Creating an Activity Resume

Published by Wendy Nelson on

Activity ResumeIs your student prepared to list out all activities, awards, and experiences for college applications? Even if your student is not a rising senior, I recommend starting an activity resume now and updating it as he or she gets closer to college application time.

When creating an activity resume, you want to keep a clean and easy to read format, similar to an employment resume.  I have created a free Microsoft Word activity resume template that you can download here.

Share the tips for creating an activity resume below with your student to get him or her started.

What to Use an Activity Resume For:

  • College Applications – Many applications may require you to fit your activities into little boxes on the application.  In that case, you will have a document to pull all of these activities from, making sure you have included everything
  • Scholarship Applications – Many scholarship applications, especially local ones, will have you submit your activity resume as part of the application
  • Recommendation Letters – Give a copy of your activity resume to anyone you are asking to write a recommendation letter for you
  • College Interviews – If you are going on an interview as part of the college application process, bring a copy of your activity resume to hand to the interviewer
  • Jobs and Internships – At this point, you probably don’t have enough work experience for a true job resume, so the activity resume can be used

Things to Include in an Activity Resume:

  • School activities – include sports and clubs, make sure to list any leadership positions you held and the years you participated
  • Honors/Awards – include things you won in school and outside of school
  • Community Activities/Service – include all activities outside of school including volunteer work, list out any important details (projects, accomplishments); include the number of hours you devoted to each item
  • Work Experience – include any jobs you have held, dates held and number of hours per week
  • Other – include anything that doesn’t fit in the categories above, like summer camps or summer college programs

How to Organize an Activity Resume:

  • Keep it to 1-2 pages
  • Use reverse chronological order – most recent experiences first
  • To save space, whittle it down to the most impressive things – things where you can say “this is how I made a difference” (if you can’t say anything beyond “I participated”, then it probably isn’t worth including)

If you use my standardized activity resume template for creating an activity resume, you will have a good starting point.  There is still a lot of room for creativity when deciding how to describe each item on the activity resume.  Just remember to keep it clean, easy to read and not overly wordy.  Make sure that highlights unique experiences, qualities and characteristics that will help you to stand out for college applications, scholarships and other opportunities.


Patti Kirk · August 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm

The Activity Resume is a great one, and the template is quite useful. I had my daughter fill one out, and it is quite useful for copying and pasting for the numerous college applications and scholarship forms she is (and will be) completing. Thank you!

    Wendy Nelson · August 13, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, Patti! Also, for all those scholarship applications, check out the Scholarship Tracker template available on my resources page:


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