How to Prepare Your Resume for a Scholarship Application

A résumé is important to have at any stage of your school or working career. Keeping an up-to-date version on hand will help you chronicle achievements, work experience, and accomplishments in an organized fashion. However, preparing your résumé for a scholarship application can be a little different from a career-based résumé. Scholarship-based résumés are used to highlight your academic achievements and leadership experiences, rather than exclusively work experience.


Reinforce Your Résumé


Imagine splitting your résumé into three sections: academics, community service, and work experience. You want to show the institution or future employer that you are a well-rounded student. While relying heavily on only one segment of your résumé can help you earn a scholarship based on that certain category, you don’t want to appear one-sided. The best way to emphasize your strengths is to get a part-time job or volunteer for a local organization in an area of interest to you.


Take Advantage of Your Resources


Do not be afraid to ask for help. Taking advantage of the résumé review service found on the IDS Academic Honor Society’s website is a great starting point for scholarship applicants. With the help of their professional résumé writers, you will be provided with career tips, advice about job placement, and evaluations based on factors like academic honors, cumulative GPA, service, and leadership. With their helpful tips and advice, your résumé will be scholarship-ready in no time.


Getting to Know the Scholarship Guidelines


Compare your résumé to the scholarship guidelines to see what they are looking for. The selecting of scholarship recipients is based on a number of important factors. Scholarships will be awarded for academic achievement and work experience in categories such as arts, business, and education, as well as for community service, personal goals and aspirations, recommendation letters, and IDS ambassadorship. After reading the description of the scholarship, you wish to apply for, go back to your résumé and double check that your honors and accomplishments are highlighted before submitting the application.


Keeping Your Résumé Up-To-Date


A résumé can always be updated, and in fact should be updated regularly. You will constantly be growing in experience and achieving new goals in school and at work, which should be reflected on your résumé. With each new scholarship you apply to, it is important to let your résumé grow with you. Deleting old or irrelevant information in exchange for current experiences is one way to keep your résumé looking up-to-date and scholarship-ready.


Extra Résumé-Writing Tips


The first tip is to keep your résumé specific and concise; long descriptions are unnecessary and clutter the page. All entries should be professional with no personal references such as religion, race, or individual goals; this can be saved for personal statements, if required. However, if the institute or organization you are applying to requests that the applicant write a personal statement, keep the specific scholarship guidelines in mind when doing so. Introduce yourself in a way that features the key achievements that the scholarship is looking for. Lastly, don’t forget to utilize references. Letters of recommendation are very important in reinforcing an applicant’s accomplishments and experiences through the words of professors and employers, those who see your commitment hard work firsthand.


These are just some of the many ways an applicant can prepare his or her résumé for a scholarship. Remembering to keep your résumé full of experience, up-to-date, and clutter-free is a guaranteed way to get noticed by institutes and employers. More importantly, being honestly and confident on your résumé will help you stand out on paper and help you earn that scholarship.