High school students may not believe they have information to include on a resume or a reason to write one. Resumes can highlight your accomplishments, however, for the purpose of employment, college and scholarship applications. High school is the time for you to begin the process of preparing a resume, a practice you'll revisit multiple times throughout your academic and professional career.
Organizing the Information
The first step in putting together a resume is writing down all of your high school experiences to date. What courses have you taken and what year will you graduate? Have you been involved in school activities or sports and have you held leadership positions? Do you work part-time or volunteer with any school or community groups? Answers to these questions will help generate the material to include on your resume.
A student resume should be one page long, so not all of your material may be used. It's important to tailor the resume to the audience, so be ready to edit and prepare more than one resume. For example, a student applying to a college journalism program may highlight his or her student newspaper position more than the part-time retail sales position.
Categories and Information to Include
After brainstorming your accomplishments, it's time to organize the information. Present entries within each category in reverse chronological order, starting with the most current experience. Here are some categories to consider.
CONTACT INFORMATION Give your name, address, phone number and email address at the top of the resume. Use a permanent address where relevant materials can be mailed. Use a professional email address, avoiding one such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure your answering machine message is appropriate.
EDUCATION List your high school and anticipated graduation date. Include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or above. Highlight any academic awards or honors you have earned, or scholarships and academic competitions you may have won.
EMPLOYMENT When listing employment history, include the position title, company name, dates of employment and job duties. Use action verbs to describe your responsibilities. Highlight any accomplishments you received. Examples include a sales associate surpassing company sales goals, or an elementary school tutor receiving praise from the school principal.
ACTIVITIES AND VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE Positive contributions outside the classroom are equally important. Highlight school activities in which you've been actively involved, sports in which you've participated and community groups for which you've volunteered. Provide detail for activities related to your resume's audience.
REFERENCES A reference is someone who can attest to your attributes and abilities, and may include a teacher, student group advisor, coach or supervisor. References and their contact information typically are not included on the resume, but rather presented on a separate paper when requested. At the bottom of your resume, provide the statement "References available upon request" to indicate you can supply reference contact information if needed
Editing the Final Draft
Before declaring the resume complete, give it to parents, teachers or advisors to review. A different set of eyes could catch typographical or grammatical errors you may have missed.
A note about resume writing services: many resume writing services will write your resume for you for a fee. As the CollegeBoard.com article "Resume Writing 101" concludes, "knowing how to write a resume properly is a valuable skill you'll have for a lifetime." Take the time to write the resume yourself.
Based in North Carolina, Kelli Robinson has written for many online and print publications, including "Charlotte Parent," "A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II," "Lake Norman Magazine," Jobweb.org, ModernMom.com, and MomsLikeMe.com. She contributes to three Media General newspapers in the Charlotte area. Robinson earned her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.Ed. from Penn State University.