What is a college resume?

Some of you may be unfamiliar with what exactly a college resume is for and what, precisely, it is.  That is because most of us have more experience with filling out and submitting more standard college applications.  A resume is, of course, different from an application, although the differences are not monumental, at least in terms of format.  As far as your future goes, however, it can sometimes present you with a higher chance of admission, and that is always a good thing.

So, presumably you are familiar with applications.  The reason some prospective undergraduate and graduate students prefer writing a college resume instead is because, quite simply, you get to sell yourself better.  That sounds so cold and capitalistic, but it is nevertheless true.  You see, as opposed to an application, a resume gives you much more room to list things like volunteer activities, your involvement in your community, and any of your extra curricular activities in high school or college.

As such, the college resume is a very specialized kind of resume.  It is not precisely a different format, as we see in the functional and chronological resume.  Rather, it is a different style altogether.  The reason it is preferable over a standard application is because college admissions, especially these days, are very highly competitive.  Likewise, it is different from a professional resume as well – in that case, you are trying to portray why you are the best candidate for the position to which you are applying.  You thus place emphasis on your work history and experience rather than your academic accomplishments.

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With all that being said, let’s discuss the format for a college resume.  Some aspects of it are the same as a professional resume.  For instance, you begin with the heading, which contains your personal information – namely, it contains your name and address.  However, in this case, rather than including your phone number and/or email address, you should generally include your Social Security number, since that is the way most colleges and universities identify applicants and students.

Next comes the education section.  As the name implies, this part of your resume will include the name and address of your high school (and your college, if you are either moving from a two year college to a four year college, or if you have gotten your Bachelor’s degree and are applying to graduate school).  Following that comes the technical information – however, your grade point average and class ranking should only be included if the former is at least a 3.0 and the latter places you in the upper 25 percentile of your class.

Third is the activities section, which is actually the primary reason most students choose the resume over the standard application.  List all the activities you participated in during your years in high school and/or college.  This include community and school activities.  The next section, the special projects section, is somewhat similar.  Basically, any special projects you have participated in go there.  Lastly, there is the awards section, which is self explanatory.  If you have never gotten any awards, do not include this section.

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When you submit a college resume, you increase your chances of admission enormously, simply because the admissions office gets a better sense of who you are.  When you combine excellent resume writing skills and a well thought out academic cover letter with this type of resume, you practically cannot fail – or be rejected!

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