Your Academic Resume
Assembling your academic resume is an important challenge to rise up to, as a good resume is crucial for a college application. Writing up your resume isn't as easy as you may think, however; a good resume is essentially a condensation of your most notable academic and extracurricular achievements and activities, should be attention-grabbing and easy to digest, and should be no more than two pages or so. Beginning to see how it could be a bit tricky?
A well-presented academic resume doesn't have to be hard to make. Just follow these basic guidelines, and be sure to collaborate with your college counselor and/or your parents, and you'll be all set. We won't discuss specific formatting, but we'll outline what should (and shouldn't) be included on your resume.
First and foremost, construct a letterhead of sorts with your name, your contact information (email address, cell phone, home phone, address), and your high school. Take care to ensure that all contact information you provide on your resume is presented in a professional manner: this means everything from your cell phone's voicemail message to your email address must be appropriate. You don't want a college to call your provided phone number, only to hear a voicemail that says, "Yo, this is Mike, I ain't here now, but gimmie a message and I'll holla back at you"; and you definitely don't want to provide a questionably named email address (I've received resumes from addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). Instead, use your school email account, if you have one, or create an email address for the purpose of your applications.
Include your high school, and your GPA, if it is worth presenting. List any academic awards you may have won, both from your school and otherwise, and any other academic points of distinction.
Mention any extracurricular activities you've participated in: emphasize clubs and societies which you have participated in, as well as community service, and any leadership positions you may have held in these areas. If you played sports, include these as well; if you are seeking to be recruited, provide a fair amount of detail here, but it would be prudent to assemble a separate athletic resume for those purposes.
If you have prior, meaningful work experience, include it. Anything that you could consider a notable skill and haven't mentioned as of yet in your resume, from proficiency in a programming language, fluency in a foreign language, a talent for painting, or skill in playing an instrument, include that.
You can end your resume with a small section titled "Outside Interests" if you so desire, where you can include things that are important and definitive of you. If you have a serious love and encyclopedic knowledge of jazz music, mention that. If you've traveled the world with your family and you love traveling, mention that.
Remember, this document should be close to one page in length. It is a difficult exercise to put oneself down on paper in 8.5 x 11 inches, but it is a necessary evil. It may also seem to be a self-indulgent project, but it really isn't: you cannot be shy about promoting yourself. The schools you apply to want to know about you, and who knows you better than yourself? Don't be shy about presenting your achievements, be proud; and be sure you toe the line between self-promotion and boasting.
Remember to talk to your parents and counselor about your resume, and have them proof read it. Good luck!