How To Make Student Jobs Look Good On A Resume


With today’s competitive job market, putting together a resume can be a discouraging process – even for the most qualified job applicant.

Still, while it is normal to compare yourself to the competition, you should not let that impact the way you see yourself. Even if your work experience is limited to part-time positions and summer jobs, it is still valuable. Everyone has skills in their background that are relevant and transferable to their future career – you might just have to dig a little. Fortunately, we’ve done the first bit of the work for you and put together a list of the most popular student jobs, and how to make them work for you on your resume.


Retail experience can act as a fantastic stepping stone towards future sales-oriented roles within an organization. After all, sales associate positions often require you to effectively influence customer opinion in order to increase overall revenue, and your attitude and approach can make a huge difference. This is especially true in the way you react to unexpected problems and handle particularly busy times.

Want to highlight this experience on a resume?
Say, “Able to identify and address customers needs while applying detailed product knowledge and creative problem-solving,” or “Proven ability in suggestive selling to meet daily targets.”


Working in a restaurant is arguably one of the most demanding jobs you can have. You can count on a server to think quick on their feet (literally!) and have a high level of patience. To succeed in this role, you must have incredible organizational skills and the ability to work well under pressure. Servers will also be expert communicators and enjoy working with people, as it is an industry where success relies on outstanding customer service.

Want to highlight this experience on a resume?
Say, “Excels in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment that requires efficient multitasking.” Additionally, “Developed invaluable communication skills while interacting with all levels of management, as well as hundreds of patrons every day.”


The common perception of cashiers is that they just provide customer service and receive cash in exchange of goods and services sold. This alone, is not true. Cashiers need to possess a multitude of skills and qualifications to be able to work effectively in this challenging role. For example, you need to be able to troubleshoot problems, pertaining to both cash and sales, work efficiently, and do it all with a smile! This requires strong interpersonal skills, as well as problem-solving abilities.

Want to highlight this experience on a resume?
Say, “Proven skills in multitasking and effective problem-solving while providing timely and
memorable customer service.”


The construction industry can be incredibly challenging, yet rewarding. Since success in this field is based on teamwork, results and accountability, construction attracts employees who are driven by results and have the desire to work hard and effectively to achieve them. Having a role that is both physically and mentally demanding isn’t for everyone, but having said that, it can definitely make your resume stand out if you emphasize the right skills.

Want to highlight this experience on a resume?
Say, “Maintained a high level of professionalism while working in a results-driven, self-motivated and goal-oriented environment” or “Demonstrated the ability to be organized, dependable and punctual in order to effectively execute projects.”

Of course, while knowing how to frame your experience is important, potential employers will also want examples of when you have demonstrated the skills you are advertising. The best way to do this is to write a list of specific situations you have encountered and write down which skills you applied for each one.

Every job experience provides you with important skills necessary to succeed in the post-grad world, and hopefully this article will help you showcase them in your job search. Happy hunting!

About the author

Sarah Bartnicka is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa's communications program. When she’s not creating content, you can find her using the free Starbucks wifi to scroll through Instagram. The most exciting part of her day is deciding what to have for dinner. Tweet her your recommendations @sarrera!