Are you looking to get your first work position? High school is the best time to build up your skills and acquire certifications you add to your career portfolio. But, as easy as it sounds, the reality is different. When you sit and try to write a resume for your first job, you may wonder what to include and how to show yourself in the best light.
Don’t worry — we’ll guide you through the key points of CV writing for high school students and see why and how a good high school resume increases your chances of getting a job.
The Importance of Writing a Strong Resume
When going for a job, the first thing that the employer sees is your resume. So, it’s crucial to create an excellent and catchy CV. But that is not the only ground for focusing on creating a strong professional record.
Namely, this paper highlights why you’re special for the job. When writing for high school students, educators always emphasize that the summary has to show your strengths, skills, and qualifications.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a high school student resume with no work experience or have an internship or two to mention. A good and robust CV needs to display the benefits the employer gets by choosing you.
Use Resume Examples for Students to Improve Your CV
It’s unsurprising for students today to go online and look up what they need online. Often, they go for free papers online websites to improve their writing by searching for an essay samples database.
Some good free essay examples are available at https://papersowl.com/examples/, a platform that has over 900,000 texts you can use to create an honorable assignment on any topic.
But it’s not just essays that it works for. You have the option to search online for free resumes too. Still, remember that although there are plenty of templates online, they’re used by everyone.
Instead of going with the same thing as the rest, it’s best to write your own professional profile. How do you do that? Simple — use examples. Google what a typical high school student resume looks like, and follow that sample.
But don’t forget — you have to tailor the CV to you. The example you have is just there to provide guidance.
Key Elements of a High School Student Resume
All CVs have several things in common. These are considered to be the key elements without which your application is not even considered by your potential employer.
If you aim to learn how to write a high school resume the right way, check out what it must have.
Right below your basic personal and contact information, including a summary or objective section. While these are rather similar, they are used in different contexts, depending on your professional history.
Usually, you include a summary section if you have extensive work experience and summarize the essential accomplishments from your past jobs.
If, on the other hand, you are applying for your high school student's first job, you intend to put an objective instead. Here, you discuss your career goals and aspirations and how they align with the role you are applying for.
Next up, list any experiences you’ve had that are relevant to the position you are trying to get. Often, you include your previous jobs, but why not get creative and mention other types of experiences, such as volunteering work, internships, or even extracurricular activities?
Regardless of what types of experiences you decide to put on your first resume, there are a few key details to note. Namely, make sure to specify the following:
- Name of the organization,
- The dates of tenure of your experience,
- A short description of the role you played and the achievements you’ve accomplished.
Seeing that most high school students don’t have extensive professional experience, most potential employers judge how suitable a student is for a role by their education history.
They often look at the school you’re attending, but also the subjects you’re taking your grades, and any extracurricular activities you’re taking part in.
Present yourself as a well-rounded and successful student in this section. But simply listing these out is not enough. Elaborate on various skills you’ve picked up during your education so far and how they relate to the job you’re aiming for.
Make a list of the most critical skills you have to offer, which are divided into hard and soft skills. The difference is that hard skills are job-specific and directly help in your duties, but soft skills are more general and applicable to most vacancies. Here are some examples of both types to give you an idea of what to include.
- Management skills
- First aid skills
- Sales experience
Finally, you have an optional “Others” section to mention anything that doesn’t cleanly belong anywhere else. So, for instance, if you have any notable achievements or awards to put on a resume, that is where they go. Furthermore, mention any hobbies or interests that relate to a target position.
Why You Should Add Extracurricular Activities to Your Resume
Strictly speaking, extracurricular activities aren’t required on a CV, and more experienced employees usually omit them as they might have other, more relevant items they focus on.
Additionally, if you are at the beginning of your career, you won’t have that much work experience to talk about, so extracurricular activities are a nice substitute.
In fact, extracurricular activities have many benefits. By showcasing you are engaged in activities, you present to a future employer you are a well-rounded and proactive person. Additionally, mention the skills the extracurricular activities have taught you might not have acquired at school.
As an example, taking a first aid course as an extracurricular activity presents a great resume builder. It indicates that you are caring, diligent, hard-working, and emphatic—all skills for a high school resume!
Strategies for Including Part-time Jobs and Internships on a Resume
Before we go over these parts in your resume, it’s essential for high school students to understand that there is a difference between part-time jobs and internships. The main one is money.
Namely, a part-time job is a job, meaning you get paid. The idea is to gain some work experience that you are able to later use on your CV.
However, an internship might be unpaid. Plus, the baseline of training is not just to get work experience (although it is a huge part of the journey) but to improve your connections and learn more about the industry you’ve chosen to intern in.
How to Include Part-time Jobs
Prior to selecting to add your part-time job to your profile, think about whether it’s relevant to the job you are applying for. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be in the same industry or line of work—see if the skills align together.
For example, if you’ve worked as a cashier at McDonald's and intend to start a job at a local small business, use this part-time experience in terms of similar skills and work you’ve done. List customer care, conducting transactions, and other corresponding things.
Now, if you’re wondering where to put this part-time job, usually in a high-school resume, it is listed under employment history or in a separate section under “Other.” How much detail you add depends on whether it’s relevant to the new career post or not.
For instance, if the two posts are connected, include details about your assignments, gained skills, etc.—just like listing a full-time role. But if it’s just to show you do have some experience, as little as it is, then just add your previous employer, your job post, and the starting and ending dates of your work.
How to Include Internships
The impact of internships on an employer’s choice is vast. Internships have, more or less, the same process of inclusion to a CV. Most students go for them around their last year of high school and in college, since it is the period when they know for sure what they want to pursue in life.
When including an internship in your job resume for student needs, note that it goes under the work experience section or in a separate one (as part of “Other”). What you list, again, depends on the relevance. If it’s crucial, add everything about it to your high school student resume. Otherwise, basic information like company and dates is enough.
A Stellar Resume = Your Dream Job
A lot of high school students today work while they’re in school. In fact, in 2022, 19.4% of teens had a job. You think that high school is a long way away from your first role, but that is where it all starts.
To make sure your high school resume looks like the best representation of yourself, start gathering skills and certificates early on. Once you have everything, combine it and create a strong resume that’ll show your future employer you're it for them.
But remember: never lie in job applications — employers don’t consider candidates who are not honest!