How to Assemble a Resume as a College Underclassman

August 03, 2017

Your resume is your story on paper, and people will want to see it as soon as you step onto campus.

Whether you’re joining a professional organization on campus, or recruiting for your first or fifteenth internship, one thing is for sure: your resume will be part of your application. But what do interviewers want to see on the resume of a student with little professional experience? They want to see the same thing they’d see if you were a Fortune 500 CEO: your story.

However, there is a right way to tell it. Here are some tips:

Tell it on one page. You’d be shocked how many 4-page resumes detailing an entire history of every activity someone has participated in since he or she started breathing come across the desks of recruiters. Your content may be less exciting than you’d hoped, but it’s important to follow a proper format. You can see how here.

Try to replace your high school experiences. We get it. You’re a freshman, and all you’ve ever seen is high school. But that’s about to change, and the older you get, the less high school experiences recruiters expect to see on your resume. A good rule of thumb is to replace your high school experiences by the beginning of your freshman year. At this point, you should hopefully have gained enough job/leadership experience in college to start anew.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Be eager to learn, and coachable. It’s great to discuss your experiences in the best light possible, but don’t exaggerate, as you’ll probably be called upon to elaborate on experiences listed on your resume. Nobody is expecting a seasoned professional as a college freshman, so just do your best with what you have!

Ask for help. It’s very difficult to give overarching resume advice, because everyone has a different set of experiences, and different things they want to show. If you’re unsure about how to best position yourself, it would be wise to seek the advice of a mentor who has been through the process before. They’ll be able to look through your current resume, pinpoint what’s most important, and help you show it in the best light possible.

College Students:
Share your application journey and make some money!
LEARN MORE

Follow these tips, and you should have a great start. Best of luck!

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.




Browse Successful Application Files

bwill
Williams ‘19


Accepted to Williams, Claremont (CMC), Amherst, Swarthmore, Pitzer, Northwestern, Tufts, WashU, Grinnell, Rice, Emory, LMU

Hi! I'm a Williams '19 transfer who's passionate about social justice, tech, and STEM education. I'd love to share what I learned from navigating this hectic process twice!
DanThePotatoMa…
Pomona ‘20


Accepted to Pomona, Swarthmore, Bowdoin, Middlebury, WashU, Vassar, Emory, Kenyon, Wesleyan, Hamilton

Salutations person! My profile includes the awesome details of the ridiculously goodlooking man in the above picture! Plus, a bunch of essays!
ltan98
Fordham ‘20


Accepted to American, Fordham, Skidmore, Syracuse, UC Irvine, UCSB

Hi there! I went to an American school in Hong Kong from K-12 and will be starting my freshman year at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in the fall. If you're interested in theater and come from overseas, I would be of particular help to you!
Bhenrique
UC Berkeley ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, Penn State, Colorado, UCLA, NYU

Passionate about Education. Lover of all things science!

New Posts

10 College Interview Questions You Should Prepare For
10 College Interview Questions You Should Prepare For
November 17, 2017

Early applications are in and applicants should start preparing for the next application step: the college interview. About College Interviews First thing you should know about college interviews is that you probably won’t have...

Telluride Association Summer Program: Summer Program for Juniors
Telluride Association Summer Program: Summer Program for Juniors
November 14, 2017

Are you a highly motivated, intellectually curious high school junior? Apply to the Telluride Association Summer Program!Telluride Association Summer ProgramTelluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a free six-week summer education experience for high school...

Load More Posts