The Ivy League colleges are known for their academic rigor, prestigious reputation, and exceptional students. Unlike other colleges, they don’t just focus on the best scores.
They need more of you. They want to know how interesting you are. What drives you every day to show up? And can they help you in your quest to become the next world leader?
In short, they are looking for applicants with a hunger to make the world a better place using their unique sets of skills, like leadership, creativity, and design thinking.
When writing a resume for an Ivy League College Admission, you must internalize that for every seat, there are 10-12 impressive candidates vying for admission. Your application should demonstrate your unique “voice” to get that “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted” letter in your mailbox.
So how can you stand out in thousands of “deserving” applications?
While there is no surefire formula to guarantee admission, there are some simple but effective ways to make your resume more attractive to admissions officers.
5 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out In IVY League College Admission
1. Focus on your achievements, not just your activities
Admissions officers are not just interested in your activities; they want to see what you accomplished during those activities. From an evaluator’s perspective, extracurricular activities can be classified into four tiers.
- Tier 1 comprises rare or exceptional activities, such as being a nationally ranked athlete.
- Tier 2 consists of activities highlighting significant accomplishments like being elected student body president.
- Tier 3 includes smaller achievements, such as serving as an editor of the school paper.
- Lastly, Tier 4 encompasses general participation in student clubs and other leisurely pursuits.
While dividing achievements into these specific tiers is unnecessary, doing so could help you better showcase the most impressive and impactful aspects of your extracurricular involvement.
2. Quantify your accomplishments
Quantifying accomplishments can be a powerful way to make achievements stand out on college applications. Including specific numbers, percentages, or other metrics can provide concrete evidence of the impact and accomplishments of activities pursued.
For example, instead of just writing “volunteered at a Blind Association for Kids,” you could write “volunteered at a Blind Association for Kids for 100 hours, reading aloud to over 500 visually impaired children.”
Quantifying accomplishments provides admissions evaluators with more information about your achievements and shows that the student is detail-oriented, goal-driven, and results-oriented.
However, it’s important to note that not all accomplishments can be easily quantified, and that’s okay. In those cases, it’s still important to describe the activity and its impact as specifically as possible.
3. Use strong action verbs
Using strong action verbs can make the application more dynamic by demonstrating your ability to take charge and make things happen. Instead of saying you “participated” in a club or organization, use more dynamic verbs like “led,” “initiated,” or “organized.”
However, it’s important to use these verbs appropriately with a goal of creating a compelling narrative of your achievements and impact without coming across as boastful or insincere.
For example, instead of writing “participated in a community service project,” you could write “led a team of volunteers in a community service project, which helped raise 500 pounds donated to a local food bank.”
Using the action verb “led” and the specific details about the funds raised will likely grab the reader’s attention.
4. Follow One-Page Rule
Admissions officers must review thousands of applications, so it’s important to make your resume concise. Most Ivy coaches and consultants will ask you to stick to the “One Page Rule.”
“Contrary to the popular belief of adding everything in the application under the sun, the ‘less is more’ approach works like a charmer,” suggests Caroline Koppleman. Caroline, founder and CEO of The Koppelman Group (TKG), adds, “focusing on what’s truly the most important. A resume is a distilled picture of who you are. It isn’t meant to be deep or comprehensive, and the one-page limit is an important filter. “
- Use bullet points to break up long paragraphs, and include only relevant information.
- Avoid using small fonts or too many colors, as these can make your resume look cluttered and difficult to read.
In conclusion, making your resume stand out in Ivy League college admission requires a combination of strategy and attention to detail.
“The font must be legible without zooming in with 0.5 inches margins, and it must be one page”, Caroline further adds.
5. Tailor your resume to each college
While it’s essential to have a general resume highlighting your achievements and activities, it’s also a good idea to tailor your resume to each college to which you’re applying.
Research each college’s mission, values, and programs, and customize your resume to highlight the aspects of your background and experiences that align with those of the college.
Drafting a resume for IVY League College is not an activity you can indulge in the night before the application. It has to be worked out systematically. You must be genuinely deserving, and every word should demonstrate your capabilities. With the right approach and guidance, writing a winning resume for IVY League College Admissions is simpler than you think.
So, if you’re aiming for an IVY League education, remember that your resume is your chance to showcase your unique talents and achievements.
Take the time to craft a compelling story that highlights your strengths and experiences. And don’t forget that seeking feedback from others can make a big difference in the quality of your application.
Keep striving and believe in yourself – the future is yours to shape!
Good Luck 🙂
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