Juniors (or new rising seniors) are entering a year of bragging, a skill most lack because they live in a world of superficiality enabled by rampant social media usage. Yet rising seniors must learn to successfully boast about themselves to get admitted to competitive colleges and/or receive merit scholarships.
Here are four tips to get rising seniors started on their positive, self-promotional journey.
- Resume development.
Now is the perfect time for rising seniors to prepare and/or update resumes. Using power verbs, they need to highlight areas of leadership and initiative within each area, from education to extracurricular activities to community service. Take a look at worksheets of resume power verbs like http://www.uni.edu/careerservices/students/rcl/docs/actionverbs.pdf . These lists of action verbs can help students learn to highlight their accomplishments.
- Counselor and Teacher Questionnaire/Brag Sheet Completion.
Many students need to complete counselor and teacher questionnaires to help these busy professionals write letters of recommendation. They are called “brag sheets” for a reason—educators want students to brag about themselves, which help the educator write powerful, specific recommendations. The end of junior year is the perfect time to get started. With brag sheets, I ask students to expand their resumes by making sure they focus on different strengths in each question and by giving specific examples to back up each point. If they get stuck, I show them lists of positive personality adjectives: http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/300-positive-words-to-describe-your-children/
- Essay/Personal Statement Brainstorming.
Now is a great time to help students understand the power of the application and scholarship essays they will need to write senior year. Many application systems open up August 1, and the major prompts have already been released. Essays are the major personal way students can share, reflect, and stand out for admissions officers beyond resumes and recommendations. Now is a great time for rising seniors to brainstorm potential stories of impact and initiative that they can use in their essay drafts this summer. They can access my PowerPoint on “Getting A Head Start on College Application Essays: Impact and Initiative” at http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege/getting-a-head-start-on-college-application-essays-impact-and-initiative
- Interview Readiness.
Many colleges and/or scholarships begin to conduct interviews over the summer. Students need to realize that they must boast during their interviews. To help them get ready, we can help them prepare specific stories about their academic passions, their out-of- school passions, and their college goals. The more specific students are about their passions and talents, the more they can impress an interviewer. In every form of communication with an admissions representative, rising seniors must focus on their accomplishments. They can bring their resumes with them to help remind them of their achievements. They can read my detailed interview tips at http://getmetocollege.org/hs/application-essay-tips/collegeinterviews
By Rebecca Joseph