow students with math homework and skill development
  • Simplify complex mathematical concepts for ease of learning


  • Complex financial auditing
  • SOX Compliance expertise and compliance with legal guidelines and best practices
  • Accurate financial accounting
  • Detailed and accurate reporting
  • Learning and using software for reporting and compliance
  • Creating presentations
  • Microsoft Office expertise


Grant College, Wellesley, MA

BA, Accounting/BA, Management

Expected graduation: December 2017

Treasurer, Grant College Student Government

August 2016 – May 2017

Co-Captain, Grant Gophers women’s basketball team

September 2013 – May 2017


  • Dean’s List, 8 consecutive semesters
  • Honors Scholar program (anticipated, pending completion of honors thesis and graduation)
  • Chairman’s Award in Finance and Accounting, 2016

Mireille wants to use her campus’s job fair to help line up her first job out of college. And to do that, she knows she needs to stand out from a crowd of other people (like her fellow classmates) to get attention from the financial firms attending the fair. Mireille has some work experience as an intern in her field, so she leads with that after an eye-catching headline (award-winning!). She doesn’t include odd jobs that she may have had in high school and college, but does include jobs that have a bearing on her current career goals (working as an intern, and working as part of her school’s own Accounting and Finance department). Because the career fair is happening on campus, she doesn’t really need to emphasize her school—the reader will already know that she goes to Grant College, and Mireille’s resume instead emphasizes the points she wants them to remember most.

Remember that at a job fair you only have a few minutes to present yourself to recruiters. So while you can’t really tailor your resume to each potential job opening/company, you can make it as specific as possible to your industry and emphasize the personal points you want to hit. The best way to make your brief chat with recruiters memorable is to hand them your resume up front, then point out the highlights on the page as you mention them in your conversation.

And last but not least, we have Karen, who is seeking a job as an administrative assistant as her first job out of school.


Download this resume in ms word

Karen Thompson
35 Springfield Street, Apt. 7G
Las Vegas, NV
(777) 444-5555


Hard-working, recent college graduate with office and internship experience looking for a position that leverages strong organizational and communication skills into a growth role.


  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (particularly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Maintaining calendars and meeting schedules
  • Organizing staff and public events
  • Speaking multiple languages (fluent in English and Spanish, partially fluent in French)
  • Graphic design
  • Creating presentations
  • Demonstrating a personable, enthusiastic attitude


Marburg College, Sacramento, CA

B.A., Comparative Literature, 2017

  • 3.8 GPA (4.0 scale)
  • Minored in History and Music Theory
  • Spanish Club Secretary (3 years)
  • Swim team member and student treasurer (2 years)


The Anderson Gallery                                                                    San Francisco, CA
Receptionist (part-time)                                                                  10/2016 – present

  • Answer phones and greet guests for one of San Francisco’s top art galleries
  • Provide administrative support to the curators and an administrative staff of four
  • Coordinate curator/artist meetings
  • Maintain the order and cleanliness of public gallery areas
  • Order refreshments and supplies for openings and other public gallery events

DeMarque Creative                                                                             San Francisco, CA
Administrative Intern                                                                           6/2016 – 8/2016

  • Provided administrative support for the six-person Graphic Design department
  • Facilitated meetings and coordinated follow-up materials for attendees
  • Coordinated meetings and calendars
  • Scanned and digitized archival content for newly implemented digital filing system

As a literature major (with additional work in history and music), Karen is not necessarily seeking a job that’s related to her major. And that’s totally okay! Sometimes you’ve got to pay bills while you figure out your longer-term career goals. And to that end, Karen wants to take the good skills and experience she does have—particularly as an intern and receptionist—to show that she has the baseline skills to be a good admin. To do this, she uses a clear objective, and a highlight reel of the skills she wants to emphasize most. Her experience bullet points show the work she has done already in this field, even though she has only worked as an intern and part-time receptionist so far.

If you’re a college student or a recent grad crafting your first real-deal resume, the most important thing to remember is that you do have skills and experience, even if you haven’t worked full-time in the field. Take inventory of your classes, your internships, your volunteering, everything. Anything that shows leadership, include it. Anything that taught you more about the field you want to be in, include it. Anything that shows escalating responsibility, include it. Even hobbies can have a place in your resume, if they’re related to the job you want. Good luck!

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.