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What do universities in the US look for in a profile?

The universities in the United States offer a lot to international students, including the best in higher education, and introduce them to a rich culture and history. All the universities in the US, including the top colleges, provide financial assistance and perks to international students in the form of scholarships and internships.

However, obtaining admission to your dream university requires more than just good grades. It is your overall profile that sets you apart from the competition. A great profile not just guarantees admission but increases your chances of obtaining financial aid as well.

Before we learn what universities in the US look for in a profile, let us see what profile building is and why it is necessary.

Profile Building – What is it?

Many students mistake profile building with a resume or a CV, but it is not true. Profile building is a process where a student undertakes projects or courses to improve their skills and experiences that can be included in the CV.

To establish a good profile, students need to take part in activities and acquire skills that will be useful to achieve their academic and professional goals. Such profile building needs guidance from expert and reputed academicians and coaches. When you want to apply to a competitive university, profile building is one logical and organized method that can improve your odds. 

The Importance of Profile Building

Creating a profile is one of the best ways to constructively showcase your talents, interests, and achievements. Profile building is an engaging activity that promotes your academic or professional objectives and allows you to paint a narrative of your abilities, successes, and knowledge.

As per the experts at Hornet Visa and Immigration consultancy, a good profile helps students with,

  • Enhances your CV
  • Improves self-assurance during interviews
  • Improves chances of getting admission into a top university
  • Provides insight about what you are interested in
  • Helps acquire projects based on skill acquisition

Now that we know what profile building is let us look at what the universities in the US look for in a profile. This also gives you an insight into what you need to include in your profile to get your application approved.

A strong profile is what you need to study in the USA

Students who wish to study abroad need to focus on their profile and, to do so, have a clear idea of its important elements. When applying for a university in the US, students need to submit a CV, which includes performance highlights and accomplishments. A few universities also ask for an SOP and an essay along with the CV, and these become an important part of your profile.

Academic Transcripts

Academic transcripts are the most important component of a profile. Universities review your high school grades, GPA, and the rigor of your coursework. They also consider a student’s performance in core subjects relevant to the field they are applying to, like mathematics, science, and English.

The admission committee of any US university initially focuses on your academic and test scores like TOEFL, SAT, GRE, IELTS, GMAT, etc. Hence, students must focus on scoring well on all their exams, including English Language tests, and obtain a good grade/score. High scores on these tests also demonstrate your academic ability and potential.

Extracurricular Activities

The universities in the US focus more on the overall development of the students, along with their academic achievements. So, it is also important to include extracurricular activities in your profile. Universities value involvement in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, community service, arts, or leadership roles. What the universities look for is depth and dedication rather than mere participation. Extracurricular activities highlight your time management skills, leadership abilities, and passion outside of academics.

Students can accomplish this by taking an online credential program of their choice. Extracurricular talents can also be showcased by taking part in interschool or college competitions. A few students also perform volunteer work, adding a lot of weightage to their overall profile.

However, it is important not to overdo it. Remember that quality is more important than quantity.


Work experience showcases how responsible a student is and demonstrates their team and time management skills. Including work experience as an intern or a full-time employee provides you an advantage over the competitors. It also helps you receive better internships when you move to the US. Students who wish to work as interns can also obtain a Letter of Recommendation, which can be included in the profile. This is one document that adds extra points to your application.

However, when you apply for an internship, keep the below-listed tips in mind.

  • Intern at a workspace you feel comfortable at, which isn’t too challenging.
  • Make sure to intern in your field of study, as it provides a lot of hands-on experience and improves your skills.
  • Maintain cordial and disciplined behavior with all your co-workers and bosses.

Voluntary Work

Along with obtaining good grades on your tests, doing voluntary work can also improve your application. Most of the universities in the US value those students who have taken part in volunteer works with NGOs as it aids in personal development.

Letter of Recommendation

A LOR or letter of recommendation provides the admission committee an insight into your character, work ethic, and potential for success. Typically, students can include recommendation letters from teachers, mentors, or employers who can speak to their abilities and personal qualities.

Statement of Purpose

SOP, or Statement of Purpose, as it is called, is a very important part of your application. SOP is requested by almost all the universities in the US, and it should showcase the student’s interest in a program and the reason behind your decision to choose the program. Students can use this to showcase their writing skills and add a personal narrative. Students can write about their motivations, goals, experiences, and how they align with the university’s values or specific program.

Any exceptional accomplishments, awards, research projects, internships, or relevant experiences can help distinguish your profile as they showcase your dedication, initiative, and potential contributions to the university.

It’s important to note that while these factors play a significant role, each university has its admission process. The admission committee of a university assesses whether you align with its institutional values, academic programs, and overall campus community before granting admission.

Students who aim to study in the US can also contact our experts at Hornet Visa and Immigration Consultancy to understand specific universities’ admission requirements and guidelines in depth.

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