By Aditya Sharma
There is a misconception about how resumes are just for job seekers, and the idea of writing a resume for a college application seems a bit redundant as you do not have any work experience.
However, it is quite the contrary. Though applying for a college has become a swift process where a common application allows students to include information that they’d write on a resume. It is still an important step to write a resume as it can be beneficial during the interview process or when applying for a scholarship.
Writing a resume for college applications is relatively easy. All you need to do is learn and apply a few best practices and we are here to show you exactly how::
The reason you need a resume
MIT just accepted 7.1 percent candidates out of the total applications of 20,247 for the class of 2021. Acquiring a seat in prestigious colleges is getting tougher. Hence, you need to make sure that you do not leave any stone unturned.
Help the admissions committee in determining your value as a candidate by serving them a snapshot of your academic achievements, summer jobs, extracurricular activities, etc. through your resume.
If you write your resume before applying for colleges, it may help you trace inaccuracies in your application and identify the sections where you lack. It may help you gain insights into what other activities you can take part in to improve your chances of getting selected.
A resume showcases your skills and attributes outside the academic activities and helps them determine your leadership skills.
Further, it may come in handy for:
- Being a useful tool to bring to the interview for the perusal of the admissions committee.
- Including your extracurricular activities in a constructive way to showcase your real work skills
- Acting as a single place to include all your relevant skills and attributes for the administrator
Essentials of a high school resume
Here is what a common high school resume should entail:
- Resume header: Include your contact information, resume title, location, name, important links such as LinkedIn, etc.
- Education details: Write your educational background, academic achievements, GPA, dean’s merit list, etc.
- Internships, part-time jobs, or other experience: Include your summer internships, volunteering experience, part-time jobs, etc. along with a few pointers around your responsibilities.
- Extracurricular activities: Statements showcasing extracurricular activities with all the information around societies, clubs, etc. you were a part of.
- Skills: Add all the technical tools you are familiar with. Moreover, include transferable skills, core competencies, etc.
- Additional information: Include a few pointers around your hobbies, personal interests, languages, workshops, seminars, etc.
Tips for formatting your resume
- You need to showcase your most recent achievements and skills. To do that, use a chronological format. This format allows you to write information in a reverse chronological order where you write the most recent information first then go back to the oldest ones.
- Make sure the readability of your resume is intact, use one-liner bulleted points to write statements/points. Further, use action verbs to begin points throughout your resume.
- Avoid the usage of full-stops as points in a resume aren’t complete sentences, and do not incorporate the usage of first and second-person pronouns.
The importance of a resume for common application activities
While filling out the details in the common application activities, most colleges allow students to submit a resume. It is extremely important that you utilize this effectively because the portal may restrict you to limited space to write information. So, you must submit your resume to describe your extracurricular activities, etc.
Most activities applications limit you to just 10 activities, which may be a cause of concern if you are trying to showcase more crucial skills.
Let’s say you are trying to include pointers regarding your leadership skills where you performed as head to a club or society in high school and it requires much more space. Under such circumstances, though the activities section on the portal/form will allow you to include details around your role, time, etc., due to the limited space, you may have to disregard some of the points. However, if you upload a resume, it will be helpful in including all the relevant details of your extracurricular activities.
How to write a statement of purpose
In a college application resume, the administrator expects you to have a set of attributes that can be of value. An objective statement should not just cover the aspects of what you are trying to achieve, it should serve as an overview of the entire resume.
However, while writing the statement of purpose you should not delve into tracking technical details and include irrelevant information.
To avoid such confusion, check out the following example to gain an understanding of how you write a statement of purpose:
“Goal-oriented High School Graduate with a prolific academic record with professional skills. Adept at using subject matter expertise to assist the chemistry teacher in assisting students and providing student evaluations. Seeking a platform to swiftly develop a stellar set of skills and apply them in the real world.”
Here are some of the key takeaways from the article:
- A resume is important to showcase your attributes, skills, internships, etc. in one place.
- Utilizing the common essentials of a resume to cover the required sections.
- Proper formatting will help you convey key information correctly.
- A resume allows you to add more common application activities.