Building Your Academic Resume
Very few students graduate from high school with impeccable reading and writing skills. In fact, according to statistics released by Vanderbilt University, only about 10 to 15 percent of those students applying to graduate school in business have a good grasp of grammar rules. Clearly, it’s just not something that students seem to master while they’re in school, even when they’re hoping to work in industries that rely on good communication.
But students who are applying for college, either at the undergraduate or the graduate level, as well as students who are applying for scholarships and other merit-based programs, often have to do a lot of writing. Often, this writing takes the form of an academic resume.
What Is It?
Admissions administrators and scholarship officials often have to review paperwork from hundreds of students every single day. The academic resume allows these officials to read up on a particular student at a glance, as this document contains information about the student’s:
- Educational background
- Internship experience
- Employment history
- Honors received
- Research work published
This little document is often attached to a formal application for enrollment. While that enrollment form might ask for the same kinds of information, an academic resume allows students to enhance and explain their achievements and show off their writing skills at the same time.
Creating a Great Resume
In the past, students were encouraged to restrict the length of their resumes, confining their words to a document that could be printed on one or two pages. According to Purdue University, this short length might be appropriate for students who have a small amount of experience and few achievements to brag about. But those students who do have a significant amount of information to share should feel free to share it, no matter how long the document gets. This is the time to shine, and students should use every space open to them to do so.
It’s important for students to be honest as they write, sticking to the facts and resisting the urge to embellish. The Internet makes it easy for officials to verify statements that students make, and lies could result in expulsion from some schools and programs. Since the consequences of lies can be so severe, students should be sure to be honest.
It’s difficult to provide a template all students could use for their academic resumes, as each school and each academic discipline might have different requirements involved in a resume. Following those rules to the letter is much smarter than sticking to a script found online. But, for students who don’t know where to start, this simple template might help.
(Here, students should outline all of the schools they’ve attended and all of the degrees they’ve completed. Students should also be sure to mention any academic awards in this section.)
(Here, students should name any facilities they’ve worked for, as well as the dates of employment. Students who haven’t participated in paid employment can list volunteer activities here.)
(Sports, hobbies and other life passions can be outlined and explained here.)
(A quick outline of what the student hopes to achieve with a degree should be placed here.)
When the writing is complete, students should ask a trusted adult to proofread the document, just to ensure that no typographical errors slip into it.
If you’d like to find out more about the college application process and what you’ll need to do to prepare for school, please browse our website. We have a number of resources that can help.
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- College Admissions Advice
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- Making the transition from high school to college
- Nagging About College Applications
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