In many ways, applying to college is like going to a job interview. Little things can make a big difference. You wouldn’t show up at a job interview with a resume that was hastily scribbled onto the back of a napkin, would you? In the same way, it’s important to prepare a professional transcript ahead of time, one that will appeal to the college admissions officer and outline your achievements in the best light possible. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three easy steps you can take to improve your transcript’s appeal.

1. Include as much demographic information as possible, and ensure it’s accurate

You’ll definitely want to put down your full name (including middle name or initial), gender, date of birth, place of birth, phone number, and home address. You should also consider including an SSN, though this isn’t always required. Also, provide a student ID if your school used that. Graduation date is a must and while your class rank is nice to see, it is optional.

2. Be consistent with the way you name your subjects and courses

For example, don’t use “Math” as the subject for a freshman algebra course and then use “Mathematics” as the subject for a senior trigonometry course. Avoid long, overly descriptive course names. The course name should be short and to the point. For example, “English Composition III.”

3. Print the transcript on card stock or heavy paper

There’s a big difference between holding a transcript printed on regular, everyday printer paper versus one printed on quality card stock. Using quality paper helps your transcript stand out from the crowd and be more memorable.

Not too complicated, right? Follow these three simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to crafting a professional transcript that will catch the attention of any college admissions officer who sees it. Good luck!