5 easy steps for writing a resume as a social sciences student

As a social sciences student, you are constantly working to better understand the people and world around you – be that through psychology, sociology, political science, or any of the many other disciplines within the field. To earn a job in the social sciences while still a student, it is crucial to write a resume that captures the best examples of your academic and professional attributes.

In this guide, you will learn 5 simple and key steps to writing a resume as a social sciences student. Keep reading to learn about:

  • How to choose the best resume format for your experience level
  • Why write a resume summary as a social sciences student
  • What types of social sciences skills to include on a resume
  • How to describe relevant work experience on a resume
  • Where to list your educational credentials and academic achievements

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1. How to choose the best resume format for your experience level

Whenever you write a resume of any kind, the first thing you must decide is which resume format will best fit your needs. There are 3 main formatting options:

  • Reverse-Chronological: The reverse-chronological resume focuses primarily on work experience, making it the largest and most central section of the document. While this format is the standard expected by most employers, it is not always the ideal choice for current students who lack an extensive formal work history.
  • Functional: Functional resumes remove the focus from work experience. Instead, this type of resume will place greater emphasis on education, skills, and unpaid experience. This makes the functional format a great choice for current students, as it allows an applicant to prioritize their academic experiences and achievements more.
  • Hybrid: A hybrid resume combines elements of both the reverse-chronological and functional resumes. Rather than having one focal section, a hybrid resume will spread the focus of the document out evenly between all sections. This makes this format a good choice for applicants who have a mix of academic and professional experience.

Choose your preferred template and make your resume shine.

2. Why write a resume summary as a social sciences student

A resume summary is a short statement at the beginning of a resume that helps to introduce an applicant to the employer. In this summary, you should strive to include your best professional attributes, such as key specializations or notable accomplishments.

Having a well-written summary on your resume is important, as it helps you to make your resume more memorable and stand out from the competition.

To better illustrate how to write an effective resume summary, we have provided a weak example below, followed by a correction and explanation:

Incorrect social sciences student professional profile example

Social Sciences Student with degrees in Sociology and Political Science. Member of the campus voting organization that helps students register to vote. Led a campus-wide study on the correlation between political awareness and voting participation.

Why is this incorrect?

In this example, the applicant includes decent details that could be compelling if they only had more detail and context. Whenever you write a resume summary, you want to be as specific as possible so that the information stands out to employers and encourages them to read further.

Corrected social sciences student professional profile

Social Sciences Graduate Student, with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Political Science. Co-President of the Campus Voting Outreach program which achieved a 25% increase in the number of students registered to vote on campus. Conducted a campus-wide study on the correlation between political awareness and voting participation that was published in the American Journal of Sociology.

Why is this correct?

In this corrected example, the applicant offers much better information regarding their degrees and experience in a leadership role for a campus organization, going as far as to list a very specific accomplishment achieved within this role. They end the summary with a highly impressive academic accomplishment, making this summary much more effective overall.

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3. What types of social sciences skills to include on a resume

As a social sciences student, you will likely want to showcase as many of your social and interpersonal skills on your resume as possible. However, it is important to not only include but also distinguish your technical skills from your interpersonal ones.

Interpersonal skills can be both learned and inherent. They affect how you interact with the people and world around you. Comparatively, technical skills must be obtained through education or training and often deal with more complex actions and activities, such as knowing how to conduct a social experiment.

Keeping this in mind, let’s look at the following examples of technical and interpersonal skills that look great on a Social Sciences Student’s resume:

The best technical skills to put on your social sciences student resume

  • Research methods
  • Planning & conducting experiments
  • Data collection & analysis
  • Knowledge of specific disciplines (psychology, sociology, etc.)
  • Cognitive science
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Computer literacy
  • Project management
  • Conducting field studies
  • Writing formal papers & reports

Effective interpersonal skills for your social sciences student CV

  • Strong personal & professional ethics
  • Cultural awareness & sensitivity
  • Verbal & written communication
  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Problem-solving
  • Patience
  • Observational awareness
  • Leadership
  • Compassion

4. How to describe relevant work experience on a resume

When you are still a student, chances are that you will not yet have enough formal work experience to create a super in-depth work experience section.

However, if you have academic experiences such as internships, assistantships, or required clinical hours, these can all work as good substitutes for actual jobs in your work history. To describe your past experience effectively, it is essential to include as many quantifiable and specific details as possible.

Here is an example of a work experience entry from a social sciences student’s resume

American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY |
Anthropology Intern
August 2021 to May 2022

  • Assisted Head Museum Anthropologist in categorizing archaeological remains according to region, culture, and age of origin.
  • Collaborated with 5 other interns to design and develop a new cultural exhibit for the museum, helping to raise over $5k in profit to be donated to charity.
  • Participated in the museum’s annual conference on anthropology, assisting museum staff by maintaining a conference schedule and taking keynote presentation notes.

5. where to list your educational credentials and academic achievements

In general, to practice the social sciences you will need a minimum of either a bachelor’s or master’s degree depending on which discipline you choose to pursue. Including these credentials on your resume is done by creating a dedicated education section.

When you are still a student, it is important to include all of your degrees on your resume, even if they are not yet complete. To list an ongoing degree, you simply need to state that the degree is “In Progress,” as well as list your expected date of graduation.

Furthermore, your education section is where you can list your academic achievements, such as graduation honors or key academic roles.

Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a social sciences student’s resume

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
M.S. in Psychology

  • In Progress, Expected Graduation: December 2022

University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
B.S. in Psychology

  • Graduated: May 2019, Summa Cum Laude
  • Dean’s List | 2017, 2018, 2019

 

Published on Feb. 21, 2022

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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