Getting into a good college is a lot like trying to get a good job, which means you’ll need a résumé to sell yourself, especially when the application fields don’t include enough space to list and explain all of your academic and extracurricular activities.
So, what should you include to boost your chances of being accepted?
Here’s a quick list of ideas:
- School leadership positions (e.g., class treasurer or prom committee)
- Club memberships (e.g., yearbook or Spanish club)
- Community service hours
- Music lessons/performance
- Athletic participation
- Work experience
- Honors/Awards (e.g., honor roll, essay-writing awards, science competitions)
- Church activities
- Summer programs (e.g., Governor’s School for the Arts, Boys/Girls State)
- Outside interests (e.g., photography, hiking writing, etc.)
Your list should NOT include:
School Courses. These are on your transcript and don’t belong on your résumé. Same goes for test scores.
Who’s Who Among American High School Students. The Better Business Bureau classifies these directories as “vanity publications,” which are more of a money-making outfit than an honor. Instead of looking special, you’ll come off as naïve to admission counselors.
Superfluous Information. There’s limited room on your résumé, so don’t clutter it by listing that one-time walk-a-thon in tenth grade or a club you joined for a couple of months in ninth grade. Be selective!
Outdated Honors. Most colleges are only interested in what you did during high school, so skip the sixth-grade spelling bee award.
Think of this as a CliffNotes version of the past four years of your life that details your uniqueness. You can use this résumé as an attachment to admission applications, as a resource for letter of recommendation writers, or even a tool to generate ideas for college essay writing.