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How To Build A Resume For College Applications

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How to Make a Resume for College Applications | Coach Hall Writes

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How To Write The Work Experience Section Of A High School Resume

As we arrive at the biggest, most stressful section of a high school resume, we have to address a question we commonly get from students:

How do you write a resume with no experience?

Many students think because they havent worked an official job, they lack experience. But it isnt true. Unless youve been sitting in a box for your entire life, youve earned experience worth putting on a high school resumewe just need to dig a little deeper to find it.

So what types of experiences can you include on your high school resume? Of course, if you have work experienceeven if its for your family business and you werent an official employeeyou should showcase it. But if not, dont worry. Instead, you can share information about your high school internships, volunteer work, community service, club involvement, participation in sports, leadership positions, and even the challenging academic summer programs youve attended.

These types of activities are impressive to potential employers and colleges, so dont be nervous if youre writing a high school resume with no work experience. Be proud of the unique experiences youve had. You can even change the title of the section from Work Experience to Relevant Activities or Major Achievements.

How to write descriptions for your experiences on a high school resume

And what should each bullet point description contain? Here are a few guidelines to ensure your experience descriptions have the greatest impact:

Example College Application Resume

Here is one example of a college application resume using a simple template:


Central East High School, Slipton, Oregon

  • Expected graduation June 12, 2021
  • GPA 3.12
  • SAT 1276
  • Ranked 115 of 650 graduates


  • Underclass Honor Roll 8 semesters
  • East region state debate finals 3 years
  • State debate semifinals 3 years
  • National Honor Society senior year

Other coursework

  • Oregon Young Scholars Camp summer after junior year
  • Slipton Community College College Prep Workshop summer after junior year

Extra-curricular and Volunteer Activities

  • United Way Teen Coordinator sophomore and junior years
  • The Humane Society of Oregon freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years

Special Skills

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How To Write The Best College Admissions Resume

Resumes are important tools for seeking employment but are not usually associated with college admissions. Recently, colleges have become more interested in seeing student resumes as part of the overall application package. College applicants should provide a college admissions resume along with their traditional application materials. In this article, we will explain what a college admissions resume is, what to include in it, how to write one, tips, a template and an example.

What To Include In The Skills Section Of A High School Resume

College Resume Template for High School Students (2021)

If you search for general resume examples online, you might feel overwhelmed and perhaps a bit discouraged when you look at sample Relevant Skills resume sections. But what youre probably looking at are sample resumes for mid-career professionals. When youre still in high school, youre not expected to have the same advanced career skills as someone in their thirties does. This leaves you with the question, What skills can a high school student put on a resume?

The answer is: more than you think! When evaluating what skills you might be able to add to your high school resume, its helpful to understand the difference between hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills refer to a persons abilities gained through technical knowledge or training. These can range from technology or software skills to interpersonal skills such as public speaking or customer service. As a high school student, your hard skills may be limited, if you havent gained much work experience or training, but youve probably still acquired a few through school and extracurriculars.

Here are examples of hard skills you might be able to add to a high school resume. You should choose which skills to include based on the type of job, scholarship, or college youre applying to.

  • Customer service

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Honors College Applications Sometimes Require Resumes

Florida International Universitys Wilkes Honors College states that To strengthen your Wilkes Honors College application, we encourage you to submit a resume and academic research paper. The College of Charlestons Honors College flat-out requires a resume. The Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin goes even further, requiring an expanded resume and practically begs for detail warning applicants that, This is NOT a place to be overly concise. Clarkson Universitys Honors Program also requires a CV but conversely limits the document to a one-page maximum. Visit our Top Honors Programs Dataverse page for more information.

How To Write A Resume For Your College Application

Okay, if youve made it to this point then you must be one of those uncommon applicants for whom a resume is either a) required/recommended or b) will add something significant to your application. Here are some tips for writing a meaningful college applicant resume:

  • Most basic resume formats include ones Education, Experience, and Honors. These three headings will serve you well in this venture, and take notethey align pretty closely with the Common App format.
  • Follow the same general advice that we provided in our piece on How to Complete the College Application Activities List. Pay attention to chronology, accuracy, clarity of descriptions, and remain dedicated to only including items that genuinely add something to your candidacy.
  • The Common App activities and honors sections have notoriously strict character limits that can make some activities and distinctions frustratingly difficult to fully convey. If you have captured a number of impressive national, state, or local awards and were unable to fit them on your Common App honors section, then a resume presents a wonderful opportunity to tell the committee about these achievements in glorious detail.
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    Tips For Formatting Your Resume

    • You need to showcase your most recent achievements and skills. To do that, use a chronological format. This format allows you to write information in a reverse chronological order where you write the most recent information first then go back to the oldest ones.
    • Make sure the readability of your resume is intact, use one-liner bulleted points to write statements/points. Further, use action verbs to begin points throughout your resume.
    • Avoid the usage of full-stops as points in a resume arent complete sentences, and do not incorporate the usage of first and second-person pronouns.

    Why Do You Need A Resume For College Applications

    How To Write An âOUTSTANDINGâ? Resume | For College Applications (Tutorial)

    The Common Application permits students to upload an activities resume. Roughly 1/3 of the colleges within the Common Application system allow you to submit a resume using this upload feature

    If the colleges youre applying to allow you to submit a resume, dont miss the chance. Its a perfect opportunity to highlight things you werent able to write about in detail in your college essays.

    Some Common Application schools will not let you submit a resume , while some schools outside the Common Application system do ask you to submit one

    Even if none of the colleges on your list ask for a resume, I strongly recommend you create one for the following reasons:

    • to help you complete the Common Application
    • to give to teachers, counselors, advisors, and coaches writing your recommendations
    • to use when applying for a job or internship
    • to submit when applying for a scholarship
    • to give to the interviewer at an alumni or college admission interview

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    College Application Resume Template Examples

    Use this resume section as an example of how to write and format your own accomplishments. The Balance also provides several resume templates you can use to condense your achievements into an easy-to-read format.


    • Graduated third in a class of 425 students
    • Attended Harvard University s Summer Pre-Law Program


    • Treasurer, Student Government Association, Grades 9-12
    • Captain, Soccer Team, St. Georges High School, Laramie, WY, Fall 20XX Spring 20XX
    • Volunteering:

    Do I Need A Resume For My College Applications

    If you are a teenage prodigy who spent your spare time in high school interning at a cancer research laboratory and founding a charitable organization which distributes prescription glasses in Zimbabwe, then being asked to formulate a resume as part of your college application might sound like a perfectly natural proposition. Its quite easy to summarize your prodigious achievements in resume form if you happen to be a wunderkind with a list of accomplishments longer than most MacArthur Fellows.

    Yet, for 17/18-year-olds who happen to be mere mortals, the task of writing a resume might feel as absurdly impossible as being asked to perform an act of alchemy. Tasked with magically creating pure gold from a menacingly blank MS Word document, crazed thoughts begin to flood your mind: The only people agonizing over a resume should be middle-aged executives who were downsized after a hostile corporate takeover, whatever that isIm a senior in high school for crying out loudI go to school and work the cash register at CVS in the summers. What more do you want from me!?

    Try to take a deep breath as you emerge from your Mike-Judgean nightmare and back into reality. In the following article, we will explain everything you need to know about college application resumes, including:

    • Which college accept resumes
    • Honors College applications that require resumes
    • How to write a college resume

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    How To Get Started With Your Resume For Your College Applications

  • Brainstorm everything you’ve accomplished. Take time to think about your accomplishments over your high school years. Ask your parents and your counselor to help with brainstorming.
  • List everything that makes you most stand out besides grades and scores. That includes awards, leadership roles, community service, special talents or hobbies, jobs, projects you led, and so on. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, you can add ways you used the time under quarantine to continue learning, developing a skill, contributing to your community or other activities.
  • Note experiences that vividly show your determination, initiative, and passion. For example, colleges might be impressed if you stayed after school to tutor struggling students, or if you picked up a second language by engaging with coworkers at a part-time job. Or that you kept the robotics club going and focused during school closures.
  • Best College Application Resume Tip: Start Making Your Resume Now

    Resume for College Students Schools Of Resumes for College ...

    Drafting your resume before applications are due is a great way for you to prepare for the application process. Actually, you should catalog all of your activities starting in 9th grade! That way, when it comes time to write about your activities for the resume, and ultimately in your applications, you have it all in one place and can easily do so. Remember, your resume does not need to be very long it should never overstate nor exaggerate. It should represent who you are and what you have accomplished and participated in.

    A well-written student resume shows a prospective college more about the real you, who you are and what you enjoy. Just be your best self. And get started on your college application resume today!

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    Resume Format And Contents

    Every student’s college resume differs slightly in format. However, every resume should contain several key sections. The awards and recognition section highlights any awards you received that help reinforce your qualification to succeed in college work. A school activities and clubs section shows that you have the capability to take on more than coursework. Include a section on leadership positions you held to show that you have the ability to lead and work independently. A section detailing volunteer work shows that you are socially minded and want to contribute to your community. Including a section on international travel shows that you have an awareness of other cultures and an open mind.

    What To Include In The Education Section Of A High School Resume

    Since you havent graduated high school yet, you might be feeling a little lackluster about writing the education section of your high school resume. But rest assured, there are plenty of enticing details you can include in this section to help you impress employers and colleges. Heres a list of information you might add to your education section:

    • High school name and location.

    • Expected graduation datethe month and year will suffice.

    • Weighted GPA. This is an optional item to include if your GPA will impress the person reading your high school resumea 3.5 or above, for example.

    • Class rank. Again, if it is impressivethe top 20% of your class, for example.

    • SAT or ACT score. Only include your scores in high school resumes for college and scholarship applicationspotential employers wont know what a good SAT score is .

    • Especially challenging and relevant coursework. Dont include the standard high school curriculum, but you can list IB or AP classes youve taken that relate to the job or internship youre applying for.

    • Leadership roles in clubs or sportsfor instance, Team Captain, Varsity Soccer. Especially mention your extracurriculars that are relevant to the position youre seeking.

    • Academic memberships. You can include your involvement in a college preparatory program or selective honors societies, if applicable.

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    How To Format A High School Resume

    Lets start with the basicsformatting your high school resume. The good news is, you dont have to start from scratch. Weve created a modern high school resume template for you thats perfectly suited to showcase your skills and experiences at any level. And if youre a creative type looking to add extra personality to your resume, you might consider exploring the high school resume template options on sites like Canva.

    What makes a good high school resume template, anyway? Here are a few of the most important formatting rules your resume should follow:

    • Limit your high school resume to one page.

    • Ensure your resume is skimmable by using big headings, bullet points, and plenty of white space.

    • Use classic and easy-to-read fonts, such as Cambria, Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica, or Garamond, to name a few.

    • Save your high school resume as a PDF file so the formatting wont change when someone views or downloads it.

    Once youre set with a great high school resume template following these guidelines, your first step is to add your contact information. Here are a few tips on what to include:

    Once youve expertly added and arranged your contact info, youre ready to move on to the next part of the high school resumeyour objective statement.

    How To Write A Resume For College Admissions

    How to Make a College Resume

    Writing a resume for a college admissions package requires a different approach to writing a job application resume. Here are the five things youâll need to consider with answers below.

  • Do you need to write a resume for college?
  • Whatâs the difference between a professional resume and a college application resume?
  • How to show off your soft skills on a college resume?
  • What you should put on your resume vs. your college essay vs. a letter of recommendation?
  • Other frequently asked questions about college resumes
  • Donât like to read? Watch the video instead!

    Introducing our expert

    At Everydae we know a LOT about making studying fun so you can ace high school without the stress. But we also recognize that weâre not a specialist on everything

    Thatâs why, for many of our blog posts, we interview an expert. This is someone who has spent years in the field helping hundreds, if not thousands of high school students prepare for the next stage of their lives.

    Todayâs expert is Dr. Genevieve Morgan from Dr. Morgan College Counseling. Dr. Morgan helps families navigate the admissions and career planning process to find the right-fit college for them.

    Before we beginâ¦

    What is a college resume for admission?

    A college resume for admission is a 1-2 page document that describes a high school studentâs notable accomplishments.

    Part 1: Do you need to write a resume for college?

    Part 2: Whatâs unique about a high school resume compared to a professional resume?

    The resume:

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    Sample High School Resumes For College Applications

    Have friends in college? Ask to review their college admissions resume. Your high school guidance counselor is a great resource too. Along with helping students while theyre in high school, theyre also there to help you with your next steps after graduation. They can help you find helpful sample resumes.

    Why It’s Important To Have A College Application Resume

    When you apply to colleges, you want your application to stand out from the hundreds or thousands of other applications the admissions department receives. One way to do this is to include a resume with your application so that admissions officers can quickly assess your high school career and get a sense of who you are and what you might bring to the college as a student. Your college application resume provides a scannable summary of who you are and what you’ve done.

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    Include Experiencepaid And Unpaid

    If youre in high school, you likely dont have much real-world work experience. But if you think about it, you probably have other unpaid experience to include, such as internships, externships, and volunteer service.

    If you worked while in high school but are concerned that the jobs are irrelevant, you should still include them on your resume for a college applicationadmissions committees will be impressed by your work ethic. Highlight standout accomplishments versus day-to-day responsibilities. For example:

    Dog Walker, 20202021

    Found and grew popular dog-walking and pet-sitting business, providing daily exercise and loving care for neighborhood pets. Ensured that all dogs were safe at all times and having fun.

    Key accomplishments:

    • Built a loyal base of repeat clients, winning praise for reliability, rapport with pets, and positive attitude.
    • Generated so many referrals that a waiting list was formed within eight weeks of business launch.


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