Entering college is one of the most exciting but yet challenging stages of any student’s life. In some colleges, there are hundreds of applicants per one place, and all of them are initially selected by a resume and other provided paper information. Thus, writing a strong and correct resume is a must.
In this article, our experts share professional tips on writing resumes for college applications. After reading it, you’ll know exactly what the future resume should include to impress the admission committee and to share the key points about yourself.
How to pick resume’s format
Let’s start with the way your college application resume should look like. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the design and structure of the future resume:
- Choose Serif fonts. These are the fonts that have ‘feet’ at the bottom of letters. For example, Times New Roman. Serif fonts look more professional and traditional, so are a good option for resumes;
- Distinguish every category. Highlight your headings, making them capitalized or bold, underlined, or italicized. Thus, the admission board will find the necessary information much quicker. Don’t forget about bullet points which make the data clearer;
- Stick to one page. The admission committee reads hundreds of resumes, so they will thank you for short and clear texts. Include only the most relevant and important information. The rest can be discussed during an interview or added to a cover letter;
- Don’t forget about white space. Each section should be differentiated with spaces, and the margins should be 1 inch. White spaces make it much simpler to read the document and are more pleasant on the eye.
What to include to a resume for college application
No matter which college you are applying to, a standard resume should consist of four sections: contact information, education, skills, and experience. If you have awards and honors, create a dedicated section at the end of the resume. Below we’ll discuss how each of the above sections should look like.
Here are the elements to include:
- Your first and last name;
- Email. Make sure that it is professional. ilovepuppies99 may be a cool name but not for a college admission resume;
- Cell phone number.
Here’s an example:
The next section is bigger and requires more time and attention. Here are the features to include:
- Name of your high school, city, and state (years);
- GPA, both unweighted and weighted;
- Best scores for such tests as SAT, SAT Subject Test, ACT, and AP;
- Relevant courses. Here you can indicate extra classes that show interest in the future specialty.
Carolina High School, Beautiful City, TX (2016-2020)
GPA Weighted: 3.8 / Unweighted: 3.3
Relevant courses: Anatomy
Here is where you need to spend lots of time. The experience section is not about your responsibilities but about achievements. Remember starting numerous clubs at schools which never met? There were always Club Presidents who successfully added this feature to a college admission resume.
But why is it important to indicate achievements and not only responsibilities? You may have had numerous responsibilities in a club or in a local organization, but did you achieve anything? Did you manage to perform those responsibilities better than the others? The answer should be shown in numbers.
With their help, you can prove that your accomplishments are valuable and were useful. Let’s say you were an editor at a high school newspaper. Instead of writing your key responsibilities, indicate features like how many papers were published, how many meetings you held, etc. Or you worked as a babysitter. How many of them? Were they toddlers or older? How long did you sit with them?
Once you write down the numbers, it’s the right time to include active verbs to the description. This is a great opportunity to highlight your strong sides. Use such active verbs as organized, managed, led, budgeted, delivered, built, created, coached, problem-solved, and produced.
Here are a few key tips that will help you to work on the experience section:
- Reverse chronological order. Start with the latest experiences and finish with the oldest ones;
- Give details. For every experience include the title of establishment, its location, occupied position, and dates. They show how much you have contributed to the experience;
- No need to use the first person. Don’t say ‘I produced’ and replace it with simple ‘produced’;
- Pay attention to tenses: if you are still involved in the activity, use Present Tense. If not, use Past Tense.
If you lack ideas and think that there are no important activities in your past, get help. Ask your friends, family members, or teachers to remember where you have participated. Experience is a broad section where you can indicate a wide range of things: anything that took lots of your energy and time. Here are a few activities which count:
- Helping elderly relatives;
- Organizing sport events in your neighborhood;
- Working on a friend’s bicycle;
- Working at an NGO;
- Teaching at summer camp;
- Writing a blog about cooking;
- Participating in beauty contests.
This section may not be so important and broad as experience and background, but it definitely adds color and individuality to your college admission resume. Skills are anything that you are able to do and relate to the major or college.
If you want to study cinematography and know all movies with Will Smith by heart, include this skill. By the way, it can be a great icebreaker during an interview.
Here are the main tips you should consider and skills to include:
- Don’t use cliches like passionate, team-player, punctual, and hard-working. Trust us, and all students are passionate, punctual, and hard-working;
- To stand out, focus on specific skills like languages and computers. For example, Google Apps, Microsoft Office Suite, Java, Spanish II, etc.;
- Skills related to sports;
- Technical skills like computer repair or construction;
- Teaching and communication skills;
- Writing skills. If you write articles or screenplays, tell about it. Or if you have mastered Chicago or APA formatting style like no one else, share it;
- Debate skills;
- Artistic skills;
- Translation skills;
- Musical skills.
Write down as many skills as you can remember and then limit it to the key 5-6, which relates to the major and college. It is a great section for those who lack experience but still want to make their resumes look rich and comprehensive.
Honors and awards
Take this section very seriously because it’s a great opportunity to stand out from the rest of the candidates who might have similar experiences and education. Have a closer look at your past, and you’ll definitely find a few features to add to the honors and awards section. Did you win a second prize at a writing competition? Or your science project on a local fair was the most popular? Or maybe you have earned all merit badges when being a scout?
It is also impossible to include achievements when you were selected for a particular event. For example, ‘was chosen as one of five students to represent the high school at a state conference. And don’t forget to provide a clear overview of each award. Here are the elements to include:
- Name of your award and its brief description;
- Involved institutions, your position, and the month and year when you have obtained the award;
- Use numbers and be specific;
- Try not to use ‘I.’
Order a resume for college application at PaperHelpWriting
You probably know that there is nothing more difficult than to enter a college. Especially if it is rather popular and there are tens or even hundreds of other applicants willing to take your place. The good news is that everything’s possible and depends on how much time and energy you invest.
Resume for college application is the first stage of the application process, and at this stage, the majority of students are rejected. Just imagine: you need to write a strong one-page resume with all the most important details about yourself. And to make it unique, fresh, and interesting.
Hopefully, with the tips above, the process becomes much simpler. And if you want to ensure that you did everything, hire Paperhelpwriting experts. Our specialists have experience working with college admission resumes and know exactly how each section should look like.
In addition, our team consists of hundreds of writers, which means that we’ll try and assign you with a graduate of your future college who knows all the peculiarities. Paperhelpwriting is a place where you will get an original resume without any plagiarism, formatted according to the latest requirements.
In addition, you will be offered a low price and numerous discounts. With us, your chances of entering a college of your dreams significantly increase.