A lot of students are nervous about writing a resume for college application; they are right to be nervous because a college resume is quite different from a professional resume. If you are a student who does not know how to write a resume for college applications, you should read this article. This article contains guidelines and tips on how to write a resume for college applications.
Writing a resume for college is a very tricky task and requires utmost care and attention. College application resumes unlike professional resumes are primarily focused on the student’s volunteer experience, academic performance, hobbies, awards, and extracurricular activities; it has nothing to do with employment history.
Most colleges in the United States have the same application processes, and a lot of colleges are known to use the Common App. Prospective students are usually required to submit ACT or SAT scores, letters of recommendation, personal essays, official transcripts, and lastly, the resume.
How Important Is a High School Resume for College?
While a college resume is important, not all colleges require it as a criterion for admission. If the university you are applying for requires a resume, be sure to submit one.
Submitting a resume gives the college details of your academic performance, hobbies, and extra-curricular interests. A resume also shows admissions departments proof of your academic achievements during high school. The resume also demonstrates your work and volunteer experiences, and what you can offer the college community beyond the classroom.
Guidelines on what to include in a college resume
1. Name and Contact Information
The top or header of your resume should include your full name, phone number, your email address, and your home address. If you have a LinkedIn profile that showcases your work or achievements, you can also include those URLs in the personal info section.
2. Education and Academic Accomplishments
Write the name of your high school and the dates you attended in this section. You can also provide them with information like your GPA and class rank, your ACT or SAT scores, and the AP or IB course taken.
3. Work and/or Volunteer Experience
For high school graduates, you can include work experience like part-time jobs, internships, job shadowing, and study abroad experiences. Volunteer experience is also of significance to a high school resume for college. Volunteer experience demonstrates to the admissions departments that you are willing and eager to contribute to your community. Ensure that you include previous leadership positions you have held or are currently holding.
4. Extracurricular Activities
Most colleges prefer students who can participate in and contribute to campus life beyond the classroom. This is where you highlight clubs, non-school-related activities, and sports you were involved in while in high school. This section helps give the admission team a clearer picture of you and your interests.
5. Honors and Awards
Mention any awards you have received and your proudest achievements in this section these include ranks from external organizations (like Eagle Scout or Gold Award), academic awards received from your school, or any athletic accomplishments.
6. Skills, Interests, and Achievements
In this section, you can mention the soft skills that you possess like leadership, communication, and teamwork, you can also mention the languages you speak if you speak more than one language. You can also talk about your hobbies and how they relate to your preferred major.
How to Write a Resume for College
The way and method you structure you use in writing your resume are as important as its content.
For example, college resume applications should include a list of all jobs, achievements, volunteer experience, and awards arranged from the most recent down to the latest. This means that the most recent job should be at the top of the list, followed by your previous position, and so on.
Here are some tips on how to write a resume for college applications.
1. Professional Email Address
A professional email address includes perhaps e.g www firstname.lastname@example.org or something similar choice, this sends the right message to colleges.
An unprofessional email address may not be frowned upon by colleges, however, providing a simple email address that includes your name is a better choice just in case some colleges frown upon it.
2. Start With Your Education
A college resume unlike a professional resume should feature your education at the top. Colleges understand that as a first-year applicant, you are not likely to have much or any professional experience. Since colleges are academic organizations, academic performance is the most important factor in determining who they accept.
3. Use Bulleted Lists
You should always make use of bullet points instead of paragraphs when listing information in your resume. Bullet points make the resume easier to read.
Admissions departments read through dozens of resumes, and they are more likely to read and consider a clean, eligible, and digestible list of your accomplishments than a muddled and scattered document.
4. Use Strong Action Verbs
Be sure to make use of strong action verbs with each bullet point in your resume. For instance, if you worked as a barrister at a coffee shop during the summer, avoid writing “was a barrister at macs coffee shop” as a bullet point. Instead, try “served as head of servers at macs coffee shop”
5. Limit your resume to One Page
Try to make your resume less bulky, do not extend past one page. A high school resume that is longer than a page is more like a curriculum vitae, or CV. Keeping your resume to one page makes it easier to read and digest.