The College Resume

  • A resume is no longer reserved for after graduation. Students may want to craft one as early as the ninth grade for everything from college admissions to scholarships and internship opportunities.

    A college admissions resume is a document describing a student's academic and job-related skills and experiences.  

    • Purpose:
      The purpose of a college admissions resume is to demonstrate to the college that the applicant is capable of academic success by providing an overview of the student's academic and job-related history.
    • When a resume is used:
      It may be required as a part of the student's overall college admissions application.
      It may be required when applying for scholarships.
    • What should be in a resume:
      Unlike a job-seeking resume, a college admissions resume should focus on academics rather than past jobs. If the student has held a job or jobs, they should list them, but the bulk of the resume will describe academic achievements and school-related activities.

    What should go on a college resume?

    Any of the sections below could appear on your resume for college applications. Pick an assortment that works for you!

    • Heading with your name, address, and e-mail
    • High school information with your graduation date, GPA (weighted), class rank, and SAT/ACT scores
    • Academic awards, publications, honors, and other achievements
    • Coursework (summer programs, college courses, or other specialized workshops that do not appear on your high school transcript)
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Community service
    • Work experience
    • Hobbies
    • Special skills (e.g. foreign language fluency or HTML expertise)

    Remember the Boca High Academic Organizer? If you kept up with tracking all of your accomplishments, putting the college resume together will be a breeze!

    When should you submit a resume to colleges?

    Some colleges and scholarship committees request or recommend that you include a high school resume with your application materials. (Don’t submit a resume if they don’t ask for one—following instructions is a key application strategy.) 

    • Bring your resume to college interviews
    • Give copies to your college counselor (Either Ms. Clarke or Ms. Marcus
    • Give copy to teachers so that they can write you the strongest possible recommendation letter

    Tips for composing your college admissions resume

    • Keep it concise
      Pare down the activities you showcase to the most brag-worthy and most representative of you as a candidate. Do colleges need to know that you were on the field hockey team for one semester in Grade 9? Probably not. The standard rule of thumb is to stick to one or two pages.
    • Focus on depth and length of commitment
      When deciding which activities and accomplishments make the cut, keep in mind that colleges would much rather see you excited about one or two key experiences than sporadic involvement in 20 clubs. If having an after-school job limited your ability to participate in clubs or sports, make sure your resume plays up your work responsibilities, training, and on-the-job skills.
    • Provide detail whenever possible
      The details are what set a resume apart from a list of extracurriculars on a standard college application. For example, when describing your involvement in the French Club make sure to include:
      • your role
      • school years/hours per week you participated
      • specific contributions (e.g. "Organized a successful after-school film series to introduce our community to French cinema and culture" )
      • leadership roles (e.g. "Treasurer, Grade 12" )
      • unique details that will make you stand out
    • Highlight things you weren’t able to write about in your college essays or short answers
      Use your high school resume to show colleges something new. If your devotion to photography didn’t make it on the application but is a big part of who you are, then showcase your photography credibility on your resume.
    • Formatting is key
      Make the resume easy to scan. Divide information into sections with clear headings, bulleted lists, and a consistent font. Use a system of organization that works for you. (Chronological, by importance of activity, or by time commitment are a few options.) Don’t forget to proofread!
    • Be honest and accurate
      Colleges know how to spot inconsistencies in your application materials, and they won’t hesitate to call your counselor to verify information that doesn't seem right. So don't tell them that you have practice for the school play for 30 hours per week—unless drama club is somehow your full-time job!

    Template Help

    Need some help getting started? Feel free to use one of the following free Google Doc templates 
    (Note: To use these example college resume templates yourself: Click on the link, go to "File" > "Make a copy..." > "Ok")

    Template 1

    Template 2

    Template 3

    Template 4

    Template 5

    Template 6

    Need Assistance?

    Contact Ms. Clarke or Ms. Marcus to make an appointment to have your resume reviewed.