High school students may need a resume to apply for a job or as part of a college application. Even if you haven't held a paid position before, there's still plenty of information to include on your resume. High schoolers can highlight educational achievements, after-school activities, and volunteer work.
Here are some tips for writing your high school resume.
Start by thinking through what information you want to include on your resume. Take some time to write a list of any awards, accomplishments, and extracurricular activities you engage in.
Just write down rough notes, for now. Later, you'll sort this information into sections and add dates and details.
Do you want to get a specific job, or are you looking to highlight your work for a college application? Once you have a sense of the information you wish to include in your resume, review the various parts of a resume, resume skills for high schoolers, and tips for writing your first resume as a high school student.
Before writing your resume, it can be helpful to review samples such as these student resume templates. Don't copy the samples' content; instead, use them for inspiration for how to phrase things and proper formatting.
Start Your Resume
Begin your resume with your name, address, phone number, and email address.
It’s best not to use a “cutesy” email address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Set up a professional email account that you can use for job and college applications, comprised of your name only (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org).
Emphasize Teamwork and Leadership
Good teamwork skills are necessary for most entry-level jobs, and so it’s wise to provide examples of how you’ve participated in school, church, club, or scouting roles requiring teamwork. It’s even better to describe any leadership roles you’ve held, since this demonstrates to your employer that you can hold responsibility, take personal initiative, and organize and support others.
The chances are high that you haven’t had a lot of paid work experience since you're a high school student. While you should describe any actual “real” jobs you’ve held, it’s also a good idea to describe volunteer experience, accompanied by dates, your responsibilities, and your contributions in these roles.
Volunteer experience is important for high school students because it provides experience and shows that you're trying to find out what you might be interested in.
At the end of your resume, include a statement of selected interests. Employers (and universities, if you are using your resume for a college application) like candidates who are well-rounded and involved in their communities.
They’ll get a better idea of your personality if you mention a few sports that you play or interests like theater, music, or environmentalism. Be careful, however, not to mention interests that are too political or might distract you from your job (such as excessive video-gaming).
Write a Cover Letter
Once you’ve finished your resume, you should craft a cover letter to introduce yourself to a hiring manager. Review these student cover letters for help in getting started.
Proofread Your Resume Carefully
Resumes that are full of spelling and grammatical errors create red flags in an employer’s mind because they hint that your work performance might be sloppy as well. Take the time to edit and correct your resume and cover letter, following these proofreading steps. If you feel unsure about your proofreading skills, ask a friend, parent, sibling, or teacher to help you.
Read each sentence aloud to yourself. This slows you down and makes you concentrate on the words, which will bring attention to any errors.
High School Student Resume Example
The following is an example of a resume for a high school student. It includes both formal and informal work experience, volunteering and academic achievements. The resume lists work experience first, followed by the student's volunteer experience and achievements and then education. If you have no formal work experience, you should know how to format your resume to reflect this appropriately.
Also, note that the resume has a summary that focuses on the student's skills that are the best match for the job they are applying for. This way, the employer can see at a glance why the applicant would be a good candidate for the job.
High School Student Resume Example
6 Oak Street
Arlington, VA 54321
Honor roll high school student with extensive experience working with youth of all ages, who has been praised and awarded for her organizational skills and ability to develop fun, engaging activities for youth of all ages, seeks an entry-level child position with an area child care provider or retail firm.
THE RETAIL STORE, Arlington, VA
Sales Associate/Manager, September 2019–Present
Maintain and restock inventory; provide customer service; responsible for training incoming associates in operating cash register system due to track record of excellence.
- Named “Employee of the Month” three times.
- Attended a “Sales Associate Training” conference in Washington, D.C.; was selected as one of 10 out of 1,000 sales associates from Virginia to attend the conferences.
- Promoted to manager in 2020; was the youngest associate to reach the position in store history.
KINDERFUN PRESCHOOL; Arlington, VA
Child Care Provider, September 2017–August 2019
Provided childcare for a dozen families after school, on weekends, and during school vacations.
- Developed and implemented fun, educational activities for children from ages 1 to 8 years.
RUN FOR LIFE, Arlington, VA
Publicist, November–December 2020
Assisted in marketing the charity run via social media; oversaw clean-up after the race.
- Managed 20 volunteers of all ages in setting up booths, operating the registration, and facilitating the race.
High School Diploma (June 2022; Expected Graduation Date); GPA 3.9
Arlington High School, Arlington, VA
- Honor roll each semester; captain of the debate team; president of the Key (service) Club.
- Elective Classes and Activities: Screen Printing, Culture & Foods, Independent Living, Family Advocacy, Wind Ensemble, Stage Crew
Member of the Arlington High School Tennis Team • Girl Scout • Piano, 10 years
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out
- Show that you're well-rounded and use any work experience you have, highlighting after-school activities and volunteer work on your resume.
- Emphasize your achievements and mention a strong high school GPA or any academic awards or recognition you have achieved.
- Focus on teamwork and leadership by presenting examples of your team participation and leadership in school and extra-curricular activities.