College is arguably one of the most exciting times a high school student anticipates. But with college comes the college application process, which can simultaneously be fun and daunting.
Because for most students, the challenge is often determining if they need to include a resume with their college application and, if so, how to include research in a college admission resume.
But here’s the truth: You will most likely not need a college admission resume.
In this article, we’ll first tackle why you shouldn’t stress about a college admission resume but the value of still having a resume ready to go. And if you have done a research project and are not sure the best way to add that to your resume, we’ll also cover that. In addition, this article will come in handy if you’re still looking into online research opportunities.
First, Do I Need a College Admission Resume?
While many others will tell you that you need a college admission resume, most likely, you will not need a resume to apply to college.
Many universities and colleges utilize the Common App, one application that allows you to apply to several institutions at the same time. And when you complete this application, you will answer several questions, including all of your activities. So there isn’t any place to upload an admissions resume.
Of course, there will always be some exceptions. Cal State Apply is an application system that allows students to apply to one or several of the 23 college campuses in the California State University system.
But again, you will most likely not have to attach a college admission resume because you’ll include your activities, including research when completing the online application.
So it’s important to be sure to read all the application requirements in advance so you can spend your time wisely during the peak season of applying to college. However, having a resume is still valuable and recommended.
Though you can’t upload your resume as part of your college application, starting one as soon as possible is helpful because it allows you to see your own path better and can still help you with your application process. For example, you can simply copy and paste relevant sections of your resume to the application.
Additionally, a resume will come in handy when applying for on-campus jobs, internships, and perhaps any scholarships. So it’s important to have a resume that accurately reflects your education and activities, including research.
How To Include Research Experience On Your Resume
Including research experience in your high school resume for college applications may demonstrate your passion well. There are different ways to go about this, making it even more important to determine where best to showcase your overall experience, gained skills, and accomplishments.
1. Where to Place Research Experience
To determine where best to place research experience on your college resume, you must consider what the research experience adds to your resume. This is known as the resume objective. For example, if the research shows that you can make work-related deliverables, you should place it in your work history section.
Conversely, education-based research can go on your education or academics section. However, there’s a bit to this. There’s a lot of flexibility when including research and skills on your college application resume. Therefore, you need to ask yourself questions relevant to your research.
Questions to Ask: Research Experience Placement Options in a High School Resume
- Was my research an extracurricular activity? Meaning, the research was a self-lead project that was not part of a research program.
- Did I earn college credit by completing the research project? Then you can place your research in the college course section if your research comes with an official college transcript.
- Was this research part of an internship or volunteer experience? Then you could place your experience in this section.
- Was this research part of your previous job? Research could also go in your career/work experience section.
To further help you decide placement, it is also important to understand the type of research you conduct or get involved in because different types of research will go to different parts of your resume.
If you do research through a program that is not accredited or a respected name with a long history, it benefits you more if you list it under extracurricular activities, describing it as your own self-lead project.
If you do research through a respected program with strong selectivity and history, you shine a lot by adding the research program to your education section. In addition, if your research program is accredited as a college course, you should list it under a college course.
2. How to Write Research Experience in Your High School Resume
Having decided which section to place your research experience in, it’s time to present details related to your project.
This part is important since research demonstrates your knowledge, skills, and accomplishments.
No matter where you decide to place your research experience:
- You need to provide the duration of your research and the time you spent on it weekly.
- Make sure you include specific information about your research. You should highlight what showcase the level of your research.
- Remember, if the research program you participated in is prestigious, you should specify the name. If not, you can describe it as self-driven research because “research service” is now widely available for any high school student.
While this part is almost as similar as adding your work experiences in your work history section, below are a few background details you should include in the resume you craft to prepare you for your college application.
- The title of the research paper
- The nature of the research project. Is it self-driven? Is it a lab research internship? Is it original or not?
- Research duration with dates.
- Project supervisor’s name.
- Your research outcome
- (If you do research through a respected program), List the name, college, or university hosting your research project.
- Describe your role in the project. In addition, emphasize your quantified accomplishments and deliverables while keeping the details in summary form..
- Include specific skills related to your research experience on your college application resume. These could include prowess in using particular software, surveying skills, etc.
3. Examples: College Application Resume With An Online Research Project
i). In the Academic Section
Pioneer Academics Research Institute, selective & accredited research program for high schoolers
Conducted original research of testing accuracy threshold for COVID-19 through a SIR computational model (used coding, python, and modeling)
Self-driven research project of water pollution sampling
Pursued a research initiative and produced comparing water pollution levels of River Monx by sampling, examining chemicals, and analyzing the data.
The space in the college application forms is well defined in terms of the number of words and characters you can write. Take your time to choose the best verb to start your description, and ensure you include the part of the research you are most proud of.
ii). In the Career Oriented Section
Laboratory Research Assistant
Collaborated with researchers to perform cell maintenance, log data, and screen for errors.
3. Tips for Including Online Research Experience On Your College Admission Resume
Below are a few tips on including your valuable research experience on your college resume, the one we encourage you to start building as early as possible in high school.
- Quantify your accomplishments – This is important for college recruiters to see the impact of your project. So don’t be shy to add those numbers to your resume for your college application.
- Remember to add research skills to the skills section – This part highlights the specific skills you gained from your research. You can include many skills but narrow them down to their relevance and specificity to your research project.
- Include research bits throughout your resume – This is important if you’ve had a lot of research experience in academic settings, volunteer opportunities, or employment history. Showing that you have hands-on research experience is great for the best college application resumes.
4. Additional Suggestions for Composing Your College Admission Resume Before You Apply
Now that we’ve included your research project in your college application resume before you start your college application process, it’s important to ensure that your resume is clear and accurate. Below are tips to help you compose the best resume to allow you best strategize your college applications.
- Keep your resume concise – Factor in your resume objective to ensure you only share the valuable and necessary information for college applications. For example, there’s probably no need to mention that you were on the soccer team for one semester in ninth grade.
- Make depth and length the center of your resume – A good resume for college needs to showcase important accomplishments and experiences relevant to your application. For example, instead of listing 20 extracurricular activities that you took part in, choose two or three that are key in your college application and align with your resume objective. Remember that the ideal high school resume for college applications should be about one or two pages.
- Give details where possible – Details will set your college application apart from one with activities listed below. If you’ve mentioned that you were in the Spanish club, provide details like your role, specific contributions, participation hours, and other information to make you stand out.
- Formatting – Make your college application resume easy to scan and read through. Organize your headings and lists and use a consistent font throughout the resume. You can check college application resume examples for formatting help. Don’t forget to proofread your resume!
- Honesty and Accuracy – Recruiters can easily spot inaccuracies in your college admission resume. Therefore, be sure to give honest and accurate information.
College Resume or CV: What’s the Difference?
Before we wrap up, it’s also important to understand the differences between a resume and a CV. Resume and CV are often used interchangeably to describe the same thing. However, some differences can affect how you showcase your skills, work, and other accomplishments.
A curriculum vitae (CV) allows you to share in detail your complete educational background, including your academic achievements and credentials. You can also share full reports you have authored, research projects, seminars, presentations, and publications.
CVs give you the freedom to share all relevant information in detail. For instance, say you have included a research project you did on your CV. You are free to disclose information about the project, your teammates, and even the final assessment or conclusion.
Conversely, a resume refers to a summary of your industry experiences. Unlike a CV, a resume focuses more on your skills than academic accomplishments. So, instead of sharing details about your research projects and credentials, a college application resume requires you to summarize your experiences and skills.
Does the Length Vary in College Admissions Resumes or CVs?
Another major difference between a college admission resume and a CV is the length. Generally, CVs are much longer than college admission resumes since they highlight academic achievements and research projects in depth.
You will also find that CV lengths vary from person to person depending on the individual’s academic awards and credentials. On the other hand, a resume is usually one and two pages long.
Which is Better for High School Students: A Resume or CV?
Short answer? Both.
It’s important to have your CV and high school resume on standby, depending on what you’re applying for. For example, a CV may be better if you apply for academic-related opportunities like scholarships, grants, research projects, or other academic positions.
On the other hand, a resume is best for experience and work-based opportunities. This is because recruiters are often short on time and must find the ideal candidate quickly. So, summarizing your experiences and skills helps showcase these qualities to the employer.
These processes are not written in stone and will sometimes vary depending on the college or industry. For example, once you are on a college campus, some great opportunities may ask for your high school resume instead of a CV since few students have adequate academic research to warrant a CV.
Research Opportunities with Pioneer Academics
Research skills and experiences can be valuable for your high school resume or CV only when your research experience is consistent with your path or your demonstrated interests. Another key factor in how valuable your research experience is on your college application resume is if the university can trust that you have done your research professionally and solidly.
If you conduct your research with a trusted name, you can focus more on describing the specifics of the research findings or the methods and tools you used.
If your research is self-driven or through a research service organization, you should focus more on why you pursued your research.
So, if you think you want to gain research skills and showcase them in your college admission resume, consider the pros and cons and choose the best research path for yourself.
If you’re curious about research opportunities available via Pioneer Academics, sign up today to attend an online informational session.