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Resume Guide For High Schoolers

by Angela Xu

If you’re still a student, you might be wondering, why do I need a resume? Not only will a resume be important if you are applying for a job in high school, if you are looking for internships, leadership positions, and entrance into a competitive organization or program, chances are you will need a resume.

It’s often challenging as students to create your first resume, since you don’t have as much experience. In this article, we will break down how to tackle each component of the resume, some tips, examples, and templates!

Parts of a Resume

Here are the main components of your resume:

  • Name
  • Contact
  • Education
  • Activities
  • Experience
  • Honors & Awards
  • Skills
  • This section is pretty standard. Your first and last name should be at the very top of the resume and in the boldest/largest text.
  • Should you put a picture? No, since a resume is supposed to be concise and address your professional experiences, I would not include a headshot of yourself just to make the best use of your space and not distract!

What to include (MUST)

  • Email (make sure it is a professional email address)
  • Phone: personal cell not home phone + make sure your voicemail is professional! 

Optional but great to include

  • LinkedIn account
  • Personal website or portfolio

Do NOT include

  • Social media accounts
  • Only list your current school (if you are in high school don’t list your middle or elementary school)
  • Expected graduation (month and year)
  • GPA: optional, I would only include this if it’s a 3.5 or above (both weighted or unweighted GPA are fine)
  • Class Rank: same as GPA, I would only include this on your resume if it looks favorably on you. My recommendation is if you aren’t in the top 15-20%, I would not include class rank
  • Relevant or Challenging Coursework: this section is to showcase some of the courses you taken (i.e. AP or IB courses) or classes related to the position you are applying for. For example if you are applying for a research position at a hospital, you can list some science courses you’ve taken.

This should be the bulk of your resume, essentially telling your recruiter (or whoever the resume is being viewed by) what past experiences you have that make you qualified for the current position. Because space is limited on the resume, I would choose your top 3-5 experiences. 

What should you include in this section if you don’t have a job?

  • leadership roles in school clubs
  • involvement in organizations outside of school (can be a youth organization or a nonprofit like Michigan Youth Empowerment!)
  • community service
  •  any challenging summer programs you have attended
  • you can even add online courses that you completed (these are offered by universitiesedXCoursera, etc.) 

How you format your ‘Experience’ section is super important as well! Let’s take a look at this example from Zety Resume Builder.

Key Takeaways:
  • Each bullet begins with an action verb, such as organizeddevelopedassisted, or spearheaded
  • Here is a list of the best action verbs to use, provided by MIT: MIT’s Resume Action Verbs
  • add numbers and results when possible, such as “received 97% positive customer survey results.”
  • use condensed language, most recruiters take less than 10 seconds looking over a resume, so make sure your language is concise and gets the point across in the least amount of words possible
Additional Sections (if there’s space!)
  • Honors and Awards
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Skills

Final Tips & Advice

  • Resume should only be one page
  • Stick with simple fonts (my favorites are Times New Roman, Cambria, and Garamond) 

Resume Examples & Templates!

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