015. 6 Steps To Writing A Killer Resume Your College Will Love

As high school students prepare to submit college applications, it’s important for them to have a resume. We know that resumes are usually associated with job hunting, but they are great tools to have and use when submitting college applications.

In this episode, Dr. Beth Dennard is joined by Elana Guerra, Bright Futures Director of Operations and College Counselor. Together, they explore the 6 steps your student can take to understand not only how to write a resume, but also which aspects of their lives to highlight. The answers could surprise you.

Learn The Steps To Writing A Killer Resume Your College Will Love

In this episode, Beth is reminded of a teenager she saw wearing a Houston Astros Jose Altuve jersey that made her wonder, “Why do people wear clothes with someone else’s name or brand?” Our reality is that kids, and really all people, are influenced by technology, peer pressure, and parental expectations. This pressure to be what others expect of us blurs the line between following the norm or being your own person. We want your student to be able to get in touch with their interests and passions and really develop their own personal brand.

By following the 6 steps below, your student will be prepared to start writing a killer resume that best represents themself:

  1. Start early
  2. Figure out who you are and where you’re going
  3. Find hobbies
  4. Write down everything
  5. Get the right format
  6. Expand on your strengths instead of summarizing your life

The earlier your student begins to prepare for what they want for their future, the more capable we are to cultivate a relationship and help them develop the skills to be as prepared as possible to achieve their goals. The 6 steps aren’t magic, but they do produce fruitful results when followed. 

2 Types of Resumes

The two types of resumes we focus on at Bright Futures are the ideal and actual resumes. Especially helpful for younger high school students is the ideal resume. Your student will create a resume based on where they see themselves by their senior year. Want to become an officer on the drill team? Varsity baseball? Score high on AP tests? Maybe something not school-related? Put it on the resume and track your progress over the years. Change of heart and want to re-evaluate? Perfect! That is how we all grow and develop ourselves, why shouldn’t your high school student?

Different from the ideal resume is the actual resume. It may seem straightforward, but many times students and their parents are unclear on what a high school student should put on their resume. This is where you write down EVERYTHING. The list should contain all of your activities in and out of school: classes, good grades, hobbies, family obligations, and anything else you can think of. 

When you’re able to look at a list of everything you spend your time on and all of your accomplishments, this is where you decide what you want to highlight to play your best poker hand. Employers and college admissions officers alike will be impressed with a well-written resume and will appreciate the opportunity to get to know the applicant outside of their curriculum and scores.

Listen to the episode here.

For the blog version of this episode, click here

Self-Accepted Homework

Parents, here’s your homework for this week:

  • Encourage your student to keep a record of all of their hobbies and activities. No interest is too small or irrelevant here. 
  • Have your student write an ideal resume in a judgment-free zone. This process is putting into words where and who they want to be in the future. 
  • Schedule your student’s Birkman Assessment. The results are a great tool to utilize while trying to figure out which path to follow or forge.
  • This is also a great time for your student to expand on their hobbies and explore new opportunities. If your student doesn’t feel they have any hobbies, encourage them to pursue their interests. How can a teenager know what they want to be if they aren’t exploring the options in front of them now?
  • Once your student has started their running list of all activities and has created their ideal resume, encourage them to think about who they are and what of their activities or interests would do best as a highlight on their resume.

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