As you get ready to start thinking of college, you may be wondering what else you can put on your resume to impress the admissions offices on your college applications.
A big answer to that question would be school clubs. If you’ve never joined a school club or after school activity before, don’t worry, there is still time. This year can be the year that all changes for you.
I know it can seem daunting, especially if you go to a big school with a ton of different club options. That’s why I’ll be breaking it all down for you in this post. We’ll talk about what a college resume is and why college admissions like seeing clubs, activities, and experience on your resume.
Why Should You Have a College Resume?
Creating a college resume (also known as a curriculum vitae or CV) is a great way to showcase your achievements, skills, and experiences to potential colleges or employers.
It’s very similar to a traditional resume. It gives college admissions officers an overview of your experience and skills but also highlights your passions and interests.
As a caveat, do not feel like you have to go over the top for this! Stick to your interests, what you know, love, and are most passionate about. Use a personal story to connect with a college representative – this is typically more powerful than professional experience.
Here are some key sections and tips to consider when putting together your college resume:
- Contact Information:
- Full name
- Phone number (make sure it has a professional voicemail message)
- Email address (use a professional one, not a nickname or informal address)
- LinkedIn profile (if applicable and professional)
- Objective or Personal Statement (Optional):
- A brief statement about your career or educational goals.
- Education Section:
- List your high school name, location, and graduation date (or expected graduation date).
- Include your GPA if it’s strong (above 3.0).
- Class rank if it is high (in the top 10).
- Any perfect or strong test scores.
- Mention any honors, awards, or relevant coursework.
- Academic Achievements:
- Scholarships, academic awards, honors, or any special recognition.
- Extracurricular Activities:
- Clubs, sports teams, student government, volunteer work, or any other activities outside of regular coursework.
- Highlight leadership roles and responsibilities.
- Work Experience:
- Paid jobs, part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer work.
- Include the organization, your role, and dates of employment.
- Highlight specific accomplishments or responsibilities.
- Technical skills (e.g., programming languages, software proficiency).
- Language proficiency.
- Soft skills (e.g., communication, leadership skills and roles, teamwork).
- Projects or Research (Optional):
- Any significant academic or personal projects, research work, or independent studies.
- Certifications or Training (Optional):
- Relevant certifications or courses completed (e.g., First Aid, CPR, programming courses).
- Awards and Honors:
- Any recognition you’ve received that is relevant to your application.
- Publications or Presentations (Optional):
- If you have written articles, presented research, or participated in any public speaking events.
- Hobbies and Interests (Optional):
- This can provide insight into your personality and interests outside of academics and extracurriculars.
- Optionally, you can include references or mention that they are available upon request. Be sure to ask permission from your references first.
Use the bullet points above as a resume template/resume example on how to start your own resume.
If you in your freshman year, a good tip is for high school students to write down everything they participate in. Keep a journal too, as you can draw on these experiences as a rising college student to enrich your school applications and even scholarship applications.
Why Are Activities Good For Your Resume
- Shows your personality: Clubs give you a chance to express yourself and colleges like to see how you are going to fit on their campus. By showing off your personality on your resume you are showing them that you’ll make the most of your college experience.
- Shows initiative: Many activities and school clubs require initiative when it comes to things that you’ll do while in the club. From planning events, accepting leadership positions, or speaking up in meetings, these clubs give you those opportunities. Colleges like to hear about those.
- Shows consistency: The majority of these clubs meet on certain days, or a certain amount of times, Joining these gives you practice with consistency. That is a trait that colleges look for because they want to know that you will be consistent with your classes.
- Proves you know how to manage your time wisely: Juggling classes, extracurricular activities, social life, and more is what college is all about. Showing that you can do that in high school will go a long way for admissions officers.
Why does an activities resume for college strengthen your application?
Creating an activities resume for college can be highly beneficial for several reasons:
- Comprehensive Overview: An activities resume provides a concise and organized snapshot of your achievements, skills, and experiences outside of academics. It complements your academic transcript and gives admissions officers a more well-rounded view of who you are.
- Highlighting Strengths and Accomplishments: It allows you to showcase your accomplishments, leadership roles, and involvement in extracurricular activities. This can be particularly important if you have excelled in areas beyond academics.
- Demonstrating Commitment: It shows your dedication and commitment to various pursuits. Long-term involvement in clubs, organizations, or community service projects can demonstrate a strong work ethic and passion for certain interests.
- Differentiation: It helps you stand out from other applicants. A well-crafted activities resume can help distinguish you in a competitive pool of applicants, especially if you have unique or notable accomplishments.
- Illustrating Skills and Talents: Your activities may have helped you develop valuable skills like leadership, teamwork, time management, communication, and problem-solving. These are qualities that colleges value in their students.
- Providing Context for Achievements: Sometimes, accomplishments need context to be fully appreciated. An activities resume allows you to explain the significance of certain achievements or experiences.
- Showcasing Diversity: It allows you to demonstrate a diverse range of interests and talents. This can be important for colleges that value a well-rounded student body.
- Helping with Scholarships and Financial Aid: Some scholarships or financial aid opportunities may require you to submit a resume along with your application. Having one ready can streamline the application process for these opportunities.
- Preparing for Interviews: If you’re asked for an interview as part of the application process, your activities resume can serve as a useful reference point for discussing your accomplishments and experiences.
- Setting Goals and Planning Ahead: The process of creating an activities resume encourages you to reflect on your high school experiences and think about your goals and aspirations. It can be a useful exercise for personal development and future planning.
- Networking and Job Applications: Beyond college applications, having a well-organized activities resume can be useful for internships, job applications, and even scholarship applications in the future.
Overall, an activities resume is a powerful tool that helps you present a holistic picture of yourself as a candidate, showcasing your strengths, interests, and contributions beyond just academic achievements.
What Types Of Activities Are Available To You
There are a multitude of different options when it comes to clubs and activities that you can join. These are the broader categories and down below you’ll find the whole list.
If you don’t see something that you are interested in offered at your school, don’t give up. Talk to an administrator or teacher and see if there is a way to bring your idea to the school you attend.
Here are some types of activities you might list:
- Sports: Different schools have different types of sport offerings. If you enjoy a certain one, see if your school offers it then check out when tryouts are.
- Vocational Clubs: These clubs are focused on different types of careers. They’ll get you started in learning about that field. Then you can determine if that is a career path you want to go down.
- Academic Clubs: If you enjoy a certain subject in school, there may be a club dedicated to it. Talk with your teacher to see if there is, or if it’s possible to start one.
- Service Activities: These clubs are great for you if you enjoy helping others and would like to do it more often.
- Hobbies: This is where clubs can really vary from school to school. Hobby clubs are fun because you know everyone there loves the same thing as you do. For these clubs you’ll definitely want to check to see what’s available, but also don’t be afraid to start your own club. Talk with a teacher or school administrator to get started.
40+ Activities To Put On Your Resume For College
We’ve arrived at the list of activities to put on your resume for college. This is by no means a complete list. However, I did try to put as much variety as I could on here.
If you have other clubs at your school feel free to comment them down below! Any extracurricular activity and relevant experience could be worth adding to your resume.
- DECA (a marketing club)
- Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
- Future Farmers of America (FFA)
- Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
- Art Club
- Film Club
- Photography Club
- Newspaper Club
- Drama Club
- Architecture Club
- National Honor Society
- Debate Club
- History Club
- Spelling Bee
- Science Club
- Foreign Language Clubs
- Key Club
- Tutoring Club
- Habitat for Humanity
- Recycling Club
- Community service
- Volunteer experience
- Yearbook Club
- Robotics Club
- Chess Club
- Knitting Club
- Fashion Club
- Book Club
- Gaming Club
- Running Club
- Dancing Club
- Cooking Club
- American Sign Language Club
- Gay-Straight Alliance Club
- Model UN Club
- Student Government Association (SGA)
- List any special skills
- Language skills
If you can tie these activities or a specific accomplishment to your field of study, it will strengthen your resume even further.
What You Can Learn From After School Activities That Will Prepare You For College
To really drive this point home, I wanted to share some of the benefits of clubs and how they will prepare you for your college experience.
What You’re Passionate About
Joining clubs in high school will help you discover what your passions are. You could find a new hobby, a cause that speaks to your soul, and maybe even what you want to major in when you go to college. That’s some big things that you can miss out on by not joining in.
The Importance Of Keeping Up Your Grades
In high school, just like college, your grades obviously come first. If you start failing classes you won’t be able to participate in after-school activities. Therefore, these clubs teach you the importance of keeping up your grades.
School Isn’t The Whole Experience
Don’t get me wrong, school is extremely important, but the lessons you learn outside of school hold about the same weight as well. There are so many things I learned from getting involved in after-school activities that made my school experience that much better.
In my opinion, I feel like you are missing out on half of your high school experience by not joining in on clubs and activities. Which is why I’m a huge believer in joining them and putting them on your resume for college. It will make your experience more well-rounded.
Letters of Recommendation
When you participate in extra clubs that interest you, you can build relationships with other adults. These relationships can help open doors for you but they are also additional people to ask for letters of recommendation when you need them.
My Personal Experience With Clubs In High School
When I was in high school I was the girl that couldn’t get enough of the extracurricular activities. I joined academic clubs, vocational clubs, and a few in between.
A lot of the memories I have from high school are from the clubs that I joined. These organizations brought me out of my shell and got me ready for my college experience. They can do that for you too.
Final Thoughts on Creating an Activities Resume For College
Showcasing your activities and how those skills and experience translate to your professional goals and connecting to the college admissions office through personal experience will surely strengthen your college application.
Will you be joining any clubs this year? If so, which ones?