Resumes are usually referenced in relation to job applications, but you will also need a student resume for college application. How do you know if your student resume is ready for college, though, and how can you give it a boost to increase your acceptance chances? Here are some tips for going forward.
What is a Student Resume?
A student resume is a document that lists of all of your accomplishments, experience, and skills that you gained during your school years. Much of this information can also be reused for job applications and job resumes for your first job out of college.
Formatting your student resume is important to help highlight all of your achievements. Most people recommend that you keep it to a single page, and format if for easy reading. If you’re struggling to design your student resume, there are plenty of resume templates available from Microsoft Word and online that you can take advantage of.
If you feel like you have very little experience under your belt during this stage in your life, don’t shortchange yourself! There is actually a lot you can include on your student resume for your college application! You likely have more experience than you realize.
What Should You Include?
First, resumes should always include your contact information. This means your name, physical address, email address, and phone number. Make sure that you use an email address that you wouldn’t be embarrassed about a future employer seeing. Some people include a photo, but this is not required.
Next, you’ll want to work on the resume itself. Key sections include:
Your resume objective: This should be about 3-4 sentences long. It should cover career goals, education goals, and other relevant information.
High school education: Formatted in bullet points you’ll include:
- The high school you attend(ed)
- Your high school GPA
- List any awards, honors, or similar accolades that you received
- Include honors classes you’ve taken
- The names of college and/or AP courses that you took while in high school if applicable
Extracurriculars: This includes sports, clubs, and other groups you’ve taken part in. If you’ve earned awards like athlete of the week or other honors, make sure you include that! If you don’t have extracurriculars, read about some that will get you noticed.
Volunteer work: Do you help at a local community center or church? What about picking up trash on the weekend? Colleges love to see students who are active in their communities.
Internships: Internships are a great learning experience. Highlight projects that you participated in. If you can show data driven results, that’s even better.
Work experience: It doesn’t matter you if you babysat, worked at your local pizza joint or worked in a professional office. Your work experience shows responsibility and that you know how to take initiative. Don’t undersell your hard work.
Skills: This could include things like foreign language expertise, problem solving, communication, organization, creativity, computer skills, coding skills and more.
Hobbies: What are you doing when you’re not in school or working? What hobbies do you participate in?
As you include each of these items on your resume, you should also add the dates, relevant achievements, honors, recognitions, and responsibilities. For example, were you the leader of a club? You’ll want to include the skills you had as the leader underneath that spot.
Once you’ve covered everything in the list above, have a parent, guidance counselor or trusted adult proofread your resume. A second set of eyes will help you catch typos and grammatical errors that you want to avoid. And they might help remind about an accomplishment that you didn’t think of.
Don’t feel like your resume fully fleshed out yet? That’s okay! There is always time to add more. This is the perfect time to join clubs, volunteer in your community, apply to internships, get a part-time job, or pick up a new hobby. If you’re still struggling, make sure to brainstorm with your peers, a teacher, a guidance counselor, or your parents. Most adults in your life would have written their fair share of resumes. They may be able to point to some experience or skills you have that you didn’t think of on your own!