Most colleges require applicants to send in a snapshot of their personality and a recap of their extracurricular capabilities, awards, academic accolades, etc. A resume can capture this information in a concise and easily-distributable manner. These one-page documents display a student’s academic performance, hobbies, work history, and other interests.
Because earning a bachelor’s degree has become commonplace, standing out from fellow applicants is essential. Diversifying your skill set will ultimately serve you in the college application process, so you’ll need to plan your extracurricular activities accordingly.
Most colleges look for applicants who excelled academically in the discipline they intend to pursue. Include details about your class ranking, such as “was in the top ten percent for English and mathematics.” Add information about your weighted GPA, class rank, SAT scores, and academic awards. This resource from CollegeData provides valuable insights on how you can improve your chances of acceptance by your dream college.
To give your resume a boost, be sure to include summer programs and projects that you undertook. You can also add special skills such as competency in computing or fluency in a foreign language. The information you provide should be relevant to the field you want to pursue. For instance, if you apply for a spot in an engineering program, your GPA and SAT should indicate that you aced your mathematics and physics classes.
Similarly, if you’re applying for a computer science course, state that you participated in STEAM programs organized by global technology companies. Document your basic coding skills, such as the ability to write a matrix multiplication code. The goal is to demonstrate that you’re an accomplished student passionate about a career in this specific field.
Sport and clubs
Participating in sports is an excellent way to develop social skills such as teamwork and collaboration, skills you can apply in the workforce. Include details about the sports you played to spruce up your resume. State the position you held in the team and list the trophies you won. If you didn’t win any medals, indicate the competition you participated in and the level you reached before the judges eliminated you.
If you were active in clubs such as yearbook or newspaper, include details about the content you wrote and published in the school magazine. Additionally, note the roles and leadership positions you held. You can also list the activities or events you coordinated for the club.
If you participated in school district competitions, indicate where you performed, the awards you received, and the special events you attended. For instance, you could note that you were part of the choir which participated in a state event graced by the governor.
If you weren’t active in sports and clubs during your high school experience, share information about your hobbies. You can state that you are skilled at playing the piano or other instruments. Include hobbies that are relevant to the type of college courses you’re interested in taking. For instance, if you’d like to pursue an International Relations major, specify that you enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and interacting with diverse cultures.
Work experience helps you develop social and soft skills such as tolerance and versatility. State where you worked, the rank you held, and the responsibilities you fulfilled. Include details about the training you received and any skills you acquired while on the job. For instance, if you worked at a library, indicate that you were an assistant that processed search queries. You could even include the performance metrics you achieved, such as helping clients find books faster than before.
Volunteer work and community-based initiatives
Volunteer experience shows that you care deeply about the world and are conscious of human impact on the environment. Include a list of the volunteer work you participated in and explain how it helped the environment. Be sure to document the communication and communication skills you gained from this experience. You can also point out that you assumed leadership roles during the volunteer project and mobilized teens in your neighborhood to volunteer with children with special needs.
Creativity is one of the widely-coveted skills for the 21st century, so dedicate a section of your resume to this specific strength. You can write about the songs you’ve composed or the artworks you’ve created. You can also link blog posts you’ve written as a guest writer. If you want to enroll in a marketing course, you can state that you have sold products on eBay or Instagram.
Focus on a few activities and include all the relevant details rather than taking a scattergun approach. Make sure that the resume is easy to read with clear titles and headings for each activity. Arrange your resume with the educational achievements at the top, followed by extracurricular activities and work experiences. Proofread your resume several times, as basic spelling errors can create the impression that you’re disorganized or not detail-oriented. Unfortunately, employers spend six seconds reviewing your resume, on average. A blaring grammatical or spelling mistake will force an admissions office to toss your resume to the side, leaving you to settle for your second-choice university.