Should I submit a CV with the Common Application?

Resume Building

Should I submit a CV with the Common Application?

If you're asking this question, you've probably heard about the divisive nature of resumes in the undergraduate college application process. You've probably seen a lot of contradictory advice. I did, too, when I was applying to college. Here's a different way to think about things:

The Common Application is supposed to facilitate the process of applying to schools. A solid application is one that shows good judgment—from how you curate information about yourself to how you present it. Choosing to submit a resume or not is just one more choice in support of your application. Either way, you'll be fine so long as you adequately show your involvement and passion, whether in your essays, the blank lists in the application, or an additional resume.

You might be wondering: Why am I reading resume and not CV? Though CVs are predominantly academic, they are also the domain of scholars with more publications, conferences, and research experience than the average High School student (and that's okay). The beauty of resumes is their size, just 1 to 2 pages. What I would like to get across is simple: If you choose to submit extra information, curate it carefully and succinctly. Choose the resume's length, even if you keep the CV's list format.

So, should you send one or not? It depends. When a school doesn't directly ask for a resume or activities' list, always make full use of the Common Application first. The Common Application has space for honors and activities. Think this isn't enough? Your essays should also speak of new experiences to give a different glimpse of yourself. Is this still not enough space? You should feel free to upload a non-repetitive resume. That is, make sure your resume shows new pertinent information! After all, your application isn't a narrative of your entire life, just a strong presentation of the kind of student you have been and could be at a new institution. More activities will not necessarily get you in. Many students with a few, well-presented experiences have achieved equal success. It's all about presentation.

Remember: There is no right or wrong choice. And, if you're still worried, feel free to check out this awesome article, which has a list of schools that have outright said they welcome a resume: