How to Write a Resume for College Applications

How to Write a Resume for College Applications

High School Student Resume Samples

Writing a Great Resume for College Applications

It’s that time of year again; 90-degree weather, trips to the beach, hanging by the pool, and starting your college application. WHAT?! That’s right, don’t let summer pass by as you begrudgingly count down until your first day of senior year. Use your time wisely to get as much done as possible before you get lost in the black hole of the chaos. On your long to-do list for college applications you already have a few tools in your toolbox that you can use to make this process easier. One great place to start this summer is with your high school student resume. Is it important to have a resume at all? Will colleges even read your high school student resume? Yes, it’s important, and here’s why.

As a high school student, it's important to begin cataloging all of the activities you’re involved in. Do you play a sport or multiple sports? Do you have a summer job? Have you been inducted into the National Honor Society? All of the things you do as a high school student, both inside the walls of your high school and outside, are important to document. Here are a few steps to make this less overwhelming.

  1. Make a list of all the things you do in high school (example: sports, student government, school plays, musicals, etc.)

  2. Make a list of all the things you do outside of your high school (example: volunteer at your local nursing home, church, etc.)

  3. Write down any job you had or have as a high school student (example: mow lawns, babysit local neighborhood kids, scoop ice cream, etc.)

  4. Write down any awards you received as a high school student. This can be for sports, academics, volunteering, your job, through your community (remember: don’t worry if you don’t have any to put down!)

Once you have made several lists with what you do outside of being a student, it’s time to organize it. You do not have to organize your activities, volunteer service, etc. perfectly, just do it in a way that makes sense to you. For example, maybe organize it this way:

Community Service
School Clubs and Organizations
Awards Received

If you don’t play any sports, no problem!  This isn’t the time to freak out and blindly join the track team because you don’t have anything to fill that category. Fact: your college acceptance does NOT depend on your decision to play or not play a sport in high school, join a club, or any other activity in particular. There is no right or wrong activity, just squash that myth now.

Another important piece is leadership. Colleges want to know who they are accepting into their community and who might grow into leaders. Look at each activity you wrote down. Make a note next to the ones where you were elected captain, president, or you founded the club because there was nothing like that in your school. Any activity or job where you moved up in a position or you created something new, make a note of that.

Let’s get to the why of all this. Why are you organizing everything in this way? Why is it even important to track your activities through high school? There are a few reasons.

If you start to organize everything now, you won’t have to scramble last minute filling out your college applications. Colleges want to see your involvement and your accomplishments. They want to know what makes you unique! Although it might not feel this way, you are more than just your GPA and test scores.

Some colleges allow you to upload additional information about yourself. This is the ideal opportunity to upload a high school student resume. Doing this let’s you add additional descriptions to your accomplishments.  Where there might not be any room in the activities portion of the application, your resume will allow you to expand on something in particular.

Lastly, having a high school student resume sample is important as you start to make the transition into the professional world. If you already have a resume created, when you start applying to jobs or internships, you won’t need to start from scratch. Continue to add to your resume with each new experience.

One last piece of advice, always have someone edit your resume. You know exactly what you do as a student, but make sure others understand what you do as well. Ask your parent, school counselor, or independent counselor to read it over and help you make edits that are meaningful. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself and your accomplishments on your high school student resume. You have come so far in your high school career, it’s time to shine!

Now is the time to get started! Organize everything in a high school student resume and you will be ready to go when it is time to fill out your college applications.

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