A perfect college resume is all about you as an applicant summing up your whole life into a piece of paper. As an applicant, you must focus on both your work experience and educational achievements as you prepare a college resume. The purpose of a college resume template varies from one applicant to another.
However, the content usually remains similar across different people’s resumes. It is all about highlighting your skills, qualifications, and abilities in different areas of your life. College resumes are essential, and every applicant should know how to write one and what to include in a resume.
What is a College Resume?
A college resume is a document that contains a college applicant’s details relating to their academic skills, work qualifications, and other relevant experiences. This document is mainly used to seek employment and for college admission.
College Resume Templates
Importance of resume for college
Here are some benefits of having a resume for college.
- Provides a platform to describe all the activities an applicant has been involved in at school and outside school.
- Provides referees with a framework as they write recommendation letters.
- It serves an applicant with appropriate talking points during an interview, especially when seeking for employment.
- Having a college resume is essential for scholarship and internship applications.
Structure of a College Resume
College resumes are built in specific ways. They usually have a particular structure that is used by most applicants when writing resumes. Here is how the standard structure of a college resume looks like.
- Activities (academic and extracurricular)
- Awards and accolades
These are the components that must be found in the college resume. An applicant should include content that relates to these seven components found in the resume.
What Should be Included in a College Resume?
Based on the structure of the college resume, here is what you as an applicant should include in your resume while writing it.
You should include relevant contact information. This will include your official full names, your regular official email, and your working cell phone number.
Your educational background is also essential as it builds the main content of your college resume. You should, therefore, focus on your academic history. As an applicant, you should include the names of the schools you went to and the education successes you achieved over the years.
It is also advisable to mention any relevant courses based on the purpose of the resume. In addition, you can also include any academic activities you participated in, like contests and Science fair projects.
You can include your high school’s name, provide the address, mention the period when you start and completed high school, highlight your GPA, and mention your best test scores according to subjects. An applicant may also add any extra and relevant course based on whether the resume is meant for applying for a job or applying for college.
Wisdom High School, Out here, IN (2012- 2016)
Other relevant courses: French, History, Music
When it comes to experience, applicants should provide factual information related to past relevant jobs, community services, and volunteer work. Therefore, this section will focus more on accomplishments than responsibilities. You can use numbers to give exact information about your accomplishments.
For example, “I used to babysit children in my neighborhood” sounds more like responsibility. However, an applicant can write, “I used to babysit six children in my neighborhood for 30 minutes per child on the weekends’’.
You can also use numbers to highlight the experiences you got from the accomplishments and use strong, active verbs when writing. For example, some verbs that can be included are created, problem-solved, budgeted, maintained, bought, bid, sold, delivered, managed, organized, scheduled, built, developed, coached, written, produced, presented, and traveled.
For example, “I used to babysit six children in my neighborhood for the weekend. I managed their play and feeding time as I organized their schedules’’. Experiences usually involve many different things, and the applicant should know how to write them to impact the reader.
Experiences should be written in reverse order by starting from the most recent ones while going backward. Each experience should have details of its location, date, and the benefit created. An applicant should also avoid writing in the first person when listing their experiences.
Note: As you write your accomplishments, you should note that there is a difference between accomplishments and responsibilities. For instance, you may be perfect with the task of keeping law and order at school, which is not an accomplishment but a responsibility.
Likewise, if you were in a club team, you should know the difference between what you were responsible for in a service project and what you accomplished.
If applicants have limited experiences, especially related to work, including some of the extracurricular activities they were involved in is the best option. These are non-work activities that still impact an applicant’s resume positively.
They include works done while in clubs, sports activities, volunteer work, and other community services. These extracurricular activities help to display an applicant’s skills and abilities.
Awards and honors
This information is all about the rewards an applicant receives from their academic or non-academic endeavors. The awards and honors might include swimming trophies, merit badges, or prizes from science fair projects. An applicant should avoid using the first pronoun when listing them.
Awards and honors include rewards and prizes, but they can also include information about the applicant being chosen for something like a student representative of the school in a conference. With awards and honors, the following information should be provided
- Name of the award and brief details about it
- The organization you were involved with, the position you attained, and the date when you received the award
- Specific details about the number, for example, an applicant who won a trophy for swimming can give information about the number of participants and their position to be considered as a winner.
The last section of it is the skills. The content included here about an applicant’s skills should be written briefly and should provide relevant information. When describing your skills, an applicant should always avoid the cliché statement like a hard-working, team player, punctual and organized.
Applicants should mention skills like computer skills and language skills as they would be more attractive to the reader. An applicant could also include sports skills, communication skills, writing skills, and technical skills. There should be about ten skills in the resume, if possible.
College Resume Examples
How to Write a College Resume?
With the knowledge of what the structure of it looks like and what should be included when writing one, here are the steps that an applicant should follow to write a college resume. With these steps, you can craft and write a proper college resume that will serve your intention of writing it.
Research the college
An applicant should first find out more about the college. Some colleges might require certain information in the resume. An applicant should be aware of any particular details required in the resume before writing the college resume
The next step is to gather all the information that should be included in the resume. You should focus on arranging the information gathered about your education, work experience, and accomplishments in ascending order. This means that the details should be written starting from the most recent ones.
Use a template
The next step is to access and use a template to write the college resume. A college resume template will highlight all the information that you need to have in your resume. It will also have spaces to fill in where required, making the writing process faster and easier.
For an easy way of accessing a college resume template, we will be providing free downloadable templates for college resumes for you to use. Our pre-build college resume templates have the structure of a proper college resume.
It is vital to include titles and dates when writing your information in the college resume template you have downloaded. With specific headings, it becomes easier to read and understand your college resume. For example, you should mention the start year to end year of your volunteer work.
Fill in the action-oriented bullets
Apart from adding titles, an applicant should also include action-oriented bullets in the resumes. This is meant to explain what you specifically did regarding jobs, volunteering, academic activities, and extracurricular activities. These bullets points should be clear and brief.
Revise your resume
After an applicant completes writing the college resume, the next step is to read through it and edit any incorrect information. You should also ensure that the resume is one page long. In case the resume is longer, you can edit it by shortening or removing some information.
An applicant can then ask another person, such as their friend, parent, or teacher, to proofread their college resume before using it. Another person will help you to verify the content and format of the resume. Also, you can change any errors that you did not spot when editing.
College Resume Samples
How to format a college resume template?
After writing a college resume, you can format it to ensure it is professional and impactful to the reader. With proper formatting, an applicant will make a great impression even before their work is read.
- Use a serif font when writing a college resume. This is a font, such as Times New Roman, with tiny feet at the bottom of the letters. The font is more traditional and will make the resume look professional.
- An applicant should create a style to highlight the different levels of information present in the resume. You can bold or even use capital letters for headings. Italics or underlining for other levels of headings can also be used. Applicants can also use bullet points to list the information. It is all about being consistent and neat.
- The college resume should be one page long. With very long ones, the reader rarely takes their time to go through them as they might have several resumes to go through.
- Ensure the margins are at 1 inch and there is space in between each section. With proper set margins, it makes reading easier
Tips for Writing a College Resume
There are a few guidelines that an applicant can take a look at to jot down a really perfect and powerful college resume. Here are some tips that will help you when writing a college resume.
Tailor your resume
Even when using a template, an applicant should constantly tailor the college resumes to suit their needs. This means providing the needed information in the resume. The resume should always be tailored to fit your needs.
Be concise and honest
A college resume should be brief to guarantee that the reader will go through it amidst the many college resumes they have to read. An applicant should also include factual and accurate information in the college resume.
Limit your resume to one page
When formatting the letter, the applicant should ensure that it is one page long by mentioning only the relevant information. This can also be achieved by highlighting only the relevant skills and work experiences.
Mention unique experiences
You should make your college resume different by including any unique experience that you might have had. This might help your resume stand out and help you qualify for whatever job or college admission you are applying for.
Most recipients of these college resumes tend to investigate the truth that is written in them. Any discrepancies might disqualify the applicant. That means you should not exaggerate your accomplishments when writing them.
For example, if you have no work experience, you can choose to mention your extracurricular activities instead of embellishing your accomplishments.
Emphasize specific achievements
Having a position that made you responsible for something does not automatically make it an achievement. As an applicant you should, therefore, focus on your specific achievements instead of general responsibilities.
Doing this will make the resume more effective, but it will also ensure that you can fit your content into the required one page.
Use action/active verbs
When writing the college resume, it is best to stick with action verbs when describing the achievements. Some of the action words used in a resume have been mentioned earlier in the article, including managed and organized. They help to portray your achievements energetically.
Quantify your data
An applicant should always use numbers when writing a resume as much as possible. In addition, quantifying data is best used when discussing awards and success. For example, you can mention the number of people you helped as you volunteered or the amount of money you made as you managed the shop.
Showcase the skills
As many skills as an applicant have, it is best to showcase the reasons for preparing the college resume. This may be about seeking employment or admission to college. Therefore, relevant skills should be well listed in the college resume.
Use a resume example
It would be best if you used our resume examples when writing your college resume as it will act as a guide. With an example, you will remember the content required in the resume and how best to format it to make it perfect and effective.
Avoid social media
When writing the college resume, an applicant should avoid including social media in the content. In addition, you should not provide links for their social media accounts unless asked for them or where you intend to use your resume is a social media site.
A college resume is an essential document written by an applicant to highlight their academic skills, accomplishments, awards, and work qualifications. It is considered a summary of your life and must, therefore, be written appropriately. An applicant must always be aware of the basic structure of a college resume, that is, the heading, academics, activities, jobs, volunteering, skills, and awards, to be able to include the required content in the resume.
With the proper content, you must also learn how to format your college resume appropriately. Therefore, with this article, an applicant will not only know how to write a college resume but also how to format it and beneficial tips that, if observed, will help you achieve the perfect resume.
An applicant should use the templates and examples provided to guide how to write a college resume.