You are not applying for a job, but you are applying for admission to your top-picked colleges. College application is just as competitive as job application. So, you want to stand out and give as much information about your assets as possible. Résumés highlight all that you are and have done in your high school years, and colleges are interested. There are applicants who do not include a resume, but they will not set themselves apart.
If you are unsure what goes into a résumé, the first thing is to sit down and think about academic honors you have received or classroom accomplishments you have achieved that distinguish you. DO NOT think anything is too small. If you published a poem, received the only 100 on a physics exam, or were asked to present your research before another class, include it. You should also think of all your extra-curricular activities and any thing you might have done in connection with these activities that distinguished you, like heading a food drive, suggesting a new way for your school’s student council to honor teachers, or attending state or national functions for the environmental team. You need to note these things.
One good piece of advice is to brainstorm with parents, teachers, and friends who know you and what you do. You are likely to have forgotten some of what you have done in four years. Others will shed more light and see things in a different light, reminding you of what you have accomplished.
College Basics has a good article on the elements of a résumé. Not only should you think about your academic honors and activities, but you also need to think about your jobs, volunteering, and avocations, along with other things. College basics also offers you a sample of what a high school résumé looks like.
Now get started.
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