Showcasing Your Accomplishments for College Applications

Historically, college applications did not provide a platform for profiling or expressing a student’s “resume” outside of academics and test scores; space for a limited list of activities at best.  More recently, the option to upload documents has put greater emphasis on the development and sharing of a resume.  There is even a video resume app available now for the more creative student to use in providing an in-depth profile.

It can be an engaging marketing element and bolster the application process.  When we look at the elements that make up a strong application, several can only be shared through a resume.   When deciding between a paper and a video resume, caution should be the watchword, as on-camera can be great, or it could be disastrous.  Despite the wave of “live” social media experiences, to present a personal profile effectively and succinctly in video format is not as easy as it may sound.

What do we want to address in a resume?

Passionate involvement in a few in or out of school activities is essential.  Commitment and depth are valued over minimal participation in a larger number of activities.

The student should demonstrate leadership and initiative in extra-curricular activities.  Students who show up on campus ready to lead clubs and activities are highly desirable.

Characteristics that will contribute to a diverse and interesting student body are valued.  Many colleges seek to develop a freshman class that is diverse geographically, culturally, ethnically, economically and politically.

Try and demonstrate intellectual curiosity through reading, school, leisure pursuits and more.

Unique talents that will contribute the college’s student life program should be shared.  Colleges like to know what you will bring to the campus as well as what you will take from your experience.

Out of school experiences are important, such as work, community service, youth organizations, religious groups.  Again, passionate involvement is meaningful; casual membership is not.

Delivering a copy of the resume to the admissions office during campus visits, emailing it to the admissions office ahead of the application process and uploading it to the application platform itself are all ways of delivering a robust student profile and demonstrating interest.


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