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10 sections recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in a high school graduate resume
When it comes to writing your high school graduate resume, here are 10 elements to keep in mind and possible ways of addressing them. Keep in mind, each position is unique in its own right and what may work for one, may not be suitable for another. So pick and choose as appropriate.
1. Your Resume Header
The first thing the hiring manager will look at when your resume comes across their desk is your resume header. In this, you should include contact information (email, phone number, and any website links) as well as your name and location. Remember to include a professional email (e.g., FirstNameLastName@Mail.ie) rather than your personal email.
You should ensure to update your voicemail on your phone, too (you may have never left a voicemail in your life but that’s no guarantee your potential employer won’t). The aim is to highlight any way the hiring manager can get in contact with you and to put a name to all the information they’re seeing.
2. Personal Summary
Your personal summary can be used to give an outline of who you are, why you are interested in the position, and a brief of the skills and experience you bring to the table. The recruiter is interested in what has brought you to applying for the position, so use this to tell them. Aim to do this in 2-3 sentences. You can follow this formula to put your personal summary together. [Description of current status] with an interest in [Industry / Role you’re applying to] hoping to improve skills of [hard & soft skills]. A [personal attribute] worker motivated by [aspect of company culture]. You can see an example of this below.
Recruiters are looking to improve their pool-of-talent. If they can’t see skills you have that make you valuable, there’s no reason for a recruiter to hire you. Some skills that you can mention in your resume (with working experience) are:
- Customer relations (solving customer issues)
- End of day processing (closing shop)
- Data processing (inputting stock on excel)
- Transaction maintenance (working on a checkout)
- Inventory control (managing stock)
Some skills you can mention in your resume (without working experience) are:
- Proficiency in Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint)
- Conflict resolution (you’re able to find compromise)
- Human relations (communication)
- Innovative problem solving (you can find creative ways to solve problems)
- Time management (you can get things done on a deadline)
4. Your Experience
You might think that you have no previous experience, but you do. Think about any projects you have worked on in high school that have been outside of the classroom. Maybe you’ve been a member of a sports club, library, or even ran a poetry competition. These are all examples of previous experience.
Don’t forget, when applying for a role you’re applying to help the business achieve their goals. You need to show them that this is something you can do. Any previous experience you mention should be measured if possible. This means pairing your duty with a metric that shows your impact. For example, instead of saying you were responsible for cataloguing books in your library, you were responsible for cataloguing 250 books, which helped develop your organisational skills.
Formal education can say a lot about a candidate. Not only does it indicate your ability to follow a strict schedule, but it gives insight into your knowledge base. When including your education on your resume, ensure to highlight key classes that relate to the job vacancy. If you’ve taken business, economics, computer applications, any of these type of specialties are rewarding to include.
Your language ability is relevant in most jobs you apply to. Not only does your language ability allow you to communicate with customers, fellow workers, and management, but language ability is linked to your cognitive skill. A language is a skill with infinite possibilities. If you’re bilingual, trilingual, or polylingual, do make sure to include this.
7. Most Proud Of
A Most Proud Of section, as an Enhancv staple, provides freedom on your resume. It’s versatile in that it can be used to highlight career achievements, life achievements, or both. This plays into letting the recruiter know who you are and provides another opportunity to mention achievements.
8. Life Philosophy
Your philosophy tells the recruiter everything they need to know about your approach to sales. This can be a quote from a significant figure in your life, a quote you live by, or something that has stuck with you during your life. It gives insight into culture fit too.
9. Certificates and Courses
Not all skills you develop are through previous work experience or your education. Extra-curricular courses and certificates (such as First Aid) show the breadth of your ability. It shows the hiring manager you’re interested in more than career development, but personal development as a whole. You can also quantify your skills by listing relevant courses you’ve undertaken.
Recruiters are heavily influenced by recommendations of your skill. Professional and character references can accomplish this. Remember to include the referee’s name, contact number, and email.
How to get a referral for the role you want after graduating
Employees who get referred for a job are more likely to be content and to perform better in their role. Finding a job you can get referred to often means finding a job you’ll be satisfied with.
Students have an specialised route to go down when it comes to referrals. Universities and schools come with an array of connections to companies, different universities, community organisations, and more. You can contact your high school’s career service and see if they have connections with anyone that may work in the company you’re looking to apply to or something similar. You can also contact professors, student clubs, and honor societies.
Check out our complete guide to getting job referralsа> for more actionable tips.
For more inspiration, why not check out our free resource of real resume examples?