Why Building a College-Ready Resume Starts Now

Ashley Thommana
April 6, 2024

“Resume” is often synonymous with job applications. As such, many high school students might be surprised to find out that resumes have found a place for themselves in the college application process. 

For example, the CommonApp, a platform that allows high school students to apply to colleges, has a section in its general information profile that allows students to upload a copy of their resume. Similarly, some schools may again ask for a copy of a student’s resume in their supplemental applications for scholarships, honors programs, and more. 

Ultimately, having a college-ready resume at the start of your senior year is a key stepping-stone in the path to success during the college admissions process. The question then becomes, how can you prepare to make your resume stellar by that time.

Breaking a Resume Down Into Manageable Pieces

Before answering that question, we first have to think about the components of a resume. There are many templates one can use to craft resume and highlight their key achievements. For high school students there are some general sections that may be useful to include. These sections are not all required, nor is this list comprehensive, but it gives us a good idea of what information is captured by a resume.

Why Resume Building Is Not a One Day Commitment

Taking a tour through all the aforementioned sections, one can appreciate that there are a lot of varied pieces of information that a student can include on their resume. Identifying a diverse set of experiences to include on your resume is important. This is the step that requires thought and intention–and it is more of a process than a single step.

Throughout your high school experience, finding opportunities that will be enriching is essential for many reasons, beyond college applications. Additionally, thinking about how these opportunities and engagements might factor into your resume is important as well, especially because some opportunities are limited or require a large time-commitment. Planning ahead can help.

For example, interested in finding more work experiences? You may need to apply to jobs and internships a few months in advance of when you would like to have the experience.

Want to join a sport as a new extracurricular? Try-outs for your school’s team may only happen at the beginning of the year.

Hoping to participate in a science fair competition? Identifying a project, registering, and experimenting may take a while. 

Plan Ahead, Start Today

Keeping all this in mind, starting to think about your resume earlier in high school is helpful as it allows you to plan for different activities you are interested in and avoid burning yourself out by trying to do it all at once.

Another benefit of thinking about your resume is that it can help a lot in college applications as well. For example, the CommonApp requires students to input their activities, awards, and work experiences into its general application. Keeping track of these ahead of time can make it much easier to translate to your college applications. 

Finally, another great benefit to consider is that working on building your resume starting now is that you can use it along the way. It can very easily be applied to internships, job opportunities, summer programs, and more.

So, don’t snooze on this opportunity to get started early. Your Dewey Smart tutor can be a great resource to consider in identifying opportunities and putting together an outstanding resume. To summarize, building your college-ready resume starts today!

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