Using Academic Experience to Strengthen Your Resume

By: Carolina Pena

Carolina Pena is studying Marketing and Photography at Baruch College. She worked at the Starr Career Development Center as a Peer for Career.

For many college students, one of the most difficult parts about strengthening a resume is listing professional experience in their chosen major field.

At Baruch College, group projects form a major part of the courses we take throughout our student careers, especially when we begin to enter our major courses. Many group projects we complete in class are as valid as any professional experience in the workplace.

If you do not have professional work experience one way to show an employer you have knowledge in your field is by listing a project. Similar to having work experience on a resume, you may detail the experience with two or three bullet points explaining your responsibilities, skills used, accomplishments, and results of the project.

In my third year at Baruch College, I listed a class project in place of professional experience on my resume because prior to this I did not have any marketing experience- aside from my leadership and extracurricular activities.
The project I listed came from a course I took in the spring semester of 2012 entitled, “Advertising and Communications.” I presented, researched, and coordinated a group to create an integrated marketing communications campaign for an international apparel and accessories company.

I decided to use this experience on my resume to demonstrate my knowledge of the field and my leadership role as the group’s coordinator. Categorized this class project under RELEVANT PROJECTS and placed it below my education section. I used clear infinitive phrases to explain the purpose of the project briefly and my duties, while highlighting key marketing skills and key words from my industry.


Marketing Campaign, Advertising and Communications, Baruch College

Presenter and Researcher

  • Presented a fifteen minute report on how to effectively launch a campaign to promote apparel and accessories for “Sally Albright Merchandise”
  • Researched marketing logic and tools to target female consumers ages 16 to 20 years

As students we have many ways of exemplifying different skills and qualifications through our academic experiences which can be placed on a resume.

Students looking to strengthen their resume, but do not have any pre-professional or professional experiences in their field of interest can use this technique to enhance their resume. In addition to project experiences, you can also list two to six related courses completed in college and include extracurricular leadership roles. These strategies will help employer identify what knowledge and skills you can bring to the job.

Using these strategies, you can show employers that what you learn in the classroom can also be transferred to the workplace. In addition, you can feel better knowing that you do in fact have valuable experiences to help you succeed in landing the interview and the job.