A degree in economics sets you up for a successful career. Whether you're pursuing a position as a financial advisor, a management consultant or anything else in the field, an impressive economics graduate resume will help you earn your first full-time position.
Here's everything you need to know about writing a top-notch resume as an economics major.
Highlight internships, work experience and extracurricular activities
In a perfect world, all graduating economics majors will have worked several college internships to gain skills and experience in the field. If that's your story, be sure to list those experiences at the top of your resume. Then, read over the job requirements for specific roles and describe how your previous experience related to what you'll do on the job.
If you didn't complete any summer internships, you're in good company. Maybe you worked as a camp counselor and are now trying to snag a job at a financial firm.
"You have to think a little outside of the box to show that you are up to a very different type of job," says Liz Helton, a career strategist at Julia Holian & Associates.
"In this case, emphasize your education and big areas of study first. When it comes time to talk about how you spent all your downtime, focus on the elements of that [camp counselor] job that will help you, moving forward."
Either way, focus on results, achievements and other on-the-job accomplishments that set you apart and connect to the role. In the case of the camp counselor who wants to work in financial services, think about focus. leadership, communication. and problem solving as potentially transferable skills.
Employers will care that you had the highest customer service feedback scores, or that you reduced costs 38 percent, year over year, by effectively forecasting inventory needs throughout the summer internship, says Helton.
Your resume should also feature your extracurricular activities, especially if you held leadership roles. They demonstrate your commitment, responsibility and other skills that will contribute to your success in the working world.
Describe your educational success
It's critical that your B.S. or B.A. economics resume communicate your mastery of the courses in your major. Instead of listing every class you took, emphasize particular projects, specific areas of study and major achievements that make you stand out from all the other economics graduates that are likely applying for the same jobs.
"The courses you take to move you toward your degree have provided you with experiences and challenges along the way," offers Helton. "Find ways to show how your investment in your career has gotten you to a place that makes you qualified to apply."
Mention additional certifications
Helton emphasizes that while economics graduates can land entry-level jobs, many industries will require further education or additional certifications. For example, if you want to become a certified public accountant, you'll need to pass all parts of the CPA exam. If you spent your summers and school breaks taking additional classes or gaining more advanced certifications, include that information on your resume as well.
Get specific with your skills
Economics majors can pursue many different careers, so it's important to tailor your economics resume skills to a particular position. For instance, if you're applying to work as a financial analyst, emphasize the skills you learned in the classroom and on the job that prepare you to work full-time in the field. Read over a job listing and find keywords that stand out to you, whether that's a skill or certification. Include those keywords verbatim in your resume to show you've done your research and to get past the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that give resumes an initial scan, looking for those same keywords.
"Because there is such a broad range of specialties within economics, it is crucial for entry-level applicants to do some homework on their own about the industries they are applying [to]," says Helton. "Being able to talk with professionals about any chosen industry will help the candidate stand out and look more prepared."
Build your economics major resume
Every resume contains five essential components, including a header, professional summary, work history section, skills section and education section. When you understand the basic structure of an ideal resume, you'll see where it makes sense to plug in your internships, your degree and your relevant work experience.
Need help creating your economics graduate resume? Visit our Resume Builder for access to dozen of resume templates and step-by-step professional guidance on enhancing your resume. Impress employers and land the economics job you've been working toward for the past few years.