Laura Berlinsky-Schine
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When you’re just starting out in the working world—before you’ve even graduated high school—it can be hard to know how to grab a prospective employer’s attention. Of course, you don’t have much work experience, and nobody expects you to. You can’t list long-held jobs on your resume—and for that matter, what do you have to put on your resume at all?

The key to landing a job as a teenager is making the most of what you do have, including your coursework, talents, awards, volunteer work, and other experience, and that starts with your job application. Here is how to make a resume for a high school student.

How to Create a High School Resume

1. Contact information

You should include your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number as the header of your resume. This is essential for the employer to contact you during the hiring process.

2. Career objective

Some people debate whether or not it is a good idea to include a career objective on a seasoned professional’s resume, but when you’re a teenager and at the very beginning of your working life, it can be helpful in giving an employer an idea of how this position fits in with your larger goals.

Be clear and concise and express how your aspirations tie in with this particular role. For example, if you are applying for a camp counselor position, you might write:

I am an aspiring educator with a creative streak and four years of experience in childcare. I’m reliable, mature, and eager to take on a challenging position at a summer camp to learn more about teaching and working with children.

3. Education

Add the name of your high school, your expected graduation date and current year (such as “junior, expected graduation: 2020”), and GPA. If your GPA is lower than a 3.0, leave it off your resume. (You should remove your high school GPA once you have matriculated at a college since your college education is more relevant to future employers at that point. Once you have been out of college and working for a year or two, you should omit your GPA entirely.)

4. Work experience

Include any relevant experience, including volunteer work. Offer details of what you do or did at the organization, highlighting an initiative or leadership functions involved with your work. For example, if you interned at a local newspaper, you should describe your day-to-day activities and any tasks you took on without being asked, such participating in pitch meetings and offering your own pitches.

5. Activities

Describe any activities that aren’t related to work, such as school clubs or organizations. Again, emphasize leadership; if you’re the president of your school’s community service club, for example, state your position and explain how you manage and run the club and the activities you perform. You might, for example, describe how you organized a food drive at your school.

6. Awards and honors

Awards help prospective employers see the value you will add to their business. Even if the award is unrelated to the job at hand, it demonstrates that you are a high achiever, suggesting that you learn quickly and go above and beyond what is expected of you. Honors might include school or state awards such as honor roll, as well as those granted by other agencies, such as a community service organization.

7. Relevant coursework

List any courses you have taken in and outside of school that are relevant to the job. You can omit courses that everyone is expected to take like Algebra; instead, focus on electives and high-level courses. For example, if you’re applying for a programming gig, include your computer science elective and AP Calculus.

8. Skills

Technical skills like computer languages and Photoshop expertise definitely belong in this section, but you should also include soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

High School Resume Examples and Templates

Examples

Current high school students

Source: Resume Companion

Source: template.net

Recent high school graduate

Source: Monster

Template

Full name

Address 

City, State, Zip Code

Email Address

Phone Number


[RESUME OBJECTIVE]


Education

High School Name, Current Grade, Expected Graduation Year:


Work Experience

Position #1

Employer Name, Dates of Employment

• Responsibility #1

• Responsibility #2


Position #2, 

Employer Name, Dates of Employment

• Responsibility #1

• Responsibility #2


Activities

Position (if applicable)

Activity #1, Dates of Participation

• Responsibility #1

• Responsibility #2


Position (if applicable)

Activity #2, Dates of Participation

• Responsibility #1

• Responsibility #2


Awards

• Award #1, Date

• Award #2, Date


Coursework

Course Name #1

Course Name #2

Course Name #3


Skills

• Skill #1

• Skill #2

• Skill #3

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

• Use action verbs and keywords.

High school-level jobs may get fewer applications than others, but that doesn’t mean organizations won’t use ATS to identify standout applications. Make sure you include keywords that are relevant to the position for which you’re applying, along with action-oriented verbs like “facilitated,” “implemented,” and “managed.”

• Always send a cover letter.

Even if a cover letter is optional, you should always include one with your application. Your cover letter can help you tell your story to a prospective employer, and if you want someone to take a chance on you as a high school student, you need to use every tool at your disposal.

• Have professional references ready.

You don’t need to include your references in your resume, but you should be prepared to list at least three references when you apply for a job. Remember that while there is often overlap in the people you might list as professional or personal references, you should only include people who can attest to your professional capabilities on a job application. 

That might mean a teacher, someone for whom you’ve worked, such as the parent of a babysitting charge, your contact at an organization where you’ve volunteered, or someone else who knows you in a professional capacity. Avoid including friends and peers, because it’s unlikely they can speak to your work capabilities.

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