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How to Craft Your
College Resume


Dear rising seniors and parents:

Now is the best time to draft your college resume! The resume is an important part of the college admissions process, because it allows you to describe your extracurricular activities in great detail and helps colleges learn more about your interests and values.  The resume can be very helpful in filling out the Activity Sheet of the Common Application, and in preparing for college interviews.

Below are tips for organizing and describing your activities and accomplishments, as well as a fictional sample resume that illustrates an effective approach.  Note the level of detail you should include.

We will be reviewing your resume draft at our essay meetings this summer. In addition, we are holding a College Resume Workshop on July 30 at 2-5pm.  See our recent email on our series of College Admissions Workshops this summer, and email Maureen to RSVP.

I am happy to answer any questions that you have about your college resume and activity list!

Best regards, 
Julie Raynor Gross
President & Founder
Collegiate Gateway LLC

Resume Writing Tips:

  • Organization: Sequence your activities from those that are most meaningful to you to the least significant.  
  • Grade level: State from lowest to highest, e.g. 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Hours/Week; Weeks/Year: Average your time commitment over the total period of time in which you were involved. 
  • Role/Position: Highlight your leadership roles; Begin with your most recent positions, e.g. Vice President (12), Treasurer (11)
  • Description:
    • Use specific bullets to summarize your responsibilities and accomplishments
    • Order the bullets from most important to least important
    • Use active verbs in each bullet (see examples)
    • Use the active not passive voice
    • Omit pronouns (I, we)
    • Use “honor” verbs if you were selected, elected or awarded
    • Describe the objectives of the club or organization if not generally known
    • Can repeat honors and awards that are also included in the Honors and Awards section.


  • Organization: State name of organization, town and state.
  • Year: Include time period, e.g. June 2014 (4 weeks); hours not necessary.


  • Can repeat honors and awards in the relevant Activities sections

Sample Resume: Extracurricular Activities 

Sample Resume: Employment & Summer

Sample Resume: Honors & Awards

Active Verbs: 

  • Vary your word choice!
  • Use present tense if the activity is ongoing
  • Use past tense if the activity has concluded


Collegiate Gateway LLC is a boutique educational consulting practice founded by Julie Raynor Gross in 2004.
The company offers customized educational counseling to families of high school and college students to facilitate personal growth and maximize opportunities for college, graduate school and career. 

Ms. Gross serves as the Chair of the College Committee of 
IECA, and has received the Graduate School specialty designation.  She continually visits colleges and graduate programs around the country and meets with admissions deans, students and faculty in order to keep current about admissions approaches, academic programs and school culture.   READ MORE.
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