RESUME ADVICE

How to Write a High School Resume

Making a good resume when you're still in high school boils down to focusing on your strengths, school successes, and soft skills.

Every resume has just one purpose.

And that purpose is presenting who you are.

And you would want it to present you in the best possible light.

That being said, sometimes it gets a little tougher to do that.

Especially if you are in or straight out of high school and have limited or no work experience behind you.

It might be intimidating at first, but we’ve got everything you need to perfect your high school resume.

In this article, we are going to explore and answer these questions:

  • What Resume Format to Choose for High School Resume?
  • What Should You Include on Your High School Resume?

And we are going to leave you off with some great tips and tricks and an awesome template to get you going.

Keep reading, and you will surely make your resume stand out.

What Resume Format to Choose for High School Resume?

Before you go any further, you need to be sure you are using the best resume format for your needs.

And to do so, you first need to know which are the most common ones and what are their differences.

We are going to go through them one by one.

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

The Reverse Chronological Resume Format is the most common out there.

That’s because it is suitable for pretty much every job position.

This format is mostly career-oriented – it lists your work history in order, as the most recent position would be at the top.

It is the ideal format for people with lots of work experience, relevant to the job position they are applying for.

If you feel like this is the Resume Format for you, you should learn more about it here – Reverse Chronological Resume Format.

If not, we have two more for you.

Functional Resume Format

Your second alternative is pretty much the opposite of the Reverse Chronological Resume Format.

The Functional Resume Format is also called Skill-Based Resume Format.

And yes, you guessed correctly, it focuses mainly on your skills.

It is the perfect choice for you if you are looking for your first job or career change, or if you are trying to steer away the employer’s focus from a gap in your employment history.

The great thing about the functional resume format is that it groups your skills in categories and presents them in a great and easy-to-read format.

If we’ve got what you need with this Resume Format, learn more about it here – Fucntional Resume Format.

If that’s not what you need either, we’ve got one last option for you.

Hybrid Resume Format

If neither the Reverse Chronological Resume Format, nor the Functional Resume Format feel quite right, we’ve got what you need.

The Hybrid Resume Format is the perfect combination of the two formats listed above.

It takes all the best features from both formats.

It includes both Reverse Chronological Work History, and a highly detailed Skills Section.

It’s mostly used for job positions that require expertise in a variety of fields, and you want to show that you are the right person for the job.

Which Resume Format to Choose for High School Resume?

Now, on to the main question – which format should you choose?

There is no easy answer to that question.

You have two good options – Reverse Chronological Resume or Functional Resume.

The Functional Resume would bring up your skills, and it is a better option when you have limited or no work experience.

The reason you need to consider the Reverse Chronological Resume is the workload hiring managers have.

They receive hundreds of resumes for every position, and can’t really afford to spend too much time on any.

On average, hiring managers would spend about 6-7 seconds on your resume.

That’s why, if it is not in an easy-to-read format, they might even skip it.

And, as the Reverse Chronological Resume Format is the most common out there, it might be a safer choice than the Functional Resume Format.

What Should You Include on Your High School Resume?

No matter which resume format you choose, you need to spend some significant time filling up your resume with information.

It is not an easy task, and you need to know how to do it right.

We’ve got you covered with every section that you might want to list on your resume.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to include all of them.

You wouldn’t want your resume to get too cluttered.

Contact Information

The resume section that is most crucial to get right is your contact information.

It is the first the hiring manager sees on your resume, so you would want to make it look professional.

Furthermore, you need to check if it is all mistake-free.

You will never get called for an interview, if you misspelled your phone number.

Your contact information consists of a few important components.

We are going to go through them one by one.

Name

That one is hard to get wrong.

You need to list two names in a font that is easy-to-read.

Make sure you accent your name with the font-size.

The hiring manager should know who your resume introduces.

You can consider adding a subtitle below your name to act as a branding statement.

But that one is entirely up to you.

Listing just your two names is more than enough for now.

Location

This one can often be excluded.

But typically, it might work well for you.

There are some reasons for some employers to prefer local candidates, including:

  • Tax purposes
  • Travelling time

The safe way to go is to check the job listing first and see if it is required.

A thing to be extra careful about here is what part of your address you include.

If you decide to include any, make sure you only list city and state.

Any more information is too much, and can even be harmful to you, if your resume ends up in the wrong hands.

Email address

This is an absolute must on your resume.

In the modern age that we live in, email is usually the preferred method of communication.

But don’t list just any email that you have got.

An email address that seemed funny in college is not the right email address for the job.

You would want a professional looking email to list on your resume.

Your best option here is to use a provider like Gmail and keep the format firstname.lastname@domain.com.

Phone number

That is the second must that you should not exclude.

It is just as important a means of communication, as your email address.

Make sure you list your personal cell phone, so that you would be sure that the hiring manager would reach you.

Keep only one phone number on your resume.

Any more than that might come off confusing and would be more difficult to keep track of.

LinkedIn

If you don’t have to have a LinkedIn profile it wouldn’t hurt you to make an account.

It can usually serve you really well, as hiring managers would definitely want to learn more about you than you can list on your one-page resume.

So make sure you include your LinkedIn profile in your Contact Information.

And if you don’t have a profile yet, there is no better time to create one.

Blog, Website, or Portfolio

Do you have some projects that you want to share with your potential employer?

Well, you can always do so.

Just include your blog, personal website, or a portfolio of some great projects you have created.

But be careful.

You need to keep it all relevant.

So check the position you are applying for and then decide if it would work in your favor.

Resume Objective

Your Resume Objective is your chance to sell yourself to your potential employer.

And that is exactly what you would want to do.

The resume objective is a 3-4 sentence statement that presents your skills, achievements and career goals.

It should present you in the best possible light and keep the hiring manager intrigued all the way through.

Education Section

As you probably have limited or no work experience, the focus of your resume would fall much more on your education section.

That’s where you should list your academic accomplishments.

Typically, every entry in your education section should include:

  • Your Degree
  • Name of the Academic Institution
  • Year of Graduation
  • Bullet list with relevant courses

If you think you can show off some more in your entry, you absolutely should.

Other things you can list on any entry in your education section are:

Skills Section

Before starting this section, we need to define the difference between the two main types of skills – soft and hard.

Hard Skills

Using simple words, a hard skill is one that can be learned, taught, or measured and is not dependent on your industry.

Examples of such skills are any language or computer skills, or ability to operate heavy machinery.

Soft Skills

A soft skill is a personality trait that is hard to measure, but that makes you great at your job.

Examples of such skills are being a team player, being driven to succeed, or having a great attitude.

Now, how to list hard and soft skills on your high school resume.

As you probably have limited or no experience, focus would not be on your work experience section.

Instead, it falls on your education section, and on your skillset.

That’s why it is really crucial to get this right.

Don’t worry, we are going to help you go through it.

The first thing you need to do is list all skills that you have.

After you have it ready, you should look through it and think about which of these skills are relevant to the job position you are applying for.

You should also help yourself find the right keywords that your potential employer would be looking for.

You can easily find them by checking out the job listing.

That would also help you beat the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that would scan your resume for specific keywords before it ever has the chance to be seen by the hiring manager.

Extracurricular Activities

This section might not seem so important at first, but it can really turn your resume around.

Even if you had nothing so impressive so far, some extracurricular activities can really grab the hiring manager’s attention.

These activities are usually school-related, but are never mandatory.

Taking part in them demonstrates your interests and proves that you can make meaningful contributions.

It can also show that you are a strong team player, as typically they require teamwork.

All in all, extracurricular activities on your resume can really show a much greater skillset than your skills section.

And that can really boost up your chances.

Projects

School is not the only place you can do things.

And usually out-of-school projects are even more impressive for hiring managers.

They show that you are a self-starter, and you have the motivation and the skillset to see a project through.

It can be as little as a blog, or as big as a small business or a startup.

Either way, it can really put you one step ahead of other candidates.

Work Experience Section (Optional)

You might not have any work experience at this point, and that is okay.

You can always create a substitute section like “Volunteer Work” where you can list all your volunteering.

Or you can create an unrelated to experience section that would show off your talents in a better way.

But if you have any work experience, you should not miss out on listing it.

What you need for listing each entry is:

  • Job position
  • Company name
  • Dates of employment
  • A bullet list of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Language Skills

It might seem redundant, but you need a second skills section, and it is usually an important one.

That one shows your language skills and the levels of knowledge you have in them.

In the modern world, it is crucial to know more languages, as the world is becoming more and more connected.

So, any language skills you have would not remain unnoticed.

Your potential employer would absolutely be happy to see some additional language skills on your resume.

If you have any certification for any language, don’t miss out on listing it.

You can do so either right there in the language skills section, or in a separate Certifications Section.

Hobbies & Interests

This section might seem useless at first, but it can play an important role in your job-seeking as well.

Listing your hobbies and interests can give an indirect hint to the hiring manager about some of your great skills.

But also they show you as a person and describe you as a well-rounded individual.

Don’t list too many hobbies, it might look like you were just throwing words around.

Instead, scan the job listing once again.

That’s where you would find what hobby or interest would be perfect for you to list.

If your potential employer is looking for a team player, you would want to emphasize a team sport.

Tips and Tricks

And, as promised, we are not going to let you go without some tips and tricks to help you out.

There are a few simple rules you need to follow.

If you do, your resume will be guaranteed to look its best.

So let’s go through them all and get you good and ready:

  • Stick to one-page resume – two-page resumes are only acceptable when a candidate has tons of work experience
  • Choose a professional font - examples of such are Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Cambria and Verdana
  • Choose the correct font size - it’s best to keep it around 12pt, and it should never fall beneath 10pt
  • Make sure you have sufficient white space - you need to make it clear where a section starts and ends. Don’t forget to also add a margin of at least 0.7 inches.
  • Choose the right format - unless specified otherwise, always stick to PDF as it is the only format that will preserve your layout and structure no matter what

Takeaways

Making an effective high school resume is all about presenting yourself in the best possible way. Focus on:

  • Your soft and hard skills will play a major role in structuring your resume;
  • Don’t hesitate to show high-school accomplishments;
  • Show your strengths and explain what will make you a great hiree;
  • Stick to a single-page resume.

Check out our tips and tricks once again and use our Resume Builder to make your resume get you your next interview in no time.

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Evgeni Asenov
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