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How to Write a College Admissions Resume with No Work Experience

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Are you applying to a college or university and wondering how to write the perfect resume?

First of all, congratulations! Attending college is a huge achievement that you should be proud of.  A great college admissions resume can help set you apart from other applicants. But what do you do if you don’t have any prior work experience?

In this article, we will explain how to write a college admissions resume with no work experience. We’ll focus on your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and hobbies/interests.
Get started by choosing a resume template

Before you can begin writing your resume, it’s important to find a resume template or design that you like. You can find a variety of resume templates online. Most of these templates range from $0 to $10. They are extremely affordable and can help lay a solid foundation for your resume.  Resume builders can also help format your resume in a clean and professional manner. There are dozens of resume builders online that can save you hours creating your resume.

Once you’ve selected the perfect resume design, it’s time to get started on the content. 

List out all of your academic achievements

Academic achievements are going to be the most important aspect of your college admissions resume. If you were applying for a job, your prior work experience would be the most important. However, when applying to college, your academic achievements are going to be the most influential. 

Take time to think of some achievements you may have from high school.

  • Did you graduate in the top 10% of your class?
  • Did you take AP classes?
  • Did you pass the AP exams?
  • Did you receive a notable GPA (above 3.5%)?
  • Did you earn high SAT/ACT scores?

These are all notable achievements worth mentioning on your college admissions resume.  Make sure to highlight these achievements front and center on your resume.

List out all of your extracurricular activities

Were you active within your school or community? Colleges love accepting students who went above and beyond academic achievements with extracurricular activities.  Whether you played on a sports team, were active in a club, or volunteered after school, these sorts of activities will set you apart from your peers.  

If you did exceptionally well with these activities, that’s a bonus! For example, you might mention on your resume that you were “captain of the varsity basketball team”. Or that you “won 12 out of 15 speech and debate competitions”. Or that you “helped serve the homeless every week for 6 months your senior year”.

Extracurricular activities show that you are a hard worker. While many students were hanging out and watching TV after school, you were improving a skill set and getting involved.

Share your personal hobbies and interests

Your personal hobbies and interests can help the college you are applying to understand a bit more about who you are as a person.  What kind of things do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies or interests? A person's hobbies can tell a lot about who they are. If you mention hobbies like “sitting on the couch, taking naps, and eating junk food”, the university might perceive you as lazy. That’s the last thing you want. Instead, mention hobbies that will make you look good. If you know what major you are interested in, list relevant hobbies to the major.

If you are interested in an arts degree, you might mention that you enjoy painting, sculpting, and sketching. If you are interested in a finance degree, you might mention that you enjoy investing. If you are interested in nursing, you might mention that you enjoy volunteering at the hospital or helping those in need.

If you have no idea what your major will be, at least mention hobbies such as “playing instruments, going to the gym, cooking, reading, etc.” All of these hobbies show that you are motivated, intelligent, and hard-working.

Wrapping Up

Writing a resume can be tough. But you are unique and have a ton of value to offer. Do your best to think about the things that make you unique. The last thing you want is to have a resume that looks like everyone else's.  If you need help crafting a resume and would like to work with a professional, there are companies out there who can write the resume for you. We’ve included a list of the 5 Best Most Affordable Resume Writing Services for recent grads. It also includes resume samples to get an idea of what yours should look like.

Keep up the great work. You are going to love college!

About our Guest Blogger: Mike Podesto is the CEO of Find My Profession, a resume writing and career coaching company. Founded in 2015, Find My Profession provides elite, personalized, and highly effective career services for professionals and executives. Connect with Find My Profession on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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