College Freshman Resume Examples [Writing Steps & Tips]

College Freshman Resume
Created by Cake

As a first-year student at university, you may need a college freshman resume and/or a college freshman cover letter to apply for an internship, part-time jobs, student organizations, volunteer opportunities, scholarships, etc. It seems hard at first as you’re just starting to learn and obtain essential skills and experiences for your future employment.

Don't worry - a strong college freshman resume will do the trick and improve your chances of getting what you’re applying for. Moreover, once you’ve achieved it, you can use it to further develop your skills and resume for your next jobs or study opportunities.

Step 1: Create the best layout for your college freshman resume

Regardless of the application purpose, it’s important to pick structures that effectively present yourself. Keep in mind that conciseness and readability are the best. 

However, there are 5 standards you should stick by to secure a great layout for your college sophomore resume: 

1. Resume Length

Since you don’t have much work history to present, one page is the ideal length for your resume. 

Note that sometimes you will be required to submit a CV, which is different from a resume. Learn how to distinguish these two application documents from The Key Differences between Resume and CV. 

2. Letter Font & Size

Most of the resume experts and recruiters prefer standard fonts (e.g., Arial, Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman, and Helvetica). 

If you’re applying for creative fields such as Art Club or Design jobs/activities, you may consider fancy font or style. However, make it easy to read and professional with the standard size of 11-12pt, and use bold font styles to highlight section headings. 

3. Resume Margin

Whether you set the margins correctly can determine the professional presentation and layout of your first-year college resume. ½”–1″ margins is the standard, depending on the amount of information you demonstrate on the document.

4. Resume Spacing

The proper spacing for a college freshman resume is 1.0 or 1.15, however, you can adjust accordingly based on the white space of your page and the letter size you pick.

5. College Freshman Resume Format

As a rule of thumb, you should send your college freshman resume in PDF if there is no specific request. Nowadays PDF has been taking over Word because the formatting won’t get messed up when the document is viewed on different devices. 

💡 Make sure to name the file properly if you submit it via email


[First Name] [Last Name] - [Purpose of Application] Resume  

Step 2: Adopt the right format for your college freshman resume

Here comes the next key step - opting for the right college freshman resume format among 4 types of resume formats, which are: 

  • Chronological resume format
  • Functional resume format
  • Combination resume format
  • Targeted resume format

The functional format is suitable for a resume for college freshmen with no work experience as it focuses on your skills and qualifications rather than work experience. 

A resume template for freshman college students looks like this:

  • Contact information
  • Resume objective / summary
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Work or student leadership experience
  • Additional information (e.g., awards, certifications, volunteering experience, or hobbies & interests)

Step 3: Start with basic personal details and contact info

For all application documents, personal info and contact are the most crucial details as the recruiter needs to get back to you when needed. This section should be at the top of your first-year college resume and your name should be in bold and larger text.

Below is the list of what to and not to include:

✔️ Include
❌ Not-to-include
Full name
Phone number
LinkedIn or personal website (optional)

ID / Social Security Number
Sexual Orientation
Marital Status and Dependency

Step 4: Title your college freshman resume with an eye-grabbing headline

A resume headline/title often goes unattended.

Do you know an intriguing headline for your first-year college resume can attract the recruiter right away as it demonstrates your competencies? That can be your current college major, outstanding awards, or personal traits, depending on the purpose of your application. 

Examples of an impressive title for your college freshman resume:   

  • For volunteer work:
    “Dedicated Nursing student hoping to increase LGBTQ+ tolerance and awareness.”
  • For an internship program: 
    “Highly motivated finance sophomore at NTU with strong analytical and leadership skills.”
  • For a scholarship: 
    “MA Student in English at AJC awarded Dean’s List for the first year.”

Step 5: Compile a well-written resume summary

The summary statement for your first-year college resume commonly goes under the resume headline at the top of the page. It summarizes the contents of your resume and gives you an opportunity to show recruiters your skills and motivation to carry out the job, internship, or scholarship.

📝 Pro Tips:

  • No more than 3 sentences. 
  • Be clear and concise with your qualifications needed for the role, instead of expressing your personal wishes.

Note that a resume summary is different from an objective statement which is shorter and describes your goals regarding studying or career path. It can also demonstrate your enthusiasm to bring values to the organization and help them achieve the goals.

If you are not confident in presenting your qualifications with a resume summary, opt for a resume objective instead.

Example of a resume summary for a freshman college student:

Passionate Nursing Sophomore at NYU with a strong passion for helping people and knowledge in health and social care. Excel at performing various administrative tasks and communicating with others. Speak English, Spanish, and Germany fluently.

Example of a resume objective for a freshman college student:

Looking to volunteer for German Red Cross where I can help with the donations of used equipment for individuals recovering from illness or injury.

Step 6: Highlight outstanding skills

In the skills section, you need to highlight what you are good at so the recruiter knows whether you’re suitable for the role. 

When listing your skills, keep in mind to include both hard skills (anything that is specific to the role) and soft skills (anything that is a part of your personality or related to interpersonal skills). It’s also important to tailor this section according to the position description by listing relevant skills only, especially hard/technical skills. 

Skills from college freshman resume examples:

  • Hard skills:
    Depending on your field of study or the position you’re applying for.
    For instance, hard skills for a finance resume include Statistical Analysis, Cost Accounting, Corporate Finance knowledge, Big Data, Data Analytical Systems, etc. For design-related roles, hard skills might include design software and tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Figma, Microsoft Powerpoint, etc.
  • Soft skills:
    Data-driven, Detail-oriented, Communication skills, Organizational, Time management, Collaborative, Critical thinking, Leadership, etc.

Step 7: List educational qualifications and background

For a resume for freshman college students, the education section plays an important role. Feature it at the top of the page to impress recruiters and lead with your area of study to give them a picture of your educational qualifications as well as the skills you wish to develop.

It’s not difficult to get it right. Just simply follow the standard format:

  • Name of your current school & location
  • Degree type
  • Major and minors
  • Expected date of graduation

You can also provide additional information if they’re impressive and relevant to what you’re applying for, such as: 

  • Relevant coursework or classes
  • A high GPA 
  • High school academic information and achievements (if you believe they would be impressive for the readers)

Example of a college freshman resume for internship

University of California Irvine, CA
B.S. in Computer Science
2020 - 2023 (expected year of graduation)

Relevant coursework:
- Hardware Design and Operation
- Database Management
- Application Developing
- Computer Programming Languages

Cake provides the right college freshman resume templates & formats for you to showcase your skills and experiences. Sign up to create and download the best college freshman resume now for FREE!

Step 8: Demonstrate your best experience and achievements

It would be great if you ever held a part-time job or engaged in an internship or volunteer work as a student. If so, you have some professional experience in your field of choice to showcase in your resume. 

Each entry should contain the following information:

  • Position/job title 
  • Date of starting and ending 
  • Organization name
  • Key responsibilities & significant achievements

💡 Reminder: For a college freshman resume example, check out the sample we provide in the last part.

Say you’re writing a resume for a college freshman with no work experience, don’t let the lack of experience discourage you. The next step might provide you golden advice!

Step 9: Provide extra details to beef up your college freshman resume

Note that these details should be valuable to the specific position you’re applying for. 

Examples of extra sections in your first-year college resume:

  • Language proficiencies
  • Projects
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Awards and honors
  • Volunteer work
  • Publication 
  • References

Step 10: Craft a professional college freshman cover letter

While resumes are more like lists, cover letters tell a story about you that recruiters can’t see from a resume. At its most basic, show them your strong passion and enthusiasm to achieve what you are aiming for. They also would love to hear what you can bring to the organization. 

Cover the following information in the college freshman cover letter

  • Personal and Contact information: Similar to what you have provided on the resume
  • Introduction: Who you are and what you're applying for (internship, volunteer work, part-time job, etc.)
  • Motivation: Why you want to apply and what benefits it brings to you
  • Qualifications: What skills and abilities you possess make you qualified for this opportunity
  • Closing: Politely express an appreciation for the reader's time and consideration

💡Reminder: Pay attention to the Dos & Don’ts of Writing a Cover Letter before submitting your application letter.

So that’s it! You have grabbed the idea of how to writing a strong college freshman resume. A professional layout, suitable format, and compelling content will make you stand out among other candidates.  

👇 For your reference, let’s check out the college freshman resume sample below!

College Freshman Resume Sample

Katherine Hanes

Enthusiastic College Freshman working as a content writer freelancer

[email protected] 
(+899) 333-8900
LinkedIn: Katherine Hanes

Professional Summary

College Freshman majoring in PR & Communications seeking to leverage skills in social media management and content writing. An active listener, fast learner, and collaborative team player hoping to significantly contribute to IVY Group as a Digital Marketing part-timer.

Professional skills 

  • Social Media Marketing
    • Proficient in using Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to promote products and services. 
    • Familiar with social review sites and community blogs.
  • Influencer Marketing:
    • Efficiently hosted giveaways and Brand Ambassador programs for the Communications department.
    • Familiar with KOLs in sports, beauty, and gaming fields. 
  • Content Marketing: 
    • Able to create relevant, consistent, and compelling content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience; and to drive profitable customer action.
    • Familiar with basic SEO concepts.
    • Have taken copywriting and creative writing classes.

Soft skills

  • Communication skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Time management
  • Motivated 
  • Reliable

Work Experience

Freelance Content Writer 
01/2021 - Present

  • Clients: Skoda Group, BAS Blog, SUNTA Travel
  • Job responsibilities: 
    - Research and developed job-related topics 
    - Produce SEO-friendly articles to promote the products/services
    - Design social posts when needed 
    - Assist in-house editors with proofreading before publication
  • Key achievement: Rated 4.95/5 by clients on Upwork.  


Bachelor of Science in PR & Communications
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Class of 2020


English, Chinese, and Japanese

--- Originally written by May Luong ---

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