Wednesday’s Parent: 5 surprising uses of a college prep resume

Resume for college prep. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Resume for college prep. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Many parents and students understand the importance of a resume for job applications but few use it as a major college prep tool. If your college-bound child hasn’t composed one yet, suggest he do it now. Then read the following five tips to use a resume for college preparation. Go back and reread the curriculum vitae. You will never look at a resume in the same way again.

Use a resume for planning. It is a great grounding tool for assessing where you are and where you want to be. Find the gaps on your resume that need to be filled. Think about what academic and extracurricular experiences when added would make a reader take positive notice. Check the school, college and local newspaper for community service, club, and activity ideas. Bring the resume to consult with your school counselor, teachers and mentors for course selection, test preparation, college and scholarship searches. Match your future goals and current interests when choosing.

Use a resume as a quick college sorting tool. A resume has a factual record of qualifications via accomplishments. Measure them objectively against college requirements. Do you meet, exceed or fall short as compared to the average admitted student? The answer becomes a list of target/match, safety and reach schools (see 4 steps to create a personal college ranking list and Wednesday’s Parent: 2 phases, 3 points of the forming a college list Part 1).

Use a resume to be objective. Be honest, would you pick you? Does the resume convince you that you are an overall great match for what you are seeking (see above: planning)? If not, it may not be the substance that is lacking but the form in which it is presented. Are there too many bullet points, too few action or descriptive words, missing hyperlinks, or grammar/spelling errors? Read it out loud to ensure the font is easily read and it captures the spirit of your achievements. Then check your attitude, social media and appearance. All of these and your resume should be on the same page.

Use a resume for college and scholarship applications. In addition to academic records and essays, college applications and many private outside scholarship sponsors want to know about work experience, clubs, activities, honors, memberships and offices held. It will be easier to complete your applications because all of this info is contained in a resume.

Use a resume to network. Ask a teacher, potential employer, local community leader, professional association president and government representative for feedback on your resume. Write a thank you note for his time and suggestions. Well done, you have an important contact, helpful info, and added to your own network!

If your student hasn’t started a resume, recommend she whip one up ASAP and continue to update it. You don’t want to forget to include something meaningful and you want to continue to maintain perspective.

Read Suzanne’s post: The High School Resume-Getting to the Point 


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer 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 Suzanne 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 to and vice versa.

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