21 Basic Resumes Examples for Students and New Graduates
Written by Neil O’Donnell
Updated July 11, 2019
Neil O’Donnell, CPCC is a nationally certified career coach whose experience includes over 15 years of career counseling in addition to writing thousands of resumes and cover letters. Working with professionals around the globe, Neil helps recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike in achieving their career dreams.
Let’s face it: writing resumes is a daunting task, especially for undergraduates and recent graduates. And one of the biggest complaints I hear from such entry-level job seekers is that no one showed them how to write a resume or curriculum vitae.
Would it make you feel better to know that most teachers and professors don’t honestly know how to write a good resume?
Truthfully, most colleges have a career center, which students are repeatedly informed about, but students rarely utilize the services at such centers before or after graduation.
Hello! All graduates should make contact with their alma mater’s career center, because such centers usually offer free or low-cost resume writing, basic resume examples, and interview preparation services!
That said, let’s get to the heart of the issue. How do you write a good resume for typical undergraduate and new graduate needs? Below, you'll find basic resume examples, guidelines, and templates to help you out, followed by samples for a variety of popular fields.
Most internships require a student provide a resume and cover letter, but students often are frightened by this as they usually don’t have any experience related to the internship. Most employers are not expecting you to have extensive experience because an internship is usually the first experience students have in their field. As for the structure of a resume for internships, much of the design is consistent with my previous guidance.
However, a few things of are more routine when it comes to an internship resume. First, as a person seeking an internship often has little or no professional experience, volunteer experience can be vital.
Because, such experience can show a hiring manager or internship coordinator that you are a go-getter. You’d be amazed at the amount of employers across most fields place a great deal of value on volunteer experience, especially since a lot of volunteer responsibilities connect with the responsibilities of professionals.
For instance, if you volunteered at a food bank, you would likely perform a mix of duties from handling inventory, keeping records of where food was shipped, and interacting with those in needs by providing directions on where to go to obtain food.
Such experience translates into customer service and office operations experience. Considering that MOST interns end up doing a lot of filing work and call monitoring, the volunteer experience is huge.
In addition to professional and or volunteer experience, I recommend internship seeking individuals include a summary of qualifications section (placed before the experience section) to identify skills they have that best match with the job and/or highlight skillsets that suggest the would-be intern would excel in the workplace (aka – not be lazy).
Many of us have had nightmare experiences with interns. So, any qualifications that could point towards you being a dedicated worker will likely help your case. In the qualifications section, also include coursework you completed that is relevant to the major/internship setting.
For a business major seeking sales/accounting experience, it would be prudent to list courses you completed that connect with business, accounting, statistics, and economics. See the included Internship resume for a full example.
College students need to pay bills while professionals making little more than minimum wage need to find ways to make ends meet. This is often where a part-time job comes into play.
Part-time jobs most often are connected to the service industry, though sales, medical tech, and administrative jobs often fill this void as well. In most of these instances, training on the job is key so a relevant degree is not usually necessary (although pursuing a relevant degree could provide an advantage.
For part-time work, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First, if you have an advanced degree (a Masters or higher), you should consider dropping that from the resume.
Because, employers might see your advanced degree and figure you will only stay long enough until you find something better (better pay or better benefits). Also, if you have extensive experience, you should limit what is on your resume to the last ten years.
Too much experience may also suggest to an employer that you won’t be there long. Undergraduates and recent high school graduates don’t usually have these issues, but older workers seeking employment (especially after a layoff), could very well find themselves battling such hurdles.
Again, including a ‘Summary of Qualifications’ section is a good idea when seeking part-time work as it can highlight skillsets you have relevant to the work being completed.
For part-time jobs, especially those in the service industry, your education can be placed at the end (and in many cases, it should be last as pursuit of a college degree may make a hiring manager hesitate in hiring you for fear that you are only going to be there a short time.
Lastly, as with the internship resume, those with little experience should consider including volunteer experience to help fill up one full page for the resume. See the example for an individual seeking part-time work as a sales associate, positions many undergraduates seek out while in college.
Again, when applying for entry-level positions, a hiring manager is not going to expect applicants to have extensive experience.
For recent college graduates, including a list of relevant coursework is a good thing to consider as employers like to hiring individuals with up to date knowledge relevant to the field, particularly in tech fields. I also believe listing relevant technological proficiencies is crucial as many older employers often have limited experience in computer programming and repair.
As someone who has always endeavored to stay on top of technological advancements, I can attest to the fact that tech-proficient individuals are a hot commodity. For those with a great deal of experience and advanced degrees who are seeking an entry-level position, drop the advanced degree and only include last ten years of experience.
For those without any experience, building a resume is not so easy.
Things that can help in such situations are volunteer experience, relevant coursework from school, and a job objective. Frankly, most of us who are professional resume writers do not use job objectives, but when in need of filling a page, an objective can come in handy.
Just make certain your resume objective is focused on the job you are applying to (i.e. “To obtain a line cook position at the Cityview Restaurant).
Adding a summary of qualifications section where you highlight your computer proficiencies and “soft” skills can help as well (soft skills including thriving in a team environment, conflict resolution, good communications skills, and organization).
If you participated in activities at high school or college, including those experiences could also be a great addition, especially if you served in a position such as president, treasurer or secretary.
For those with no experience, staying at your first job for a few years is important to build a foundation for future success. Getting a new job every year looks bad on a resume and will hurt your chances of being hired in the future.
With a little real-world experience under your belt, you'll have many more options in building your resume—so you might need a bit more inspiration to spark the writing process. Below, you can view more sample resumes for recent and soon-to-be college graduates. All of them focus on transferable skills and quantifiable accomplishments, and they're tailored for the (imaginary) job the candidate desires.
Every field/major requires a different focus in terms of what to highlight in your resume, particularly with regards to skill sets. Asking a professor for an example of her/his resume would provide a good foundation to start with. Here are some basic resume examples for popular fields to get you started.