5 ways to start building your college résumé this summer

5 ways to start building your college résumé this summer


Summer is here! The water is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and, like the incoming tide, the time for applying to colleges is approaching if you’re a rising high school senior. There are many things you can do to begin building your résumé. If you want your background to shine, you have to start now.

The objective of a college résumé is to prove how well rounded you are as a student. In essence, it’s a quick overview of who you are — both academically and socially.

The bottom line is productivity. Don’t let a whole week go by without having done something! Here are five things you can do this summer to help build your college résumé and become more well rounded.

1. Volunteer

Find a good cause or gain experience in something you’re interested in. Or, do both! Volunteer with a local charity, retirement home, animal rescue center or hospital. Keep track of your hours to record on your résumé. Make connections and network within the places you volunteer. These relationships can often lead to references and recommendation letters.

2. Read and write to improve your college résumé

It’s true — the more you read, the better you write. Take a book to the beach, sit in your chair and read. Absorb the words you are reading, look up the ones you don’t know, write them down and make it a point to use them. A more prolific vocabulary is remarkably useful, especially during the college application process — one word or one well-crafted sentence can allow you to outshine a long list of applicants.

3. Get a part-time job

Start saving for college, and become more well rounded as both a student and a part-time worker. Not only does this demonstrate your ability to multi-task, but it displays your strength of character and your aptitude for working hard while balancing school and extracurricular activities.

4. Study

We know you don’t want to hear this word. But really, when else will you have this much time on your hands? Try working through practice problems for the SAT or the ACT for 10 minutes a day. Every little bit helps. If you need more help and have more time, consider taking a prep class or hiring a tutor to help you with problems you don’t know how to solve. Practicing improves speed and competency of performance.

5. Have fun and learn while bolstering your college résumé

This is also a time to acquire new interests and learn about yourself. If you’re interested in women’s rights, find an organization or club to join. If you’re interested in woodworking, start building a nightstand in your garage. If you’re strongly passionate about helping people with cancer, join an organization that is fundraising to help find a cure. Start now — don’t let your summer get away from you!