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7 Tips to Keep In Mind Before Writing Your High School Resume

  • Job Posting

    1. The job posting is your outline. In the job description, employers will spell out what they’re looking for in a candidate and the requirements needed to get hired. Read it well and you’ll find exactly what you need to include in your resume, such as the top skills they want the candidate to have.

  • Skill List

    2. Make a list of your skills and abilities. Before writing your resume, make a list of all the skills you possess and divide them into three categories: hard skills, soft skills and technical skills.

    • A hard skill is a tangible ability you learn through formal education and training or on the job and is job-specific. For example: sales, design, writing, social media marketing, language, presentation, or project management.
    • A soft skill is an intangible ability and personal attribute that shows how you approach a task. For example: attention to detail, problem-solving, self-motivated, time management, or communication.
    • A technical skill is an ability or knowledge needed to perform a job. For example: Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom), Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs, Java or HTML5.

    For more skill suggestions and tips, check out our Top Resume Skills for 2021.

  • Tailor Resume

    3. Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. No two jobs are the same. Be sure to adjust your resume for each job application and employer by using the right keywords in your resume, based on specific phrases in the job description that highlight important skills and requirements.

  • Find Resume Examples

    4. Find resume examples to use as inspiration. A resume example is a great tool to understand the tone, language, and formatting you should use. Look for professional examples similar to your situation, address the same job, or belong to the same industry.

  • Relevant Information

    5. Only include relevant information. Hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds reviewing resumes. Be sure to only highlight information relevant to the job posting.

  • Review And Edit Resume

    6. Review and edit your resume with someone you trust. Talk to your parent, guardian, teacher, or guidance counselor and sit down with them to look over your document. Get their feedback and edit accordingly.

  • Permission Of Work

    7. Make sure you have the permissions necessary to work. Specific laws vary by state, but generally, minors need permission from their parents or legal guardian to work a part-time job, and they must notify their school. Companies may also require the parent or guardian to sign a waiver, even if it’s a summer job.

High School Resume Template

HighSchool Student Resume

1. Include your contact information.

Make sure to create a professional email address, if you don’t already have one, and include a phone number where the employer can reach you.

2. Capture your intentions in your career objective.

A career objective is one to two sentences where you state your goals for employment. It lets the employer know your intentions of getting hired for that role and what skills and experiences you have that make you ideal for the job.

3. Focus on your skills.

Your skills and abilities are the heart of your resume — remember to tailor them to the job you’re applying for. On some occasions, your skills will only be written down in a simple bulleted list titled “Skills.” Other times, however, you will organize your skills into categories and explain them in more detail, as the example shows.

  • “Professional Skills” or “Relevant Skills” section: Choose your top-three core skills that match the job requirements. Dive further into them by using three to five bullet points per skill to explain what you did or achieved using that skill. Use numbers (or quantifiable metrics) when possible to better portray the results of your skills.
  • “Summary of Qualifications” section: Choose the top-three skills that you’ve learned or used in internships, projects, or extracurricular activities that qualify you for the role. Briefly explain how you used these skills in a single sentence.

4. Relevant experience is good experience.

If you don’t have professional work experience, include any internships, academic experiences, personal projects, extracurricular activities (such as volunteer work, sports or clubs), or temporary work experiences, like babysitting, camp counseling, or seasonal positions.

If you have work experience, go beyond daily tasks and use your bullet points to highlight work achievements. If you can include quantifiable metrics, it’s even better. For example:

Instead of:

“Prepared coffee for customers.”

Write:

“Poured and prepared coffee for over 30 customers daily.”

Instead of:

“Created content for social media.”

Write:

“Created monthly calendar with over 8 posts for school’s social media accounts.”

5. List where you study and any training you completed.

Write your high school’s name, its location and your expected graduation date. If you have taken relevant training or possess a certification (such as CPR or Life Saver) that can help you in this new role, include them as well.

Include Action Verbs in Your High School Resume

ActionVerbs Resume

Rather than just claiming you have a skill, feature examples of how you’ve used that skill, using action verbs to describe specific experiences where you used or acquired it. The result? A more effective resume.

You’ll mostly use action verbs in your “Summary of Qualifications,” “Professional Skills” and “Work History” sections. For example, note this barista resume. The highlighted words are action verbs that mark you as a proactive, energetic job applicant, and strengthen each statement. As you can see, first-person pronouns (like “I,” “me” or “my”) are omitted.

List of action verbs you can use

Communicating

  • Addressed
  • Arranged
  • Corresponded
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Drafted
  • Edited
  • Enlisted
  • Influenced
  • Interpreted
  • Participated
  • Persuaded
  • Presented
  • Promoted
  • Proposed
  • Related
  • Sold
  • Spoke
  • Translated
  • Wrote

Creating

  • Acted
  • Conceived
  • Conceptualized
  • Created
  • Customized
  • Designed
  • Developed
  • Established
  • Fashioned
  • Illustrated
  • Improved
  • Initiated
  • Originated
  • Performed
  • Planned
  • Redesigned
  • Reshaped
  • Revitalized

Helping

  • Assisted
  • Clarified
  • Coached
  • Counseled
  • Demonstrated
  • Educated
  • Guided
  • Motivated
  • Referred
  • Supported
  • Tutored

Managing

  • Accomplished
  • Analyzed
  • Attained
  • Conducted
  • Consolidated
  • Contacted
  • Coordinated
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Established
  • Evaluated
  • Exceeded
  • Improved
  • Initiated
  • Organized
  • Oversaw
  • Planned
  • Produced
  • Scheduled

Researching

  • Collected
  • Consulted
  • Evaluated
  • Examined
  • Experimented
  • Identified
  • Inspected
  • Investigated
  • Obtained
  • Reviewed
  • Searched
  • Summarized
  • Surveyed

Technical

  • Assembled
  • Built
  • Calculated
  • Computed
  • Configured
  • Determined
  • Edited
  • Enhanced
  • Installed
  • Maintained
  • Operated
  • Programmed
  • Remodeled
  • Solved
  • Trained
  • Upgraded

High School Student Resume Examples

These resume examples perfectly capture all the tips we’ve given you so far. The way each resume is organized might be a little different depending on the job scenario — and here’s where resume formats come in.

In short, a resume format determines how you compose each section of your resume. There are three formats:

  • The chronological resume format focuses on work history and career progression. It’s used mainly by candidates with a lot of work experience, but job seekers with only a couple of years of experience can use it.
  • The functional resume format highlights your skills and abilities, concentrating on all the skills and training you have that fit the job. It puts work experience in the backseat, so it’s ideal for job seekers with little to no experience.
  • The combination resume format, also known as a hybrid resume, is a mixture of the chronological and functional formats. It puts equal focus on the work experience and skill sets, so it’s a good option for mid-level candidates.

Take a look at the examples below and use them as inspiration for writing your resume.

High school resume example with no experience

HSStudentnoexp Essence Functional

This resume is an example of a functional format. It’s organized in a way that highlights all of the candidate’s skills. It spotlights the candidate’s career objective, summary of qualifications, skills and professional skills, above work history and education. Its main objective is to show the hiring manager what the candidate can do.

High school resume example with volunteer experience

HSStudentwithvolunteer Managerial Functional

Unlike other examples, this functional resume doesn’t have a bulleted “Skills” section and the “Summary of Qualifications” is in the rail, making the main focus the “Professional Skills” section. The top-three skills acquired from volunteer experience are featured, along with details on what was accomplished for the organization by using those skills.

High school resume example with personal project experience

HSStudentpersonalproject Blueprint Functional

In this functional resume example, the “Professional Skills” section is named “Relevant Skills.” This candidate is making a connection between the skills learned from projects and the job that’s being applied to, showing that, despite not having a professional background, the candidate has what it takes to do the job.

High school resume example with internship experience

HSStudentinternship Professional Combination

This resume example falls under the combination format category. Why? Because even though this candidate doesn’t have professional work experience, they have gathered more than enough experience and relevant skills from internships to feature alongside their skills.

High school resume example with experience

HSStudentexperienced Bold Chronological

In this particular case, the candidate has enough work experience to be organized using the chronological format’s guidelines.

Your High School Resume Template Selection is Key

To get the job you want, you need a resume that looks professional. Our resume templates make it a breeze for you to organize your information by providing the basic structure — but you need to choose your template wisely.

If you’re a high school student with no work experience, a two-column template is your best option. This type of design helps you by:

  • Organizing your information in a way that gives the page a more robust appearance
  • Visually guiding the hiring manager through your skill set first

If you’re a high school student with some experience, whether it’s from a temporary job or extracurricular activity, then you can use a single-column template to organize your information.

Original

HSresume Original Combination

This creative four-quadrant design makes a strong visual statement, while also making it a snap for employers to locate information.

Emphasized

HSstudent Emphasized Combination

A half-tone header gives this layout an artsy vibe, while the two-column format allows you to customize your content easily.

Accentuate

HSStudent Accentuate Combination

Keep it classy with a gently shaded header that projects style and elegance. The dual-column format gives you plenty of room to provide an extensive rundown of your skills.

Remarkable

HSStudent Remarkable Combination

Make a statement with this layout, which utilizes box graphics for headings and a prominent header space to showcase the job applicant’s name.

Insightful

HSStudent Insightful Combination

Simple and highly effective, this template allows you to change the header’s color and uses a modern font, up-to-date with the latest trends.

How Our Resume Builder Makes it Easy for You

Our Resume Builder is an excellent and helpful tool that walks you through each step of creating your resume. You might need to include custom sections (such as “Professional Skills” or “Summary of Qualifications”) but doing so is incredibly easy. Here’s how:

When you start our builder, you’ll be requested to indicate how long you’ve been working. If you select the “0-3 years” option, you’ll be asked if you’re a student.

Work Experience

If you click “yes,” the builder will direct you to recommended templates for students, based on your level of experience. However, you’re free to look through and select other templates (found in the Traditional, Modern and Creative tabs).

Choose Template For Resume

Fill in your information, starting with your contact information and then your level of education. You don’t have to fill in every blank for the latter since you still haven’t received your high school diploma.

Filling Information

When it comes to the “Work History” section, the builder will first ask you to write a job title and employer. Here you can write what applies to you, be it Tutor, Photography Intern, or Dog Walker. Afterward, it’ll direct you to a page for you to fill out your achievements and responsibilities from your professional career — but instead of filling it in, click “Next” to move on.

Review Job

You will be led to the final page, where you can preview your resume and make adjustments. On the panel to the left, select “Add a Section.”

Resume Preview

Here you can add sections to your resume simply by selecting “Add Your Own” and typing in the header. Fill in your document in with any other relevant information and then hit “Save and Next” to go back to the resume display.

Additional Sections Of Resume

You can easily move sections around and reorganize your information. Just move your cursor over the section, press the toggle to the right and drag that section to its new location. Be sure to follow our resume examples to know where each section should be placed.

Move Sections

Once you’ve spell-checked and are satisfied with your resume, save and download it.

High School Resume FAQ

As a high school student, do I need to write a cover letter?

Yes, you should!

A cover letter is a great way to personalize your application and tell the hiring manager what you can do for them. It’s your chance to market yourself, provide more background information on who you are, explain why you’re specifically interested in working for a company, and include extra information about your achievements and skills. Think of it as a complement to your resume that helps round out your profile as a candidate.

Check out our cover letter examples and find one that applies to your situation. You can also find cover letter designs that complement your resume.

What is the best resume format for a high school student?

A resume format determines the way your information will be presented and organized. While every resume more or less has the same sections, not all of them look the same. This is because each resume format serves a different purpose.

The right resume format for you will depend on your level of experience. High school students with no or little experience should use the functional format because it will focus on their skills instead of their scarce work experience.

If you have a good amount of job experience, you could use the chronological format (where your work history is front and center) or the combination format (where your work history and skillset are equally emphasized).

Is it OK to use resume templates?

Using resume templates is not only OK but encouraged. Resume templates provide the basic structure of a resume, saving you a ton of time.

With our professionally designed templates, you don’t have to worry about creating your resume from scratch. You’ll have a document that captures your skills and looks good.

How long should my resume be?

A resume shouldn’t be longer than a page. The only exception is candidates with more than 10 years of experience in the same field, in which case the resume can be two-pages long. Otherwise, keep your document short and to the point. Hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time reviewing resumes.

Can I use fun fonts and colors in my resume?

We recommend sticking to readable fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial when writing your resume. Not only will the hiring manager appreciate it, but it’ll pass the ATS scan that a lot of companies use to filter through resumes.

When it comes to colors, it depends on the industry. Most of our templates feature a pop or two of color across the resume that is easily customizable. Some industries (such as finance, business or health care) prefer that their candidates send a more traditional and straightforward resume. In contrast, industries like marketing, design and programming are more likely to welcome modern and creative resumes.

How should I save my resume?

Our Resume Builder gives you the option to save your resume as a PDF, MS Word, TXT, Rich Text, or web page. Most people save their resume as a PDF and then attach it to an email or the job application.

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