Reapplicant, looking to improve resume

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AeroJH, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    First off, a big thank you to this site. Such great information and the help from others has been outstanding.

    Earlier this year in April I received the denial letter from the Air Force Academy. Since then I have inspected every aspect of my resume and have taken lots of steps to gain experience, develop a stronger character presence, improve test scores and overall just become a better applicant and person. Below I am going to write a brief version of my current resume as I would love to get some feedback from members on this site particularly those with experience. However, I am going to keep it relatively general and watered down to reserve my privacy. Thank you all and I would love to hear what you have to say to where I can further improve. I also, have some questions that I will leave at the bottom. I used a different account last year, I wanted to start off fresh this time around and give it everything I can. Thank you.

    ACADEMICS & EDUCATION
    1. Will be attending a university in California this fall. Declared major is Physics. Received a $20,000+ scholarship.
    2. Will be participating in AFROTC from my crosstown university.
    3. Graduated from a high school in Colorado in the class of 2016.
    4. Honor student recipient award (3.5+ GPA)
    5. 3.55 GPA (I'll get to this at the bottom)
    6. 29 ACT (I am scheduled to retake the ACT in September, have been studying all summer to improve and will continue to do so)
    7. ACT Breakdown
    English - 26
    Math - 31
    Reading - 30
    Science - 27 (obviously English and Science need to be improved the most)
    8. Did not take the SAT

    ATHLETICS
    1. Recruited football player to university, will be playing this fall. (Hoping to gain strength, endurance, learn to lead at a higher level while playing a game I love.)
    2. Played baseball all four years in high school, varsity captain senior year. 2x varsity letter.
    3. Played football all four years in high school. 2x varsity letter. All State Academic 11th & 12th grade. Team Heart of Champion award, and 2x Team First award. (Not state or league recognized awards; they are distributed by coaching staff to one player each year giving qualities of a player who exhibits leadership, athleticism, attitude, and hard working characteristics.) I know, not overly impressive but I believe they are important to include in my application.

    EXTRACURRICULARS & COMMUNITY SERVICE (This is where I would really like feedback, hoping to set myself apart from others with better activities and community service. Also, this section has significantly improved since my last years application.)
    1. Student government elected senator 11th & 12th grade.
    2. Future Soldiers of America Club member 12th grade. (A club put on by my high school where we would look in depth to each branch of US military such as history, significant battles and events, how each has grown and changed. Also learned skills expected in the military such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. I can provide more information to those who have questions more about it.)
    3. Active volunteer, 9th-present. Throughout student government, Future Soldiers of America Club, and on my own I have volunteered very often and consistently. Through the school programs above we organized large events to hold on and off campus such as public speakers, fund raising races for health and awareness, bringing in and meeting veterans, FASP (a program where faculty, teachers, and student officers debate and make plans to re-construst aspects of the high school. This would include how to maintain cleanliness among the student body, balancing lunch polices to support those in need of free and reduced lunch financially, and raising money to put toward building and community maintenance.) On my own I have volunteered in churches, elderly homes, soup kitchens, tutoring sessions, youth sporting events, and care facilities for those seriously ill or injured. Again I can provide more information and specifics if you have any questions on these.
    4. Academy of Model Aeronautics member. I love building and flying planes and aviation has been a huge influence in my life. I come from a line of pilots none of which in the Air Force or the military; however, I am very very keened into aviation.

    AWARDS & HONORS
    1. Mr. High School Name Nominee. Each year a handful of students are hand picked by supervisors, and coordinators to be awarded the best difference maker to the school and community who represents the values and image of the high school. (I would put the name of my high school by which the award is named after, but for now I would like to reserve some privacy.)
    2. Honor Student
    3. 2x football All State-Academic recipient.
    4. Heart of a Champion, 2x Team First Award. (From above in athletics section.)
    5. 4x varsity letter recipient.
    (This is part where my application significantly lacks. Almost all of my few awards revolve around athletics, and are not state honors such as first team all state.)

    WORK EXPERIENCE (Another area that has significantly improved these last 7 months)
    1. Current sales representative and field sales leading adviser.
    2. Attendee of multiple regional and national meetings to discuss product line, and tips for new employees.
    3. Personal letter of recommendation from President of national company.
    4. Also works as a landscaper and laborer. Used to work for my city's department where I would mow lawns, rake leaves, and shovel snow on city property. This last year I have done this on my own around my neighborhood and community only.
    5. Income has been put towards my saving account which will be used on flight school lessons to become a private pilot next summer. If you are a private pilot or know about it you'll know its rather expensive to become a private pilot especially funded on your own as an 18 year old. This isn't necessarily just to help me get into the Academy, I have always had a passion for flying and see myself as a pilot down the road. I've already purchased some of the equipment in preparation for it such as a lap board, headset, and ground school study books. With or without the military I do want to be a pilot, and hope to become one in the Air Force as an officer either through the Academy or the AFROTC route I will be starting shortly.

    OTHER
    1. Academy of Model Aeronautics member. This is the same as before, but I'll give a quick background. I have for years and years built model aircraft with my father and now on my own and have gone to fly them. Mostly gliders all though I have progressed to power single prop ones. I can talk planes all day if you'd like haha.
    2. Oh and I won an award for photography. 11th grade I took 2nd in a state wide competition for one of my photographs. I don't believe this is a key factor at all with my application but hey I'll throw it in there to show I do have a touch of artistic creativity.
    3. I almost forgot to put this down, my CFA was very good. Not excellent or outstanding, but above the averages in all but pull ups. I lift and run everyday in preparation for football and especially to get in the best shape to retake the CFA again here in the next month or two.

    Alright now that is about it of what I have so far on my resume. And if you have made it this far in reading all this I greatly appreciate it because I know this has been one of those really long posts about the chance of gaining an appointment. All I hope to do is gain some feedback from the community on where I can continue to improve. While they seem a little far out, I know deadlines approach quick for both nominations and for the Academy so I'd like to tack on as much as I can before they come along. I'd like to clear up a little and now show I am a person with a real goal to get to USAFA and become an officer in the Air Force. For one, I know my GPA and test scores are below average especially my GPA. I have no excuse for it and take full responsibility for it and really know it hurt my app last year as it was even lower before my senior year of high school. I also know I missed out on some key programs that could have made me competitive such as National Honors Society, Scouting, and so forth. I know I didn't attend a summer seminar or program and that would've helped my cause a lot too, I've heard all those every time I bring it up. I can't go back to the past and do it all over I understand that, I am just looking to best myself to give myself a much better shot this time around. My story goes like this and I'll keep short, I honestly just found the real interest to become an officer the summer going into my senior year of high school. I met coaches, cadets, graduates, and Air Force veterans throughout the summer last year and it really hit me that it is what I want to do with my life. I know it sounds cliche and fake but really is true that I found it as my purpose. I always just saw myself being an airline pilot or flying competitively as a child. After being exposed to all there is in the military and Air Force I have become obsessed with the thought and never slowed down. The experiences and programs I have taken part in give me a sense of accomplishment that I truly love. While volunteering doesn't come with an award, that's not what I am in it for anyway. When I go out an help others out in an elderly home, or go around with youth kids teaching them basics of sports, I feel I am making a positive influence on my community. That's a great feeling and puts me to my passion of one thing, becoming a difference maker. I had really hurt my chances of growing on that mindset as already three whole years of high school were behind me that I couldn't get back. I now have a vision waking up each day serving my country and living with a purpose. A purpose that is bigger than I can ever be on my own and give back to all the amazing opportunities life in America has provided me. Simply put, I refuse to be average and it motivates me everyday to make myself a better man not just for my life but so I can help the people of the United States the best I possibly can. One way or another, I am working to becoming an officer, now through AFROTC, to one day lead those with similar intentions as me. ROTC is a program I am exciting for and I know that at the end of four years Academy grads and ROTC grads end up with the same 2nd lieutenant rank (please correct me if I am wrong). I am still aiming for USAFA as that is where I want to be and want to grow and become totally immersed in that lifestyle where I'll learn invaluable tools of leadership, courage, and working best with others. To those who clicked on this and stuck around I give you a huge HUGE thank you. It means so much and I am taking all the avenues I can to hear from others. If you have any questions, tips to do from here, or just advice about going through the Air Force in ROTC, or anything you may have I would love to hear it. I'm all ears and am still learning as I go so anything helps. Thank you very much and AIM HIGH!

    Very respectfully,

    AeroJH
     
  2. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Too much to read. What I did glean is that you were a solid candidate. Everyone eventually admitted was a solid candidate also. Many not appointed would have had better ACTS and GPAs.
    You could easily have been appointed but fate did not smile on you... or did it? You are headed for AFROTC, and that is a noble path to the same goal.
    By all means, reapply. Just be prepared for the possibility of the same outcome.
     
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  3. Renegado

    Renegado Member

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    I would just suggest that you take the ACT as many times as possible. You can really bring your scores up through super scoring. I think that may have been your Achilles heel. The rest of your resume looks good. Push yourself academically and give it all you got.
     
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  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree your ACT superscore to me was low. You barely broke the min required for English to be deemed competitive. 24 is the E min. PAR being 60% of the WCS probably hurt you the most. That and the 3.5 gpa.

    I would suggest that you use the rest of the summer not only doing ACT practice tests, but also study for the AFOQT. The AFOQT is offered in the fall for ROTC cadets, but usually given to sophomores for SFT selection. You can find AFOQT practice tests on line. In essence for AFROTC they will replace the ACT/SAT with the AFOQT scores. Beware though....you can only take it twice, 6 months apart, and it is not superscored.
    ~ The AFOQT is used as part of your OML for your AFSC. It consists of 4 parts and timed.

    Be smart and upfront with your cadre as soon as you get there. Don't worry about the idea that it might look like you are bolting AFROTC for USAFA. Strong dets. support these cadets. They want the same thing as USAFA....training officers to be the best! It is not territorial....i.e. USAFA vs. AFROTC. Telling them right off the bat can only help you for multiple reasons.
    1. They will look out for you to make you a stronger candidate.
    ~ I.E. giving you a job in the unit, which in turn adds some items to your ECs.
    2. Nothing will tick them off more than if you stay silent until Oct. and than say will you support me for a ROTC nom. OBTW, I need the nom by next week.
    ~ I don't know the size of your det., but for ex. my DS's det had over 100 C100s in his class. In the 1st few months you are just a name. You need to have them a face with that name.

    Also get involved within the det. If they have GMC nights, go to them.
    ~This is usually a weekly event where C100/200/250s show up @6-7 p.m. to hang out in the lounge, play foosball/crud/xbox and eat pizza. Typically a PMS will also be there. This is great from a camaraderie aspect. You may or may not be appointed next year, and if not than you want to get the most bonding experience you can out of AFROTC. Many xtown cadets can feel left out because they are not living on the host campus. They come in and out for PT and LLAB, whereas, those that live on the host campus have the ability to hang in the cadet lounge between long breaks from classes. Attending GMC night will overcome that fact since it is all social.
    ~ Look into military fraternities like Arnie Air, Angel Flight, Silver Wings, etc. Again it is about the bonding aspect.

    To bring it home why you should tell the cadre asap, I will share my DSs story. My DS opted AFROTC over USAFA. He told the CoC when he met him in Jan. that he had 4 noms, not including the VP. Way before the files closed. He had a type 2 scholarship in hand and merit from the college to make it a free ride. The CoC told him if he selected the det and scholarship, but decided in the fall he made a mistake he would support him for applying to USAFA. He left that meeting and we went straight to the bursars office to pay the deposit. He felt for him it was a better fit and still had the option later on. FFWD to Sept. @3 weeks into the academic year. DS was called into the CoC's office. The CoC remembered that conversation, and out of the 130 C100s had a face to his name. He flat out asked do you want to stay or do you want to reapply to USAFA. He decided he wanted to stay. It was his choice, but it made him happy to know they had his back. They cared about him and his desires.
    ~ His det. had at least 1 cadet go USAFA every year he was there with full cadre support.
    ~ He is now a C130J pilot and today he pins on O3.
     
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  5. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    Thank you very much for the feedback Maplerock. I do know it was an ultra long post so I do appreciate you taking the time to look through it. I'll certainly be retaking the ACT at least twice before the application deadline; I have been studying very hard and taking a summer class to help prepare for it. I look forward to AFROTC coming soon and I'm ready to become a part of the US Air Force! Thank you again.
     
  6. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    Thanks Renegado for the advice I'll be sure to do much better on my coming ACT this time around in September and again in October. My high school GPA will continue to haunt my application but I hope with higher test scores and a great college GPA they will see I've improved academically. Thank you again for all the tips it does mean a lot to me.
     
  7. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Spot on and VERY sound advice, indeed.
    AeroJH, give yourself some time after you arrive and you will make the right decision. And like Pima said, be straight up with your USAF Det. Officials, they will help you attain your goals.
     
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  8. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    Pima, a huge thank you to you for reading through my post and giving me this great feedback especially on AFROTC. I looked online and checked out the AFOQT you were speaking of and I clearly remember my cadre talking about the importance of it to ROTC cadets so I will get studying on it right away especially considering I can only take it once every 6 months. I'll be posting shortly questions I have about that test as I would imagine I'll have plenty of them.

    I really appreciate the advice as well on being upfront with my cadre about reapplying to USAFA. Last week actually I went out the host university to attend a prospective applicant briefing which filled me in on what all AFROTC is about and I got to speak with the cadre for some personal questions. He was a USAFA grad himself and was very understanding and supportive about me reapplying. I plan to bust my butt in ROTC and participate very very often in social gatherings like you suggested. And like you said, I want to be not just another name but a cadet who stands out and shows his dedication to the people around him and the Air Force as a whole. Thank you for this tip and if you have any others about getting more involved with ROTC I'll take everything you got.

    I am looking forward to AFROTC very much and know it is an excellent path to become an officer. I plan to grow my character and gain a full year of experience around other leaders too. I just hope that I won't come off to the cadre or the other cadets in a negative way because I am reapplying. Something along the lines of,"oh he's just here to boost his chances at USAFA," because while yes I am striving to get into the Academy this year, I want to get the most out of ROTC too. Thank you for shedding some guidance and helping me out Pima! The insight and personal stories people have give me a stronger perspective on the route ahead of me. Aim high!
     
  9. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    NAS, thank you and duly noted. I'll take in all ROTC has to offer and hopefully when the time comes I'll have the choice of continuing with ROTC or accepting an appointment to the Academy. I'll definitely be honest with my cadre and officials as I go through the program and will work endlessly to achieve my goal. Thank you again.
     
  10. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    You are taking some good steps to boost yourself into a higher level of competitiveness. I agree that the ACT needs to come up. But you are within striking distance. It is not abysmally low. If you can get everything around 30 that will help. For your GPA issues I recommend that you really really knuckle down and make good marks with the college classes you are about to take. Show them that you are now serious and capable. Get involved at college. Find a club or organization that you enjoy and participate. Best of luck to you!
     
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  11. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    Thanks Brawny77, I'll be retaking the ACT shortly in the next two months and will be sure to perform excellently on academics this first year of college. I hope to find a club that will peak my interests as well! Thank you for the tips.
     
  12. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Make sure you do VERY well in classes this year, and practice those standardized tests. Academics looked like your weakness to me (and it is 60% of the USAFA candidate score system...)
     
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  13. AeroJH

    AeroJH AeroJH

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    Thanks raimius for the tip, I'll certainly work exceptionally hard to improve upon my academic records. Thank you.
     
  14. AFFwdTX

    AFFwdTX New Member

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    AeroJH-Long time lurker here. My Firstie was a reapplicant and I would say his college grades were what got him in the second time around. Showing the admissions board that you can handle a difficult college academic load may go further than a higher ACT. DS had a comparable ACT but also had pretty good SAT scores. Take classes that mirror what you'd be taking at the academy. From what DS went through all the above is spot on. It was not an easy decision for him to leave his detachment and his commander supported his decision. Good luck.
     
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  15. Jimmay

    Jimmay Member

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    Can you use AFOQT to apply to the other academies aswell?
     

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