What's a High School Resume and Do I Need One?

on April 20, 2016

Do you think resumes are just for adults applying for jobs? Think again. A resume is important for high school students too!

Every teenager should have a resume handy. Some college or scholarship applications may request one and it pays to be prepared. If you get it ready now and update it periodically, you won’t be faced with the daunting task of creating a resume from scratch when you’re on a deadline!

Most high school students can break their resumes up into several parts: contact information, experience, activities, awards, education, and references.

  • Contact information: List your name, phone number, email address, and home address so the organization you’re sending your resume to can contact you.
  • Experience: This is where you can list any part-time jobs, major volunteer projects, or other experience you’ve gained. Make sure to write down any responsibilities you have in any positions you hold so the people reviewing your resume can get an idea of what you do in these roles.
  • Activities: This section can include sports, music lessons, clubs, and organizations you’re involved in.
  • Awards: Have you been recognized for any accomplishments? If you’re a member of the National Honor Society, made the dean’s list, or received any other award for your hard work or success, mention it here.
  • Education: Here you can note your high school name and graduation year.
  • References: Find two or three adults willing to attest to your work ethic or ability to work well with others and list their names and contact information here. Phone numbers and email addresses will work well. Whatever you do, don’t list family members! Ask a counselor, boss, teacher, or some other adult you trust to act as a reference.

These aren’t the only categories you can include, but they’re the most relevant for many students. If you’re particularly tech savvy you could include a section to list your computer skills, or if you’re an experienced leader you may want to include a category that details this. Tailor your resume to your background, interests, and experiences! Remember, there’s no wrong way to go about it, so feel free to include or exclude any categories you choose.

Once you have an outline, note how long you’ve been at a job, a member of a club, or playing on a sports team. The people reviewing your resume will appreciate knowing which activities you’re deeply involved with and those you’ve just picked up recently.

But you’re not done just yet! Don’t forget to proofread it and then have a parent or friend review your resume to make sure you didn’t miss any errors. After that, you can sit back, relax, and know you’re ready for any applications that request a high school resume.

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