Creating a resume 📑 while still in high school might seem a little redundant, but they aren’t just for business professionals to show off their job titles! They help emphasize your best traits and play a crucial role in convincing employers or admissions officers that you have what it takes to succeed.
What to Include? 🔍
A resume doesn’t have to be super elaborate–the best are often no more than a page long! Whatever you are using your resume to apply for, your main goal is to give the reader an idea of your accomplishments and what you are capable of.
High school resumes can include many different things:
- As a current high schooler, emphasizing your education is essential. If you have a strong GPA/rank, be sure to include it! Any advanced courses you are taking (AP, Honors, Dual Credit) are also good to add.
- Work Experience:
- Include any jobs 💼 or internships you may have done!
- Interested in learning more about high school job opportunities? Check out this guide on how to get an internship as a high schooler and a list of popular companies that hire high schoolers.
- If you don’t have job experience, it’s particularly helpful to emphasize all your other work outside of school! Make sure to include all volunteer experiences and clubs/sports/other extracurricular activities you do. If you have conducted independent research of any kind, this is also the section to mention that!
- Highlight your leadership experience as well–if you were captain of a sports team or held an officer position in any club, be sure to list these!
- Add anything that you have been recognized for (at any level).
- Here is where you would include any skills you have that are related to the job! Ideally, you would include a mix of hard and soft skills, which we go into more detail about later on!
Note: If the “extracurriculars'' section on your resume looks a little long, feel free to split it up into volunteer experience and other activities! There are no set rules for how your page should be organized, but it’s important to maintain a balanced ⚖️ look.
Note: No one seriously expects a high school student to have super extensive work experience, so don’t feel like you have a disadvantage if you don’t. There are plenty of other ways to show your personality through your resume! You can also emphasize your informal work experience, such as volunteering, babysitting, etc.
Hard & Soft Skills 🛠
Listing some skills can help paint a specific picture of you to those reviewing your resume, so it’s ideal to use a mix of soft and hard skills.
Soft skills are those that aren’t easily quantifiable, such as being a good teammate or self-motivated. In contrast, hard skills are measurable–this can include your typing words per minute or knowing different coding languages like Python.
The Structure 🧱
Arranging Your Information 💁
Not all of the sections listed above are mandatory to include, of course, but you also want to make sure that your 1-page long resume looks visually balanced as well. Too much white space may take away from the text itself. It’s just a matter of showing what you have accomplished–if you don’t have any awards to include, then don't focus on that!
Using Resume Templates 📃
These can help you a lot in organizing your information! Reviewing resume samples is a good idea to get ideas for what to include on your resume too! Just make sure to tailor each one to fit your needs. Check out our high school resume examples here and our resume templates here!
Contact Information 📞
At the top of your resume page, add your full name in the largest text size. Ensure that you also add your contact information near the top of the page, and make it visible! This can include your phone number and email address, as well as a general location (just using the city and state you live in should be fine).
Note: If you don’t have a professional email address already that you use to communicate with colleges/potential employers, then you’ll want to make one at this point. Include your name in some form. You don't want to find it embarrassing in 5 years!
The Profile Statement 🧐
In various resume templates, you might have seen a profile statement or summary written directly below the person’s name/contact information. This just functions as a short tagline that effectively conveys your career goals to the reader. You can make these as general as you want, or you can change them based on who is reading your resume!
A good example of a profile statement for a high schooler applying for an internship would be: “Responsible and driven student with exceptional time management, seeking to apply project management skill to the _________ internship at *insert company/organization name*.”
Organizing by Relevance 📁
After you’ve written out your name, contact info, and tagline at the top of the page, the following section should be either your high school information or your work experience. For the remainder of your resume, you have to look carefully at all the information you want to include, decide what is most relevant to what you are submitting your resume for, and rank them by importance.
For example, if you are applying for a job, your previous work experience (if you have any) is likely what should be put first. But if you are submitting your resume for a high school internship instead, then your high school information is better to place first, followed by your extracurricular activities. Check out other examples of resumes for high schoolers.
Image from Microsoft
- Review the job listing before creating/editing your resume to be sent in. Recognize which skills show that you are an ideal fit for this position, and edit your resume to emphasize these qualities!
- Don’t list references. Instead, it’s better to have a list of references separate from your resume that you can give to potential employers if they request one.
- Proofread! Your formatting should be consistent throughout the page and easy to follow, so avoid spelling/grammar mistakes at all costs. If you can, it’s smart to get someone else to proofread it for you as well!
- Create an outline first. Think of it as a brainstorming step! You’ll have an easier time putting together your resume if you organize your thoughts before messing with the structure.
- Use action words. These portray your work in a more dynamic way! Words such as organized, calculated, led, tutored, etc., are great for your activity descriptions.