How to Create a Resume 📝
When applying to internships or jobs, many applications require a resume. In high school, it’s important to develop professional skills that you can authentically exhibit on your resume, whether it be extracurriculars, volunteer service, or prior experiences. Remember that your resumé is the first step in the application process so it’s important to state your skills in an engaging, informational, and professional manner that will help you stand out in a sea of applicants! Make sure to look at this template for a professional resume!
What are resumes? 🤷
A resumé is a single-page document professionally showcasing your skills, achievements, and awards that ideally show you as the best candidate for the position. When employers look for the best candidates to move onto the next phase of an application process, they sift through resumés to see the what each applicant can contribute. Check out this high school resume example.
Fiveable’s Key Do’s 👍 & Don'ts 👎
We get it: resumé writing isn’t easy! So here are some key tips and tricks provided throughout the College & Career Readiness Series hosted by Fiveable in February 2021:
1. DO make sure the resume is simple and easy to read 🔖
When hundreds of applications are being reviewed by the employer, they may only spend mere seconds reading your resume. Make those numbers pop by having them in number form (think “11” instead of “eleven”) and try to make your resumé easy to read by using bullet points, active voice, and short, concise phrases.
2. DO tailor your resume to fit the job or position you are applying for ✂️
Companies will be looking for applicants that stand out from the crowd. While personalizing the resume toward a specific company or position may be time-consuming, the relevant details, experiences, and specificity will make your resume stand out. It shows employers that you care enough about their company and the position, enhancing your chances. Remember, employers would rather have someone well-versed in and passionate about their company than someone who generically sent the same resume to a bunch of other companies!
3. DO use action words and list specific skills you have 💥
You’ll want to showcase some of your skills — try to be specific, and try to make sure you’re not using description words used on every resume. You’ll also want to list platforms you’re experienced with that are also specific to the company you’re applying for, like Microsoft Word, Excel, and WordPress.
As for action words, stronger descriptors might include words such as communicated, initiated, or led. You can view a bigger list here of strong action words.
4. DO use a professional font 👔
You’ll want to use the Times New Roman (the same font that you’d use for your English essays). Keep your font size between 11 or 12 points. Selecting a clear, readable font such as Times New Roman will help make your resumé look more professional.
5. DO make sure you have a professional email address listed 📧
Your email address should generally be professional and include your name. If it is inappropriate or has no connection to your name, you might want to consider having a business email on hand as it can improve your resumé’s professionalism.
6. DON’T include every detail on your resume 😪
Your resumé should highlight the skills and experience relevant to the job. Think about it this way: a longer essay doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Make sure that you can cut down your resumé to highlight what you believe will show the company how much of an asset you’d be!
7. DON’T include your picture 📸
This is an arguable topic. Ideally, employers would hire you based on your experience, not your looks. Unfortunately, employers are humans too, and because of that, your physical appearance could lead them to make biased decisions, subconscious or not. To avoid this, make sure that employers and companies consider your application because of the skill sets you bring to the table rather than what you look like.
8. DON’T include your phone number or exact location 📞
As a Fiveable user, you’re most likely an AP or college student. Students typically shouldn’t be posting their complete personal information to employers because they’re not going to be applying for a full-time position. Your email address and LinkedIn username should be sufficient. If you don't know how to set-up LinkedIn, check out this guide for high schoolers on LinkedIn and how to improve your LinkedIn profile. Employers can request your location later in the application process or after you’re accepted.
Bonus Tips! 😎
What if I don’t have many job experiences to showcase? 😨
That’s okay! Extracurriculars and volunteer services are also strong and valid experiences you can show on your resumé. If not, try getting involved with clubs at your school and become a volunteer for a local non-profit organization.
Remember to ask for feedback ✋
It’s always good to have a second, third, or even fourth pair of eyes on your resume even if it isn’t your first time writing one. Whether it be a parent, a teacher, or someone else you look up to, they might have some valuable constructive feedback to share!
Your resumé is never final — it can always improve 💪
There are always ways that you can continue to improve your resumé — whether it’s the tone, word choice, or perhaps even the tiniest grammatical tweak. The resume is the first step you’ll use that will introduce you to an employer and showcase your abilities, so keep refining it! Here are some common tips to improve your resume.
Additional Resources 🤓
Indeed is a job-search company that provides more details about how you can improve your resume’s content!
The Fiveable Discord Community also has a College & Career Readiness Center that includes feedback for resumes! Make sure to check it out and post your resumé so you can get some extra pairs of eyes on it.
Now go out there and write an amazing resume!