Your resume is much more than just a summary of your experiences and grades – it’s a professional representation of yourself. Colleges aren’t able to interview all applicants, so instead, they look at their resumes to determine whether or not they should proceed in the application process.
Your resume is an important part of the application process and therefore, it’s important to get it right.
Find Your Passion
When you decide upon a future career, you’re also choosing the lifestyle that goes along with that career. It, therefore, stands to reason that you should take time with your decision and ensure you choose a future that aligns with your passion.
Don’t feel that you need to pursue a career option that someone else may be pressuring you into. You are under no obligation to follow a path that someone else has laid out for you. You are responsible for your own future, so make sure you do with it what you want.
A few decades ago, making a full-time living making videos of yourself was unheard of, now it is a career pursued by many. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about yet, then it’s your job to explore find it.
Preparation For Your Resume
Colleges don’t just want to see your prior academic performance, but they are interested in your extracurricular activities as well. If you enjoy spending time on your chosen field outside of an academic setting, this shows dedication and drive, which can influence success rates.
Just as you do not want to waste your time and money on education, colleges do not want to use their resources on a student that will not be successful. If you can prove your interest in your chosen field through your resume, you will have a higher chance of being accepted in the program.
If you have an idea of what it is you want to do with your future, then it’s time for you to start pursuing it. The sooner you start engaging in activities in your field, the sooner you will know if it really is for you.
If you want to stand out from other college applicants, you have to push yourself to be the best that you can be at your extracurriculars. With experience comes knowledge, so the more experience you have in it, the easier that will become.
Colleges are getting more and more strict with which applicants they choose to accept, especially if you are hoping to get into one of the top 100 schools with the lowest acceptance rates. Having added knowledge and experience in your field will only bolster your chances of being accepted.
Writing your resume may seem like an easy task, but it can be hard to know what information is relevant enough to include. Each application process is different, and may require different information, so ensure you tailor your resume to fit the requirements.
Ensure you have included all past schooling, and any past work experience that may be relevant. Also, be sure to add all activities that may apply to the specific program or industry. Lastly, ensure that you allow your personality to show through your resume, as this makes you stand out from the other applicants.
Use The Right Format
In important documents such as resumes, formatting is very important. Your resume format will speak volumes of who you are before the admissions office has read a single word about you.
Your resume has to be visually appealing and have a clear and concise layout that presents your skills and experiences logically. It is also important to be unique, as this is one of the most prominent ways to show your personality.
It is good practice to find as many CV templates as you can, and choose the one that not only presents the information well, but allows you to show your personality as well. Try writing out a rough draft of your resume and see how you can make it work with the templates you are considering.
Use Power Verbs
Power verbs have the ability to transform a sentence or paragraph into something more meaningful. By using power verbs, you can ensure your resume stands out and you are kept in the minds of the admissions counselors.
Before power verbs: “Under my leadership, the cheer leading team not only became a team again but that team became champions once again.”
After power verbs: “Under my leadership, the Cheer leading team has been revitalized, unified, and have once again become champions.”
As you can see, power verbs (and better sentence structure) are capable of revitalizing a sentence, and enhancing its meaning.
Link Your Experience To Your Future Career
Not all experiences come in the form of extracurriculars or classes. Some life experience can teach us more than any class can, and you shouldn’t omit that from your resume just because it may not seem to be related to your field in an obvious way.
The types of skills we learn in these unconventional ways are called transferable skills. It is important to learn how to write them in a way that will translate the universal applications of those skills on your resume.
Edit, Polish, Repeat.
Every writer knows the importance of letting your writing ‘set.’ This means you set your work aside for a few days and then come back to it with fresh eyes. This is when you edit it, polish it and ensure it is ready for a professional setting. You may need to repeat this process several times, depending on how dominant your analytical brain is of course, in order to ensure that your resume is fit for duty.
It is important to understand how important a resume is, not only for college, but for your eventual career as well. It is also important to understand how to craft your resume to ensure you are able to obtain the best possible results.
For more topics on all things related to college, check out the other blogs on College Basics.