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Whether you’re job hunting for your first full-time position or looking to gain more experience somewhere else, a good resume is key.
However, resumes are highly focused on work experience. In some cases, high school students can substitute volunteer work and other unpaid work for professional work experience, but most will need to make use of their academic and extracurricular activities.
To truly impress hiring managers, we’ll help you shape your resume with the high school resume examples on this page, along with these tips:
Our resume templates are created by experts who understand industry standards and know what you need visually to stand out from the crowd. You can easily edit your high school resume template of choice in our user-friendly Resume Builder, which allows you to create a professional resume in just a few minutes.
Three traditional resume formats are commonly used: chronological, combination and functional. Each of these resume formats has its own benefits and limitations.
The chronological format, also referred to as the reverse-chronological resume, is the most commonly used format by job seekers. It’s very good at showcasing a long and detailed work history, making it the best option for those with more than nine years of experience.
A combination format, also known as the hybrid resume, is best for those with three to nine years of work experience or who are changing careers. This format balances work history with achievements and skills to make a strong case.
The combination resume might be a good option if you’ve worked somewhere before. For example, if you’re a high school student with excellent customer service experiences at a summer job, or you’ve successfully held a job while juggling schoolwork, you might want to consider this format for your resume.
The functional resume format, sometimes called the skills-based resume format, is designed for candidates with less than three years of experience or an interrupted work history. This format is the best option for a high school student resume, as it will showcase your transferable skills and academic achievements, as well as the personal qualities that make you the right candidate for a particular job.
Unlike the other two formats, the functional resume doesn’t focus on work experience. Instead, it features areas where you can list and highlight your skills, while your work history is condensed and placed further down the page.
To write the best resume for your job search, you will need to represent your skills and experiences in a way that shows you are suitable for the requirements of the job description. Your high school resume should include the following sections:
The header section should contain your contact information, including your full name, phone number and professional email address. You can also include your professional social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile if you have one but this may not be beneficial for a high school job application.
If you’re applying for a creative job or an internship, the resume header is also the place to include a link to your portfolio.
The next section is the resume summary or resume objective. This short two-to-three-sentence paragraph provides a snapshot of your background.
More experienced candidates will generally create a resume summary. This will include key achievements, skills and positions. For a high school student, a resume objective statement is more appropriate. A resume objective statement should include your key skills and any relevant achievements, as well as a statement of your career goals and intentions.
Take a look at these examples of a resume objective, and see how the “good” example is specific about the applicant’s strengths, and job goals:
High school student looking to apply leadership and teamwork skills at an entry-level barista position to further professional development. Possesses proficiency in interpersonal communication, writing skills and working under pressure. Proven ability to learn quickly and maintain a clean academic record while participating in extracurricular activities.
I’m looking for an entry-level job. I’m a high school student with good communication skills and able to work under pressure.
Hard skills are those technical skills that you train for, such as computer skills, while soft skills are personality traits and abilities that are universal. These are most often interpersonal skills, such as verbal and written communication skills.
The right skills for your resume will depend on the job you’re interested in. However, here’s a list of some key skills you might want to consider:
When you have a long professional history, the work experience section will serve as a brief overview of your previous roles and achievements.
As a high school student, you can repurpose this section to include other relevant experiences, such as volunteer work, babysitting roles, community service, internships and extracurricular activities you were involved in. You can even include relevant coursework or highlight times when you held leadership roles in your class projects. Whatever you choose you should connect it to the job description and indicate how the experience prepares you for the role.
Whether you’re mentioning your part-time job or a volunteering experience, each bullet point should start with an action verb (e.g., “Managed” or “Coordinated” rather than “Was responsible for”). Avoid using personal pronouns (I, me, my) and if you can, include a quantifiable metric (e.g., “Assisted 40 customers per day”) that will help hiring managers see the positive impact you’ve had. You should also sprinkle in some keywords from the job description that tie in with your experiences and skillset.
Assistant Tutor / Sept. 2022 – April 2023
Washington High School, Seattle, WA
Assistant Tutor / Sept. 2022 – April 2023
Washington High School, Seattle, WA
As a high school student, the education section of your perfect resume will be your chance to shine. This section should contain the highlights of your academic career.
For example, if you are a member of the National Honor Society, maintain a place on the honor roll. If you have a good GPA, mention it in this section. Also, if you have any certifications in any important skills or computer applications, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word, be sure to include them in the education section.
You’ll also note in our high school student resume examples that you should include your graduation date (or expected date of graduation). For example
High School Diploma (Expected June 2023)
Washington High School, Seattle, WA
We’ve got much more than high school student resume examples. ResumeHelp has tons of career advice and resume resources to help you present yourself as the best candidate for the job. Check our expert articles and how-to guides!
1. Use a strong resume template. A professional resume template will go a long way towards presenting you as a capable candidate even if you don’t have experience. Avoid choosing or using templates with eccentric fonts such as Comic Sans or Papyrus, and instead, go for one that utilizes professional fonts like Times New Roman or Helvetica.
2. Ace ATS. ATS stands for applicant tracking system. Most employers use applicant tracking systems to filter resumes based on keywords. Companies often receive hundreds of job applications, so instead of having someone look through all of them, they use an applicant tracking system to push forward the ones that are most relevant to the job.
The way you make your resume be relevant is by using keywords and key phrases from the job description. If the employer is looking for a candidate with a specific set of skills, make sure to include those skills in your resume. If the employer requires a certificate and you have it, include it.
3. Tailor your resume to the job. This tip goes along well with the one mentioned above. Tailoring your resume to the job will not only help you make it through ATS, but it will also show the hiring manager that you have the skills and experience required for that job.
You can customize a resume to a specific job by including skills listed in the job description, as well as relevant responsibilities in your work experience. You’ll notice that our high school student resume examples each mention unique skills and qualifications, targeted for different jobs.
4. Feature key skills. Make sure the skills you include in your resume are well-balanced.
Hard skills are job specific. Think of a graphic designer who knows how to use Photoshop and Illustrator.
Soft skills can be applied to multiple jobs across industries. So if this graphic designer decides to pursue another career where knowing how to use Photoshop might not be as important, they can mention their excellent time management skills, communication skills and ability to work under pressure because these traits can apply. Our resume examples for high school students on this page will give you the right approach on how to feature both hard and soft skills.
5. Proofread carefully before you send your resume. Don’t get caught up by typos and factual errors. One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is not proofreading their resume and submitting it with grammatical or spelling errors. Don’t sabotage your chances of getting hired!
Our Resume Builder has a handy spell-checking tool that helps you make sure your resume is mistake-free.
A cover letter is an extremely important part of every job application, but especially if you’re a high school student who doesn’t have a lot of work experience. Through a cover letter, you can explain your enthusiasm for a position, provide more context on how your background can fit the job and market yourself as a great candidate.
The best news is that you don’t have to do it alone! At ResumeHelp, we have all the cover letter resources and guidance you need.
In most cases, providing a matching cover letter will be beneficial to any application. However, there are some times when potential employers will specifically ask candidates not to send cover letters. Read the job ad carefully. If a cover letter is not mentioned at all, it is generally better to write one and send it with your resume.
Using our high school resume examples can make your resume look professional and ensure that all small details, such as fonts and margin sizing are correct. Our ResumeHelp Resume Builder offers free templates that you can use. Beyond this, it’s important to thoroughly proofread your resume before sending it out, so grammatical errors don’t affect your chances of landing an interview.
No, most employers do not expect references within a resume anymore and will ask for them at a later stage if they are required, so it is not necessary to write them on your resume. Including references may take up valuable space that you can use for your skills or work experience.
To learn all about professional references and how to include them, read our article on Resume References.
High school resumes should include the key resume sections: career objective, skills, work experience and education. The way you organize these sections will depend on the format you choose. We recommend most high school students use a functional or combination resume because it will allow you to concentrate on educational credentials and important skills rather than work history you might not have. For a complete rundown of how to write your resume, see our guide on how to make a resume.
A resume objective is a short introduction that summarizes your most relevant skills and qualifications, while also stating your desire for a job. It’s ideal for job seekers with less than three years of experience.
Here’s a good career objective you can use as inspiration for your resume:
High school student seeking entry-level opportunity to build leadership skills and gain professional experience. Able to learn quickly, adapt to new environments and communicate effectively. Committed to fulfilling goals and improving teamwork dynamics.
A good resume for a high school student highlights a wide range of skills rather than a lack of professional experience.
It should include a header with your contact information, a brief objective statement where you state your desires for employment as well as your most important skills, sections where you further explain your skills, and a work history section where you include any relevant experience, be it from a part-time or volunteer work.
Whether you’re a student or a fresh graduate, the key to writing a resume with no experience is to redefine the meaning of “experience.” Relevant experience is relevant experience, whether you got paid for it or not. Entry-level positions are often looking for candidates with some knowledge of what the job entails, so if you gained skills or experience from volunteer work, internships or relevant projects, you can definitely include it as part of your work history section.
Did you develop your organizational skills through your work as the secretary in the student government? That’s important. Did you learn how to delegate tasks and better manage your time as a yearbook volunteer? That’s great!
A CV, also known as a curriculum vitae, is a detailed overview of your entire professional career. In contrast to a resume, it can be over five pages long. In the U.S., CVs are often required in specialized fields, such as academia, sciences or legal, so regular job seekers might not come across a job application where the employer requires a CV.
Resumes are a summary of your most relevant qualifications for a job. They’re typically only one-page long, though it’s OK for candidates with more than 10 years of experience to organize their information into two pages.
A high school resume should only be a page long.
You should only include key qualifications that pertain to the job. So, even if you have a wide range of skills, make sure to only list the qualifications that will matter to the employer. This also applies to experience and extracurricular activities.
Don’t include hobbies or things that have nothing to do with the job, make your bullet points and phrases concise, and get straight to the point to ensure your resume stays within a single page. For more tips on resume length, see our page How Long Should a Resume Be?
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