How To Write a College Graduate Resume (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 26, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated July 26, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Job Cast: Job Search Tips for New Graduates During COVID-19

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If you're getting ready to graduate from college, you have probably already begun thinking about your job search. There are many variables to consider as an entry-level employee searching for a new position, including things like how to highlight your education on your resume.

In this article, we explain what a college graduate resume is, review how to write one, discuss helpful tips and provide a template and example for reference. 

What is a college graduate resume?

A college graduate resume is an entry-level resume that showcases the skills, experience and education of a recent college graduate. Since most recent college grads lack professional job experience, these resumes prioritize education, internships, training and transferrable skills to show the potential of a job seeker.

While it can be challenging to seek jobs that prefer experience in the field, know that all job candidates started their careers without experience. Some employers may prefer to hire trainable and eager job candidates over more experienced ones. Knowing how to market what you do have to offer—such as soft skills, internship experience and college courses—can help you apply for a position successfully after earning a college degree.

Related: How to Write a College Student Resume

How to write a college graduate resume

Here’s a list of steps you can follow to write a college graduate resume:

1. Provide professional contact information

At the top of the document, add a header that lists your contact information. Include your full name, phone number, email address and the city and state where you live. These details make it easier for your prospective employer to contact you and schedule an interview, so it’s important that they’re easy for the hiring manager to find on the page. 

Related: How To Create an Effective Resume Header


2. Use a resume summary

A resume summary is a statement about skills, experience and education inserted in the upper portion of a resume document, near the top. It highlights important elements of the experience and skills listed in the body of your resume. This is a valuable section for college graduates without much job experience because it allows you to curate the impressive highlights of your resume in a short statement that demonstrates your value as an employee.

Related: How To Write a Stellar Entry-Level Resume Summary


3. Use keywords to highlight education, certifications  and skills

The valuable sections of your resume are your education, certifications and skills. Listing this information can help you highlight why you’re qualified for your prospective role and showcase the college degree you earned. In a college graduate resume, you want to include each section with its own content in this order:

  • Education: Include the degrees you completed and the academic institutions where you earned them.

  • Certifications:Add any professional certifications you’ve earned. This can help you validate your skills and technical knowledge, and compliment your academic credentials. 

  • Skills: Choose hard, soft and technical skills that highlight why you are a good fit for your prospective role.

To increase your chances of getting noticed by both recruiters and bots, it's important to consider what keywords you should use when you write your entry-level resume. Use words that match the job and industry. One way to customize your resume for each job you apply for is to study the job description and use the same keywords.

Related: The Best Job Skills To Make Your Resume Stand Out


4. Conclude with your work history

Conclude your resume by adding your work history and listing your previous or current positions that relate to your prospective role. Include your job title and the dates of your employment. On the next line, add the name of the employer and the city and state where they’re located. Then, add a list of bullet points under each role that describe the job duties you handled and how you contributed to the department or organization overall. 

Related: How To Write Work Experience on Your Resume


Tips for writing an effective college graduate resume

Here are some tips for writing a college graduate resume that is successful:

  • Mention your GPA. If you graduated with honors, or had a 3.5 GPA or above, consider featuring this information on your resume. You can also include any awards or accolades you received for academics.

  • Include business networking profiles and online resume links. If you have an online resume or have a profile on a professional social media website or industry association networking site, include those links in your entry-level resume to show your level of engagement with others in the industry. If you do not yet have social business profiles, consider setting them up as it will enhance your professionalism.

  • Avoid mentioning high school. While it may be helpful to list academic credentials on your resume, it’s typically not necessary to include those that you earned in high school. Instead, employers are usually interested in your most recent credentials.

College graduate resume template

Here’s a template you can reference as you create your college graduate resume:

[Full Name], [Degree if applicable]

[Phone number] | [Professional email address] | [City, State] | [Professional website]

Professional Summary

[Brief summary that mentions your core competencies, work experience and career achievements]

Education

[Degree earned]

[Institution name], [Graduation year if you graduated within the past three years]

Certifications

  • [Certification Name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

  • [Certification Name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Skills

[Relevant skill] | [Relevant skill] | [Relevant skill] | [Relevant skill]

Work Experience

[Job Title], [Start date–End date]

[Company Name], [Location]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

[Job Title], [Start date–End date]

[Company Name], [Location]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

[Job Title], [Start date–End date]

[Company Name], [Location]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]

  • [Strong verb] + [job duty] + [impact]


Example of a college graduate resume 

Use the following college graduate resume sample to help structure your own:

Mary Hargrove, Bachelor of Science in business management

384-515-6654 | mary.hargrove@email.com | Augusta, GA | m.hargrove.jobprofile.com/example

Professional Summary

Professional with specialized education and training, ready to demonstrate critical thinking and knowledge needed for project management at Crystal Corp. Proficiency in mathematics and problem-solving.

Education

Bachelor of Science in business management

University of Georgia, 2021

Skills

Critical-thinking | Written and verbal communication | Research and analysis | Collaboration

Work Experience

Project Management Intern, January 2021–Current
Happy Days Development, Augusta, GA 

  • Work with project manager to enhance project management strategy by optimizing for efficiency

  • Manage projects in a DevOps environment

  • Attend team meetings regarding management initiatives

  • Address team members’ questions regarding their contributions to the project

  • Perform project research to assist project managers and other internal leaders

Administrative Assistant Intern, January 2020–January 2021
Shine Management, Augusta, GA 

  • Coordinated travel arrangements and amenities for a team of six executives

  • Worked closely with the administrative team to perform daily duties that are essential for daily operations

  • Helped increase adoption of cloud systems by performing instructional design duties and creating training materials


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