7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Resume - duplicate information

My school counselor says if I send a resume with duplicate information ( which I had already added in the common app section ) , it will hurt my chances.

I should not repeat any information in the resume which I had already added to common app.

1. my awards

2. GPA

3. 10 activities I had already listed

can you please advise


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2 answers

7 months ago[edited]

Resumes are never required in the college admissions process because admissions readers have everything they need by reviewing your common app, test scores, transcripts, recommendations, essays, supplemental essays, and school profiles.

Imagine yourself as a college admissions reader. You have given yourself 7-15 minutes to read someone's entire file, take notes, and make a recommendation to the committee to support their acceptance, deny their acceptance, or waitlist them.

Plus many of these AOs have to google search your name to corroborate your awards, activities, and social media to make sure your personal narrative aligns with what you submitted.

A more meaningful activity is to make sure that if someone Bing or Google searches you, they will find accurate accounts of what you have done in your free time. This is too often a complete oversight on applicants' radars. Someone who has overstated their achievements can easily be found out to their detriment. Conversely, someone who has no social media footprint will cast doubt in the AO's mind that you actually won and did all those things on your common application activities list.

It's far better to prune your academic and EC narrative for accuracy and impactfulness than it is to add more words to your narrative through an optional resume.

Remember is far better to have (1) or (2) highly memorable activities that the AO can advocate on your behalf than to have 10 to 20 marginal ECs that don't have any significant impact.

With college admissions, AOs might be checking off the boxes to make sure you meet their basic threshold requirements but that is not what is going to get you admitted to a top T20-T30 school. You have to be an impactful memorable talented character who is unique compared to other students applying from your school, your town, your city, and your country.

Good luck.

7 months ago

Start with this question: what else do you NEED to convey through adding a resume? Consider that AOs are reading thousands of applications each, and may have only five or ten minutes to look at yours. If you've done something major that truly can't be explained in any of the other sections of the common app, then maybe add a resume. Otherwise it looks a little braggy and redundant to AOs.

Another option if you just have a few more things to say is to include them in the additional info section. For example, I had an extracurricular that I didn't think I could fully explain in the word limit for common app, so I added a few bullet points about it in the additional info section. This might be a better choice if a lot of the things you say on your resume are repeated info.

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