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College Application Resume Example

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How to write a college application resume

A college application resume is a document that provides an overview of your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, work experience, skills, and other relevant information. It is submitted as part of your college application to provide admissions officers with a snapshot of your qualifications and accomplishments. The resume helps showcase your academic abilities, involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership experience, community service, work history, and any other notable achievements. It provides a comprehensive overview of your background and helps admissions officers evaluate your potential as a college student.

Tips for writing a college application resume

Here are some tips for writing a college application resume;

  1. Keep it short: Make sure your resume is one to two pages. Admissions officers have many applications to review, so it's essential to be concise and focus on the most relevant information.
  2. Highlight academic achievements: Include your GPA, standardized test scores (such as SAT or ACT), and any honors or awards you have received. Also, mention relevant coursework or projects that demonstrate your academic strengths.
  3. Showcase extracurricular activities: Include your involvement in clubs, sports teams, community service, leadership positions, and any other activities that demonstrate your interests, skills, and commitment outside of academics.
  4. Emphasize work experience and internships: If you have any work experience or internships, highlight your responsibilities, accomplishments, and skills gained. It can show your work ethic, responsibility, and ability to apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings.
  5. Include relevant skills: Mention any technical skills, foreign languages, computer programming abilities, or other skills that are relevant to your intended major or field of study.
  6. Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements: Start bullet points with action verbs to describe your accomplishments, and whenever possible, include quantifiable results or achievements to demonstrate your impact.
  7. Tweak it to the college and program: Customize your resume to align with the specific college and program you are applying to. Highlight experiences and skills relevant to your intended major or field of study.
  8. Proofread and format: Ensure your resume is free of errors and typos. Utilize professional format with regular font styles and sizes. 
  9. Seek feedback: Have someone, such as a teacher, counselor, or mentor, review your resume to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. They can help identify areas that need clarification or opportunities to enhance your resume.
  10. Be honest and authentic: Present accurate information about your achievements, experiences, and skills. Be genuine and showcase your unique strengths and interests.

Things to consider when writing a college application resume

When writing a college application resume, it's crucial to highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal experiences. Here are some things to note;

  1. Contact Information: Include your full name, phone number, email address, and mailing address at the top of your resume.
  2. Objective or Summary Statement: Write a concise statement at the beginning that highlights your goals, interests, and what you can bring to the college or university.
  3. Education: List your high school name, graduation year, and GPA. Add any honors, accolades, or appropriate coursework.
  4. Standardized Test Scores: Include your SAT, ACT, or any other relevant test scores. If they are impressive, consider giving them a prominent position on your resume.
  5. Extracurricular Activities: Mention your involvement in clubs, sports teams, community service, or leadership roles. Focus on activities that demonstrate your skills, passions, and commitment.
  6. Work Experience: Include any part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer work you have done. Emphasize skills gained and responsibilities handled.
  7. Skills: Highlight any relevant skills such as computer proficiency, foreign languages, public speaking, or specialized certifications.
  8. Projects or Research: If you have completed any significant projects or research, provide a brief description and highlight your accomplishments.
  9. Awards and Honors: Include any academic, athletic, or extracurricular awards you have received.
  10. Personal Statement: If there is an opportunity to include a personal statement or essay with your application, mention it on your resume. It shows your commitment to going beyond the required materials.
  11. References: You can mention that references are available upon request, but it is not necessary to include their contact information on your resume.
  12. Formatting: Use a clean and professional format. Use bullet points to make it easy to read and emphasize key information. Ensure proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  13. Tailor for Each College: Customize your resume for each college you are applying to. Highlight experiences and achievements that align with the college's values, programs, or areas of interest.
  14. Keep it Concise: Limit your resume to one or two pages. Focus on the most relevant and impactful experiences.

Here are other resources on college application, how to write a college application cover lettercollege application resume samplecollege application skills

How to format a college application resume

Formatting is an essential aspect of creating a college application resume. Here are some guidelines to follow when formatting your resume;

  1. Use a Clean and Professional Layout: Opt for a clean, easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Stick to a font size of 10-12 points for the main text and slightly larger for section headings.
  2. Organize Information Chronologically: Generally, list your experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. This applies to your education, work experience, extracurricular activities, and other sections.
  3. Utilize Clear Headings: Use section headings and highlight them with bold to separate different categories such as Education, Extracurricular Activities, Work Experience, Skills, etc.
  4. Maintain Consistent Formatting: Ensure consistent formatting throughout the document. Use the same font, font size, and bullet point style for each section. It helps create a polished and professional appearance.
  5. Use Bullet Points: Rather than writing paragraphs, use bullet points to present information concisely and make it easier to read. Begin each bullet point with a strong action verb and focus on quantifiable achievements or responsibilities.
  6. Provide White Space: Include sufficient white space between sections and bullet points to make the resume visually appealing and easy to navigate. 
  7. Limit the Length: Keep your resume to one or two pages, depending on the extent of your experiences. Admissions officers often have limited time, so concise and relevant information is crucial.
  8. Consider a Two-Column Layout: If you have a significant amount of information to include, you may consider using a two-column format. It allows you to maximize space while maintaining readability. Place headings in the left column and corresponding details in the right column.
  9. Pay Attention to Margins: Set margins of at least 0.5 inches on all sides to maintain a balanced appearance. Avoid cramming too much information into a small space, as it can make the document appear cluttered.
  10. Check and Edit: Before submitting your resume, carefully proofread it for any errors or typos. Ensure consistency in punctuation, grammar, and formatting. 

Do's and don't of writing a college application resume

  1. Do optimize your resume to each college: Customize your resume to highlight experiences, achievements, and skills that align with the college's values, programs, or areas of interest.
  2. Do prioritize relevant information: Focus on academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and experiences that are most relevant to your college application. Highlight accomplishments that demonstrate your skills, passion, and commitment.
  3. Do quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, use numbers or specific details to quantify your achievements. This helps provide a clearer picture of your accomplishments and adds credibility to your resume.
  4. Do use action verbs: Begin each bullet point with a strong action verb to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Action verbs convey a sense of initiative and achievement.
  5. Do review your resume: Double-check your resume for any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. Ensure consistency in formatting, font, and style. Ask someone else to review it as well to catch any mistakes you may have missed.
  6. Do keep it short: Aim to keep your resume to one or two pages. Focus on the most relevant and impactful experiences and avoid including unnecessary or irrelevant information.
  7. Do provide context: Briefly describe any significant projects, research, or extracurricular activities to provide context and help the reader understand the scope and impact of your involvement.
  1. Don't include irrelevant details: Avoid including experiences or achievements not relevant to your college application. Focus on quality rather than quantity.
  2. Don't exaggerate or lie: Always be truthful and honest in your resume. Exaggerating or fabricating information can have serious consequences and harm your chances of admission.
  3. Don't use a generic template: While templates can be helpful, avoid using generic or overly common templates. Personalize your resume and make it stand out from the crowd.
  4. Don't overlook formatting and organization: Pay attention to the layout, font, and overall formatting of your resume. Ensure it is easy to read, well-organized, and visually appealing.
  5. Don't forget to include contact information: Provide your complete contact information at the top of your resume, including your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address.
  6. Don't include unnecessary personal details: Avoid including personal information such as your date of birth, social security number, or marital status. Focus on the information that is relevant to your college application.

Key Takeaways: College application resume

  1. Customize your resume for each college, highlighting experiences and accomplishments that align with their values and programs.
  2. Give prominence to pertinent information like academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and experiences that showcase your skills and passions.
  3. Utilize specific details or numerical figures to provide clarity and insight into your achievements.
  4. Employ dynamic action verbs to articulate your responsibilities and accomplishments, demonstrating your initiative and success.
  5. Thoroughly proofread and edit your resume to ensure it is error-free and maintains consistent formatting, font, and style.
  6. Keep your resume concise, focusing on the most significant experiences, and strive for a length of one to two pages.
  7. Provide contextual information for noteworthy projects, research, or extracurricular activities to emphasize their breadth and impact.
  8. Omit irrelevant details and always maintain honesty and accuracy, refraining from exaggeration or falsification.
  9. Pay meticulous attention to formatting and organization, ensuring your resume is visually appealing, easy to read, and well-structured.
  10. Include essential contact information at the top of your resume, while excluding unnecessary personal details.
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