Starting in 2021, Army ROTC started requiring candidates to upload a resume as part of the online application. The resume is designed to supplement the activities section of the application. It is a critical component designed to supplement the activities section of the application, shedding light on your accomplishments, values, and dedication.

Students should create a resume that highlights their desire to become an Army officer. Let’s dive into how to communicate everything the scholarship board is looking for to help you obtain Army ROTC scholarships. This will help you compete for a three or four year ROTC scholarship.

Understanding the Resume’s Role in the Application Process

Before diving into the intricacies of the resume, it’s pivotal to understand its significance.

ROTC ranks applicants on a 1400-point scale using the following weights:

  • SAT/ACT Scores – 250 Points

  • Scholar, Athlete, Leadership Area – 200 Points

  • Interview – 200 Points

  • Selection Board Score – 350 Points

  • Civilian Background Experience Form – 250 Points

  • Physical Fitness Test – 140 Points

The resume is considered when awarding points for the Interview as well as the Selection Board Score. It is read before the scholarship interview by the Army ROTC officer who conducts the interview and is also reviewed by board members when they give a board score for the overall applicant file.

The Interview: Before the scholarship interview, the Army ROTC officer meticulously reviews your resume. It helps set the stage for the ensuing conversation, allowing the officer to gauge your qualifications and interests.

Selection Board Review: Board members also consider your resume when assigning an overall board score to your application.

Typically the interviewer and selection board members have significant time in the military (most likely Lieutenant Colonels and above). Attention to detail is important here.

Note that it is NOT used to determine Scholar, Athletics and Leadership (SAL) Points. The sole determining factor for SAL points is the activities section of the application. In short, the resume is looked at and considered but not given its own category for points.

It is important to have a resume which will reflect well on the candidate. So how do you put together a great resume?

How to Structure Your Army ROTC Scholarship Resume

There are many resume writing techniques but there is a specific format which aligns best with what Army ROTC is looking for.

Here are steps to creating an excellent Army ROTC scholarship resume:

  1. List everything you’ve done

  2. Go into more detail on each event/opportunity/award

  3. Organize your accomplishments

  4. Format everything properly, check over everything and make sure it looks appealing

  5. Have someone review your resume (at least one person)

1. Make a List

Start by listing out everything you can think of that you’ve accomplished or been a part of over your high school career. We mean everything here, you want to think back to those minor volunteer events or awards you may have received. Once you’ve written everything down, you can begin to organize your accomplishments.

2. Go into Detail

Highlight your accomplishments by discussing the impact you made. How many did you lead? How much money did you raise? If you were chosen for an award, how many other students were eligible? If you placed at Districts, how many teams did you beat?

3. Organize Your Resume Using the SAL Method

Army ROTC awards scholarships to Scholar-Athlete-Leaders, known by the acronym SAL. Therefore, it is best to divide your resume in three sections that address each of these areas.

Scholar Section

Include your GPA (both weighted and unweighted), SAT and/or ACT super score, and senior year courses.

You might also include separate subsections which address awards/achievements as well as any research you have done. This can be such things as honor roll, principals list or National Honor Society.

Athlete Section

Include sports you have participated in both in and out of school. How many junior varsity or varsity letters you achieved, and any awards or honors both at the high school level, conference level or higher.

If you were the captain, be sure to include this.

Leader Section

Include each group or organization which you were a participant but ideally the leader of.

Be sure to discuss your duties and responsibilities as well as the notable activities or events you participated in or led.

4. Format Your Resume

Attention to detail is critical here. Make sure your resume is visually appealing. Organize things in a way that makes sense, usually we recommend chronologically.

Army ROTC resume

Aesthetics Matter

It’s important for your resume to not just have quality content but also to look clean and professional. Here’s how to ensure that:

  • Consistent Font and Size: Choose a professional font like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri and maintain the same font size throughout, except for headings which can be slightly larger.

  • Use Bullet Points: This makes your resume easy to skim through and keeps the details concise.

  • Alignments and Spacing: Ensure everything is aligned to the left and maintain consistent spacing between sections. This aids readability.

  • Bold and Italics: Use these sparingly. Headings can be bold to make them stand out, and you can use italics to emphasize specific points or titles.

Proofread and Refine

You’ve spent a lot of time crafting your resume, so the last thing you’d want is a minor typo undermining your efforts.

  • Grammar and Spelling: Ensure there are no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. These can come across as careless and detract from the professionalism of your resume.

  • Consistency: Ensure the tense, abbreviations, and formats are consistent throughout the resume.

  • Clarity and Precision: Make sure each point is clear and doesn’t require further clarification. Avoid jargon unless it’s widely understood.

5. Seek Feedback

This step is essential. A fresh pair of eyes can pick up on things you might have missed.

Mentor/Teacher Review: If you have a teacher, counselor, or coach who you trust, ask them to take a look. They can provide valuable feedback not just on the format but also on the content. Someone with military experience can also provide valuable insight.

Example of an Army ROTC Scholarship Resume

We have included an example of an Army ROTC scholarship resume to give you an idea of the level of detail we suggest going into.

Make the Right Impression with your Interviewer as well as the Selection Board

A well-crafted resume not only details your achievements but also provides a window into your dedication, commitment, and alignment with the Army ROTC’s values. By adopting the Scholar, Athlete, Leader model for the resume, it will get closest to what Army ROTC is looking for in the resume.

We wish you the best of luck as you work towards an Army ROTC scholarship!

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LTC Robert Kirkland

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kirkland (USA, Ret.) is an expert on military admissions and leadership. He served for over 25 years in the United States Army, including stints as an instructor at West Point and as a commander of two Army ROTC programs. He has helped students win ROTC scholarships for 8 years.

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