4 tips for drafting a résumé admissions counselors want to read

4 tips for drafting a résumé admissions counselors want to read


Most college students are able to look back on the application process and recognize how it was a rather stressful part of their senior year in high school. On top of the sometimes confusing web searches, plans to take the SAT/ACT and campus visits, there are countless forms and documents that college applicants must keep track of along the way. But, there’s a very important piece of your application that you’ll be responsible for writing — your college résumé. The objective of a college résumé is to prove your well-roundedness as a student. In essence, it’s a quick overview of who you are — both academically and socially.

Many high school students worry about having a lackluster résumé, but with a few helpful tips it can be exciting, rewarding and leave you with a sense of confidence. So, instead of stressing about it, check out some of Marymount University’s straightforward tips on how to create the kind of résumé that an admissions counselor will want to read.

1. Your college résumé should be creative.

If you’re like most high school students, you might be stressing about the fact that you haven’t accomplished anything groundbreaking during your high school career to write about. That’s perfectly okay! You don’t need eye-popping accomplishments to impress admissions counselors. The key is to be thoughtful and creative when thinking of what to include in your résumé. Consider answering these questions: were you the leader in a group project at school? Do you spend time learning about interesting topics outside of the classroom? Do you have great people skills? Do you have any personal anecdotes regarding why you’re a unique candidate? These are all qualities that get the attention of admissions counselors.

2. It should include volunteer experiences and when you’ve participated in extracurricular activities.

Admissions counselors love to see volunteer work and extracurricular activities on résumés, because it communicates that students care about others, use their time wisely and are passionate about a variety of things besides academics. You should make the time to participate in some activities that interest you before your college applications are due. Colleges want students who will get involved and be active on campus, and having volunteer and extracurricular experience will show them that you’ve got depth and character.

3. Having a part-time job reflects well on your college résumé.

Part-time jobs aren’t only good for the extra cash you’ll earn. When admissions counselors see that a student has a job, they will see that the student has a good work ethic, can get along with employers and/or customers and is capable of time management and teamwork. Some students worry that working in retail may not be as flashy a résumé item as spending their summers volunteering in third-world countries, but holding down a job shows responsibility and maturity, which are vital qualities for succeeding in college.

4. It’s important that your college résumé be written in an organized and intelligent fashion.

Obviously, your high school résumé should be well organized, carefully reviewed and free of spelling or grammatical errors. This will show admissions counselors that you are a competent writer and that you take the admissions process seriously. However, writing well isn’t only about correctness — it also helps to use proactive language like action verbs. Words such as ‘created,’ ‘arranged,’ ‘organized,’ ‘led,’ ‘worked,’ ‘perfected,’ ‘studied’ and ‘achieved’ get the attention of admissions counselors and convey that you are a dynamic and involved student.

Here at Marymount, we are committed to helping students interested in our university succeed — starting with the application process! And there’s no better time than now to join the Marymount community. We hope you’ll reach out to an admissions counselor or simply visit our website to learn more about the opportunities available at Marymount University.