The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Seminar discusses college applications

By Remy McCool/reporter

Building an academic resume is essential to a student’s success, a NE English instructor told students Nov. 6.

During College Fish: Academic Resumes and Scholarship Essays, Shewanda Riley explained the content of an academic resume and the importance of a well-written scholarship essay.

“This is info that is going to help you in the transfer process,” she said.

An academic resume must portray a student in the best light, Riley said. Students should keep an emphasis on the experiences they have had as a student.

“It is your way of marketing yourself as a student,” she said.

Riley said a student’s academic resume should include education, honors, rewards or scholarships, research experience, language skills, volunteer experience, campus activities and work experience.

Even if a student has not yet finished a degree, it is acceptable to simply list the degree being worked toward but also to indicate the projected graduation date.

Research experience can be obtained in many classes, whether for a speech, science project or group project. Although some research experience may not be related to a student’s major, it is still important to include it, Riley said.

“The subject might not be relevant, but the skill that you learned is,” she said. “What they are looking for is that you learned that skill.”

If a student has had any classes in a foreign language, it is all right to list them on an academic resume, simply stating that they have basic knowledge, Riley said. It is not necessary to be fluent in that language to add it to an academic resume.

It is also wise to include all job experiences, Riley said, because all jobs, whether they pertain to a student’s major, did develop and put into practice a useful skill.

Riley also encouraged students to get involved in campus organizations.

“This is where you start to build up your campus work,” she said. “If all you have time for is one organization, join that one organization and be engaged.”

Creating an academic resume builds the foundation for a scholarship essay. Writing a successful essay will increase the likelihood of receiving the scholarship, Riley said.

Having a basic email address is important when a student wants to be seen as professional. Upon review of a resume, an email address is the one that will be seen repeatedly, said Vicki McCleery of NE career and employment services. She suggested using first and last names and keeping it simple.

“It’s a way to brand your name,” she said.

Most importantly, Riley said, students should answer the question asked in the essay and follow directions.

“When they are looking over those scholarship essays, the first thing they look for is did you follow instructions,” she said.

Not being arrogant, analyzing the question and the organization offering the scholarship, avoiding passive voice and refraining from talking about difficulties are other suggestions for a successful essay. Rather than mentioning struggles that have been overcome, it is best to let a letter of recommendation portray that, Riley said.

Riley encouraged students to use the resources around them to develop a successful essay and not to procrastinate.

“The way to avoid having a really bad scholarship essay is you go to the writing center on campus, use the people around you that are good writers and use your English teachers,” she said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian