Stef’s Top 5 Resume Tips

To all College-Bound Juniors and Seniors

Once you have thought about your elevator pitch, building a resume is your next step. Although your college of choice may not require a formal resume, I encourage you to start working on one. A resume provides the evidence to support your elevator pitch or unique value proposition.  Your resume should highlight your unique talents, skills, and passions, but it also should include any jobs you have held, any volunteer work you have done, and the impact you have had on your community. You are more than your grades and test scores and colleges want to see that.

Here are my top resume tips:

  1. Start every bullet point with a strong action word. This is another example of how to sell yourself. Use descriptive words such as achieved, created, developed, formulated, spearheaded, unified, valued, and motivated.
  2. Get specific. If you helped fundraise for an event such as Race for the Cure, include the amount of money you raised. If you led your school’s robotics team, include the number of people on the team and exactly what you accomplished.
  3. Provide a summary of your academic accomplishments. If you are a strong student, say so. Don’t be afraid to list your class rank, SAT or ACT scores, APs or IBs and GPA at the top of your resume.  If you have pursued your academic interests beyond what your school offers by taking summer programs or classes at a community college, be sure to include that, as well.
  4. Use section titles. Make sections of your resume obvious and easy to read. No admissions counselor wants to look at an unorganized resume. Use titles that reflect your elevator pitch or unique value proposition such as “global perspectives, entrepreneurship, communications, etc.”
  5. Include your time commitment. Your time commitment will show your dedication to your activities. List the number of hours per week you volunteered, worked, or did a particular activity.