Students going through the college admissions process ( or trying to get an internship or summer job) need to craft the best high school resume to tell their admissions story. Only having a high school resume on paper just isn’t enough anymore. Students need to have a comprehensive digital footprint that supports, highlights, and expands on their high school resume. When a teen focuses on using their digital footprint to enhance their high school resume, they stand out from their competition.
So we asked 6 experts, what are some new ways students can shine online for their high school resume and the college admissions process?
1. Find or create an unpaid internship in your field of studyDiane Huth, MA MBA, Brand You Guide, @BrandYouGuide
Find or create an unpaid internship in your field of study. As a high-school student, you probably won’t qualify for a paid internship. However, you can volunteer for an unpaid internship to learn about your desired professional field. Search out a small company or a visionary leader you would like to have as a mentor, and volunteer to work for that person for a period of time for free for the experience. This can be part time 10 – 15 hours a week, or full time during the summer. Use this unpaid internship to gain credentials for a later paid internship in a larger company. Make sure you get a letter of recommendation, and a recommendation on LinkedIn.
It’s never too early to create and promote your LinkedIn page. Start building out your LinkedIn page now. List your current schooling, awards, recognitions, part time jobs, volunteer roles, and awards and honors. Allow LinkedIn to access your email database to find out who you know who has a LinkedIn page. Ask for recommendations from teachers, mentors, supervisors in volunteer organizations, or anyone who knows you and your work ethic. Start reading and responding to articles of interest with a few insightful comments. You will be far ahead of your peers who may not get working on their LinkedIn profiles until well into their college years.
2. Show images of you using your talents and strengths to benefit othersErin Goodnow, Going Ivy
As with anything you put online, beware of how it can be interpreted. College admissions officers will look at a student’s ZeeMee video, Instagram account, Facebook profile and more to see how wonderfully creative, unique and social you are. But they’ll also look to see how mature you are, and your online presence shouldn’t spoil that for you with inappropriate language, memes, or photos.
Show images of you engaging in your community, using your talents and strengths to benefit others, enjoying family and friends, and doing things you are passionate about. If you say you’re passionate about it on your college application, that should be evident in social media, as well.
3. Use videos to enhance your high school resumeJosh Ochs, SmartSocial.com, @JoshOchs
Consistently posting helpful and positive videos is one of the best ways to shine online. With your parents permission, create a YouTube channel using your first and last name. Find unique ways to use your YouTube channel to tell your college admissions story. Create videos that teach people something you are passionate about, highlight a volunteering experience you had, talk about your achievements in a humble and grateful way, or showcase your talents. Post your videos to your other social media profiles like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or ZeeMee and include a short written description about the video.
4. Post successful school projects in the LinkedIn “Projects” sectionDawn D. Boyer, Ph.D., D. Boyer Consulting
Ensure the student has created a LinkedIn profile with a professional headshot and a list of school or job related activities, as well as volunteer experience. If the student is in the ‘fine arts’ – create a portfolio of videos, photographs, or audio recordings of their sample work as an online portfolio. If the student is in sports, then perhaps create a social media page that showcases the entire team and their participation in the team achievements, including leadership (e.g., team Captain).
Post essays, books, or successful school projects descriptions or information in the LinkedIn “Projects” section. Encourage the student to participate and provide documentation of their volunteer time to nonprofits and charities.
5. Make a websiteAndrew Selepak, Ph.D., University of Florida
Resumes are either paper or electronic documents that need to be passed from person to person by hand, or sent as attachments that most people don’t open. And they offer few options to demonstrate skills, other than text. However, a portfolio website allows students to show off who they are through multimedia. Students can also include their social media accounts on the site, videos of them including an elevator pitch, and photos interacting or working with companies. Since a website can link to any social media platform, it is more valuable than any one platform to build your brand.
6. Craft a comprehensive online presence that conveys why you’re pursuing your particular route
Karilyn Dearie, CV Genius
Colleges and employers want to see today’s students answer the question: Why? The stigma of America’s modern youth is that they’re keen to follow the latest trend without rhyme or reason. Prove your purpose by crafting a comprehensive online presence that conveys why you’re pursuing your particular route by detailing your driving factors and ambitions in your social media profiles, resume, college statement, and LinkedIn page.