Resume Writing Tips and Sample Resume for the College Senior or Graduate

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Writing a resume can be intimidating, especially for a college senior or recent graduate. What information should you include? What should you not include? What should you emphasize? What should you downplay? Although creating a resume for the first time can seem like a daunting task, following these tips will help you on the right track. Also find a sample resume to download for extra help.

Elements of a Resume

Summary Statement

As the first section that potential employers will encounter and read, a summary statement is one of the most important elements of a resume. A well-written summary statement should, at a bare minimum, succinctly remind whoever is reviewing your resume about who you are and why they are reading your resume. The best summary statements do not simply repeat the content of a resume cover letter but add to this information.


The education section of the resume for the college senior or graduate should include information about all educational institutions attended after high school. Include the name and location of the school as well as your degree and graduation date. In general, do not include your GPA, but you can include designations such as summa cum laude and magna cum laude. Also do not include information about your high school graduation. If you have not yet graduated, include your anticipated graduation information.

Work Experience

The work experience section of a resume should include the place of employment, any job titles or similar descriptions, the time period of employment, and a brief description of job responsibilities or duties. Descriptions of former jobs should be written in the past tense while descriptions of current jobs in the present tense. Do not describe the job in detail but rather provide a concise overview. Depending upon the job you are applying for, you may want to include any academic teaching experience under work experience or in its own section.

Community Service

Most employers appreciate potential employees who take time out of their busy lives to volunteer and serve the community. Including a community service section in your resume is especially important for the college senior or recent graduate who has little job experience. As with work experience, include the place of volunteer work, the time period, and a brief description of duties and responsibilities.

Research and Scholarship

Depending on the type of job for which you are applying, you may also want to consider including a section in your resume about any research and scholarly activities you have participated in or completed. Including a research and scholarship section is especially important if you are writing a resume or curriculum vitae in application for a graduate program. Include a title, time period, and brief description of each scholarly activity.


Other sections that you might want to include on your resume include sections on publications, awards and honors, interests, skills, and references. For publications, include a full citation for each item in case your resume reviewer wants to read your work. For references, include the name of your reference, job or professional title, and contact information.

More Tips

In addition to including these essential elements in your resume, you should also pay attention to the physical formatting of your resume. Because resumes are often read quickly by reviewers, use bullet points, bold typeface, and white space to highlight the most important information. The main points of your resume should grab the attention of potential employers. Also be sure to proofread your resume thoroughly. Spelling and other typographical errors reflect poorly on the resume writer. If possible, have a friend or family member look over your resume to help you find any mistakes you might have missed.

Facing the task of writing a resume can be a daunting experience for the college senior or recent graduate. However, these simple tips for writing a sample resume for college senior or graduate will make completing this first step in the job search process a little less difficult.