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Resume and Career Resources
for Participants in the ABCD Study®

As a participant in the ABCD Study since the age of 9 or 10 years old, you have experience collaborating with researchers on the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. The experiences and insights that you have gained can be a strength when applying to a 4-year college, community college, trade school, or your first job.

The ABCD Study team has gathered resources that can help you with job and school applications. You will find examples of how to describe your participation in the ABCD Study, learn how to write a cover letter that will get your resume noticed, and more.

Resumes, Career Choices, and Financial Aid

Need to write a resume to apply for a job? Not sure what kind of job you should be applying to? Check out these recommended career resources to learn how to apply to your first job or to college.

Resume and Cover Letter Guides

These guides on writing a resume and cover letter will help you get started. Learn about what kinds of information to include, how to highlight your experiences, and recommended practices in wording and formatting.

This 2-page resource from Beyond Barnard is packed with action verbs that will help your resume and cover letter stand out. Find words to help express your communication skills, creative skills, and more.
<PDF> Resume Action Verbs

This resource can help you know where to get started on writing your resume. It will help you learn about best practices, what experiences to highlight, and final tips before submitting your resume.
<PDF> Resume Guide

Learn how to write a cover letter and have your questions answered with this tip sheet.
<PDF> Cover Letter Guide

Career Resources

The following resources will help you explore career options, develop a career plan, and find apprenticeships.

Use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to look into job titles in a variety of occupation groups, including health care, business, and design. The handbook provides job summaries, formal education required, and the 2022 median pay for that job.

Job Corps is the largest free residential and job training program for young adults ages 16 to 24. Students can train in one of 10 different industries, learning the skills they need to be successful while engaging with a supportive community.

Use the Nationwide Apprenticeship Finder to search for registered apprenticeships in a variety of fields. An apprenticeship can provide you with paid, relevant work experience.

Learn about career technical education (CTE) in your state. CTE programs are educational options that offer learning experiences beyond a traditional college or high school model. CTE programs help prepare students for
the workforce by teaching CTE hands-on. (Note: CTE programs, requirements, and accreditations vary by state.)

Make a plan and build your map to get there with this guide from the UC San Diego Career Center. From drafting your resume and cover letter to preparing for an interview, this guide has a variety of brainstorming sheets to help you regardless of where you live.
<PDF> UC San Diego Career Guide

Financial Aid Resources

The following financial aid resources can help your search for scholarships and teach you how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

Finaid is a comprehensive student guide to financial aid. Learn about all types of financial aid including loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.

Use the Federal Student Aid website to complete your FAFSA form for free, learn how to fill out the form or find answers to common questions, or renew your form for a new school year.

The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Higher Education Guide features tip sheets and forms for you and educators to better understand what is needed to fill out the FAFSA.

Fastweb offers a free database to find scholarships that you are eligible for.

This tip sheet provides a checklist to guide your scholarship search, tips for applying to scholarships, and additional resources.
<PDF> Scholarship Tip Sheet

Writing Your Application

Many employers and school admissions committees want to see evidence of dedication, maturity, curiosity, and self-motivation. Here is some language you can use as a starting point for cover letters and/or personal statements.

General Description of the ABCD Study

I joined nearly 12,000 other youth to partner with scientists in the largest study of brain development and child health in the United States—the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ (ABCD) Study. This study strives to understand how childhood experiences affect brain development and other health outcomes throughout adolescence into young adulthood.

Evidence of Curiosity and Passion

The ABCD Study® opened a whole scientific world for me. It is clear from the variety of measures that many <things/experiences> can influence brain development and health. These include social, cultural, and environmental factors, exposure to toxins and substances, and many more.

Evidence of Dedication

I enrolled in this study when I was only <insert age: 9/10>. The number of visits and assessments over a 10-year period, some lasting up to 8 hours, reflect my commitment and dedication to a project once I commit to it.

Evidence of Teamwork

The ABCD Study® involves annual visits to <insert location>, working with a variety of scientists and staff. I see first-hand how individuals working together as a team on a complex/complicated study involving brain imaging, blood draws, cognitive assessments, and questionnaires can accomplish so much more than any single person. As a volunteer/participant, I recognize that I am an important part of that team.

Evidence of Maturity, Confidence, Life Goals, or Career Goals

Although I enrolled in the ABCD Study® as a child—more recently as a teen—I have proactively worked with ABCD staff at <location> to schedule and keep my appointments. I recognize the importance of understanding this period of <life/development/change>. There is a lot to learn in this moment and I am grateful that I have had the chance to take part in a study of this caliber. It has built my confidence to <be the best I can/make a difference in the world/make a difference in the lives of others>.