How To Write A High School Resume For College + Examples

Tips on writing a high school resume for college
Updated:
April 26, 2024
6 min read
Expert Reviewed
Contents

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/24/24

Did you know that a strong high school resume could help your chances of getting the admission offer you wanted? This article will share with you all you need to know about what to put on a high school resume before college!

Applying to college is a long journey that requires a lot of preparation and dedication. When gathering everything you need to finish an application for your education after high school, it’s common to overlook the college admission resume. 

Resumes are not just for seeking jobs or internships during the final years of college. They also have many uses for high schoolers, especially when it comes to applying for college. College application resumes are often used as supplementary material to increase your chances, but some schools require applicants to submit a high school resume

So, what should a high school resume look like? What should you include in your resume? How can you make sure your resume stands out? This article will guide you on how to write your resume for college applications, including examples of application resumes to help you craft your own.

What To Include on Your High School Resume

When writing a college resume, it’s always important to be mindful of what to include and highlight. A resume should be no longer than one page long, so you have limited space to work with. A poorly done resume could end up harming you, much like other components of your college application profile. 

Your high school to college CV provides a condensed overview of your academic and extracurricular experiences. Much like any other resume, it really is up to you to decide what you want to include. 

Additionally, there are plenty of high school skills you should put on your resume! However, to craft a well-written college admission resume, it is strongly suggested to at least include the following:

  • Contact information (email address, phone number, and location)
  • Objective 
  • Experiences and activities
  • Education
  • Awards and achievements
  • Hard and soft skills

At this point, you might be thinking: “Hey, these are just stuff that’s typically included in college applications!” You’d be right, but it’s one thing to have all the information and a whole other to formulate it, organize it, and present it as a well-composed document. 

Furthermore, a high school resume allows you to include more information and details about your job experiences and career aspirations, both of which college application committees deeply care about. 

How To Write a Resume for College Applications

Now that we’ve provided a list of everything you should include let’s go through each section. By understanding the details you need to include, you can better understand what to include on a resume for college applications. 

Note that your resume does not need to include all of these sections; these are just highly recommended ones. You can decide which information to put on your resume based on your experiences and accomplishments.

Objective

The objective section of your college resume is where you outline your reasons for applying to college. Making your objectives known is important even for high school students because it tells the admissions committee your plans and goals for yourself. 

Your objective should indicate your ability to self-reflect and demonstrate your responsibility and passion for what you hope to become.

As such, this is usually the most critical component of your resume. For this part, you should include your dreams for your future, why you think the school and the program you apply to will help you, and what you plan to do about your career after you graduate. Outlining these three things will help the committee understand your reasons for applying.

If you have a clear career objective and sound confident and eager, it can benefit your chances of getting admitted. 

Experience 

In this section, you should include any valuable experience you are involved in. This can include work, internships, volunteering, academic projects, extracurricular activities, or even hobbies. 

However, when it comes to experience, quality matters over quantity. Having a bunch of shallow experiences where you didn’t do anything noteworthy will only clutter your resume instead of helping you at all.

When choosing which experiences to include, keep this list of criteria in mind

  • What you’ve accomplished
  • Valuable skills, knowledge, or lessons you’ve learned
  • Positive impact
  • Relevancy of the school/program you’re applying to
  • Time (recent experiences should get higher priority)

When writing your experience and activity section, make sure you include the following:

  • The location 
  • The starting and end dates
  • Highlights of your specific role and responsibilities and accomplishments
  • Any noteworthy accomplishments

In essence, your experiences should clearly express what you’ve done and how long you’ve done it for. It’s strongly recommended to put the details in a bullet list to make the information easier to read.

Education

Providing an overview of your education history is important when applying to college. Give the admissions committee a picture of your educational background so they have a better idea of your skills, learning experience, personal interests, and whether or not you’re a fit for them. 

You only need to include education during your high school years and onwards. For each part, put all the details in bullet list form. Educational details include your:

  • GPA
  • Field of study
  • Achievements
  • Expected graduation date

However, if you’ve taken any form of education outside the regular school curriculum during your high school years, such as any classes (including AP and IB courses), lessons, certificates, or development programs, feel free to include them. 

Like with your regular school education, including important details like fields and areas of study, how well you did, achievements, and prospective graduation date. Any standardized test scores you have taken, such as the SAT or ACT, can also be included in this section. Be sure to include the test name, score, and testing date. 

Skills

A resume is an excellent place to showcase your skill set. When it comes to resumes for colleges, your skills are a great addition to building your applicant portfolio. It tells schools what you’ve gained from your education and all your experiences. 

Your skills can include your capabilities, strengths, or simply anything you’re good at. This section can just be a list. Not many details are needed as long as you make your skills easy to understand. Don’t write anything too vague or confusing, but don’t be too wordy. This section is meant to be a rundown of your skill set. Some examples include:

  • Creativity
  • Punctuality
  • Determination
  • Team Player
  • Communicative 

Another thing to think about is your hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills (as listed above) are more generic, vague, and difficult to measure and can be applied in many different scenarios. Hard skills involve specific abilities and talents, such as web design, digital animation, software creation, or scientific experiment design. 

Awards and Achievements

Participation and experiences are good in and of themselves, but you must go somewhere with them to stand out in front of the admission committee. They love individuals who can make an impact or a difference. That's why you should include your awards and achievements in your college admission resume as well.

This section can include awards, positive contributions, noteworthy advancements, and other things you've accomplished. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be limited to academics. However, if you want to bring up anything we’ve mentioned in other sections, make sure to include more details so you're not repeating yourself. 

Make sure to list the honor and who gave it to you, and be specific. Don't just say something vague and broad, as that can make your achievement look weak. Try to include a date or a statistic.

If you don’t have any awards and achievements to include on your resume, that’s okay! You can add any passion projects and hobbies, like a blog you’ve started, a side hustle you’re focused on, or a community garden you’ve worked on. 

Learning how to write a college application resume is a valuable skill for any high school student preparing for the admissions process. So, take these tips and do your best. It may take some time to put together a great resume, but you’ll get there!

What Not To Include on Your High School Resume

Now that we’ve gone through what you should include and understand how to prepare a college admissions resume let’s go over some mistakes to avoid

Anything Lengthy

Like many other resumes, college resumes must be as short and concise as possible. Unnecessarily lengthy sections are devastating to a resume’s effectiveness. This mistake is especially easy to make when describing experiences or details of something. Remember: your resume is a portfolio, not a story.

So make sure you only include the needed details in a concise and easy-to-read manner. Scan your resume whenever you’re finished writing it. If something is not needed, cut it out. 

Repetitive Information

Repeating yourself unnecessarily should also be avoided in your college application resume. If you find yourself repeating something in different parts of the resume, either paraphrase or remove it entirely. 

Of course, sometimes, you may need to repeat things. In fact, repeating can reflect emphasis or importance. But make sure you add in enough variety and minimize saying the exact same things over and over again.

Insincerity

Dishonesty is one of the worst things you can do for yourself when writing a resume for college applications. It might seem tempting to blow things up a bit to impress the admission committee, but lying not only makes you look bad but could also get you in big trouble if you submit anything false in your application.

Therefore, it’s very important to be honest in your resume. Have faith in your true self and your abilities. You’ve already been through so much throughout your high school years, and that’s something you should take pride and confidence in. 

College Application Resume Template

Creating a strong college application resume can boost your chances of getting into the college of your choice. This template is a helpful starting point for organizing your academic achievements, activities, and more. It's a way to show colleges what makes you a standout candidate. You can customize it with your own information to make it uniquely yours. 

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State ZIP Code]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

Objective

Optional: Include a brief statement about your academic and career goals

Education

[High School Name], [City, State]

  • Expected Graduation Date: [Month, Year]
  • GPA: if applicable
  • Relevant Coursework: [List any honors, AP, or specialized courses

Academic Achievements

  • List any academic awards, honors, or recognitions you've received

Extracurricular Activities

  • List clubs, organizations, or groups you've been involved in at school
  • Specify any leadership roles held in these activities

Community Service/Volunteer Work

  • Describe any volunteer work or community service projects you've participated in

Work Experience

  • List any part-time jobs or internships you've held, including job titles, employers, and dates

Extracurricular Interests/Hobbies

  • Highlight any personal interests or hobbies that showcase your personality and character

Skills

  • Include any relevant skills, such as language proficiency, computer skills, or certifications

Achievements and Awards

  • List any non-academic awards or achievements, such as sports, arts, or other accomplishments

References

  • Optional: Mention that references are available upon request

High School Resume for College Admission Examples

Here are some samples of examples you can work off of when writing your own high school resume. 

Example #1

John Anderson

123 Main Street

Anytown, USA 12345

(555) 555-5555

[email protected]

Objective

Motivated and detail-oriented recent graduate seeking opportunities to leverage my analytical and communication skills in a professional environment.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Tech University, Class of 2021

  • GPA: 3.7

Professional Experience

Software Developer Intern, XYZ Tech (Summer 2020)

  • Collaborated in a team to develop a mobile app that received 50,000+ downloads.
  • Conducted quality assurance testing and resolved software bugs.
  • Assisted in the creation of technical documentation for internal use.

Research Assistant, Tech University (2019-Present)

  • Conducted experiments in the university's lab, resulting in two published research papers.
  • Assisted in data collection, analysis, and equipment maintenance.
  • Collaborated with professors and fellow students on research projects.

Extracurricular Activities

  • President, Computer Science Club (2018-Present)
  • Volunteer, Local Animal Shelter (2017-2019)
  • Member, Tech University Debate Team (2017-Present)
  • Captain, Intramural Soccer Team (2019-2021)

Awards

  • Dean's List, Multiple Semesters
  • Tech University Scholarship Recipient
  • Outstanding Research Assistant, 2020

Skills

  • Programming Languages: Java, Python, C++
  • Software Development: Agile methodologies, Git, JIRA
  • Data Analysis: MATLAB, R
  • Languages: Fluent in Spanish

Example #2

Samantha Lee

123 Elm Street

Los Angeles, CA 90001

(555) 555-5555

[email protected]

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Los Angeles University, Class of 2022

GPA: 3.8

Professional Experience

Research Assistant, Center for Behavioral Studies (2020-Present)

  • Conducted surveys and interviews for research projects on human behavior.
  • Analyzed and compiled research data, creating comprehensive reports.
  • Assisted in the development of experimental protocols.

Intern, Mental Health Clinic (Summer 2021)

  • Supported clinicians in providing counseling services to clients.
  • Managed appointment scheduling and maintained patient records.
  • Conducted research on the latest therapeutic techniques.

Extracurricular Activities

President, Psychology Club (2019-Present)

  • Organized guest speaker events and workshops for club members.
  • Led discussions on current developments in psychology research.
  • Collaborated with professors on student-led research projects.

Volunteer, Homeless Shelter (2018-2020)

  • Assisted in meal preparation and distribution to homeless individuals.
  • Organized clothing drives and hygiene product donations.
  • Participated in outreach programs to connect homeless individuals with local resources.

Awards

Dean's List, Four Semesters

Psychology Department Scholarship Recipient

Outstanding Research Assistant, 2021

Skills

Statistical Analysis: SPSS, R

Data Collection: Surveys, Interviews

Counseling Skills: Active Listening, Empathy

Languages: Proficient in Spanish

Make sure you include everything necessary, as well as additional information to help your case, and then structure your document in a style that’s easy to read!

How Important Is a High School Resume for College?

The importance of a resume in the college admissions process can vary, but it often plays a valuable role in presenting a comprehensive picture of your qualifications and experiences. 

While grades and test scores are crucial, a resume complements these academic aspects by allowing you to highlight your achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and community service involvement.

Many colleges appreciate well-rounded students who not only excel academically but also actively contribute to their community. Your resume serves as a tool to showcase your commitment to various pursuits beyond the classroom, demonstrating your dedication and passion for different aspects of your life.

Furthermore, some college programs or scholarships may specifically request a resume as part of the application process. In such cases, a well-prepared resume becomes even more important, as it can significantly impact your chances of gaining admission or securing financial aid.

In summary, while the importance of a resume may vary from one college to another, having one on hand is generally a good idea. It allows you to present a well-rounded view of yourself as a student and individual, increasing your chances of making a positive impression on the admissions committee. 

FAQs

And there you have it! We’ve gone through what to include in your high school resume, how to write it from head to toe, and what you shouldn’t include in your resume. Still, have questions unanswered? Keep reading to learn more. 

1. How Do I Make My High School Resume Stand Out?

Remember to be yourself on your college resume. Show the real you to the college admissions committee. Don't worry about fitting a mould or copying others; let your uniqueness come through in your own way.

2. What Is a Good Objective for a High School Resume?

Your career objective should match your situation and goals. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer, so think about why you want to apply and what you want to achieve with your university education. Your honest answers will guide you to the best objective for your resume.

3. How Long Should a High School Resume Be?

Keep your college application resume concise; it should never go beyond three pages. Aim for brevity while including crucial information. You decide what's important to showcase to college admission committees.

4. When Should I Prepare My High School Resume?

For your college application resume, start early by tracking your career-related experiences, achievements, education, and activities from your freshman year. Make a list of everything that showcases your strengths. Create your first draft before senior year, and edit it later to match your program or school requirements.

5. What If You Have No Experience?

Remember, experiences aren't limited to work. Extracurriculars, community service, personal projects, and hobbies all count! While work, internships, and volunteering are great, they're not a must. If you've had any enriching non-study activities, include them as experiences!

6. When Should I Submit My Resume to Colleges?

Typically, colleges will ask you to submit your resume with your other application materials on or before the submission deadline. We recommend submitting your application early, especially if your college has a rolling admissions cycle. 

7. What Looks Good on a Resume for College?

Colleges aren’t expecting high schoolers to have a lot of experience on their resumes. If you can have a couple of extracurriculars and/or volunteer experiences on your resume, that’s excellent. School awards and jobs also look great on a resume! Your main focus in high school should be on your grades, so make sure not to overload your schedule and let your GPA suffer. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you have an idea of how to write your high school resume. Your high school life is a journey, and your college admission resume is a storybook. Select all the highlights and the most impactful and influential moments, garnish your resume with writing, and present it proudly to the admission committee as your portfolio! 

When you think you can hand out your high school resume confidently and say, “This is who I am! This is what I’m made of! This is why you should admit me!” Then your resume is ready. But even if you aren’t feeling your best, have faith in yourself and always put your best foot forward! 

Also, remember to take advantage of college resources. They’ll offer more insight into what particular schools are looking for in applicants, so you can tailor your resume accordingly.

Best wishes on your college applications!

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