Resume-writing Advice for High School Students

find-first-jobOften, high school students don’t recognize their own skills, abilities, and experience, but think instead that since all they have done is attend school, they have nothing to offer an employer.  Not so!  Many young people have acquired skills and experience through volunteer work, community projects, extracurricular projects, and so on.

Writing a resume when you’re a high school student who doesn’t have much – or any – prior work experience can seem daunting. However, you probably have more information to put on your resume than you think. High school students going after their first job should ask friends and family to help them develop a list of skills they have acquired, and accomplishments they are proud of, or have been awarded for, in the community, at school, or within an organization they participate in. Just because you haven’t had a job like the one you are applying for, doesn’t mean you haven’t acquired the skills necessary to get it!

One of the rules in resume-writing that applies to those who have been in the workforce for sometime, which is: don’t include your high school on your resume – does not apply to high school students.  In fact, you should include your high school and list under that section (EDUCATION) all of your academic accomplishments.

The resume format is a little different, too, for high school students.  Since you have no, or little, work experience, you won’t include an EXPERIENCE section.

On that note, here is an example of how to format your resume when you are going after your first job:

PROFILE

EDUCATION

ACQUIRED SKILLS

VOLUNTEER WORK

ACHIEVEMENTS & AWARDS

Always be sure the last section of your resume contains meaningful information.  When your achievements are the last thing the reader reads, he or she is left with a positive and lasting impression of you.

Never place REFERENCES at the end of your resume. References will be asked for at the interview – do not include them on your resume.

If you do have some work experience, talk about it in your cover letter rather than your resume.  Keep it brief, but let the reader know you have been in paid employment, even if it was babysitting or dog-walking.

The thing to keep in mind as you prepare your resume and cover letter is that employers know high school students don’t have much work experience, if any, so aren’t looking for it on their resumes.  Here is brief list of what employers do look for in young employees:

  • a mature and positive attitude
  • friendly and gregarious
  • a team-player attitude
  • pleasant, helpful, and respectful to the public
  • problem-solving abilities
  • good communication skills
  • good computer skills (depending on the job)
  • and above all, the ability and willingness to learn

As you prepare your resume, put yourself in the employer’s shoes.  If you were the employer reading resumes, what would you want to see to help you choose the best candidate?  Putting yourself in the shoes of the employer gives you a different perspective and takes your focus off of trying so hard to say what you think they want to hear.

Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer I can develop your resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, there is no shame in getting a professional to write such an important document for you. And, as always, I want your feedback and comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers.

Thanks for your time today!

 

 

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