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Does your College Application Need a Resume?

Colleges fall into three categories with approximately 1/3 of the 900+ colleges on the Common App allowing for the upload of a resume.


    • An application requirement is an uploaded resume. Examples: Georgetown University and MIT
    • If you’d like to submit a resume, please upload one. Examples: University of Cincinnati and Boston College
    • Don’t send extra materials for us to read. Examples: Ohio State University and University of Virginia

Obviously, if a resume is required or even “recommended”, you will do it. But what if it’s totally optional?

If your resume would be 100% repetitive of your Common App (or other application) activities and honors list, then you might want to leave it off. However, at LEAP, we highly doubt your resume would be identical.

Here are the tight constraints of reflecting your activities on the Common App.

  • Limited to 10 Activities and 5 Honors
    • Do you have more? Then you need a resume.
  • Tight character counts: 50 characters (including spaces!) for your position, 100 characters for the Organization Name then only 150 characters (yep, spaces count here too!) for what you accomplished and how you were recognized
    • Remember the 140 character Tweet? This is just over that and can be challenging to accomplish while fully highlighting your strengths.
A resume has no character limits and spaces don’t count!

In addition to the resume upload feature, we believe having a resume put together as early as possible strengthens the college applicant in other ways:

  • Insures the student doesn't forget what they've done along the way
  • Serves as an overview to evaluate how the high school student spends their time outside of the classroom even pointing them in the direction of pursuing more valuable extracurriculars
  • Helps with the brainstorming process of jump starting essays for college applications including both the personal statement and college supplemental essays
  • Saves time on applications through copy and paste when you use the LEAP Google Doc template
  • Helps the student get better recommendation letters for college when shared with your recommenders

We go into these more at length in a previous post.

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