Write a College Application Resume That Get Results!

A College Application Resume might not seem overly important. I know when I was applying to colleges, it wasn’t something that was talked about and if it was, I’d probably wouldn’t think it was that vital.

College Resumes help keep track of your activities, awards, honors, community service hours, and leadership positions in high school. All of these complied together can make a lasting impression on the college that you are applying to. 

High School Student Resume vs. Professional Resumes

What’s the difference between a high school resume and a professional resume?

Professional resumes highlights someone’s skills, education, job experience in an effort to gain an interview. College resumes are more geared towards your scholastic achievements, awards, outside activities, leader ship experience, community service, and other special talents. Basically it’s highlighting how you spent your time in high school.

The ultra-competitive landscape of college has made the college resume super important and almost imperative. The more you focus on this, the more in favor you may be of landing that acceptance.

College Student Resume Benefits

Here are some of the benefits are to having a College Student Resume:

  • Can be the deciding factor for acceptance.
  • Traditional universities give wright to the college application resume and feel it’s important.
  • Showcases your accomplishments in high school
  • Can be potentially used for scholarship consideration when applying
  • Useful when prepping for a college interview
  • Perfect to give those who are writing your letters of recommendation

College Resume Details

The challenging aspect to the College Application Resume, is that most hardly have any experience. Therefore, one may not know what to with regards to the details of the resume.

You can check out the examples below of the details to be including on the college resume.

What should go on the College Application Resume?

So here are the things that should go on your college resume:

  1. Name, address, e-mail
  2. High school information with graduation date
  3. GPA
  4. Class Rank
  5. SAT/ACT Scores
  6. Academic awards
  7. Publications
  8. Honors – explain those where people may not be familiar with
  9. Achievements
  10. Course work – summer or college courses
  11. Extracurricular activities  – including passions and related to your field of study
  12. Community Service – the hours per week
  13. Work experience
  14. Summer activities – make sure you note what you did in your time off
  15. Special skills

What shouldn’t go on College Application Resume?

There is not much in the way of ground rules for writing a resume prior to college. The key to add (as seen above) is what is relevant to you as a student and your eventual career.

Nevertheless, there are things that one should probably avoid when creating their College Resume and that is:

  • Do not exaggerate – You want to make yourself out to be the most perfect individual ever right? I mean I get it but exaggerating/embellishing doesn’t help and one can make the argument that it crosses the old fib line. It’s important to be who you are as there is only one of you.
  • Negative information – Not everyone is a top student and they may not have the best grades. The key here would be to focus on how you have improved your grades. High test score should be highlighted in this case.
  • The two page resume – Your college application resume should just be one page long. That’s really it at the end of the and especially for those with not a lot of experience. If this exceeds one page, then it more than likely won’t be read. Condense it to one page.  
  • Highlighting middle school – College representatives are not going to care about what someone did in middle school. Therefore, it’s not important to highlight anything from those days.
  • Immature/inappropriate email handle – Although to a young person this may not seem like a big deal but it is. My e-mail back in the day was “SocialdPunk.” Let’s think about that for a second and how no one is going to take me seriously with an e-mail like that. Keep it simple. First and last name is all you need.
  • Get too fancy with the formatting – We’ve talked about the college resume format earlier. Most instincts will veer us to want to make it as fancy as possible. The best rule of thumb is to keep it simple. The examples are extremely basic but super effective.   

When to use the College Resume?

You should submit a college resume if asked for one and bring copies for your college interview (similar to that of a job). They say not to submit one if they don’t ask for it. 

Sounds like a lot huh? Just reminder that what you do, most won’t and you will be able to separate yourself from the competition and that’s how you will have to think about it.

Here are other places and scenarios that make prompt you to use your college resume:

  • Wanting to play sports in college? Having a resume handy is great to give to a coach is a great way to introduce yourself.
  • Obviously for college applications they are handy to have. If you don’t end up using the resume for all applications, it’s still a good place to have all the information readily available.
  • College fairs is a great time where this resume may come in handy. If you are really interested in a particular school and they are at that fair then pass it along in hopes that they will file it in the admissions office.
  • If you know exactly the major you are wanting to go for and are networking, the resume is great especially if you accomplished something specific to the major.
  • Need a letter of recommendation? Giving this to a person that you have identified for writing the letter will help them immensely. This will serve as a guideline for them and gives them something to say about you. You will probably get back the letter of recommendation sooner rather than later.
  • If you ae already in college (freshman year) and wanting to do research, this is great to give to them and it will help by giving them information on your background. Super beneficial when you don’t have experience.
  • College resumes can also be used during the admissions interview. It helps “break the ice” and makes the interview less awkward.
  • If you plan on apply for scholarships then it’s great to have accessible
  • It helps for when you need to create your professional resume as you are nearing graduation. You would then have a template to work off of and therefore it will make it that much easier to really create a stellar resume.

College Resume Tips

A lot of information out there and tips and tricks for your college resume. It can almost get overwhelming to some. You have to focus on education, extracurricular activities, leadership, using the correct verbiage, quantifying when you need to, showcasing you skills…….

It just keeps going. So let’s break this down to the nuts and bolts shall we?

Here are some tips for composing a well and organized college resume:

Have a master resume

Having a master resume is helpful and most won’t take the time to do so. This allows you to pull little pieces from it as you will more than likely be conforming it for each college you send it to.

Once you know what’s needed or what exactly to highlight when applying then you can reference the master document and create a new one.

Start with a summary statement

Keep it short, but make it amazing. You can either bullet point it or make it a few brief sentences. It’s hard to do so make sure you coming up with a couple different statements and bounce it off the people in your circle for feedback.

Keep it concise

Make sure you are showcasing the most relevant highlights. Going overboard doesn’t enhance this. Again I know we want to talk about ourselves and make sure it’s the best, but going overboard doesn’t help.

Focus on commitment

Colleges (and eventually) jobs want to see your commitment. Showcase that!! Showcase your stability because it speaks of character. Commitment equates to consistency and colleges and university are going to want to see your commitment to your path in life.

Use detail when needed

Again you do not have to go overboard with words but expand and explain when needed to highlight your accomplishments so you will want to use more details tastefully and tactfully.

Clear and easy to read format

Readability is also important when having your college resume thrusted upon many. There are many templates out there and the best advice I can give is not to have it look too crazy to the eyes as people won’t end up reading it.

College Resume Format

Many will have their own opinions about the formatting but my personal opinion is to keep it nice and simple and traditional.

Formatting details  

Here are the formatting rules you should follow for your college application resume:

  • The use of Times New Roman or Cambria fonts – they are easy to read.
  • Font size should be 10-12 and headings should be at least two points larger than font.
  • The separation of each section with a heading that is underlines.
  • One inch margins are ideal. If you need to shorten the length of the resume then .5 margins will work.

College Resume Templates   

There are quite a few places out there that offer free college resume templates. It may be good to use a couple of these to see which ones you like the best.

Where to get them?

Your Master Resume

So we have mentioned having a master resume at your disposable. Again, most won’t do this but it helps out tremendously. As much as we would like to just submit the same resume over and over, we just can’t.

Each submission will need to be conformed to many things such as college and degree choice.

You team of proof readers

I suggest having several people proofread it from your family, friends and teachers. Having a team will help you so you can really get a difference of opinions and know what you will need to do to make the best possible resume.

Remember that most won’t and will not take the time to work on their college resume. Be the one that does and you will see the benefits.

Tuition Drop Podcast

You can check out the episode of the Tuition Drop Podcast on College Application Resumes below.

Tuition Drop Podcast – College Application Resumes
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