Updated: Aug 19, 2019
By Haley Buchan
Students applying to college and internships need resumés too! Your CV isn’t just a list of your skills and accomplishments, it’s a way to present who you are to the reader. A potential internship manager or college admissions officer should be able to get a sense of who you are from reading your resume.
Here are some top tips to make your CV stand out from the pile:
Start with schooling. Begin your resumé by listing any school you’ve attended since starting high school. Remember that study abroad and summer courses count as well! This is also a good spot to add your standardized testing scores. Even though admissions officers probably have access to these scores, your resumé is a great place to list any you’re especially proud of.
List any (and all) job experiences. Start with your formal job experience (both paid and unpaid) and be sure to give specifics. List each job with your dates of employment and then give details of what your responsibilities were in bullet point form underneath. Using specific action verbs (for example: “prepared marketing materials for the annual sales meeting”) keeps your resumé clear and succinct. Don’t forget to list any informal work experience as well!
Volunteering experience is crucial. Colleges and future employers want to see that you are passionate about causes beyond your education and work experience. I’ve found that many interviewers ask questions about this section and it’s a great chance to talk about a cause in which you really believe.
Don’t be shy about sharing your skills—but be honest! If you’re fluent in another language or proficient in a language of code, go ahead and let your interviewer know here. Be careful though: don’t exaggerate. My resumé says that I’m bilingual in French. I’ve had an interviewer see this and conduct the interview entirely in French. You definitely don’t want to be caught stretching the truth!
Add something special to really make yourself stand out. At the end of your resumé, it’s a good idea to add a brief sentence about something that makes you really unique; it’s also a great conversation starter. For example, my resumé says that I love wilderness canoeing, and a friend of mine swears he always gets asked about his fun fact: that he loves to volcano board!
All in all, your resumé is your chance to present yourself to anyone who reads it. Your CV is your chance to really stand out, so it’s worth investing a little time to really make it great, even if you’re still in just getting starting accumulating the great experiences that will one day appear on it!
Haley Buchan is an economics and math major and French minor at Georgetown University.