Think that resumes are only for those looking for a job? Well, not exactly! High school resumes are a perfect way for colleges to get a detailed glimpse of you in terms of your academics, accomplishments, extracurricular activities, hobbies and work history. They are also important in that they can help you to prepare for a college interview, supplement your scholarship applications, and give those who are writing recommendation letters on your behalf a sense of who you are, holistically. Don’t know how to get started? Follow these simple tips for creating a stellar college resume!
Make sure your college resume has the essentials
Your resume should include the following information:
• A header that includes your name, contact information, and email address;
• Information about your high school such as the date of your graduation, weighted GPA, class ranking, and standardized test scores;
• Any awards such AP honors and other achievements;
• A list of courses, even those that you took during the summer or abroad;
• Extracurricular activities;
• Community service and involvement;
• Work experience;
• Hobbies; and
• Special skills and talents, such as fluency in a foreign language or some other type of expertise.
Pare down all of the activities you showcase to the ones that represent you best as a worthy college candidate. Also, make sure to not be too wordy and try and limit what you include on your resume to one to two pages, max.
Focus on things you have done that demonstrate your level of commitment
Colleges care mostly about a student’s depth and commitment to activities and accomplishments that they have been involved in for a length of time, rather than showcasing their sporadic involvement in multiple things. If you had to work during high school that may have limited your ability to participate in sports or clubs, be sure to highlight your work responsibilities and the experience you gained.
For example, let’s say you actively participated in the Italian Club during high school. When highlighting this activity, be sure to include the following:
• Your specific role, including leadership positions;
• The years you were involved and the hours you put into the club on a weekly or monthly basis;
• Your contributions to the club (such as organizing a trip to Italy or some other Italian club event); and
• Unique facts about your involvement that make you stand out.
Format and edit your resume
Be sure to review your resume to make sure it is formatted properly and easy to read…and of course, free of typos such as grammatical and spelling errors. If a college sees typos on a resume, for example, it may suggest to them that you are not detail oriented nor a student who is willing to take the time to provide a quality work product. Don’t hesitate to ask a friend, relative, guidance counselor or even a teacher to review your resume before you finalize.
Do not lie or embellish on your resume and verify the facts
Do not embellish or lie about your activities in your resume, as colleges will definitely spot the inconsistencies and reach out to a guidance counselor to inquire about things that just don’t seem right. Also, be sure to check the dates of your involvement in certain activities and other details to be as accurate as possible throughout your resume so that you are not questioned later on.