It's short, it's sweet, and it tells the folks who dole out free scholarship dollars all about you in a glance. If you're serious about scoring free money for college, think of your resume as your new best friend. Not sure how to begin? We'll help you get started.
What is my student resume?
It’s a one-page summary of you and all of the experiences you’ve collected that people who give away money want to know about. We’re not talking about an epic novel here, just a page will suffice—but a page that makes you and your story stand out from others.
What does it say?
It has your name and contact information at the top (go ahead, make it a little bigger than the rest of the print on the page, and bold too, while you’re at it), followed by the good stuff—sorted into “buckets.” Here are a few essentials:
- Academic bucket – List the awards or nominations for awards you’ve received, scholarships you may have already received, your GPA (if stating it works in your favor), and honors like principal's list or honor roll.
- Leadership bucket – List the times you were in charge . . . those summers that you worked as a camp counselor, or that time you tutored kids in an after school reading program. Did you co-captain a volleyball team, or organize fundraisers for your cheerleading squad? Write them down!
- Volunteer bucket - People who give away money like to know that you are generous with your time. Did you and your classmates help build homes with Habitat for Humanity? Did you spend a month repairing porches and decks as part of the Appalachia Service Project? Did you and other "Green Club" members survey neighbors about water use? Show scholarship committees that you have a generous heart!
- Work experience bucket – Paid positions tell others that you’re responsible, trusted and productive—in other words, worth investing in. When you supply dates of several jobs, you show a trail of responsibility. Don't forget self-employment like childcare (babysitting) or yard maintenance (law mowing).
You Might Showcase What Others Say, Too
When you apply for scholarships, you may be asked to submit letters of recommendation from teachers or others who can speak about you and your work. You can make your "one-sheet" stand out by adding a pertinent quote or two that you’ve gleaned from those letters.
If Emily Can Do It, So Can You
You can expect your "one-sheet" to improve as you add experiences and accomplishments over time. That's how it worked for recent college grad, music business major Emily Kaiser. Her work experiences eventually included a summer internship in Nashville and skills she acquired through more than a dozen opportunities for hands-on learning in things like tour logistics and event planning.
"My time at Greenville opened my eyes to the vast possibilities in the music industry," she recalls, "and helped me explore various areas of the music business so I could get a better feel of what I wanted my career to be."