back to questions

Should I include my resume when it is optional in my college applications?


3 schools I am applying to, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, and Cornell University, all give me the option through Common App to upload my resume. I have a resume I have been updating and improving for the past three years with the help of a family friend who works in HR and looks at a lot of resumes. Most things on my resume are covered in my activities section, however, I had to leave a lot of information out about my most important activities because of the 150 character limit. I also have my community service on my resume, which I touch on in the activities section but couldn't explain all of it. I've looked online for advice, and I have gotten contradicting answers. Should I upload it? Is there a chance it could hurt my application if it is deemed to be repetitive of my activities section?

Hello! I'm confused as to the content you are including in the resume. How are your formatting it? What categories are you including?
@RaTe It mainly includes information about my main two extracurricular activities, instrumental music and robotics. It also lists my skills and certifications, awards and honors, and my community service activities. It currently looks more like a resume for someone who is applying for a job, however without any job experience listed (as I haven't had one)

1 answer

answered on
Accepted answer

I would submit the resume to all three schools but do some serious editing so what you write on the resume under each activity give more "color" and "dimension" to the activity without it being too long. If you have 10 activities on your resume and the first 2 sentences are exactly a re-hash of what you wrote on the common app then the application readers are going to be thinking " this is redundant so why did this person submit a rehash of the common app activities". Think of the resume in the context of the application reader as a 1 or 2 pages fact sheet they can refer to versus the 20 pages to 25 pages of common app material. It's like when you go to the car show, you can pick up a 1-page fact sheet of the car or a lengthy brochure. The Common App is the lengthy brochure so make the Fact Sheet pop out and bring attention to the most important things about you.

Hope that helps.

Good luck with your college application journey.

My resume only lists my main two extracurricular activities, instrumental music and robotics. There are about 7-10 bullet points under each, for robotics I say my job and leadership position on the robotics team, the community events I help run, and how I mentor younger teams. For instrumental music, I explain my position in my concert band, my leadership in my marching band, and other activities I've done related to band.
I also have my skills and certifications, my awards and honors (which are already mentioned on my common app so I probably could get rid of that), my community involvement, and then some info about my schooling (which would also be removed as the college would already know that information).