High School Resume Examples and Writing Tips

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Writing a resume when you're a high school student who doesn't have much (or any) prior work experience can seem daunting.

Here's the good news: You probably have more information to put on your resume than you think. Experiences like babysitting, lawn mowing, and volunteering all help to show valuable work skills that employers want to see. Just because you haven’t had a job like the one you are applying for, doesn’t mean you haven’t acquired the skills necessary to succeed.

A good way to get started on your resume as a high school student is to look at examples of resumes and read tips on what to include and how to format your resume.

Below is a sample high school resume. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.

High school resume
© The Balance 2018
Download the Word Template

Make an Outline

Make a quick list or outline of all possible experiences, paid and unpaid, to include in your resume before you try to find the right language to describe them. Think of this as a brainstorming step and try to jot down as much down as you can.

Include Informal Work Experience and Activites

If you have formal paid work experience, certainly include it. Otherwise, you can include informal work like babysitting, pet sitting, lawn mowing, shoveling snow, or anything else you've done to earn money. Even if you didn't collect a regular paycheck, informal work still displays skills and your reliability as an employee. 

Since most high school students haven't held a lot of jobs, it is important to draw upon all aspects of your life that show you have the character, work ethic, skills, and personality to succeed in a job. Mention your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, academics, and athletic pursuits. 

If you held any sort of leadership positions in these roles (such as secretary of a club or team captain), be sure to note this. For each item, include a bulleted list of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Promote Your Attitude and Performance

Employers will be most interested in your work habits and attitude. They don't expect you to have a lot of experience. If you have perfect or near-perfect attendance and are punctual for school and other commitments, you might include language to that effect when describing an experience. 

If supervisors, teachers, or coaches have recognized you for a positive attitude or outstanding service, mention it in your description of the activity.

Mention Your Achievements

Employers look for staff who have a history of making positive contributions. Review each of your experiences and ask yourself if there are achievements in class, clubs, sports, or the workplace that you can include. If so, use verbs like enhanced, reorganized, increased, improved, initiated, upgraded, or expanded to show what you accomplished. Include any challenging advanced academic projects since this shows employers that you are intelligent and a hard worker.

Include Resume Skills

It's always a good idea to include skills related to the jobs for which you are applying. You probably have many skills that you can include that you acquired in school, sports, youth groups, extra-curricular activities, or volunteering.

Use Action Verbs

Use active language when describing your experiences, so you are portrayed in a dynamic way. Start the phrases in your descriptions with action verbs like organized, led, calculated, taught, served, trained, tutored, wrote, researched, inventoried, created, designed, drafted, and edited.

Keep it Short and Include All Necessary Information

Your resume doesn't need to be any longer than a page. Some sections of the resume—such as contact information and experience—are required. But others, such as an objective or career summary, are optional.

Proofread Your Draft and Print Copies

Review your draft very carefully before finalizing your document and make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Ask your guidance counselor, parents, or a favorite teacher to critique your resume.