How to Write a Winning High School Student Resume This Year

Create an eye-catching high school student resume that will capture the hiring manager's attention, to land your first job.



Table of Contents

  1. How to Write a High School Student Resume
  2. What resume format should high school students use?
  3. What should a high school student resume include?
  4. What are the benefits of resume examples?
How to Write a Winning High School Student Resume This Year
How to Write a Winning High School Student Resume This Year
How to Write a Winning High School Student Resume This Year

How to Write a High School Student Resume

Whether you’re looking for your first weekend job, you want to get your first full-time or part-time job after leaving high school — a good resume is key. However, resumes are highly focused on work experience. In some cases, you can substitute volunteer work and other unpaid work but most students will need to make use of their academic and extracurricular activities. If you do this well, you will impress recruiters. This article will discuss:

  • The best resume format for high school students 
  • The information to include in a high school student resume
  • How resume examples can help you to succeed
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What resume format should high school students use?

Three traditional resume formats are commonly used for job applications today: chronological, combination and functional. Each of these resume formats has its own benefits and limitations. 
A chronological resume format is very good at showcasing a long and detailed work history. This makes it best for those with more than nine years of work history to draw on. 
A combination resume format 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 for a job seeker’s capabilities.
Finally, the functional resume format is designed for those with less than three years of experience or an interrupted work history. This format is the best option for high school students, 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.

What should a high school student resume include?

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.
Resume summary or objective
The next section is the resume summary or resume objective. This short two- to three-sentence paragraph provides a snapshot of your resume. 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.

All resumes should contain a skills section that details the most relevant hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are those technical skills that you train for, such as computer skills, while soft skills are skills that are developed during academic study or work. These are most often interpersonal skills, such as verbal and written communication skills.

Work history
When you have a longer work 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, fundraising events you were involved with and even relevant coursework. You can also 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.
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 or have an exceptional GPA, you should mention these facts in this section. Also, if you have any certifications in any computer applications, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word, be sure to include them in the education section.
Make these sections your own and represent the best of your achievements to date and you will stand a good chance of catching a hiring manager’s eye.

What are the benefits of resume examples?

Most high school students start their work history in retail but not every customer service role is the same. Resume samples can help you to craft a great resume by providing an example of the skills and qualities sought after in fashion retail, hospitality or any other entry-level role that you are trying to secure. Free resume examples, including high school resume examples, are available online via ResumeHelp and can provide guidance for formats, design elements and keywords to include in your own resume.

FAQ: High school student resume

Q: Is it necessary to provide a cover letter?

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.

Q: How can I improve a high school resume?

Using an appropriate resume template can make your high school resume look like a professional resume 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 is important to thoroughly proofread your resume before sending it out, so grammatical errors don’t affect your chances of landing an interview. 

Q: Should a high school resume include references?

You can include the name and contact information of some character references, for example, a teacher or someone you have worked with in a volunteer capacity. However, 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. 


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