When you fill out college applications, you want to make a good impression and make yourself stand out from the rest of the competition.
To determine what will stand out the most on your application, you should research the colleges you’re applying for and see what skills and traits impress them the most.
You likely won’t need to include every activity you’ve participated in or jobs you’ve held, but you’ll want to include the ones you excelled in.
Not all students can work while completing high school, but it helps you stand out if you can. It shows that you’re responsible, mature, can balance multiple commitments at once, and dedicated to working towards your goals.
Learn more about how work experience is good for your college application, how to include it, and what else colleges look for in a college application.
Is Work Experience Good for Your College Application?
It’s a great idea to include work experience in your college application.
Students who have jobs have learned how to manage their time effectively, work as part of a team, and gain experience in a professional environment.
While maintaining a job is not essential to get into college, it’s something to be proud of and include in your application to increase your chances of being accepted.
Any work experience is valuable if it shows you have useful skills. Especially, if you were given increased responsibilities, such as promotions, or were named employee of the month. In these cases, you can expand on your leadership role and success.
Colleges love to see potential students with real-world life skills, people skills, and a dedication to hard work.
How to Include Work Experience on a College Application
Some college applications will have a section for you to include your work experience. In this case, include your employment history and details where designated.
You should not include jobs that you were fired from or that you only held for a short time.
Include the positions that show you’re responsible, hardworking, dependable, trustworthy, and organized.
If there’s no work experience section, you can still include your work experience under the activities section. For more than one job, list them in reverse chronological order.
The only time you may want to reconsider this order is if you have more experience and more skills in a job other than your most recent one. Then you’ll want to list the job that showcases your best skills and achievements first.
You can also explain why you took on the job if there’s room. Perhaps you need to save money for college or contribute to your family financially. While these may seem like minor details to you, they may mean a lot to a college.
It’s beneficial if your job is related to your major, and what you want to do in the future, but even unrelated jobs look good on your application.
Working in high school allows you to learn about what you do and do not like in a workplace, which is valuable. It can ensure you choose the right major and help you find one that fits your personality.
What Else Do Colleges Look for in a College Application?
Your college application should emphasize your best, most impressive qualities, as these will help you stand out in a positive and memorable way.
The following are factors you should include on your college application:
- A high GPA
- Strong test scores
- A well-written personal statement
- Extracurriluar activities
- Volunteering experience
- Letters of recommendation
- Work experience
While these elements help you stand out and get into the college of your dreams, don’t worry if you can’t include them all into your application.
A college can be just as interested in a student without these experiences or factors if they see that the student is eager to go to their school and has other valuable skills or knowledge.
Most colleges look at your application as a whole and consider your academic achievements, work experience, and unique skills. There are many ways that a student can help their college chances.
When you apply for college, you may be inundated with “helpful tips” from family, friends, teachers, etc. Everyone’s situation is different and what works for some may not work for others. The following tips, however, are universally applicable.
Students who apply early are more likely to be accepted. This shows the college that you’re invested in them and have a strong desire to learn and succeed. It also gives you time to correct any mistakes or mishaps with your application process.
Research and learn as much as you can
The more you know about your major and the college you’re applying for, the more serious and confident you’ll look to those reviewing your application. You may not know the exact path you want to take in your life at that point but have an idea of your the area of study you want to pursue.
Clean up your social media profiles
If a college sees offensive posts or photographs on your profiles, it could make you look bad, leading them to reject you.
A college wants potential students to look responsible and serious about their future. Too many negative posts or pictures of you partying will give them the wrong idea about your character.
Choosing the college of your dreams can be difficult, but filling out your college application can be even more challenging.
There’s no need to face these challenges alone when support is out there.
As a high school student, you have access to teachers, guidance counselors, and college planning specialists.
With a bit of help, time, and thought, you can make your college application stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.