Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

Lily Trayes
Founder and CEO Ivy League Placement

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

Here is my video response to the question.

Pam Proctor
Author The College Hook

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

Here is my video response to the question.

Seth Allen
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Grinnell College

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

Here is my video response to the question.

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

Here is my video response to the question.

Erica White
College & Career Counselor Middletown High School

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

I encourage all of my students to submit a resume. It is a great way to help market yourself in a clear, concise manner. Students can attach their resume to their commonapp under the writing tab in the additional information section. Due to the fact that the commonapp only allows for 10 activities, a student can use their resume to further highlight their activities. If using a regular paper or online application. Students can have their high school counselor send in the resume with their transcripts or email the admissions department with their attachment.

Patricia Aviezer
President Inside Track To College, Inc.

Resume Writing is a "Life Skill"

Your college's instructions on the application should always be your first point of reference for whether a college wants you to submit a resume as part of their online application. Having said that, when I work with students I always have them draft an academic resume, (Art students will draft an artistic resume as well) to help organize their information about their experiences, involvement, honors/awards by category. Resume writing is a great exercise because now if applications are requesting this information in a "bulleted" format, limiting the number of comments a student can make, writing the resume as a first step helps prioritize and organize each category to apply this information in the required format. Resumes evolve over time, so by becoming familiar with the layout and concepts of effective resume development, students learn the skills needed to recreate resumes for various purposes in the future. READ THE APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY! If the college does not make a statement about NO RESUME, it can be very helpful to supply one by snail mail. When would a student provide a resume if an application does not request one? If the student is a powerhouse and the "other" information on the resume is additive to the application and because of space constraints this information was not included, it could be sent.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Simple is Better

I think that it's important to know how to compile a solid resume because resume writing is definitely an important life skill. However, I don't recommend submitting a separate resume along with your college applications for the following reasons: 1. some colleges expressly tell applicants NOT to submit separate resumes; 2. most applications (including the Common Application) provide ample space for you to list your activities, accomplishments, and honors; 3. most of the student resumes just repeat information that is already set forth in the application; 4. some application readers find having to read additional materials annoying; and 5. many resumes are not read at all and therefore are a waste of your time. If you do decide to submit a resume, make sure that the colleges to which you are applying do not expressly request that you do NOT submit them. Also - craft your resumes with care. Do not list the same activity/accomplishment more than once in order to "beef up" your accomplishments. Many students will list membership in "honor" societies under "honors" and "activities." Once is sufficient. "Double dipping" just makes your look bad. In my many years of interviewing applicants for Harvard, I found that having to wade through 3-4 page resumes only to find that the same activity was listed two, three and sometimes four times -- was a truly negative experience and duly noted on my interview report to the school. Don't make it difficult for admissions officer to find out who you are. Keep it simple and direct and put forth your best efforts on the application. If you have the time to devote to agonizing over a resume, you have the time to craft an elegant application that sets forth the best version of you. Your application readers will be able to "get" you quickly and THAT is the goal -- right?

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Is a student-submitted resume suggested? How/when/where?

A student-submitted resume is fine if you just have soooooo many activities/awards/extracurriculars to list that they just don't fit on the Common App section. If that is the case, note "see attached resume" and don't fill in that section. Application readers don't have much time, so don't waste it by making them re-read information stated elsewhere. That said, make sure that you aren't listing minutia that doesn't belong in the application anyway. If you are just trying to "pad" the file, don't go there, they will see right through that. It never hurts to have a resume ready to go. Create one now and it will be easy to just update it as your life proceeds.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Resumes: A Way to Showcase Who You Are

Supplementing the colleges’ own pointed questions, a well-crafted resume can help complete the picture of the applicant. In writing a resume students should avoid endless lists. Instead, the resume should highlight the things that really matter to the student, the activities and recognitions that illustrate their true talents and passions, not their ability to be a joiner or a follower. Effective resumes give the admissions people a better sense of who an applicant is and what they offer the prospective college community, since in the end, whether applicants are what the shapers of that community want is what the admission process is about.

Lauren Carter
Director of College Counseling Louisville Collegiate School

A resume is an opportunity to tell more

I believe all students should create and submit activity resumes. This is a great opportunity to further explain an involvement or honor you have received. Organize your resumes by type of activity, include years of participation and hours completed. Also make sure to add descriptions if needed but be clear and concise in your descriptions. The resumes can be easily uploaded to a Common Application under the Additional Information section. In addition, you may also hand out a resume to an alumni representative after you have had an interview or as a follow-up with an admissions officer. Make sure your school counselor has a copy of your resume and in some cases teachers who are writing your recommendations may ask for one.