Creating a resume before applying to college can be a daunting task. It can leave high school students overwhelmed and unsure of how to best showcase their experience and education. The good news is that there are some simple, common-sense steps you can follow to create a resume that will stand out from the crowd of college applications. In this article, we’ll discuss how to craft a tailored, effective high school resume for college applications, so you can increase your chances of acceptance.

1. Know Why You’re Writing a Resume

The first step in writing your resume is to know why you’re writing it. Your resume isn’t meant to just be a list of your accomplishments, it should also serve to explain to potential colleges why you’re a good fit for them. Think of it as your chance to put your best foot forward and show colleges that you are capable of success in college.

2. Use a Professional Format

When creating your resume, it’s important to use a professional format. This means sticking to a clear and simple layout that makes it easy for the reader to quickly skim and find the information they’re looking for. Make sure you include your contact information at the top of your resume, such as your name, phone number, and email address. Also be sure to use headings, bold font, and bullet points to make it clear what each section is about.

3. List Relevant Achievements

Your resume should include any relevant achievements you have made during your time in high school. This could include awards you have won, competitions or other achievements that demonstrate the skills and characteristics that you believe will be valuable to potential colleges. Listing achievements can be a great way to make your resume stand out from the crowd and show college admissions committees that you are a capable and dedicated student.

4. Focus on Your Education

Your education should play a major role in your resume for college applications. Of particular interest will be any advanced courses you have taken, any extracurriculars you’ve participated in, and any awards or honors you’ve achieved that are related to your studies. Be sure to list when, where, and what you studied, as well as any other relevant information that you believe could help your chances of acceptance.

5. Include Your Accomplishments

Your accomplishments are another important part of your resume. This is the chance to highlight any skills that are relevant to the college or program you’re applying to, as well as any notable achievements that you have made. If you’re unsure what to include, think about any awards or recognitions, test scores, certifications, or special skills that you might have.

6. Include Work Experience

If you have any relevant work experience, it’s important to include it on your resume. This can include any paid jobs that you have had, but also any volunteer experience or unpaid internships. It’s also a good idea to mention any volunteering or community service you have done. Be sure to include the dates, location, and job title of any work experience you choose to include.

7. Specify the College Application Requirements

Your resume should also include any specific requirements for the college you’re applying to. This could include any special software or technology you are familiar with, any knowledge or certifications you may have, or any other skills that are required for acceptance. Knowing the college’s own application requirements can give you a leg up in the competition, so make sure to specify any relevant skills and requirements.

8. Make Your Resume Interesting

Your resume should be interesting and thought-provoking, as well as providing solid information about your education, experiences, and achievements. Be sure to add any additional information that could contribute to interest, such as any special interests or hobbies you have that are related to the college you are applying for. This will help to make your resume stand out from the crowd and show your passion for the college’s mission.

9. Proofread and Edit Carefully

Make sure to go over your resume carefully and make any necessary changes or corrections. It’s important to make sure all the information you’re providing is accurate and relevant, and you should also try to make sure there are no typos or grammar mistakes. A polished and well-organized resume says a lot about your attention to detail, so double-check before you send it out.

10. Follow Up and Check for Responses

Finally, make sure to follow up with any college admissions offices you have applied to and track any responses you receive. This will make sure that you are kept informed of their decision, and it will also give you a clear idea of what to expect. Additionally, reading any feedback you receive from the colleges can help to inform how you can improve your next resume for any future college applications.

People Also Ask

What Should Be Included on a High School Resume?

When creating your high school resume, make sure to include your contact information, any relevant achievements, your education, any work experience, any college application requirements, any special interests or hobbies, and any awards or certifications.

How Long Should a High School Resume Be?

A high school resume should be no more than one page long, as it is important to keep it concise and straightforward.

Should Your High School Resume Include Colleges You’re Interested In?

No, your high school resume should not include colleges you’re interested in, as it should focus on your experience and qualifications.

How Do You Show What You Learned at High School?

You can show what you learned at high school by including any relevant awards, honors, extracurriculars, certifications, test scores, and additional skills in your resume.

Should You Include Your High School GPA on Your Resume?

Yes, you should include your high school GPA on your resume, as this will be important information that colleges will be looking for.


Creating a resume for college applications can be a daunting task, but with some careful planning and preparation, it can be a straightforward process. Knowing why you’re writing the resume and understanding what is required can help ensure that you showcase your experience and education in the best way possible. Crafting a high school resume for college applications is a crucial part of the college admissions process, and following the steps above can help you create an effective, well-organized resume that will help you stand out from the crowd.