What is a resume?
A resume is a summary of your academic and personal experiences, including before- and after-school activities, volunteer work, and/or jobs. Most colleges and employers want to see your resume when they’re considering whether or not to admit or hire you.
You’ll often provide a brief description of these experiences, focusing on skills you’ve learned and accomplishments you’ve achieved. You can also note how long you’ve participated in a particular activity.
Resumes are usually one page in length, and you can find great templates online and in programs like Microsoft Word (sample resume).
What should you put on your resume?
The information on your resume is typically organized into six categories: personal information, work experience, extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, education, and skills.
And, you may not have information for every category. That’s OK – just include the ones that apply to you!
Here, you’ll provide your name and contact information, including your home address, phone number, and email address. Think carefully about including your social media accounts; potential colleges or employers are sure to read them, so they should reflect positively on you.
In this section, you’ll list where you’ve worked and for how long. Be sure to include your job title and your responsibilities. Remember: If you’ve earned money, then you should list that job – babysitting, mowing lawns, scooping ice cream – and what was expected of you.
Here, you’ll describe the before- and/or after-school activities you’re involved in, like sports, clubs, or school government. Be sure to list what you did for each activity and how long you participated. And definitely include if you were elected to or chosen as a group or team leader, such as a president or captain.
In this section, you’ll list any volunteer activities, like helping out at church camp or delivering meals on wheels, including the name of the organization or company and how long or often you participate.
Here, you’ll provide the name of your high school and your anticipated date of graduation. Be sure to include your GPA, if you have it, as well as any college-level courses you’ve taken.
In this section, you’ll list any specific skills you may have, like knowing how to code or being fluent in more than one language.
Follow this general formula, but also feel free to be creative and put your own spin on your resume. It should be as unique as you are! Use your MyCoalition Locker to help you prepare — and then to store — your resume. You can even share it with trusted adult contacts through MyCoalition to get their input and advice!
Check out these tips for resume writing at BigFuture by the College Board: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/explore-careers/careers/how-to-create-your-resume