Three steps to write a résumé that universities will notice

You might think that writing a résumé or CV is only useful when applying for work, but many universities will encourage you to include one with your application materials. Effective résumés give universities a greater idea of who you are and what you want to study. Résumés should illustrate who you are (outside of what you provided on your application) and highlight experiences you were not able to mention in an essay or application form.

Remember these tips to create a university application résumé that stands out:

1. List all that you have done

What have you accomplished during your high school career? Awards, honors, leadership roles, community service projects, skills, talents, work experience – don’t forget to write it ALL down!

2. Decide what goes and what stays

Once you complete your list, refine it down to your most impressive accomplishments and roles. A counsellor, teacher, or parent could help you decide what to include.

3. Format your resume

A general rule is to limit your résumé to one or two pages at the most. Include a header with your name, email address, and other contact information. If your class rank is not included on your transcript or on any other documents, or if a university emphasizes this in admissions, include it on top of your résumé along with your school name and your grade point average.

Next, include the accomplishments and roles from the list you created above. Group these accomplishments into sections such as:

  • Extracurricular programs (and your roles within them)
  • Honors and awards
  • Volunteer activities
  • Work experience
  • Skills and talents

Each section should list the most recent accomplishments and role first. Describe each experience in a bulleted list format, making it easily readable for admissions officials.

4. Review your draft

Read through your résumé or CV several times, then ask a counsellor, teacher, tutor, friend, or parent to review your work before submitting.

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