college resume

Get Your College Resume Noticed By HR Departments

Applying to college is an exciting time in your life, and for many hopeful applicants, college represents a major step in becoming an adult. You send off your high school transcripts and attach a resume—now, you’re eagerly waiting for a response from your preferred colleges.

However, if you’re not getting a response, your resume may not be getting noticed, and this is exactly when a college resume builder can help. While using an online resume builder is a good start, it’s still up to you to add the content. Here are a few tips to help ensure college HR departments notice your resume.

Start By Making a List

Before you start filling in the resume’s fields, take a minute to think about your accomplishments over the last few years. Stick with your high school accomplishments and don’t go too far back in your history.

For example, if you become a member of the honor roll society your freshman year, go ahead and list this accomplishment. If you received a certificate for excellent reading abilities in the second grade, you can probably leave this off of your college resume.

You also want to create a list of your hobbies and include any volunteer work. You want to highlight your passions and initiatives. An example is if you often stay after school to tutor or mentor other students. HR departments often look for students who are willing to take an extra step.

Organize Your Resume

Organizing your college resume is a crucial step, as HR personnel aren’t going to spend time trying to sort through a messy or confusing resume. Thankfully, a resume builder makes it easy to know where to include each section of information. The template even comes with concise headers to help ensure you know where to list everything.

So, what information should you include in a college resume? Most templates have around four sections, starting with your education. This is where you list the name of your high school, your test scores, and your GPA (grade point average).

In the second section, you add in any school activities. If you’re employed, this information also goes in this section. In the third section, briefly describe any awards or honors you received in school. List the name of the award and the date you received it. You can also include a short description but keep it to around one or two sentences.

The fourth section is where you list any life experiences and skills. Think of this section as where you provide a little more information about yourself—so, for example, if you overcame a hardship. Write down how you overcame the challenge and its impact on your life.

Is Your College Resume Scannable

Most college HR departments use applicant tracking systems or ATS, which scan and sort resumes on behalf of admissions. If the tracking system is unable to scan your resume, you may not hear back from the college. How can you help ensure that the system doesn’t erroneously flag your college resume?

To help ensure your resume is scannable, double-check for any spelling and grammar issues. You also want to include your name, high school, and contact information at the top of your resume. Yes, this is something ATS automatically checks for.

Some other tips to keep in mind include:

  • Use a 10- or 12-point font for the resume’s content, but the headers should be larger. If the content is using a 10-point font, make the headers around 14 or 16 point. You may also want to bold and underline the headers, as this makes it easier for the tracking system to scan the various sections. Stay away from using intricate fonts. Stick with sans serif font styles like Cambria or Calibri. Georgian is considered a serif font style but it’s still accepted by ATS.
  • Check to see if your margins are even and this also applies to spacing between sentences and paragraphs. Uneven spacing and margins can throw ATS off, resulting in your resume being marked as unreadable.

Don’t forget to have someone like your parents or school guidance counselor review your resume before sending it off to colleges. They can check for any spelling or grammar errors and help ensure your resume is concise and easy to read.

You Can Easily Get Your College Resume Noticed by HR

Gaining admission to your preferred college is an exciting achievement and definitely a cause for celebration. However, this milestone also means that your resume needs to be clear and easy for admissions committees to scan and understand.

Utilizing an online college resume builder is an excellent first step in creating a well-organized document. These builders provide structured templates and guidance that help you know exactly where and how to include essential information.

From that point, it’s essential that you accurately and effectively detail all of your achievements, experiences, and skills, ensuring that your resume fully conveys your qualifications and potential to the admissions panel.

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