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Composing Your College Admission Resume

Remember the College Folder InLikeMe suggested you maintain throughout high school? The file with all of your activities, awards, honors, community service hours, leadership positions, etc.

Now is a good time to dig it out or put one together to compose your college resume. Your college admissions resume highlights your accomplishments during high school and can be a tremendous asset when you fill out applications, meet with an interviewer, ask for recommendations, or apply for scholarships. Learn how to build your College Admission Resume.

Unlike a professional resume, where the reader is generally looking for skills, education, and experience, colleges (and the people who will write your recommendations, interview you and evaluate you for scholarships) are more interested in your scholastic and other achievements, awards, activities, athletics, leadership, community service, special talents and how you spent your time during high school. Since applying to college is competitive, a well-developed resume, that can be easily digested, can help put you in a favorable position.

To get started, make a complete list of your extracurricular and academic life. If you were born overseas and moved to the U.S when you were in sixth grade, write it down. If you worked during the summer, make sure you have that too. Make sure you list all your extracurricular activities, jobs, honors, and awards – important and unimportant. Ask your parents, siblings and guidance counselor for input, in case you missed something!

If you have a “hook’ or “wow factor” this is a great opportunity to reinforce it and promote it. Make sure it resonates.

While there is no standard format for resumes of this type, they are typically one or two pages long and generally include much of the following information:

  • Heading: Identifying information such as: name, address, phone number, email, date of birth, and high school.

  • Objective or Overview (optional): Can be used for a specific purpose such as consideration for a scholarship or intended major

  • Key Stats: Class rank (e.g. 15/267) or percentile (top 10%), GPA, HPA, SAT, ACT

  • Education: High schools attended. (Optional: Senior year classes & AP or impressive courses taken prior to senior year)

  • School Activities: List activities and grade (e.g. 9, 10,11) including clubs, class activities, sports, performing groups, sports, etc. Note leadership roles and special recognition. Be descriptive: Instead of “High School Newspaper”, consider (if accurate) “Feature Editor (11) Reporter (9, 10) School Newspaper Recognized as Best in County in 2007”.

  • Honors and Awards: List along with grade (e.g. Debate Finalist – 9, 10)

  • Community Activities: List activities, leadership roles, and grades during which you participated.

  • Enrichment Activities: Include relevant programs, special projects, travel experiences, hobbies, musical accomplishments,

  • Work Experience: Starting with the most recent, list each work experience (paid, unpaid or your own business) including job title; business name and location, dates of your employment. Include anything else that would be impressive (e.g. specific duties, recognition).

  • Other: (optional) Special circumstances and situations; additional details about “hook” or “wow factor”

  • References (optional): Name and relationship

Composing Your College Admission Resume


Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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