Writing a resume work experience section can be difficult for students to navigate. The good news is that even if you have little or no experience with the type of work for which you’re applying, you can use the work experience section to your advantage. There are creative ways to format a student’s work history in a way that positions you as a qualified candidate, including the use of relevant academic achievements and non-traditional work experiences such as internships.
What to Include in a Student Resume Work Experience Section
What to include when writing a resume work experience section for a student resume depends on your educational background and the type of job you’re seeking. If you are a nursing graduate pursuing a career in pediatric nursing, your work experience section should include all practicum experiences, especially those that involve working with children. If you have recently graduated from a marketing program and are applying to a job in finance, stress the ways in which the communication and salesmanship skills you developed in school transfer well to the demands of a finance career.
How to Format a Student Resume Work Experience Section
Writing a resume work experience section for a recent graduate or current student often involves creative formatting, such as the division of this section into separate employment history and other experience sections. This allows you to highlight your academic achievements, including class projects that are particularly related to your chosen field of work and internships, in their own section.
Remember that unpaid work experiences still impart valuable lessons and skills that you can format as professional experience. Volunteering to teach a CPR class for the American Red Cross is an example of the type of non-traditional work experience you should emphasize when writing a resume work experience section. If your resume is still light on work experience, place this section below your education section, and let it take a supporting role in your resume.
Great Example of a Student Resume Work Experience Section
Student resumes are as diverse as the different job positions new graduates apply for, but you can use the following example as a guide when writing a resume work experience section of your own:
Campus Recruitment Associate, Columbia University, New York, NY
August 2012 – May 2015
Responsible for design and distribution of campus recruitment materials. Duties included planning campus recruitment events and leading tours for prospective students. Outgoing and enthusiastic.
Sales Associate, Angelina’s Boutique, New York, NY
June 2011 – August 2012
Responsible for maintaining an organized sales floor, creating window displays and developing new marketing materials for store promotions.
Barista, New Grounds Coffee, New York, NY
August 2010 – June 2011
Duties included drink preparation, creation of new promotions and drink names for marketing purposes and customer service.
This example sells the recent graduate’s limited career experience in a way that highlights the duties and skills most relevant to a career in marketing. Although the sales associate position is not directly related to marketing, it is relevant because the candidate mentioned duties that transfer directly to those of an entry-level marketing professional.
Strategic planning is required when writing a resume work experience section, but there are numerous educational experiences and skills that transfer well to professional work. The LiveCareer community is experienced at providing advice for students looking to format their academic experiences and internships in a meaningful way to employers in specific fields, from marketing to mechanical engineering.