Resumes and Admissions Essays

Posted: September 9, 2016 in English 12 AP, Syllabus and Introductory Material
Tags: , ,
While this might be creative, it's not really what we mean when we say make your resume attractive :)

While this might be creative, it’s not really what we mean when we say make your resume attractive 🙂

College Admissions Essay: One of the first things we’re doing is writing college admissions essays and resumes.  Here’s a great (and short) article on admissions essays: writing the essay sound advice from an expert.  Or you can read it here.  Bring prompts to class to work on.  (If you aren’t applying to a college that requires an entrance essay, use the Common App prompt).  A polished draft of one of your entrance essays is due on September 19.

Why?  You might ask . . . in most cases it won’t make or break your admission chances, but the entrance essay is an opportunity to introduce yourself, in your voice, and bring out things that don’t normally appear on an application or resume (so don’t just repeat your resume).  Here’s a good article SHOWING what the admissions essay can do: “Hidden Gold in College Applications.”

Resume (also due September 19): As far as resumes, there’s a wealth of information out there — search for it!  Resumes have changed a lot since your parents or I learned how to do them, namely by becoming more dynamic, so I encourage you to do some research on your own beyond what we tell you.  Look at examples and use templates to format your resume properly and attractively.

Purdue OWL  is an awesome resource that you should get to know and if at any point during the year you aren’t sure about a point of grammar, how to cite a resource correctly, etc., go there!

quadrant test

Quadrant Test: make sure there’s about the same amount of white space and text in all four quadrants

A few resume rules of thumb do still stand:

  • Make it neat! and aesthetically appealing (see quadrant test)
  • Make it perfect (no grammatical or spelling errors whatsoever!)  Although complete sentence aren’t necessary.
  • Use strong , assertive diction, like these: Action words for resumes
  • Keep it to one page (at least at your age) — ever look at a book and, although it might have been interesting, decided not to read it because it was too long?  People typically look at a resume for 17 seconds unless it catches their attention, so being too sparse or too long means you might get passed by
  • Add benefits and specific accomplishments for each position — numbers like % of goals met, suggesting a change to procedures which increased customer satisfaction or efficiency by x%, etc. are always helpful . . . as are accomplishments like Cashier of the Week or Coaches Award
  • Include any and all skills and software or platform experience you have; again, be specific
  • Include relevant or significant volunteer work and service learning.
  • Put the most important and impressive things in the beginning — if you have little to no work experience, for example, that’s probably not the first thing you want to advertise on your resume
  • Keep in mind most people make different versions of their resumes angled towards the different positions they have — since this one is school related, you probably want to highlight the strengths that make you a good and promising student

It’s not the best example out there, but here’s mine if you’re interested: resume-8-16

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