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How to upgrade your college application

The college application process is competitive. You and your counterparts are vying for a seat in the incoming class and for scholarships. What are you doing to make sure your application stands out from those of your peers? If you can't immediately answer this question, read further for ideas about how to ensure you submit a memorable application.

Include a resume. Make sure the application instructions allow you to do this. Some colleges are strict about the number and type of addendums they will accept. If you are sure that including an addendum such as a resume is within your application limits, use your resume as an opportunity to stand out among your peers. Make sure it is correctly formatted, and gives the appropriate details about how many hours per week you worked during your school semesters. Include a list of any awards or special honors you’ve received. This website may offer useful resume writing tips. Additionally, there are a ton of websites that offer free resume building templates. Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, and most other word processing programs also offer resume building resources.

Start a blog. Inviting admissions counselors to view a blog you’ve written is an opportunity to show off your writing ability—a skill that is essential to college success. You may mention that you have a blog on your resume, in your personal statement, or in another appropriate place in your application. Just make sure that the blog you are introducing serves the purpose you want it to—to show off your writing and thinking ability, and your creativity. This being said, the blog you showcase should be intellectually stimulating.

You can use your blog to show off a particular interest or skill. Use a blog to record your achievements. You may include photos with captions, informative journal entries, and advice for your peers.

If you’re applying to a fashion program, you could start a high school fashion blog, for instance. You could post a book report you aced, or write a review of a book you leisurely read, or post a movie review. What about starting an advice column? If you’re interested in film, post videos of your self-made short films.

You can start a blog for free using Google Blogger or Wordpress. There are many other resources available for blog-starting, but Google Blogger and Wordpress are probably the two most popular and respected sites. Blogging may also offer you an opportunity to finance your college education, as programs like Google Ad Sense offer you the opportunity to get paid for visitors to your site.

Volunteer. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to show off your interest in helping others, demonstrate that you have taken the initiative to pursue your interests, and shows that you are able to balance your time between school, work, and other activities.

Volunteering is also a great way to gain work experience, which is typically viewed favorably by admission counselors. Work experience is typically equated with maturity and responsibility.

Take advantage of additional and supplementary academic experiences. Most colleges offer programs for high school students that offer young’uns the opportunity to advance their studies and to get a taste of college student life. Many of these programs are free and are offered during various semesters. If you are able to secure a spot in one of these coveted programs, make sure to mention or discuss it in your personal statement or include it in your resume—or both!

Taking advantage of additional and supplementary academic experiences is especially important for students whose high schools lack advanced academic resources like advanced placement courses.

Make sure your social media presence is appropriate. Get used to being investigated. From now on, you can assume that most of the experiences you apply for will be accompanied by a review of your social media presence. Your Facebook, Twitter, Snapfish, Instagram, and other social media involvements are likely to be scrutinized. The fact that your image, and statements you make, can show up on other people’s social media websites makes managing one’s image even harder. Be careful, then, about posing for photos.

If you’ve used any of the tips above, or have additional tips about how to upgrade a college application, please feel free to add a comment to this article.