There is a general understanding that resumes are only for job seekers. But, that is not true. Resumes have wider use than just the job search. Resume is the description of you in your own words. If you are applying to colleges, resume is important for you. Colleges usually ask for resumes from students in order to know how they have involved in the past years and also to know how they present their involvement in various activities.
What you should include in the resume for college application?
You can present yourself the way you choose in the resume for college application. However, it is important for you to know which information you should be including in the resume. Presenting the information concisely with clear portrayal of yourself is important in college application. Here are the things that you should not miss in the college application:
- Heading with your name, address, and e-mail
- High school information with your graduation date, GPA (weighted), class rank, and SAT/ACT scores
- Academic awards, publications, honors, and other achievements
- Coursework (summer programs, college courses, or other specialized workshops that do not appear on your high school transcript)
- Extracurricular activities
- Community service
- Work experience
- Special skills (e.g. foreign language fluency or HTML expertise)
When should you submit a resume to colleges?
Not all colleges ask for a resume from their students. You should not submit resumes to the colleges that have not asked for it. If the colleges do ask for resume, they will also mention the deadline for submission. Whether you submit the resume to the college or not, the resume can come helpful in a number of cases during your application to the colleges. Taking your resume to the college interviews can help you a lot in impressing the interviewer. Moreover, you can give copies of resume to your college counselor and teachers so that they can write you the strongest possible recommendation letter. You can also use the resume while writing application essays.
So building a resume can help you a lot in the application process whether you need to submit it to the college or not.
If you have decided building a resume, it is important for you to put your best efforts to make the resume stand out. Here, we have prepared a list of tips to help you make your college admissions resume best possible:
Tips for Composing Your College Admissions Resume
1. Keep it concise.
It is not good to list everything that has happened in y our life in the college admissions resume. You need to be able to decide what you will mention in the resume and what you will not. You should also avoid explaining things in detail. You need to explain yourself and your activities as fewer words as possible. Avoid beating about the bush. Being concise is an art.
2. Focus on depth and length of commitment.
Do not be a jack of all trades but master of none. Focus on the depth of your few activities rather than describing everything you have done. Even if you involvement in 20 different clubs, there might be only a few involvements that describe you the best. Go with the ‘few involvements’ that describe you rather than the sporadic list of 20 involvements.
3. Provide detail whenever possible.
You should never write a detailed resume. It would be an autobiography if it is detailed and the admissions officer do not prefer reading an autobiography in the hours of their business. So you should keep the resume short, but also should not hesitate to explain things wherever necessary. The details are what set a resume apart from a list of extracurriculars on a standard college application. For example, when describing your involvement in the Social Club make sure to include:
- your role
- school years/hours per week you participated
- specific contributions (e.g. “Organized a blood donation program”)
- leadership roles (e.g. “President”)
- unique details that will make you stand out
4. Highlight things you weren’t able to write about in your college essays or short answers.
You may not have explained everything about yourself in the college essays and short answers. You can use resume as a platform to tell what you could not tell in the essays and short answers. Letting yourself explain the things that you missed in the college essays helps you present a wider picture of yourself in the college application.
5. Formatting is key.
Writing a resume that is not organized is not going to yield results. You need to focus on writing a resume that can be easy to understand. You can use formatting to make it simple and easy to comprehend. Divide information into sections with clear headings, bulleted lists, and a consistent font. Use a system of organization that works for you. (Chronological, by importance of activity, or by time commitment are a few options.) Do not forget to review the resume and its format to make it better.
6. Be honest and accurate
Being dishonest in the resume or lying can put you in trouble. Admissions officers are not bad at catching lies. Also do not exaggerate anything in the resume. It can always be productive to explain yourself the way you are. Do not try to portray yourself as a flawless person who can do anything and everything.