As a recent graduate, completing your first resume can feel like an intimidating task. Don’t let the pressure of writing a resume for the first time overwhelm you. As long as you take the time to consider the information to include and how to structure it, you will be able to write a resume that accurately presents your abilities and experiences. Keep reading to learn the important steps for creating an effective and memorable recent graduate resume.

Brainstorm Potential Experience for Your Resume

Recent graduates might feel as though their lack of professional experience can leave a blank slate when it comes to resumes, but don’t give up just yet. When trying to think of experiences to include on your resume, look outward as well as inward. Think of experiences gained in a variety of activities such as internships, volunteering, school activities and part-time jobs. Even personal interests or hobbies can reveal useful values and qualities employers may find attractive. You can also include relevant skills gained through related coursework or extracurricular activities.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteer roles can often be attractive to employers, so be sure to include any volunteering experience. Use bullet points to emphasize the skills and responsibilities gained from volunteering, such as working with a team, meeting deadlines and providing customer support.

Academic Coursework

Include any coursework in the resume that is related to the job you are applying for. Mention course titles and the associated topics, such as software applications or hardware platforms.

Relevant Leadership Training

In addition to volunteer experiences, include any type of leadership training experiences. List any awards or special designations gained, such as completing a leadership training program.

Memberships in Professional Organizations

List any relevant memberships in professional organizations such as the National Honors Society, Student Government or any other leadership or social organizations.


List any specific accomplishments or awards you have earned in the past, such as a cum laude designation or completing a specialist or advanced board certification.

Personal Interests

If applicable, list any hobbies that may be impressive to employers, such as mastering a programming language or practicing another type of specialized skill.

Format Your Resume for Maximum Impact

A resume should be organized into sections, such as a summary statement, experience, education, skills and contact information. Remember to keep it to one page, which will add impact to each section.

Contact Information

Include the basic contact information in the header of the resume, such as your full name, physical address, telephone number, and email address.

Summary Statement

The summary statement should capture the reader’s attention, leaving them wanting to learn more. This particular statement can vary greatly, depending upon the individual, but should include the type of job they are seeking and the experience they have in that field.

Experience & Education

Include a section for each, starting with your most recent experience and working backward. If the achievement or accomplishment is particularly noteworthy, include it in the summary statement or create an awards section.


List skills that are relevant and specific to the job. If an applicant has any software or programming applications they are experienced in, be sure to include that as well.

People Also Ask

How do recent graduates make their resumes stand out?

Recent graduates can make their resumes stand out by emphasizing their relevant experience, whether it be through courses, internships or volunteer roles, and tailoring the document to fit each job they apply for.

Should I include my GPA on my resume?

If your GPA is 3.0 or higher, you may consider including it in the relevant coursework section of the resume.

What should I include in the summary statement?

When writing the summary statement, list your years of experience and include one or two core qualifications that make you stand out, such as certifications, volunteer experience and personal interests.

Are headshots allowed on resumes?

Most employers prefer to not include headshots in resumes unless specifically requested.

How should I format the resume?

The resume should be formatted in a clean and easy-to-read style, divided into sections such as contact information, summary statement, experience, education, skills and awards, if applicable.

Final Words

Writing a strong resume as a recent graduate can help to start your career off right by presenting yourself as a desirable job candidate. With the right structure, content, and format, you can show off the knowledge and skills you have gained and make your resume stand out among others.