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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Here comes the next key step - opting for the right college freshman resume format among 4 types of resume formats, which are:
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:
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|
LinkedIn or personal website (optional)
|ID / Social Security Number|
Marital Status and Dependency
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
You can also provide additional information if they’re impressive and relevant to what you’re applying for, such as:
Example of a college freshman resume for internship:
University of California Irvine, CA
B.S. in Computer Science
2020 - 2023 (expected year of graduation)
- Hardware Design and Operation
- Database Management
- Application Developing
- Computer Programming Languages
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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:
💡 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!
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:
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:
💡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!
Enthusiastic College Freshman working as a content writer freelancer
LinkedIn: Katherine Hanes
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.
Freelance Content Writer
01/2021 - Present
Bachelor of Science in PR & Communications
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Class of 2020
English, Chinese, and Japanese
--- Originally written by May Luong ---