As I mentioned in a previous blog, the most important thing to remember when you submit your resume is that an actual person is going to read it, and people respond to stories, not numbers.
If you want to stand out, then, you need to be interesting.
The good news for you is that you already are interesting, even if you don't realize it. You have lived a one-of-a-kind life, you are surrounded by particular people, and you care about particular causes. So, why should your resume be boring?
Your resume should tell your story
The simplest way to make sure your resume reflects your interesting self (and really pops) is to document your experiences in a way that really tells the story of you. If you have a particular relationship with your grandpa that helped to shape you, for instance, you can start a journal or even create a podcast where you interview your grandpa or reflect on your relationship. You don't have to be high tech, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel. A small project like this will give you something to talk about, making it easy to inject color into your resume as well as your essays.
If you're lacking in experiences, get out and do something related to your interests.
So, what does that look like, exactly?
Again, it doesn't have to be complicated - you just want to clearly demonstrate your interests to someone else. If you love the outdoors, take your camera with you, and create a YouTube channel where you talk about the best local parks and trails.
If you're passionate about music, consider why, and think of a creative way to share your passion - maybe get involved with a program or even create a program to share music with other students.
You might even be able to elevate your project to a Passion Project and really make your resume stand out.
Why it works
Picture those human beings on the other side of you application - the people who will actually read each one of your answers. What do they know about you? How would they be able to advocate for you? Most importantly, why would they care whether you attend their university?
Consider these two applicants. One is qualified; the other is interesting:
My biggest influence was my grandfather.
My grandfather inspired my podcast.
My favorite hobby is camping.
I love camping! I even created a YouTube channel...
Music is my passion!
Music has shaped my life so much that I developed a program to share my passion with students at my old elementary school.
You have ample opportunity to add color and to tell the person reading your resume or your essay a little more about you - in a way that makes that person on the other side of the application actually like you. Tell your story... you're an interesting person. All you have to do is make your interesting life an interesting read.
- Randy Biggs
Owner, Heritage College Prep
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