Top 5 Resume Tips for College Students

UNCW Resumania Career

As a college student considering your career options, a resume suddenly becomes a tool that’s pivotal to your future. You are expected to have your jobs, extracurricular activities and leadership roles neatly organized to give employers an engaging snapshot of your hard work and experience. For many students, it’s the first time they have had to showcase themselves this way and the task can leave them with many questions.


Jennifer Nimz, senior recruiter at PPD, attended a Resumania event with the career center of the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). College students met with experienced professionals, who offered tips on improving their resumes.


“The UNCW students who participated in Resumania were well prepared and excited to meet with the career staff and HR professionals from Wilmington-area companies,” said Jennifer. “It was rewarding to work with such engaged students, eager to receive feedback on how to improve their resumes.”


While chatting with the students, Jennifer realized there were common resume questions that came up repeatedly throughout her conversations. She shares her top five tips on how to improve your resume:

1. Simple, clear and neat formatting: Use a uniform font, align bullet points and consistently format dates. Keep your resume to one page.

2. College education: Include your college degree with anticipated graduation date. List major, minors, any concentrations and include any academic achievements.  

3. Remember to include your leadership and campus involvement: Show your involvement in college organizations like clubs, Greek organizations, honor societies, volunteer roles and school committees. If you held a leadership role in these groups, list your responsibilities.

4. Use professional and clear language: Use strong verbs to concisely show your responsibilities and accomplishments. Always present your experience accurately.

5. High school experiences: Feature high school experiences on your resume until other relevant leadership, internships, jobs and/or other campus and community involvement can replace them. Long-term employment, even in a customer service capacity, is valuable and shows reliability and work ethic.

Are you interested in learning about how you can apply your education and experience to a fulfilling career? Visit PPD’s careers page to learn more.