How to Beef Up Your College Resume

Posted by Janna Hagan on

Graduates stepping out into the real world are facing a much different economic landscape than their parents did. Many college grads are concerned about their lack of experience, which may hinder their ability in landing the job they want. A college resume template needs to be beefed up if you are still having trouble detailing your experience and qualifications. Everyone has experiences or skills that could potentially help them land a job post-graduation, but sometimes it takes a bit of imagination.   

You shouldn't view your lack of experience as an impediment, but rather, as an opportunity for you to showcase your potential for advancement and improvement. In many industries, attitude trumps aptitude. If you don't have the resumes to back up the job you have your eyes set on, always talk about your love for the industry and your eagerness to learn.

Here's a few tips on how to make your resume a heavyweight:

1. List your extracurriculars

If you're a member of a club, organization or group, these are secretly great ways to demonstrate leadership and teamwork skills. Being able to showcase leading a team, showing passion for a specific interest, and organizing and taking on additional responsibility are all things employers love to see. Make a list of all the clubs or sports teams you were a part of and consider how your participation in each may benefit a potential employer. 

Often times, people who are involved in extracurriculars demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow. These are individuals that will help an organization excel and improve, and have the potential to move up within the company. 


Delta Delta Sorority, House Manager (Fall 2014  Present)

  • Sourced and negotiated a $500k upgrade to the sorority house
  • Managed and oversaw daily operations, and elected to maintain conversation with the university 

University Basketball Team, Team Captain (Fall 2013  Present)

  • Academic All-State Award
  • Sportsmanship Award, California State

Women in Business Organization, Honorable Member (2013)

  • Completed 8-week training program focused on entrepreneurship, confidence in the workplace and finances

2. Volunteer, get an internship or part-time job

Being in school is the perfect opportunity to take on up-paid work experience and volunteer positions. Industry experts are right when they say that first-hand experience in your industry is invaluable. These types of experiences form a solid foundation for your career to flourish from. Unlike volunteer experience, internships gear you towards your upcoming career. With a college resume template, the skills you attain at these jobs will be the most important highlight of your resume. Also, internships can lead to full-time employment if you do a good enough job. 

3. Learn new, complimentary skills

Having skills to perform your job properly is a given, but have you thought about gaining some complimentary skills that may increase your chances of being hired? These skills will make you appear more valuable as a candidate. Here's a few skills that all hiring managers would be impressed with, in addition to your core skill set:

  • Marketing
  • Basic business skills (financing, accounting, etc.)
  • HTML/CSS (Website design)
  • Social media 

4. Do the basics really well

Even though, as a fresh graduate, you need to keep in mind a few special areas of your resume, remember to do the basics of resume writing, excellently. This means having perfect grammar and spelling, brevity, relevance and accuracy. Make your resume as concise as possible and spell company and hiring manager's names properly. Above all, make sure it's functional and readable. 

5. Don't let lack of experience limit you

Sell on your potential. If you don't have a lot of work-related positions to list on your college resume template, look back at your past experiences and get creative about the benefits they have provided you with. Have you taken on any leadership roles that required more responsibility? Have you been consistent and reliable over a long period of time? Highlighting evidence of areas where you've demonstrated positive attributes may help you stand out amongst other job seekers, even if you don't necessarily have the most experience.

Almost everyone has valuable skills that can be marketable. Sometimes beefing up your college resume template simply means getting creative. Happy job seeking! 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published