Webinar: College Essays, Writing Samples and Resumes

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Apr 11, 2019 1:48:00 PM

Be prepared for the college application season! In this free webinar from April 2019, we explore college application essays, writing samples, and resumes. The webinar features tips and resources drawn from the Texas OnCourse Academy. We also connect you with representatives from the Common Application and ApplyTexas to keep you in the loop on what's new with these tools.

Download the slides as a PDF.

This webinar is part of our monthly series for registered users of the Texas OnCourse Academy. Click here for more information on this series, including how to get alerts for future webinars.

Learn more about college apps in the Academy

Helping students and families with their writing can be a challenging aspect of the college application process. Allegra Villareal from Catch the Next and Sarah Simmons, currently with the College Advising Corps, both share their tips for writing essays and crafting resumes. Here are some takeaways.

Writing a quality college essay

College essays provide a great opportunity for students to stand out from the crowd and present elements of themselves not reflected in the general application. Great essays connect your student’s past to their future. Remind your students of the following pointers:

  1. Remember this is not an essay for English class. The tone should be more conversational. The focus is more on the content and less on the mechanics and grammar. Be authentic!
  2. The length of a college essay should not be less than one page and no longer than two pages.
  3. Know your audience. Who are you writing to and what will make them care? Will they walk away feeling like they met you? Will they remember you?
  4. Address the question: Why THIS college? Help the reader understand why you want to attend. Research the school’s values, mission statements, and success stories. Include details that reflect knowledge of the school, program, and major, as applicable.
  5. Revise, revisit, and review your writing with mentors, teachers, and counselors who know you.

Crafting a resume 

Share the following tips with your students to help them create their resumes:

  • Keep the design simple and clean.
  • Limit to the front of one page.
  • Sections should include: 
    1. Contact info
    2. Education
    3. Experience
    4. Highlights
  • Use ACTION verbs
  • Avoid passive BEING verbs
  • Include highlights from last 4 or 5 years only
  • Adjust for intent, and consider including a cover letter as appropriate

Resource spotlight

We covered the writing prompts and essays for several different types of applications and want to share those with you here:

Finally, be sure not to miss our resource on everything educators need to know about college planning!

Topics: Webinar, Applying to College, College Planning, Educators