Do You Need a Resume for College Applications?

Do you need a resume for your college applications? It is an excellent question to ask. The short, and very to the point, response is emphatically yes!

Why Drafting a Resume Is Important When Applying to College

At Signature College Counseling, we work with every student in developing their resume as part of their college admissions process. Why do we do this? For two simple reasons:

  • 1. Every application a student is going to complete will require them to outline their activities. Not only will they need to list their activities, they will also need to note the high school years they participated in those activities, and the average hours per week and weeks per year that they spent on this activity.
  • 2. 70%-80% of schools either allow or require the student to upload their resume. Who would want to miss that opportunity! It’s yet another way to display to that college what you do outside of your academics.

Student Resume for College Applications vs a Professional Resume

Here’s an important point to make – a student resume for a college application is not a professional resume. Don’t confuse the two types of resumes. A student resume is concise and to the point. Every word counts, so being verbose when describing an activity is not the way to go. In addition, there are a finite amount of characters or words that an application allows to describe an activity and being concise allows the student to either be able to copy and paste the information from their resume into an application or they can slightly modify the description from the resume to fit into the application.

When Should You Start Drafting Your College Application Resume

At Signature College Counseling, we have our students begin to work on outlining their activities when we start working with them, whether it be in 9th, 10th, 11th or even their senior year. The earlier you start on your resume the better, as down the road you may forget dates and times.

What to Include on a Student Resume

We send our students an online activity survey that they complete and use to draft their resume from. It includes their honors and awards, athletics (whether it be club, varsity or recreational), community service, extracurricular activities (formal/structured or informal), work experience, summer programs, interest and hobbies, and religious activities. Think about what you do with your spare time. Do you enjoy sewing, building computers, photography? List it all! This is who you are.

To help you understand how to develop your student resume, you can read our blog on How to Write an Activities Resume for Your College Applications. It offers a wealth of information!

Final Thoughts on Creating a Resume for Your College Applications

No matter what grade in high school you are currently in, you should develop that student resume. It will not only display to colleges how you spend your time outside of your academics, but will also prepare you for when you complete your college applications in listing your activities. Trust us, you will be thankful that you did!

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students in person, through Zoom, over the phone and by email.