What are things to add to your resume or application to make you stand out to colleges?
I work and I heard my counselor say that is something that a lot of colleges don't see anymore. They see a lot of impressive writing camps and things like that to make them stand out, but I just want to know what makes you really stand out to colleges when they are looking through your applications.
As a former Admissions Manager, I can speak to what I used to look for in resumes and applications. That said, know that there is no one way or right way to fill these out. Overall my advice is to be true to you. Don't add fluff items or things you think people are looking for just to fill the page.
When I started application review, I would actually spend a good bit of time scanning the document visually, especially a resume. Things like format, spacing, grammar, and clarity go a long way in terms of standing out from those that do not take the time to focus on those items.
Then when I'd start reading statements I'd look for actions and results. One way to write your bullets would be to consider CAR statements. Focus on challenge, action, and result to better explain your skill set. Ex. Rather than writing "Member of Student Council" you could write, "Joined Student Council to better understand event management, organized the school dance, and led a student team of 14 to achieve success".
Lindsay recommends the following next steps:
Great question! It is good you are thinking about what to add to your college applications to stand out. First, make sure your essay is astounding. Write about how specific moments in your life affected you that makes you different than others, why you choose your major, challenges you have overcome, or what makes you passionate. Make your essay vivid. Secondly, apply early because it will put your application in front of the line. Thirdly, attach a resume. Just incase the application missing a few questions that is important to you, you can add it to your resume. Fourthly, visit the campus often because colleges will look into how well you know the university and how many times you visited. Make a relationship with the university before applying. Fifthly, add newspaper article of your achievements to the back of your resume if accepted.
For my college application I knew my SAT score was not the greatest so I made sure I told them how determined I was to achieve academically and I made my essay personal. My essay was about why I choose my college and my major.