IMG_1658What is an activities resume? And, what should students include in it? These questions were addressed last week at the IECA Conference in Baltimore to a panel of three experts: a guidance counselor, an independent college counselor and an admissions representative from Johns Hopkins University.

An activities resume is a descriptive list of a student’s accomplishments and commitments achieved outside the classroom within the school, place of worship, or greater community. Hopkins Admissions Representative, Shannon Miller, advises students to refrain from submitting a laundry list of insignificant extracurricular involvements. Students should consider listing commitments where they dedicate considerable time and make significant contributions. The panel reminds students not to underestimate the value of holding a job, which can foster important life skills: responsibility and dedication.

Miller stressed that Hopkins is not necessarily looking for titles of leadership but rather how the student significantly contributes to an activity. A student need not be president of a club nor captain of a varsity team to demonstrate leadership or to make meaningful contributions to an organization.

Summer is an excellent time to engage in activities that students may not have time to pursue during the school year. Many parents and students believe that selective colleges look for students who participate in elite, academic summer programs. Although summer programs can be valuable experiences, they can be very costly, and it’s important to note that they do not guarantee college admission. Hopkins, like many other institutions, encourages students to participate in summer programs or activities that they enjoy.

Ideally, students should show a steady increase of dedication and involvement in their extracurricular activities.

  • Freshmen Year Test the waters! Experience an array of activities.
  • Sophomore Year Narrow down your involvement to a few activities that interest you.
  • Junior Year Delve deeply into a few select activities you are passionate about, and identify areas where you can make a significant contribution. If you have an area of interest not represented at the school or in your community, consider starting a new club or a short-term project.
  • Senior Year Make a sincere, significant contribution to one or two activities.

Juniors, now is the time to complete your activities resume. If you need help with your activities resume or any other part of the college admissions process, please contact Admissions on Track.

© 2015, Admissions on Track. All rights reserved.

The Activities Resume: It’s Not a Laundry List!
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