I used to teach resume writing as part of a techical & professional writing class required of graduating university students, and this answer amounts to a summary of some of those lessons.
First, let's look at what we know from your question:
- you are graduating with a degree, and therefore you have a lot of
coursework under your belt
- you say you have a lot of experience with "many programming languages
and other technologies"; unless you are leaving out a lot of
information in your question, it would probably be more fair to say
that you have a lot of familiarity with languages and technologies.
That's an important distinction to understand as you craft your
resume as an entry-level worker.
- you have no employment history, and do not mention internships at all; since that is a type of employment, so we have to assume you have not had any.
- you have not mentioned any volunteer work, either at your school, in the community, or with open source projects, so we have to assume you have not had any.
Your question is about "communicating your skills without it looking like a laundry list" -- that is the right attitude, but here is the truth which I think you already know: without proof to back up the items in your list, you really only have an invalid, unverified list. You could "list" that you have experience creating Ruby applications (for example), but if there's nothing at all on your resume to back that up, as the hiring manager I'm going to ignore your resume (even if it's for an entry-level position).
There's some good news, however:
- Employers typically still only expect new college graduates to have
entry-level skills and little formal work experience.
- More than likely, you have more experience than you think, unless you went to a terrible school that only gave multiple-choice tests and never had you do anything practical.
This gets us back to the question of how to frame your skills and experiences in truthful and positive ways for you. First, ensure that you are not discounting any internships, side projects, or volunteer work. Next, think about the projects you've done in your coursework and the roles you've held.
A typical resume for a recent graduate might have sections that look like this:
- Contact information - self-explanatory
- Summary of skills - a few bullet points highlighting what you could actually start doing the first day on the job, such as "programming languages: Java; markup languages: HTML, XML; databases: Oracle" (etc)
- Educational information - your degree, school, location, date
- Employment related experience - title, company, location, date, accomplishments
- Awards & Scholarships -- type, amount, date; these show that someone else has invested in you at some point in the past
What you're saying is that your resume might look only like this:
- Contact information
- Summary of skills
- Educational information
If that is true, then expand in your Education section:
- Add a list of upper-division courses and electives that you took to
help specialize your work. In other words, leave off "Intro to
Programming" but list "Linear & Non-Linear Optimization",
"Mathematical Modeling", and so on.
- For every course in which you were part of a team that did a group project -- especially if it was your senior or capstone project -- describe it and your role. For example: "Information Security: team leader for group project to design intrusion detection system. Managed resource allocations, documented deliverables, performed 25% of the coding in Java".
Once you start expanding on your education, you start to have the proof behind the claims you are making about the skills you are listing. Similarly, if you were part of clubs and held offices in them, those actions count as well -- maybe more for soft skills, depending on the club and what you did, but those things still matter.
Also, go get some internships, do volunteer work, contribute to open source projects, if you can, not just to be able to list something in your resume, but to begin to gain experience outside of the classroom.