Resumes are not just for job hunting. They can also be a useful tool to market yourself to colleges. Getting a job and getting into college are somewhat similar. While the format of the resume will be different, using one will give you an edge over other students who are applying.

The first thing you should do when building a student resume is to make a list of everything you have accomplished, even if you are not going to use it. You can sort through what you want to keep later. Talk to people who know you. Ask them about your accomplishments and what stands out most to them. They may even remind you of something that you normally wouldn’t consider. When making your list, write down both academic and extracurricular achievements.

When beginning the actual resume, begin with your academic achievements. These can include about anything that you have accomplished during high school. Honor rolls, science awards, and journalistic writing awards are a few examples. Try to limit this list to things that happened in high school. However, if there is something amazing from your elementary years that you think could impress college admissions officials, go ahead and include it. For example, you may have won a Young Authors Award the year before you entered high school.

Next, include your extracurricular activities. This can be anything outside of class. Examples are any sports you played, the yearbook staff, and any clubs you were in to name a few. You can also list things you’ve done outside of work. Include any volunteer work you’ve done or anything else that might impress a college.

When listing your accomplishments, do so chronologically. Make the entire resume fit on one page – no more and no less. If the resume is longer than one page, you have included too much information. People will not want to look at more than one page. Listing too many achievements may also lead some people to feel like you are gloating. Also, if the resume is too short, it will seem as if you haven’t accomplished much, which isn’t the case. If you try hard enough, you should be able to come up with enough accomplishments to fill one page.

After you have completed your resume, you will have one more tool to market yourself to the colleges of your choice. It is a good idea to include this document with your application to give more information than the standard application allows.


Last Updated: June 4, 2019