When you’re getting ready for those crucial moments that will determine your college life, and ultimately your future, every bit of help counts. By reading this article series, you’ll learn how to utilize multiple resources in order to ace the ACT/SAT, get involved, and get accepted, so get ready to Maximize Your College Potential!
In this, the second article of Maximize Your College Potential, I am going to continue to provide assistance on the oh-so-important piece of your college hopes and dreams-the resume/application. My goal in this edition of MYCP is to elaborate on the first of the three steps to building your resume/application: getting involved.
Some people believe that getting involved is easy. In others eyes, it is the easiest part, only taking a few moments to complete and a few minutes to maintain. I am going to tell you that that is the BIGGEST mistake that people make when metaphorically “climbing the ladder of success”.
Colleges, particularly bigger name colleges such as Stanford, Yale, Harvard or Princeton, are not daft at all. They KNOW about those little completely-pointless-except-for-looking-good-on-a-resume clubs because they have done their research. Now that I have that out of the way, I can talk about the proper way to get involved.
Don’t get me wrong: small, school-based clubs are great and they will pad your resume/application. However, getting involved in those clubs is something that, after a certain point, won’t help you one bit if you don’t have some quality clubs in there.
I typically rate clubs into four main classes, each very important:
Class I: (Co-curricular)Small-time, school-operated clubs– These clubs, although extremely important for your resume/application, are only useful to a certain point. I see these clubs as a kind of glue or tack you put things together with: you don’t build a house out of glue. You shouldn’t, and as far as I know it actually is not possible. Examples: Chinese Club, Spanish Club, Outdoors Club, Chess Club, etc.
Class II: (Co-curricular)School chapters of a state/national organization- These clubs are CRUCIAL in building your resume. Chances are, because these are chapters of a larger organization, the colleges you are applying to have heard of and perhaps have even dealt with these organizations personally. The more clubs like these you can fit into your schedule, the better. However, a warning is in order: if you have too many of these you can lose sight of the other more important things: your schoolwork, for instance. Examples: FBLA, DECA, VICA, Forensics, FCCLA, etc. (If you don’t know what these clubs are, Google them.)
Class III: (Co-curricular)Student government and advocacy groups- These groups, again, are crucial in helping those colleges make the right choice in accepting you into their school. Having these groups on your resume says to them, Hey! This student cares about others that they want to get involved to make their school and community a better place. The colleges, naturally, will want YOU to be at their college so you can make a difference there too. Examples: Renaissance, Student Council, Student Government, Disciplinary Council, etc.
Class IV: (Extracurricular) Leadership/Volunteer Groups- These groups are the biggies. Without at least a couple of these,major colleges really won’t even consider you. These programs are crucial in building your resume. Make sure that, if available, you receive/earn any achievements or awards available. Examples: Boy/Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, etc.
Having a healthy balance of these groups is the key to having a great resume. Getting involved in volunteer efforts is also crucial. It’s easy. Help out at the local soup kitchen, the local humane society, or any place that needs your help and you can make a difference.
Keep your eyes peeled, people! The next installment of this will be out soon, so keep checking back so you can Maximize Your College Potential!