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How to Build Your Resume for College Applications

Dean Einstein and Mike Caldwell, Executive Director of TCU's Center for Career and Professional Development, answered questions about building resumes for the college application process in a live chat. Watch the entire video or check out key takeaways and links below for answers to your questions. 

There’s no magic formula of activities that will guarantee college admission
Don’t get too fixated on a set number or specific types of activities that will get you into selective colleges. What’s more important to TCU admission counselors is that you’ve chosen activities that are meaningful to you. You may not have figured out what you’re passionate about during your early years of high school, so take time to explore and try things that interest you. Join an athletic team, a student organization and volunteer in your community to find activities that interest you. 

It’s a myth that we’re looking for well-rounded students
While we do look for a well-rounded class of students, that doesn’t mean that each individual person must be well-rounded. If you decide that you don’t like something, find another activity that speaks to you. We focus on depth, not breadth, meaning more isn’t always better. If you’re really passionate about what you do, that will come through in your application. 

Use your space effectively and efficiently
Be strategic in what you include on your resume. Try to focus on one or two really meaningful pages. So don’t include activities that you did in elementary school unless that’s something you’ve carried on through high school. Emphasize the things that you’re passionate about and that will make you stand out. And don’t forget, there are many ways to include your experience and personality in the college application. Every piece of writing that you submit to us is a representation of you and your professionalism. 

Provide clarity on your resume when needed
There’s no need to explain something we all know about like playing basketball, but if your school or community has a unique club or activity, make sure to provide clarity. Write out acronyms and explain the organization or club mission as well as your involvement.