Students who have worked with JRA Educational Consulting know firsthand how important we consider the résumé to be to the college application process. Some students who don’t work with us may hear on the periphery that it’s an OK idea to send a résumé – but they often send just a meaningless list of activities. Still others wrongly assume that “résumés” are for employment. You get our drift: the activity résumé, an animal all unto itself, is a crucial part of your application to college.
The rationale behind the one- or two-page résumé evolved as colleges put more emphasis on a student’s “voice” in the application because of the increased numbers of students applying to college over the year. In the foreseeable future, that won’t change, so a student needs a way to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. That’s where the high school résumé fits in for you. It’s a way to “sell” yourself by placing in one, easy-to-read and customized location all that is essential about you: interests, commitments, achievements, and contributions during your high school years – and the impact of your actions.
Here’s what gives a résumé its swing and swagger as a key document for you:
- By highlighting significant achievements and experiences over the last three years or so, you’re actually helping yourself develop your application persona. The résumé is your mirror. What you see in it can give a voice to your application.
- Because online applications provide only limited characters for you to enter your extracurricular achievements, the résumé allows you to describe in greater depth your significant involvement and achievements in and outside the classroom. Many online applications allow you to upload your résumé.
- Once you create your résumé, you’ll more easily be able to complete every online application. It will be so much easier to copy-and-paste after you develop your polished résumé.
- When you provide your résumé to a teacher and guidance counselor who will write a recommendation, it will demonstrate your seriousness as an all-around person. While your classroom teacher should address your academic performance, having the résumé to read will likely strengthen the academic news! The same holds true for the counselor.
- If you are invited for an alumni interview, presenting your interviewer with your résumé will likely result in an interview focused on your passions, an interview in which you’ll shine as you talk about what matters most to you.
So, a well-prepared résumé will make your application stand out through its organized, professional appearance as part of your total application package. As you can see, it’s a multi-purpose document that can give you the edge when you apply to college.
Want to step into the spotlight? It’s never too soon to start a résumé! Call us to help you start yours and keep it updated throughout your high school years! We’ll even suggest great extracurricular and summer activities to enrich your life, enhance your résumé, and improve your chances for college admission!