College Resumes: Everything You Need to Know

April 1st, 2020

If you are applying to college, you have probably discovered that some colleges require you to include a supplemental resume as part of your application. Others state that it’s optional, and some tell you not to include one at all. If you are unsure about a university’s policy, check with your admissions counselor.
If you are applying to selective schools with a high volume of applicants, admission officers need to look at more than just your grades — they must also take note of what you have done outside the classroom. Your extracurricular activities, such as jobs, sports, clubs, and volunteer work, give colleges a better sense of who you are and show them what you can bring to their campus community.
Having a well-written resume that effectively conveys your experiences and skills is essential for those colleges that do request one. But it can be challenging to translate your experiences and skills into words. It is important to use the student resume to draw attention to your summer internships, out of school academic training, scholarly achievements and awards, any special talents, and your community service activities.
With a resume, you can give a brief title and description of an organization. You then have space to describe the positions you’ve held, as well as their progression. You can provide context to make sure that the activity and your role gets the respect it deserves. You have ample space to describe your accomplishments, responsibilities, and awards, as well as your day-to-day role.
The resume is also extremely helpful for outlining the context that can make your application to a job or internship stand out. Normally, colleges do not place the same positive weight on employment while in high school as extracurriculars, but by using a resume, you can turn that employment into an opportunity to showcase your unique skill set, leadership capabilities, and passion.
It is important to remember that sending in a resume that has extraneous material can actually hurt you by annoying admissions committees with unnecessary information that has already been stated on your application and is easy to understand.
You should submit a professionally-formatted resume to a college that is one page. Removing things that can be read on the activity section of your common app.
Putting together the best possible application for college can mean the difference between receiving an acceptance letter and being rejected.  Creating a great resume to accompany your college application can highlight accomplishments, show your creative side, and give you an opportunity to explain unique internships or jobs.