College Prep

What Should Your CV Include on College Applications

Teens working together at a desk on a resume or CV

Everyone knows that getting into a college of your choice can be tricky. As you plan your future, you are probably wondering how to build your resume - what looks good on college applications. First, try your best to not panic. You got this. 

So what activities and personal information is vital to include on your college applications or resume? 

Let’s break it down—everything from extracurricular activities and college prep summer programs to top college prep programs and internships—starting with the obvious choice: your grades.

Importance of Grades for College Applications

Make no mistake, grades are an incredibly vital portion of your college resume. The better your grades, and the more AP courses and/or honors courses you successfully complete, the better situated you are to land at a school you prefer. 

Honors and AP classes are both more rigorous than regular courses, but they have some key differences. AP classes are college-level courses that prepare students for AP Exams, which can earn college credit. Honors classes are high school-level courses that do not necessarily prepare students for AP Exams or offer college credit. AP classes are also more challenging, cover more material, and require more in-depth analysis than honors classes. 

While AP classes are more favored than honors courses, both are admired, and depend on the student’s acumen. After all, it looks better on college applications to do extremely well in honors courses, than to fail AP courses. 

So beyond grades, what else will college admission’s boards look for? 

What Helps You Stand Out When Applying for College

Colleges want students who are able to balance their academics and other responsibilities—like extracurricular activities, summer work, and volunteering—as they demonstrate character, discipline, and maturity. Being involved in an extracurricular activity carries an extra level of commitment and responsibility, but it shows that you have leadership cred.

Even though it’s important to stand out in college applications, it does not require anything extraordinary—just a demonstration of your dedication to your future. Try to focus on areas that interest you. For example, you do not need to score a dream internship to get accepted. Dedicating time to extracurriculars, your community, a job, or a research project demonstrates character, and that makes you a good candidate for admission. 

Perhaps you’re seeking additional resources to consider adding to your college resume or application? How about trying out a few pre-college online courses or experiencing a summer enrichment program?

Pre-College Programs and Summer Enrichment

Our Prelum partners’ pre-college online programs are a wonderful opportunity to test out a subject without even stepping into a college classroom. Each course is taught through comprehensive, tech-forward videos featuring experts in the field. Whether it’s STEM, cybersecurity, finance or business, motivated students like you can test out any number of subjects while still in high school from schools like Georgetown, Rice University, Columbia Business School or University of Rochester

They are an excellent addition to your skillset, plus you’ll receive a certificate of completion that also looks great on applications and resumes. 

Similar to pre-college online programs, summer immersion programs let you experience college life by taking an immersive course. Plus, you’ll eat, sleep, and study on campus. 

Depending on your needs, both options possess pros and cons, so choosing which suits you is a personal decision. 

Now that we’ve discussed what college admissions boards look for on your application or resume, let’s touch on the key points to include while building your resume.

Key Points to Include on Your College Resume

A college resume is a document that showcases your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, work history, and skills to potential colleges or employers. To create a college resume, you should: 

  1. Start with your contact information and your high school's information.
  2. Highlight your education, including your GPA, institution, year, and relevant coursework.
  3. Document any work experience you have, along with quantifiable achievements.
  4. Add other sections that demonstrate your benefits or strengths, such as honors, volunteer work, community service, or a certificate of completion from high school enrichment programs, like any of those offered by our Prelum university partners
  5. You should also use a professional email address and an attention-grabbing summary or objective.

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*Kaplan may receive compensation upon student enrollment in one of our partner programs.*