(High School) Resumes: A guide

(High School) Resumes: A guide

What’s A Resume and Do I Need One? 

A resume might seem unnecessary when you’re still in high school, but it’s an important document you will use throughout your life to showcase your strengths. Beginning your resume now will make it much easier to update and maintain your resume over the next few years. 

Resumes list your education, achievements, qualifications, work experience, skills, and awards. Some colleges and scholarship applications will require a resume, but all internships and jobs require at least a resume when applying. 

Typically resumes are a page long and meant to show off your best skills in digestible sections. Your high school career has just as many important moments to document. It’s just a matter of identifying them.

 High school resumes can include things like:

  • Education (High School), including your GPA
  • Clubs/Activities/ Hobbies
  • Achievements/Awards/Honors
  • Jobs

Your resume doesn’t have to include all of these sections, especially if they are not applicable.  Avoid too much white space or unnecessary information. It’s all a matter of showing what you have accomplished and sharing your personality. Creating a 30-second video pitch on your WorkaPart profile will also give employers a better sense of who you are and what you enjoy, while allowing you to show your personality! 

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to make a professional email address. Make it some combination of your first/middle/last name and tack on some numbers if necessary. This is the email you’ll want to use on your resume, when emailing potential employers, and for keeping your professional records. 

Build Your Resume 

To begin crafting your resume, you can build it from scratch or use templates on programs such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. They’re already formatted and are generally accepted resume shapes, so it’s good to start with those. 

If you are starting from scratch, building your resume from top to bottom is the easiest way to begin. At the very top, in the largest text size, should be your name. Then, your contact information. Be sure to include your professional email address, phone number, and general location.

The next section should be one of two options: either your high school information or your most recent job/internship experience. A quick tip for figuring out which you should choose is to determine what is more relevant to what you’re applying for. With little to no job experience, your high school education will likely come after your contact information.

For the high school section of your resume, include the full name of your high school, the town, and your expected graduation date. Include your GPA if it’s a 3.0 or higher and then make sure to highlight any special courses you take; AP, Honors, Dual Credit, and Electives are all great to document.

Next, including your extracurricular activities and other relevant experience will provide employers more understanding of your skills and interests! 

Do you volunteer? Are you an athlete? Are you part of a club or organization? No one is expecting a student between the ages of 14-18 to have much (if any) work experience. What they are expecting is to understand your skills and capability for the job. List all of your activities, positions, and the duties that come along with them. If you’re a member of a group, don’t forget that attendance, participation, and dedication are worth mentioning.

There are a lot of ways to show your personality and skill sets. Here are a few you may not have thought of:

  • Babysitting
  • Mowing lawns
  • Pet sitting
  • Volunteering/ Community Service
  • Clubs, Extracurriculars, and Hobbies 
  • School Projects 

You can also choose to list some skills to conclude your resume. Typically, you’ll want to use a mix of soft and hard skills. Soft skills aren’t easily measurable. Examples include time management, communication skills, and/or leadership skills. Hard skills are measurable, such as language skills, the ability to use a program, like Adobe suite, and/or other software knowledge.

Put Your Resume To Use 

Once your resume is complete, review and revise it to avoid as many errors as possible. It can be helpful to ask teachers, family, or mentors to review your documents before submitting. Too many overlooked grammatical errors, disorganization, and mistakes on your resume may prevent you from landing the job you want. Taking even more precaution and installing a program like Grammarly, a free typing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, and more. 

One of the most challenging parts of a resume is building it. Thankfully, half the battle is finished! Now it is time to put your resume to use. Handing out your resume to local businesses or using job posting boards, such as WorkaPart, is the best way to begin your job application journey. Create an account on WorkaPart to find part-time jobs in your area. Don’t forget to be proud of what you’ve accomplished and show off your skills as you begin your job search!