As the cost of college tuition and associated expenses rises, more and more students attempt to take advantage of available scholarships and financial aid. Thousands of scholarships are available to all segments of the population and to people with almost any interest and talent. A successful scholarship search requires that you carefully target your resume and application to stand out from other applicants. Preparing a resume for a scholarship is not significantly different from any other resume that a high school or college student might need.
Write a list of every activity, achievement, honor and skill you have. Use this list to fill in the sections of your scholarship resume. Ask your parents and peers to help you remember the achievements that could work on the resume.
Research each scholarship and make a list of the top qualities required, based on the mission statement, website, and accepted students. Address as many of these traits as possible throughout your resume. Making slight changes to the wording of your resume to better fit the scholarship's requirements shows the selection committee why you qualify for the award.
Center your name, phone number and email address at the top of the page. If your email address is offbeat like firstname.lastname@example.org, consider getting a new, professional-sounding address with your email@example.com.
Divide your resume into four sections with bold headings: Academic Experience, Extracurricular Activities, Work Experience, and Awards and Honors. Almost anything you need to put down on a scholarship resume falls into one of these four categories. Adjust the names of the headings as desired to show your personality and to highlight your experiences. Leave spaces between each section to visually break up the resume.
List your Academic Experience section at the top of your resume, since most scholarships require you to have a certain GPA. Include your weighted and unweighted GPA, any advanced placement or honors classes you have taken and any majors or minors. Include your expected date of degree completion.
Follow up your academic experience with any extracurricular activities, and target these activities specifically for your scholarship. For example, if the scholarship emphasizes community service, list your volunteer hours and dates at the top of your Extracurricular Activities section. Each activity should begin on a new line. Use bullet lists to highlight your responsibilities or achievements in the extracurricular activities, particularly focusing on duties related to the scholarship requirements. Use action words to convey your qualifications and experience.
List your work experience in the third section. Even if you just had a summer job at the local supermarket, you should mention it. Scholarship directors do not expect every applicant to do amazing internships abroad, but they do expect you to have spent your time doing something productive. Work experience shows you were able to manage your time between academics and a job. Skills you gained in your job may also relate to qualifications for the scholarship.
List your awards and honors in the last section. Include other scholarships that you have already won. Include academic honors, such as honor roll or National Honor Society.
Proofread the resume, let it sit for a few days, and proofread it again. Cut out extra words that don't get right to the point. Ask your English teacher, counselor or parent to proofread the resume for you. Typos or grammatical errors on the resume hurt your chances of being selected.
- Showcase your accomplishments but only if they are true. Avoid the temptation to exaggerate or make up achievements.
- Write your resume using a standard font like Times New Roman or Arial. Using a different font can make the resume difficult to read or unprofessional.
- Limit your resume to one page if possible. Resumes usually get only a quick review, so the committee may not take the time to review a long resume.
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