Each of the areas listed on your résumé provides a one-line statement about and activity or achievement. However, engaging in self-reflection about each of the areas of your résumé should provide greater insight into you as a student and as a person. Are you most passionate about academics, athletics, or both? Have you had the opportunity engage in community service in your community or at your school? Have you received awards that for which you are particularly proud?

Unpacking your résumé will require that you write a brief narrative about each of the categories listed on your résumé.

Click here to review sample narratives

You may leave the sample narratives opened in a window for reference as you continue through the process of writing your narratives.

Following are examples of short narratives derived from responding to the type of questions provided in the lesson:

“When I started Arielle’s Babysitting and Hair Styling/Braiding Service, I had no idea that I would become a practicing psychiatrist! During my very first babysitting job for a set of middle school twins, I found myself spending the entire evening helping them sort through their problems. Once I was able to help them with their self-esteem issues, I discovered that their mother had no idea that both of them were failing in school. We found ourselves in front of the computer at the Khan Academy website working through math problems. I was so pleased that after a few study sessions they were doing so much better in math and after a few hair styling sessions, they were feeling so much better about themselves. I had no idea that babysitting could be so life changing.”


“I was born to run. When I step out onto the track, I am free. Although I have risen to becoming one of the fastest hurdlers in the state, I recall walking onto the track during elementary school. I just loved to run and to jump. During middle school, my coach introduced me to the hurdles and I have loved running and jumping ever since the first day. One, two, three; one, two, three; I kept playing over and over in my head until it became as natural as breathing. My coach has always referred to me as the athlete who demonstrates ‘grit.’ He sees me working hard, while I see myself doing what I love to do—one, two, three!”


“One of my proudest achievement is being selected to the Georgia All-State Chorus. I have been selected each year since the sixth grade and each year I approach the selection process just as nervous as the year before. However, I put in long hours to sight reading, practicing, and working with my voice coach. Students compete for the limited number of slots in the Georgia All-State Chorus from throughout the state. The sound of our voices are absolutely amazing and the orchestra conductor who is selected to conduct the All-State Chorus is a renowned conductor in the world of music.”


“The death of my brother would have had a profound influence on my life, no matter the circumstances. However, the fact that my brother was killed by his best friend as part of a gang initiation was a tragedy beyond words. This was the reason that I started the, “Save Our Children” campaign. I wanted to bring attention to the senseless violence in not only my community, but in communities across the country and throughout the world. Throughout high school, I have worked with other students to write letters to our congressional and civic leaders, urging them to provide more mentoring, summer job programs, and support for students who wish aspire to pursue college and careers. We also meet regularly with elementary and middle school students urging them to put down their fists and to pick up their dreams.”