High School 2 College

August 1, 2013

How To Write a Resume for College and Quick Info BEFORE You Start the New Common Ap

The new Common Ap is available online.

Because it’s VERY hard to change something once it’s saved, I strongly, STRONGLY suggest you don’t start filling in anything right away. Complete ONLY your name (you should probably use your middle name or initial if you have one) and address to create an account.

Look at the crazy requirements for a password:  You need upper and lower case letters, at least one number, and at least one non-letter/non-number.  Please make your password something you don’t mind your parents knowing since you probably want them to have a copy of your password for safe keeping.

Then scroll through questions and collect answers (your parents’ year of graduation and degree, your guidance counselor’s fax number) before you sit down to fill out the Common Ap.

You’ll make your life MUCH easier if you write a resume BEFORE you fill out the Common Ap. You’ll thank me when you sit down to fill in all of your awards, achievements, activities, and jobs.

Don’t rely on the Naviance template to write a resume.  It might not highlight your particular strengths.  Your resume will stand out more if you create it from my suggestions, below.

Your resume should not be longer than one page no matter how accomplished you are.  Even businessmen in the middle of their careers use a one-page resume.  It’s just arrogance to make it longer.  Adjust the font or the spacing, but keep it to one page.

To write a resume, first make a list of ALL of your activities and achievements from the beginning of 9th grade till now. Include after-school clubs, sports, interests, non-school clubs and groups (like taekwondo or boy scouts), community service, awards (including honor roll), paid jobs (even babysitting).  Now put next to each item the grade that you did each thing (for example 9 – 12).  If you plan to do it this coming year, you can include 12th grade.

Now put these activities in categories.  Common categories are academic achievement, athletics, extracurricular activities, employment.  You’re aiming for about 3 categories that will include everything on your list.

Within each category, list items from most recent (things you’ll still be doing senior year) to least recent.  If you only did it in 9th grade and your resume is getting long, you might delete it (whatever “it” is).

Now you’re ready to write your resume.  In a block centered on the top of the sheet goes your name, address (your parents’ address), your phone (cell or house phone, whichever you want colleges to use), and email address (something professional, like your name – not something you concocted in middle school like “sportzstud” or “sparkleprincess”).

Next, in bold and/or capital letters, goes your first category.  Items in that category are listed next.  Then your next category, followed by items.  Remember – keep it to one page only.

Save, print, look for spelling errors and consistent spacing.  Let someone else look it over because it’s hard to catch your own mistakes. Correct and print again.

Now you have a resume to give to teachers who are writing a recommendation for you or that you can bring with you on interviews.

Let me know if you have any questions about the Common Ap or about writing a resume.  I can provide you with a sample or two if you’d like.



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