Do I really need a résumé in high school?
Yes! Having a résumé will give you an edge above your peers! The college admission process is very selective – a significant number of students apply each year to a limited number of open slots. This means that you must find a way to stand apart from the other applicants. Having a résumé demonstrates your seriousness of purpose in the college application process and your good organizational skills.
Consider the résumé as a marketing tool! The high school résumé is a brag sheet of YOU – a concise summary of your achievements, talents and interests, your contributions, and your passions. It is a great way to showcase what you have done during your high school years, who you are, and what you can contribute to a college campus.
Once complete, your résumé will assist you in several areas.
- Evaluate Choice of Activities & Involvement: Getting the résumé in written form early in high school allows students and their advisers (parents, school counselor, independent counselor) to identify gaps and opportunities to make better use of the time in high school: community service, athletics, school clubs, work and more.
- Use to Create Application Activities & Honors List: By getting the full list of accomplishments written out, the student can then work off the résumé to identify the 10 activities and 5 honors to highlight on the Common Application which over 800 universities use. It’s also easier to see those which can be combined if space is limited.
- Upload to Applications: Over 1/3 of the more than 800 colleges on the Common Application allow (or require) the upload of a résumé. For students who have more than the 10 activities and 5 honors the Common App allows them to list, this is a great way to work showcase the full list of pursuits. Since the application also limits students to a mere 150 characters (including space – think of how hard it was to Tweet with the “old” 140-character limit), so for students who need more space to adequately describe something the résumé is helpful.
- Give a Copy to those Writing Recommendation Letters: While any teacher writing a letter for your college applications may know you were awesome in their class, they may not have learned you received an award by the Chamber of Commerce or dedicated over 100 community service hours to the animal shelter. If they have your résumé, a great teacher will weave in these other accomplishments.
- Take to College Interviews: While typically only highly selective colleges offer on campus or alumni interviews, taking your résumé to the interview will help the interviewer and make you stand out.
- Use for Applications for Job, Internships and Scholarships: Most of these applications will require a résumé. You’ll be able to use the same one (or slightly tweak it) for these.
Feel like an impossible task? Want assistance? Join us at our next Resume Workshop in Cincinnati or request an individual consultation in person or virtually.