Why does a college resume objective matter?
A resume constitutes a key bedrock of your admission application and plays a vital role in the overall evaluation of your application. This document will give the first impression of your candidacy to the admissions officer. Moreover, the admissions officers tend to refer to the resume quite often to trace the parallels between your cover letter and other documents you provide.
Therefore, a college resume objective should be laid out in a clear, concise and comprehensive way to provide a very well structured framework of your background, skills and other competencies you would like to share with the reader. Think about the resume in a way of the restaurant menu. There should definitely be a starter, a main course, and the dessert – and try to apply this technique towards your resume, so as to keep the reader's appetite high enough to keep them on reading through the document.
Structuring the resume.
To craft a good and holistic objective for a college resume it is better to split this into smaller parts, as follows:
- Heading with the contact information.
- The main body. This part needs to be split into thematic sub-paragraphs.
- Extracurricular activities, such as interests, language proficiency, compute skills, etc.
This is the section where you simply need to provide your contact details and photo if required. State your full name, your current address and other contact information. Additionally, you can add the link to your LinkedIn page, if your profile looks sound and strong there.
A condensed summary of the college resume objective.
Also, it is quite common to add two to three sentences which will give a quick snapshot of your background. This should not be too long and should stem from the information you give in the resume. Think about your key area of expertise, skills and knowledge and summarize this in a few sentences. Once this part is done, move to the ‘main course’. Below you will discover useful tips on what should be outlined to make your resume outstanding.
Kick off your resume with an overview of your previous studies and outline the background as detailed as you can. This should not be limited exclusively by the name of your school and the subjects you have taken. Build your academic path brick by brick, starting from the basics, and then mentioning your GPA, academic awards, the projects you carried out, or let’s say Math competition, workshops or summer schools you could have participated in. You might also emphasize your abroad experience, such as short-term exchanges, boarding schools and other international experiences you went through.
Make sure you adhere to the structure and formulate everything in bullet points, and chronological order, focusing first on the present and gradually moving towards the past attainments. Do not forget to fully state the name of each college you attended, the geographical location, graduation dates, etc. Be precise and keep it to the point.
Showcasing your career milestones.
As a graduate, you might have accumulated not that much professional experience, however, even a bit of professional achievements should be mentioned. In this section, it is important to include highly relevant working experiences, focusing on the duties description and personal achievements.
In order to make it concise, follow the chronological order, and organize all your employment history logically. On the left side of the resume locate the name of the organization you have been employed with, the period and place of the employment. On the right side, do mention your position within the organization, enlist the duties and if relevant you might add some active links. More importantly, always start the sentence with an action verb. This will make your resume only stronger. For instance,
- Coordinated the distribution of the school newsletter;
- Contributed to the newspaper articles;
- Prepared the meeting notes for the committee;
- Developed a new system.
Such an action-driven approach highlights your input and activities which you carried out to deliver the project, and thus it helps to clearly unpack your skills.
You might wonder what to include in the resume in case you have no prior experience. Believe it or not – it is not that complicated to brainstorm and discover many professional accomplishments which might not seem obvious for you at first. In the following sections, we explain what else can be stated in the resume if you have quite limited experience.
No matter whether you managed to get first-hand job experience or not, you always have to enlist activities through which you demonstrated your leadership potential. No doubt that every graduate was involved in certain extracurricular activities where they were in charge of coordinating certain processes. Perhaps, you have nominated your candidacy for the school’s presidency, have been a captain of the sports team or directed the theatre play? Have you ever managed the reading club, or have organized school trips – list these. Think about the experience where you lead the group of people, pitched a certain innovative solution or process, successfully implemented results and brought some positive outcomes as a part of the team. This paragraph is crucial, as it helps to demonstrate what separates from the pack, and how you can ‘walk the talk’.
Involvement in volunteer activities might be another pillar of your strong resume. If you have taken part in any volunteering, then describe this in bullet points while using action verbs for the duties you have exercised as a volunteer.
Is there anything else?
If you feel like your resume is not packed with distinguished activities, you might consider the idea of briefly adding extra subsections. For instance, emphasize your hobbies and non-academic interest, add the links to your publications or projects you worked with. In case you have a relevant membership in the association, refer to this as well. Apart from this, you can always insert references to:
- Special training courses and certifications
- Foreign language proficiency
- Relevant honours and awards
- Links to your social media profiles or projects if needed
Soft skills vs Hard skills.
Separate attention can be given to present your soft skills. Admission officers highly appreciate applicants who can communicate about their soft skills in addition to their hard skills. While demonstrating their presence in your ‘background luggage’, candidates showcase that they can adjust themselves in different working and studying settings, and be flexible to operate in these productively. The soft toolkit can encapsulate many things, but we recommend mentioning not more than 5 core competencies.
So, you might pick up for you a few skills from the list below:
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Effective communication skills
- Public speaking
- Decision making
- Stress management
- Willingness to learn
Having chosen the soft skills, it is high time to concentrate on your hard skills. Complement the previous section with the technical skills, while bearing in mind the needs of your college program.
- Computer and digital skills
- Writing and editing
- Translation skills
- Photo and video editing
- Presentation skills
- Project management
Show the proof.
While mentioning all the traits, skills and other leadership competencies you might possess, it is essential to provide an example of these qualities. It is better to avoid using buzzwords that have no substance. Instead, you can refer to your past actions, employment, and other activities, which should match the leadership skills you talk about, and then bridge all the dots.
Never underestimate the prior research on the program you are applying for since the list of required qualifications can actually serve as a key to your selection success. Look through the keywords which would characterize the ideal candidate for the university program. These are usually features which you should align yourself with as well. Get back to your resume, and try to incorporate every keyword in your resume, mentioning these key characteristics in relation to your academic or professional experience.
The volume, formatting and other details.
If the word limit is not set up in advance by the program administrators, then try not to exceed the volume of 2 pages, and make sure you highlight only relevant to your program information.
Make it visually attractive.
Do not succumb to the allure of making it too creative, or the opposite – too dull. No matter what kind of program you are applying for, keep this official. Use the appropriate structure bullet points
In case you want to design an interesting layout, you might use some online apps and programs to craft a more compelling college resume objective.
How to end the college student resume objective?
In most cases, there is no space for an official ‘goodbye’ word. However, you can single out the final section for providing links to certain documents, certifications, publications, etc.
Otherwise, you might use the last section to provide the names and contact details of the potential referees, if it is required. In this case, make sure that people you mention as referees are informed in advance about being potentially reached out by the admission officers.
What is next?
If you are about to finish your resume, do not hurry up. Proofread and make edits, correct the spelling and grammar. Double-check particular names of the colleges, organizations and other titles you mentioned – it is where the most basic of the mistakes occur.
If you still have no clue where to start with, no worries – you can always find coaching services, which will guide you through this challenging admission process. Go on our EssayEdge website, where you can find the list of services. We will gladly help you to formulate a competitive objective for your college resume, and give you tips on how to elevate your experience and communicate about your achievements efficiently.
You can also search through the EssayEdge website to find the templates of college student resumes, cover or motivation letters, and other crucial guidelines which will upgrade your writing style and improve your admission documents. We can assist you with brainstorming and editing the content within the tight deadlines, so do not hesitate to reach out to us – we know how to impress the admission officer and eventually secure the place at your dream college.
Final remarks. To do or not to do.
- Stay relevant and provide only accurate information.
- Double-check the contact details in the heading.
- Present most of the information in bullet points, and highlight the keywords if needed.
- Categorize the themes you want to cover in the resume.
- Use keywords to highlight education, experience and skills.
- Avoid using abbreviations, and unfamiliar words.
- Use action verbs in the duties description.
- Apply past tense for the actions which already took place.
- Demonstrate the specific competencies which you pair with the program requirements you are applying for.
- Proofread your resume with a native speaker or hire a seasoned professional.