our everyday life

College Resume Requirements

by Soheila Battaglia, studioD

Every aspect of the college application process serves to make you stand out as an excellent candidate. This means every part, including the resume portion, should be well-organized, use proper spelling and grammar, and emphasize your strengths, abilities, accomplishments and goals. A college resume should include information about your education, work experience, extracurricular involvements and relevant skills.


The format of a college resume is just as important as its content. Overall, the tone and appearance of the resume should be clear and professional. The font should be simple and the entire document should fit on a single page if possible. At the very top, the applicant's name and contact information should be listed. In each subsequent section, the content should be presented in reverse chronological order. If you are emailing your resume, LIM College suggests converting it to a PDF file to avoid altering the format.

Work Experience

Including your past and current employment on your resume shows colleges and employers that you are responsible, reliable and able to commit to a recurring duty. This category can include paid employment, internships and volunteer jobs. Beginning with the most recent job, write the name of the company or organization, the position you held, the dates of employment and your responsibilities on the job. In the job description, use verbs that are specific and demonstrate your strengths and the diversity of roles for each job.


Though the education portion of the resume will develop more as you advance through college, there is still a great deal you can include in this category. Education can include academic honors and nominations, AP courses, college-level classes, courses studied abroad, competitions such as the spelling bee, scholarships, academic ranking, and GPA. However, note that Merrimack College advises students to mention their GPA only if it is 3.0 or higher.

Extracurricular Activities

The extracurricular activities section gives colleges insight into your personal interests outside of or alongside your academics. This category can include specific leadership positions and participation in student government, clubs, sports and honor societies. Participation in extracurricular activities demonstrates your ability to successfully take on more than one responsibility. It also shows that you are well-rounded in your interests and undertakings. For example you can mention that you founded a diversity club, serve as captain of the basketball team and participate in weekly church activities.


Generally, a skills section is more pertinent for employment resumes than for college resumes. However, if you have skills that relate to your intended major or stated long-term goals, you can list these abilities on your school resume. Relevant skills include proficiency with computer programs, fluency in foreign languages and artistic or musical abilities.

About the Author

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

Photo Credits

  • Flying Colours Ltd/Digital Vision/Getty Images