Resume Writing Tips for High School Students
Organize Information by Importance/Relevance.
If you have relevant work experience, list it near the top of your resume. If your extra-curricular activities are your most impressive assets, consider putting them closer to the top.
Include All Your Activities.
Since you may not have a lot of work experience, you will want to highlight activities and other aspects of your life that show your character and ability. This might include school activities, volunteer work, academic and athletic pursuits. Include any certifications that would be relevant to the jobs you are applying for. Also, include dates/time periods that you were involved with these activities.
Promote Your Attitude and Performance.
Showcase things that may set you apart from other candidates. For example, if supervisors or teachers have recognized you for a positive attitude or outstanding service you should make reference to that. If you are a leader of a club or organization or if you’ve planned/organized events or fundraisers within a club, make sure to include that.
Use Action Verbs.
Start your descriptions with words like organized, led, calculated, taught, served, trained, tutored, wrote, researched, inventoried, created, designed, drafted, edited, managed, gained, completed, planned, etc. These words help employers develop a mental picture of your skills and abilities.
Proofread your Draft.
Nothing will get your resume thrown out faster than spelling and grammar errors. Ask a few people to read it over before you submit it. English teachers (and school counselors) are usually a great resource for this.
Review Resume Samples.
Do an internet search for sample resumes for high school students. You will find a variety of options. Get ideas from them, but don’t just copy them. Make it your own by changing the layout/font/style and, obviously, the content.
Ask for Recommendations.
Ask teachers, coaches, volunteer supervisors and activity advisors for written recommendations when you develop a positive relationship with them. They will be able to highlight your character and personality traits to potential employers.
Have a List of References Prepared.
You will often have to provide 3 references (name, phone number, address, email address, etc) on job applications. Have this information already prepared (put it in your phone or write it down), and make sure those people know you are using them as a reference.
Don’t lie. Ever.
Never put anything on your resume that is not true. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised. People have listed degrees from fake universities, or they’ve used their friend’s phone number as their previous boss. It does not look good to get fired from a job for lying about your qualifications/experience.