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Most college application resumes are cookie-cutter. They focus on GPA and work experience.
Want to get interviewed? Write an awesome college resume where you list awesome things you don’t even know you did.
This guide will show you:
- A college application resume example better than most.
- How to write a resume for colleges that gets you interviewed.
- How to pick a college resume template so you turn heads like Macklemore.
- The fastest way to get your resume for college application noticed.
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Looking for a different kind of college resumes? We've got you covered:
- Academic CV Template
- College Student Resume
- College Freshman Resume
- High School Graduate
- High School Student Resume
- Law School Application
- Law Student Resume
- Undergraduate College Resume
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Free College Resume Template
2317 Edsel Road
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Enthusiastic student social media professional seeking to energize Pitzer College's student body with proven leadership skills. Founded and ran a social fundraising organization that raised $27,000 for childhood cancer. Varsity track team captain with A+ avg. in English & Physics.
New West Charter School, Los Angeles, CA
- Maintained A+ average in all Physics, English, and History classes.
- Commended by 4 teachers for communication skills.
- Co-Captain, Varsity Track Team.
- Combined SAT scores 1300 (700 Verbal, 650 Math).
- Graduating in May of 2019.
- GPA 3.3
Drop the Elbow on Cancer
- Founded/run cancer-fighting fundraising campaign on social media.
- Organized community of 1,400 Mixed Martial Arts fighters to collect donations.
- Raised $27,000 for children's cancer research to date.
- Created Facebook and LinkedIn presence with 18,000 followers.
Robotron Robotics Club
- Created and led small robotics club with local peers for 4 years.
- Built 15 robots, including robotic arm with MegaPi mainboard.
- Held 40+ bracketed competitions, raising membership 60%.
- Scored 99% in Dale Carnegie customer service training.
- Frequent high earner, earning most tips per shift.
- Maintained 95% positive customer comment score.
- Avid surfer. Surfed 60 days/yr since age 13. Performed own board-maintenance, fixing all dings/cracks with resin/fiberglass and full-face respirator.
- Devoted cyclist. Have logged 4,000+ miles, maintaining own bike and gear.
- Accomplished kayaker and water skier.
- Read 473 books from multiple genres since age 8.
- Pursued passion for castle ruins during trip to Hungary, mapping 12.
- Learned 50 useful Romanian words/phrases during family trip.
Hard Skills: Writing, Video Production, Leadership, MS Office
Soft Skills: Interpersonal Skills, Time Management, Listening
What should you include on a resume for college application?
A college application resume should include relevant contact information, a strong resume objective, detailed education history (including weighted GPA, class rank, and SAT/ACT scores), extracurricular activities, work experience, hobbies, volunteer work, awards, publications, and relevant skills.
Now here’s how to write a college application resume:
1. Pick the Best Format for College Application Resume
Your college application resume format must grab them at a glance. Why? Just look at those number:
For the Class of 2025 at Harvard, there were 57,786 applications, where only 2,320 of them were admitted. That's only 4.01%!
At NYU the acceptance rate is 12.8% with over 100,000 applicants.
Do you see my point here? Your resume for college application is as good as your SAT Score.
Follow this formula for the best resume for colleges
- Choose the reverse-chronological resume format. It puts your best features first.
- Get started with one of our college resume templates.
- Use the best resume fonts like Arial or Cambria, in 10–14pt. Add big headings, white space, and 1-inch margins.
- Write your resume header first. Add name, address, phone, email, and social media links. No photo.
- Add a college resume objective, then education, then activities and job experience.
- List bonuses like hobbies, volunteer work, publications, and certification on your resume for college. They show a post-millennial can get things done.
- Write a one-page resume unless you’ve got more achievements than Zendaya. One page is the perfect length for a resume for college.
- Reading from abroad? Check out US resume format guide.
Expert Hint: Save your resume as a PDF. Using a high school resume template PDF used to be bad. In 2023 they’re machine-readable.
2. Write a College Resume Objective That Hurts
That’s how many college application forms the average top-10 school gets. The rest aren’t far behind. Your college admissions resume must stand out like galaxy print.
These college application resume objectives examples nail it:
College Application Resume Objective—Example
The first of those isn’t some generic resume for college applications. That’s Emma Watson Junior.
But they’re both the same kid.
The college admission resume screener will run, not walk, to show it to the Dean. Don’t have activities for a resume objective like that? You do. You just can’t see them.
Expert Hint: Don’t make your college resume objective first. Build it after the rest of your high school resume for college. Then you’ll have a full curriculum to pick from.
3. List Activities on a Resume for College
Here’s the typical college application resume:
- SAT Scores
- High School Sports
- Part-Time Job
- Maybe Drama or a Stem Club
What’s wrong with that?
It won’t get noticed. To make your resume for college blaze—
Don't list your achievements at random. Take as much time as you need and list activities on your college resume that’ll make them hope you choose them.
These high school resume for college show how:
Activities on a Resume for College—Example
The first of those high school resume for college examples shows you’ll make the college better.
But that’s just a normal kid.
She just spent a few hours thinking about all the things she’s done that make her look like Rihanna at 18.
Skills to Put on a College Resume
Don’t copy-paste resume skills from online lists.
That will simply kill your applicaiton. Do you remember the numbers I mentioned earlier? If you want to be in that 10% your college admissions resume must show that you're not like any other person.
Use the list below as an inspiration and make the skill sections on your college resume shine:
- Strong Work Ethic
- Time Management
- Fast Learner
- Interpersonal Skills
- Physically Fit
- Problem Solving
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Expert Hint: Don’t just list college resume activities. Add details and numbers. How many? How often? How much? What percent? Show the size of your accomplishment.
4. Turn Boring High School Education Into College Acceptance
You need education section on a high school resume for college applications. But—
There are two ways to do it. And only one way gets you in.
These college resume samples show the difference:
Education on a High School Resume—Template
The first of those resume examples for students proves you’ll do the college proud.
Expert Hint: Learn how to write a cover letter for high school students applying for college. Show your passion. That means talking up core achievements that prove your drive.
5. See What Else Goes on a Resume for College
What to put on a college resume?
Put anything that makes you stand out.
Here are some examples of what to put on resumes for college:
- Class Rank if it’s impressive.
- Certifications. They prove your skills, as well as show your dedication and motivation towards learning a specific subject.
- Jobs. Jobs show work ethic on college admission resumes.
- Awards. Essay competitions, speaking, chess club, etc.
- Volunteer Work. Red Cross, bake sales, crowdfunding.
- Projects. Have you done public service or built a website? Projects show your dedication to a goal.
- Social Media Followings. Have you built a following on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter? That shows communication and persistence.
- Passions. Have you done lots of paintings? Read a ton of books? Passions show you’ve got the drive to learn something that matters.
- Sports. Don’t just list sports on a college resume. Add accomplishments like races won or records broken.
- Positions. List captainships, Eagle Scout rank, or positions in church or 4-H groups. Those all energize high school resumes for college.
- Hobbies. Are you good a fishing? Crafts? Hobbies prove you can work toward a goal.
- Languages. Command of a foreign language looks great on college application resumes.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
For a college application resume that gets you past the watchdogs:
- Start with the college resume template at the top. It’ll get attention.
- Use the right college application resume format. That way you’ll show you care enough to do things right.
- List resume activities in your bullet points. Add details and numbers that show you’re not playing around.
- Make your education section mean something. Show accomplishments in your high school student resume education section.
Got questions on how to write a high school resume for college that sparkles? Still not sure what goes on a resume for college application? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.
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