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Writing an excellent high school resume for college consideration is the only way you increase your chances of getting into the higher education institution of your dreams. While many people state that you can only create an excellent resume when you have tons of high school accomplishments, you can always work with what you have and still create a killer document.
In this article, we provide you with useful tips on how to craft the perfect high school resume for college applications. Better yet, we share with you some great examples to help you understand the fundamentals of good resume writing. Let’s get on with it.
Adopt the Perfect College Application Resume Format
College admission panels across the country pay particular attention to the format of your document. As such, even if the contents of your paper are compelling to the core, if your formatting is off, then your application will quickly end up in the “reject” pile. So, how do you get the college resume format? Below are a few things to consider.
Use the Reverse-Chronological Structure
This tip is perhaps the most useful in this regard. See, despite there being many colleges in the country, the majority of them still receive tons of applications. So, to ensure that your document is worthy of a second look, your latest and best qualifications should be noted quickly. Luckily, the reverse-chronological format will help you pull this off quite easily.
Are you short on time? You can use this college application resume builder to craft an excellent document with proper formatting.
Be Great with the Spacing, Headings, and Fonts
A college resume with proper spacing is sure to stand out since it is easy on the eye. This is because everything is not crammed up together. Apart from that, it would be best if you crafted proper headings for the different sections to make it easy for the assessors to identify parts of your application. Lastly, you need to use a legible typeface to ensure that the admission panel can read your document comfortably.
Choose the Right File Format and Resume Length
Unless communicated, always save your college resume as PDF since they are machine-readable. For more information on this matter, read more on the acceptable file types for resumes. When it comes to length, one page is always ideal for a high school resume for college.
Write an Excellent College Resume Objective
College admission panels do not read applications. Instead, they skim through them. For this reason, you need to write an attention-grabbing objective.
College Application Resume Examples for High School Seniors
Never write your objective like this:
“An exceptionally diligent scholar with a keen interest in Geography and History. I only have a 3.1 GPA, and 1348 SAT scores, but I am dedicated to working extremely hard on campus. I was captain of my high school lacrosse team.”
So, what is wrong here? Well, it just does not move the reader.
Below is an excellent example of a resume objective.
“Enthusiastic student writer/producer looking forward to bringing a refreshing feel to New York University’s student fraternity exceptional leadership and organizational capabilities. Started and ran an educational YouTube channel that has since gained over 400,000 views and 3,000 comments. Lacrosse team captain with A+ average in Geography, Chemistry, and Art.”
Why is this a “thumbs up?” It shows enthusiasm and quantifies achievements, offering the reader a better perspective. Moreover, it makes good use of tenses.
Highlight Your Activities in the College Resume
Every standout college resume should have the following details:
- The initiatives you launched, their impact, plus any other useful information to support the claims.
- Your hobbies/ interests that are relevant to the course you want to pursue in college.
- The number of professional books you read on the side.
- Clubs you founded, ran and/or participated in.
- Sports activities and achievements.
- Subjects that you were most passionate about.
While the list does not stop there, make sure that you are aware of the things not to include in your resume. This way, you will craft a more compelling document.
College Application Examples
Below is an excellent example of a college resume for high school scholars.
- Started and ran a YouTube educational channel for two years.
- Wrote and produced 14 short educational documentaries.
- Got 400,000 views and 3,000 comments with 91% positive viewer feedback on the YouTube channel.
- Excellent lacrosse player. Trained 4 days/week since age 12.
- Lacrosse team captain during my final year.
- Read 276 books in different genres.
- Created exemplary art that is pinned in the school gallery.
Avoid writing accomplishments on your college resume at random. Instead, provide those that suit the course and institution you want to join. Case in point, if you’re going to pursue information technology, be sure to list computer-related achievements at the top of your document. In the meantime, take a moment to learn how to list achievements, accomplishments, and awards in a resume on your resume.
That said, avoid writing basic info such as:
- Love writing educational posts.
- Good lacrosse player.
- Captain of the lacrosse team.
- Like to read.
Instead, take time to ponder on your past to find information that will add more weight to your accomplishments.
Add Extra Sections on Your Resume for College
Given that a college application resume is probably the first serious document you’ve been tasked with, it may be hard to figure out what to share to impress the admission committee. To make a lasting impression, you will need to highlight strong points. But you don’t do that in powerful words like self-motivated, driven, industrious, etc. Instead, choose the right information to share. Here are some examples of what looks good on college applications resumes:
- Previous work. If you’ve previously held a part-time or summer job, highlight it to show your working ethic.
- Volunteer gigs. Have you offered your services for free to homeless shelters, nursing homes, animal shelters, hospitals, etc.? Include that too.
- Awards and Certificates. Talk about the activities and competitions you’ve been involved in, for instance, spelling bee, science congress, essay writing, etc., and the awards earned from them.
- Extra-curricular projects. Highlight your projects as well on your high school resume for college. These could include your site/ blog, books/ articles, art, performances, etc.
- Social media influence. If you are an influential figure on social networks such as Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, mention it.
- Leadership roles. Do you have a leadership role in your sports team, club, part-time job, or church? Talking about these positions can help demonstrate your leadership skills.
- What are some things you like to do that could be relevant to your high school resume for college? Include it.
- Sports activities. List all the sports activities you’ve participated in. If you were a captain in any of them, highlight it.
- Hobbies. How do you spend your free time? It could be writing poems, cycling, playing a musical instrument, etc. Use them to show that you utilize your time well.
- If you’ve learned speaking other languages aside from English, for instance, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, and so forth, include them in your skillset. If you’re bilingual it’s even cooler.
Write a Compelling Education Section
A breakdown of your academic history is fundamental in a college admissions resume. Your education part must have:
- Your GPA
- Your school’s name and where it’s located
- Graduation date (even if it is yet to happen)
Example of the Education Section
When writing this section, go a step further and highlight your relevant accomplishments as well. Example of how to put education on a resume:
Libertyville High School, IL
- Honor roll
- Debate Team
- “A” in Science and Mathematics
- Assistant captain, Swim Team
- GPA score of 3.8
- SAT score 1510
- Graduation Date 4/7/19
Always Include Your Working Experience
When you are applying for college, job history isn’t a must as it’s probably your first resume with no experience. However, if you possess a bit of experience, it would help to include it. Remember, this section should go beyond mentioning that you held a particular post. Include what you achieved while in that role to emphasize on your valuable skills.
Job Experience on a Resume for College Example
Here is a perfect work history example:
McDonald’s, Syracuse, NY
- Often ranked as the number 1 tip earner in 2019
- Thrived within high-volume floors, serving up to 200 guests per shift
- Earned employee of the month award price
Highlight Your Skills on Resume for College
Skills are also essential in a resume for college applications. But before you decide what skills to put, learn what transferrable skills the admission committee value most. Then, pick and highlight those that you possess.
Skills to Put on College Admission Example
Always ensure that your skills are relevant to the program you wish to join. Then, present them in bullet form.
Example How to Put Skills in a Resume
Here is a sample of the skills segment of a resume applying for a medical program:
- Led a small team in 6 health science events
- Initiated over ten service projects
- Read 27 medical books and journals since the age of 12
- Learned necessary emergency response procedures while volunteering at a local hospital
- Fluent in Spanish
Now you know what looks good on college applications and can proceed to craft an excellent resume for you. Remember, you can include other sections, such as certifications, if they are relevant. Don’t forget to top it off with a powerful cover letter, even if it is optional. Good luck!
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