Should I Make a Resume for College Applications?

How To: Formate a Resume for you College Application

By: Caroline Koppelman

At the start of high school you probably walked through the club fair and signed up for more clubs than you could ever possibly manage. Now, as you apply to college, you’re probably only a member of about half of them. You’ve stayed in these clubs because they piqued your interest and clearly relate to what you’re passionate about. The reason that the college admissions committee wants to know what you’ve spent your time doing in high school is because your engagement speaks to your character. If you’ve been going home everyday directly after school ends and doing nothing, they see that you’re not engaged in your community. But, if you’ve been volunteering as a tutor or raising money for a local charity, then that gives them insight into your personality.

In order to optimize the potential of your application it’s best to submit a resume that highlights your academic achievements and extracurricular involvement. A resume is an organized and easily accessible document that shows that you care about what the admissions committee reads about you. There are certain categories that you want to include in this resume so that it covers aspects of your application that aren’t necessarily included in the college’s formal app.

  1. Honors and Distinctions: This is a section that includes any academic awards you’ve received. Whether it was a science olympiad medal or an honor roll certificate, they should be mentioned.
  2. Extracurricular Activities: List every club you’re a part of and if you hold a position (president, vice president, etc). These should be clubs that relate to different parts of your application to add credibility. So if you’re a member of the school newspaper and have mentioned you’re interested in journalism, add it! If you plan on heading on the engineering track, don’t forget to mention the robotics club that you’re the treasurer of. Don’t forget to explain what the activity is. 
  3. Employment: This is supposed to highlight any jobs that you’ve had during high school so that admissions can see that your grades have remained stellar throughout doing both extracurriculars and having a real job. 
  4. Community Service: This creates context for your potential impact on the specific school you’re applying to. We recommend listing any philanthropic event that you’ve organized or been a part of.
  5. Personal Interests: This is just a short list of hobbies and things you do in your free time. While admissions is interested in your academic qualifications, they also want students that have quirky interests and spend their time doing unique and fun things.

All of these things will work to enhance your application. Since the common app doesn’t provide enough space for you to explain your involvement in a way that makes it seem substantial and impressive, this resume will supplement that deficit. Plus, formatting and organizing this document are skills that will come in handy for the future when you need to write another resume!