What Employers are Looking for on Your College Resume

As a full-time college student, it can be difficult to balance coursework, extracurricular activities, and searching for an internship or full-time job. Students’ calendars are full of employer events on campus, career fairs, and application deadlines – many of which require resumes to give to potential employers. How can your resume best showcase you and your skills when you might not have years of work experience? Here are some tips to improve your resume and better align it with what employers are looking for.

Choose a proper format

The first thing anyone will see when they look at your resume is the layout. It is important that the page is not too cluttered and important information is easy to find after a quick glance. Vital sections include your name, contact information, education, any previous employment, skills, experiences, and activities. Having a good format sets up the rest of your resume for success!

Utilize proper wording

When writing your resume, it may seem like the words themselves are not that important compared to the content of the resume. Word choice, however, can make a huge difference and put your resume above the rest. Use action-oriented words when describing previous work experience or roles in various organizations. For example, saying “Accomplished” instead of “Responsible for” adds ownership of the task described and showcases confidence. Additionally, word choice when describing a previous work experience is important. For example, saying “Digital Advertising Intern” instead of “Summer Intern” provides more context for what you did during your time there and provides some insight into what your role might have consisted of.

Emphasize your skills and abilities

One commonly overlooked section on college resumes is a section highlighting proficiencies and skills that the student possesses. Listing languages spoken, types of code learned, software utilized, and relevant courses taken is another way for employers to see how you could be a good fit with their organization. Highlighting your expertise in these areas shows employers that you are ready to join the workplace and can create a positive impact from the start.

Quantify your impact

When describing previous employment or involvement on campus, the best way to truly showcase your positive impact is to quantify it with numbers and statistics. Provide quantities, such as the number of students impacted, wherever it is appropriate. This provides more context to the reader for what you accomplished.


Utilizing these tips will allow your resume to stand out amongst your peers and help you land that first great opportunity in your career. Good luck!