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Abstract: As a college freshman, you may find yourself wanting or needing to work while continuing your education. While balancing work and school is almost never easy, being employed at this stage of your life may bring not only finances, but valuable experience that can help you land a dream job later on in life. Writing a freshman college resume can prove challenging, unless you simply know how it’s done.
Whether you’re at college because of a life-long dream, a career aspiration, or because you didn’t know what else to do with your life, one thing is for sure—
You’re gonna need some dollar..
Tequila, movie tickets, and books can run quite expensive.
Let’s write a college freshman resume that will have you rolling around with trust-fund-level spending money.
In this guide:
- A college freshman resume sample that comes top of the class.
- A guide to the resume format.
- How to list your unfinished degree.
Brush your teeth and pretend you’re not hungover. We’ve got work to do.
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Considering specific positions? See our dedicated resume guides:
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College Freshman Resume Template To Write Home About
Jake E. Jackson
2438 Todds Lane
San Antonio, TX 78225
Personable philosophy student maintaining a 3.9 GPA at University of Texas seeking to apply argumentation skills and eloquence to drive sales with high-value clients at Rolex San Antonio. Debating High School State Champion in 2019, beating 31 other contestants. Proven premium brand sales experience at a major department store, with 2 commendations for highest monthly sales. Implemented upselling strategies at Joe’s Farmer’s Market to generate $1,200 additional monthly revenue.
BS in Philosophy
University of Texas at San Antonio
Expected Graduation: 2023
- Debating Team Member for State and National competitions.
- Treasurer of Young Enterprise Club.
Macy’s San Antonio
- Selling and advising on luxury menswear from Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss ranges.
- Resolving all customer inquiries and complaints.
- 0 unresolved or escalated issues.
- Exceeding monthly sales targets by 14% on average.
- 2 commendations for highest monthly sales.
- Overall 97% positive rating from post-sales surveys.
Joe’s Farmer Market
- Implemented upselling cashier script to generate $1,200 monthly revenue.
- Responsible for $1,500 cash drawer daily.
- Fostered warm relationships with regular customers.
- 2019 Debating High School Texas State Champion
- 2019 Silverlakes High School Valedictorian
- Luxury Sales
- Relationship Building
- Problem Solving
Enough of the talking.
1. Use the Business Resume Format
Alright, making yourself sound smart in Microsoft Word is most of what you do most days. You got that covered. First, however, you need to give yourself a chance at being read by using a legible and professional format for a resume.
Check these resume dos and don'ts.
Not because we say so, but because you’ll have some competition—according to a recent National Center for Education Statistics study, 43% of full-time, and 81% of part-time undergraduate students work.
College Freshman Resume Format
- Always use the reverse-chronological resume order.
- Choose legible fonts for your resume like Arial, Calibri or Tahoma.
- Set 1-inch margins on your resume, and leave white space between section
- Wondering if you should write a one page or two-page resume? Generally, a one-pager is best.
- Order sections of your resume like this: Resume header, Objective, Education, Experience and “Additional.”
- Save your resume in PDF formatto protect formatting, unless instructed otherwise.
One thing people get confused about is whether or not to include their address on a resume. The answer isn’t strictly black or white. If, for example, you believe the employer would rather hire someone who lives within a certain radius of the office, then the answer of course is yes.
Now get the pen and paper out.
Expert Tip: If you’re thinking of stretching the truth about your achievements or skills, don’t. Check out our study regarding lying on a resume.
2. Ace the College Freshman Resume Objective
If you had to convince someone to hire you in 7 seconds, what would you say? No, seriously. This isn’t a New Age corporate mindfulness technique. The average recruiter spends only 7.4 seconds scanning your resume. Therefore, having a strong profile on your resume is key.
As you will be writing a resume with very little experience, or even a resume with no experience whatsoever, it is best to pick the resume objective, and combine describing your study and achievements with setting out your ambitions.
Answer the following questions with one sentence each to compose it:
- Who are you? (One power adjective, what you study, years of experience/GPA, previous employer, if any)
- Can you do the job we are asking you to do? (Describe using numbers, achievements, and awards that prove how well you can perform the functions of the job we described in the ad)
- What makes you special? (One super-achievement)
- What can you do for us? (1-2 sentences)
Expert Hint: It is best to write a resume summary or objective once you have completed the other sections of your resume for college freshman, especially your job description.
3. Sell Your College Freshman Job Description and Skills
So, what is it that you do, exactly? Apart from dominating the whole dorm at Madden? Describe your work experience on a resume by focusing on those aspects that fit the profile of your new position.
Applying for any customer-facing job, and you already have customer service experience? Even if you were selling flowers, and now you’re going to be selling concrete, sales and people skills are invaluable. Scan the job ad for resume keywords and phrases, and pick out what is most important to your new employer. Using the employer’s keywords can also prevent your otherwise great resume from being rejected by resume ATS software hiring teams often utilize.
Your employers would like to know what you can do for them. List up to 6 bullet points containing various metrics and achievements in the aspects that correspond to the requirements of the employer. Whenever possible, start your bullets with power words. You can put volunteering work or internships in this resume section, too.
Check out this job description from one of our college freshman resume samples:
College Freshman Job Description
The good example makes use of relevant, close-enough experience to show that this candidate can slot right into the new environment.
Write your list of skills next, keeping in mind the keywords you found in the job ad. Here are some examples:
College Freshman Skills for Resume
- Attention to Detail
- Creative Thinking
- Critical Thinking
- Customer Service
- Decision-Making Abilities
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Interpersonal Skills
- Stress Management
- Time Management
- Verbal & Nonverbal Communication Skills
- Work Ethic
- Working Under Pressure
- Computer Skills
Expert Hint: A solid LinkedIn profile can go a very long way in helping you land the job you want. Check out our LinkedIn profile tips.
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4. Ace Your Education Section
Education’s the whole reason you’re here. Not the dorm parties, the first real opportunity of uninterrupted human contact, and the mountains of disappointment you do not yet know are coming.
When listing a degree in progress:
- Start with your major.
- Add the school name and location, as well as the expected graduation date.
- If applicable, beef up your education section with relevant courses or achievements sections.
College Freshman Resume Sample—Education
5. Sign Off With Some Added Sections
That’s a lot of white space left, right? Alright, maybe not a lot, but you have some for sure. Fill it up with additional information, but don’t throw it all together in one section like you do your clothes on the bed. Split it up into separate extra resume sections such as:
- Additional Activities
- Foreign Languages
- Hobbies and Interests
- Volunteering (if you didn’t add it in the work history section)
- Professional References
- Other Skills not included in your other sections
See the difference between these two college freshman resume bonus section examples:
College Freshman Resume Example—Extra Sections
Don’t spend everything all at once!
One last thing—
Be sure to write a cover letter. Even if the job posting doesn’t mention one, you can be sure that many employers won’t even read your resume without one. The current ratio is about 50/50!
Expert Tip: Follow our tips on how not to blow your chances of getting a job by writing a bad email message if you’re emailing your resume.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
When composing your first college freshman resume:
- Apply the resume format guidelines—margins, fonts, 1 page, reverse chronological.
- Use our cheatsheet college freshman resume sample and add your own information.
- Ace your college freshman job description with achievements and numbers.
- Split up certifications, skills and other bonus sections properly.
- Write a college freshman cover letter.
Got more questions on how to write a great freshman college resume with no experience? Did we help you get your college freshman resume right? Leave a comment. We’ll gladly reply.