Resumes for College Applications

The resume isn’t always required, but it can help you showcase your talents and achievements to admissions officers.

People of all ages find writing a resume to be a daunting task, and doing so may be especially foreign to high schoolers. Students should understand that they might need to submit resumes along with their other application materials if they want to attend an elite institution of higher education. At Going Ivy, our team of professional educational consultants and former admissions officers from some of the most exclusive colleges in the nation help students from all backgrounds in the Valley with a full suite of college admissions consulting and services. We work with students from Xavier Prep, Brophy Prep, Notre Dame Prep, PCDS, Basis Phoenix, Mountain View High School, Desert Mountain High School, Arcadia High School, Chaparral High School and others.

The Expertise to Help with Your Resume

We have been in your shoes in the past, and we know what a good high school resume should contain. We can start working with you from ninth grade on in order to help you build your resume and to use it effectively in order communicate why you stand out to admissions counselors. We recommend that you start building your resume beginning in ninth grade. If you are older, we can still help you to decide what to put in it, how to write it and how to showcase your talents, personality and achievements.

Building an Effective Resume

Your high school resume differs from a resume that is written by adults who are looking for jobs because you will use it to highlight your academic achievements and your extracurricular activities. Like all of the other parts of your application, your resume is one more piece that can help you to stand out amid fierce competition. Though many college applications require a listing of your activities, a resume is not always required. Your well-written resume that features unique experiences is a way to spotlight that you are a high achiever and eager to gain acceptance should add value.

Don’t make the mistake of believing that elite schools want applicants who have participated in a broad range of extracurricular activities instead of focusing on those for which they are truly passionate. Admissions officers are more interested in applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to a few activities in their areas of interest and who have had leadership roles and achievements within those. The dean of admissions at Brown University, Logan Powell, says that the particular type of activities that a student has engaged in matters less than the reasons why they chose those activities. Some students also are so focused on getting into the Ivies that they engage in activities simply for the purpose of resume padding, failing to take the time to develop into people who have rich lives. William Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions at Harvard, cautions that students should take a step back and take some time to relax instead of overbooking their summers with an eye toward college admissions. He suggests that students consider summer jobs or spending time with their families so that they can have some time to recharge for the school year.

All of the varying advice that you might find on the internet about building your high school resume can be confusing and contradictory. Instead of overfocusing on it, there are some things that you can do to build your resume slowly over time, leading to a much more effective document than one that is overflowing with too much information, too many activities and not enough substance.

Format and Basic Information

Your starting point for your resume is its format and the basic information that it should contain. A good resume should not be more than one page long. If you’ve had a lot of accomplishments and have participated in many activities, this means that you will need to highlight those that are most important. The resume should contain a heading with your name, address, telephone and email. Don’t use strange fonts or employ other gimmicks. Your resume should show that you are serious and professional. It should also have sections for your academic information, extracurricular activities, service activities, jobs that you’ve held and any awards or honors that you have received.

Listing Your Activities

Under each section heading, you’ll want to list any leadership roles and achievements that you had. For example, you can list both your grade point average and your class ranking in your academic section. You’ll want to make certain to list how long you participated in each activity since colleges like to see that you have been dedicated to them. If you participated in your school’s technology club for each year of high school, make certain that you say so.

Start Early and Keep Updating

If you start in ninth grade, writing your finished resume will be much simpler when it’s time to apply to colleges. Your professional consultant at Going Ivy can help you to determine what to keep in and what should be removed so that you are left with a resume that truly shines. The key is to think about all of your activities and accomplishments. This might include such things as babysitting to help out your family in addition to other things.

Going Ivy Can Help

At Going Ivy, we understand how difficult it can be to write a resume, especially when you have never had to do so before. Our professional team can help you to hone and revise your resume into a concise statement that provides a picture of who you are and why you should be selected for admission. To schedule your consultation and to learn more about how we can help you with your resume and college applications, contact us today.

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