Wednesday’s Parent: The High School Resume-Getting to the Point


high school resumeThe one thing employers will all say about resumes, “Make it concise and to the point.” A resume should catch the reader’s attention immediately and keep it long enough to give the reader an idea of who you are and what you represent. Long resumes rarely get read. If the employer doesn’t see something on the first page to catch his attention, he won’t continue reading the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th pages.

Applying these simplistic resume directions to the high school resume, what does your student want to communicate in his resume?


Colleges look for consistency over four years. If the resume lists a multitude of activities, a spattering of extracurriculars, or a few hours of community service here and there you aren’t communicating consistency. Instead of listing every single activity you have participated in, consider focusing on the one that represents who you are and a consistent involvement throughout high school. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the level of involvement that matters.


When a college looks at your resume, it should be an extension of your essay and the rest of your college application. Don’t pad it or pretend to be someone you are not. Be honest and thorough without being monotonous. If your essay talks about the summer you spent abroad volunteering with a religious organization, this should be an extension of who you are—not just something to impress college admissions. Don’t brag; use the resume as a tool to show off who you are and what is most important to you.


The high school resume should communicate commitment—commitment to academics, commitment to excellence in school activities, and commitment to service. Each item on the resume should speak to that level of commitment. Anyone can join a club, play one semester of a sport, or take one difficult, challenging class. But colleges are looking for the student who goes “all in”, not someone who stands by the sidelines and watches.

The high school resume should get to the point and show colleges why they should offer you admission. It’s your tool to shine in the college application process.

Ready Wendy’s article: 5 surprising uses of a college prep resume


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Wendy and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from parentscountdowntocollegecoach to and vice versa.

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