Scholarship resumes communicate your experiences and qualifications that make you an excellent candidate for a specific scholarship or fellowship. There are three basic steps to creating such a resume:
Create a ‘master’ scholarship resume that is a comprehensive list of all of your co-curricular activities from your time in college.
Once you have a scholarship in mind, edit your master resume to emphasize your fit with that particular scholarship and its selection criteria.
A scholarship resume is generally two-pages, and uses a standard size, professional font. You can find links to scholarship templates at the bottom of this document.
A scholarship resume is best described as a co-curricular complement to an academic transcript; that is, it is a document intended to communicate your experiences and qualifications that make you an excellent candidate for the scholarship to which you are applying. How do you spend your time outside of the classroom? What skills have you developed that complement those you’ve learned in your formal education? How have the whole of your recent experiences prepared you for this opportunity? Your scholarship resume is one avenue through which you can communicate these answers to a scholarship review committee.
Before crafting your scholarship resume, you’ll want to start by creating a ‘master’ resume which is essentially a list of all co-curricular activities you have participated in during your time at UM. Include even the most mundane or odd experiences; you’ll have time to edit them later. Once you list all of the experiences you have had, it might help to organize them by type (under a particular section header) and chronologically within these sections. Finally, for each position or experience, write three or four descriptions of what you accomplished in that position.
Next, you’ll want to tailor your master resume into a much shorter scholarship-specific resume. Your resume is an opportunity for you to emphasize how your co-curricular activities “fit” with a certain scholarship selection criteria. While there are a few ways to emphasize fit in a resume, there are three we want to focus on at this stage:
As you create your scholarship resume from your larger master resume, keep the experiences that appeal to the values of the scholarship to which you are applying.
Organize your experiences into sections that group your co-curricular activities together in meaningful ways.
Use the descriptions of each activity as an opportunity to describe not only what you did in each position but how that position was a prototype activity that has prepared you for and clarified your interest in the opportunity you have decided to pursue.
To illustrate this process, let’s take a look at the Marshall Scholarship for two years of graduate study in the UK. The Marshall scholarship has three selection criteria: academic achievement, leadership potential, and ambassadorial potential. Let’s focus on ambassadorial potential. What co-curricular activities and experiences on your master resume demonstrate your ability to build relationships with people outside of your close friend group? What extracurricular activities do you participate in currently that can transfer to the UK to gain a better understanding of Britain? Which of your activities can be considered prototype activities for how you plan to use your time in the UK? Your answers to these questions can help guide you as you select what extracurricular activities to include on your scholarship resume. Next, consider how you can group these activities together. Are they all leadership experiences? Service experiences? There are an abundance of section heading options, so play around with ideas and feel free to bring your questions into an advising appointment with ONSF.
Finally, just as business resumes and academic curriculum vitae have specific formatting requirements, so too do scholarship resumes. Below is a list of formatting guidelines for your scholarship resume:
Use an easy-to-read, professional font.
Use 11- or 12-point font.
Avoid flashy colors. It’s best to stick with black text. If you need to emphasize a section, organization, or position, embolden or italicize the font instead of changing the color.
For each position/opportunity, include a brief description of your responsibilities and contributions using bullet points.
Avoid having too much white space.
Within each section, list each item chronologically starting with your most recent experiences.
You can find a template here, and you can make a copy to create your own.