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.

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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.




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mark_pino
UPenn ‘20


Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions
BrownDomer
Notre Dame ‘20


Accepted to BU, Emory, Swarthmore, Notre Dame

Hello! I'm an international student from Ethiopia and I'll be majoring in Biology. I'd love to share all the tips and tricks I've learned from my rather unique college application experience with you!
rfkoerner
UMich ‘20


Accepted to UMich, GA Tech, Case, Michigan Tech

I am a hard-working, motivated student, athlete, and performer who enjoys having fun on the side.
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Harvard ‘20


Accepted to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, UVA

Lover of physics, math, and chess. Football player and bass player. California born and raised.

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