Although many recent college graduates have been involved in various extracurricular activities and may even have completed a couple of internships, most have very little professional experience and are often at a loss for what to list on a resume. However, students have a lot more experiences and many more skills than they realize.
Recent graduates need to think of their resume as a marketing document. It should have a clear career goal and frame every past experience in a way that supports that goal. Therefore, resumes need to be custom tailored to each specific position. Job seekers must make their career objectives clear, precise, and to-the-point. Vague, blanket statements will not impress potential employers.
Most experienced workers place their educational information toward the end of their resume, but recent graduates should move this section much closer to the top and go into detail about any academic honors and accomplishments. Those with a particularly high GPA may wish to list it here. Additionally, new graduates should think about listing specific courses that are related to the job opportunity at hand, especially if they are looking for a position in business or engineering.
As recent graduates consider their work history, they should think critically about the skills that they gained in previous jobs, no matter how menial. Students may not want to list a part-time sales job that they held for a few years in college, but these sorts of positions often build important interpersonal skills, such as the ability to manage conflict. Also, employers will value students who successfully managed their time well enough to maintain a job while attending school full time.
New graduates should also include extracurricular activities on their resume, especially if they were officers or held other leadership positions. These sorts of opportunities teach people a great deal about leadership and how to work within an organization.