Tips for a High Schooler’s Resume

Writing a resume in high school can feel overwhelming. Here we provide tips on what to include in your resume — whether you need it for college or your first job.

Some colleges like to see resumes. Nearly all employers require them as part of the job application process. Either way, writing a good resume is an important step toward life after high school. Read on for our favorite tips and best practices.

Tips for a High Schooler’s Resume  

College is not for everyone, and more students are entering the workforce directly after high school. Resumes are a key part of the interview process, and many students may feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing one, and possibly confused about what they should include in it. 

Naviance is here to help break down the process of writing a resume for high school students. Whether this is your first time writing a resume or you have made one before — maybe for a part-time job — we are here to help you refine your work experience so that it translates into the work force. 

Employers are placing a higher value on internships, job shadows, and other forms of work-based learning, and many students are looking for these kinds of opportunities. A resume that includes work-based learning will be more attractive to employers and college admissions counselors than one that does not. A key part of Naviance’s college and career readiness framework, work-based learning will help float your resume to the top of the pile. 

What to Include in Your Resume

Whether you need a resume to apply to college or for a job in the workforce, you’ll be better positioned for success if your resume sparkles with experience. Even if you have zero job experience, there are plenty of activities that would be considered good experience and will help paint a picture of who you are as a person. So, make sure to include:

Leadership Roles
If you have had any roles — such as on your student council, as captain of a team, or director of a play — that speak to your leadership skills, this is the time to highlight them. List the leadership role and then bullet a few items underneath that flesh out your responsibilities.

Work Experience and Activities
If you have held a job before, it should be listed at the top of your resume, where it won’t get lost. If you have not held a job before, include informal work experiences, such as lawn mowing, babysitting, or any other entrepreneurial work.

Remember, your resume is like your highlight reel. This is the place to list any awards, honors, or other achievements that showcase your talents and academic success

Ambitions and Goals
Promote yourself a bit. Write a few lines that capture your attitude, character, and ambitions. If you have participated in any work-based learning activities, take a few lines to explain how those experiences shaped who you are. If you’re using your resume to apply for a job, try to relate your abilities based on the requirements of the position. 

Resumes for College Applications

Most colleges do not require a resume, but on the off chance that they do, it can be a great practice to write a resume, or it can simply be a great bonus to your college essayResume-writing is good practice for internships as well. When writing a resume for college, pay attention to what your school requires and follow the above list but consider one more: 

Significant work experience
If you have worked full time or multiple jobs in your high school career, this could be important to include. It’s also an excellent idea to note any internships you’ve had, or businesses you’ve started. 

Finally, if you need money to make college more affordable, find out how to apply for scholarships. This time of year can be stressful for students, but it is also an incredibly exciting time and marks the first steps into true adulthood. See how Naviance is getting kids college and career ready.

Topics college readiness

College & Career Readiness

Prepare students for college, career, and life with a research-backed readiness framework and comprehensive toolset. Create connections between their strengths and interests to success after high school.

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