How to build a great high school student resume

As a high school student, there are many reasons why you may need a well-written resume. Whether you are applying for a job or submitting an application to a college or university, it is crucial to know which elements to include for your resume to be effective.

In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about writing a resume as a high school student. Keep reading to learn:

  • Which resume format is best for high school students?
  • How do you write a resume summary as a high school student?
  • What skills should a high school student include on a resume?
  • How do you describe past work experience as a high school student?
  • How should a high school student list their education?

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1. What is the best format for your high school student resume?

In general, the standard resume format is the reverse-chronological resume. This resume focuses on work experience, listing your most recent job first and working chronologically backward from there.

However, unless you have many years of experience working in professional positions, then you will likely not have enough work experience as a high school student for this format. As a result, you may want to consider one of the following alternative formats:

  • The Functional Resume: Functional resumes remove the focus from work experience and instead place it on education, skills, and unpaid experience (volunteer work, internships, etc.). This is often the best format for current students, as it allows you to prioritize academic experience and extracurriculars.
  • The Hybrid Resume: Hybrid resumes spread the focus of a resume out more evenly between all sections. This type of resume is well-suited for students who have held part-time jobs and have some work experience to showcase alongside their academic experience.

Choose your preferred template and make your resume shine.

2. How to craft an eye-catching high school student resume summary?

A resume summary is a brief introductory statement at the beginning of your resume that helps to show your best attributes to the person reading it.

When writing your summary, it is important to include compelling details such as academic accomplishments or key work experience. This will catch the attention of employers and encourage them to read further into your resume and remember you later on.

To help demonstrate how to write an effective resume summary, here is an example of a weak one followed by a correction and explanation.

Incorrect high school student resume summary example

Soon-to-be high school graduate seeking employment as an office assistant. Served as the school’s morning announcer and office assistant for several years. Flexible schedule, with after-school club activities on Tuesdays.

Why is this incorrect?

In this example, the student includes great examples of their professional goals and how their in-school experience ties into these goals. However, they should strive to provide more specific and quantifiable details, such as how many years they worked as an office assistant or what clubs they are a part of.

Corrected high school student resume summary

Hard-Working High School Senior with 2+ years of experience volunteering as the high school office assistant, providing morning announcements and assisting with student check-ins. Co-president of the Student Debate Club, responsible for planning weekly Tuesday meetings.

Why is this correct?

In this example, the applicant is far more specific with their experience as an office assistant. Rather than stating they are a “soon-to-be graduate,” the applicant instead says the exact year in school they are (High School Senior). Overall, this example has a lot more detail and specificity that makes it a more compelling summary.

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3. What are the best skills to put on your high school student resume?

When listing skills on your resume, it is important to include a variety of different types of skills to choose from. Most abilities can be divided into two main categories:

  • Hard Skills: Hard skills refer to learned abilities, like being able to play a sport or learning a new concept in school. These skills are gained through education and training, showcasing your talents and technical ability.
  • Soft Skills: Soft skills are your people skills. These abilities deal with communication and comprehension, often governing how well you work with other people and understand the world around you. Soft skills can be both inherent and learned.

Including both of these types of skills on your resume is essential, as it will show the person reading the document that you know the importance of both. Plus, it will help you to showcase your diverse skillset!

With this in mind, here are 10 examples of both hard and soft skills that are great to include on a high school student’s resume:

The best high school student hard skills for your CV

  • Mathematics
  • Athletic ability
  • Graphic design
  • Microsoft Office 365 (Word, Excel, etc.)
  • Computer skills (typing, making presentations, etc.)
  • Public speaking
  • Research
  • Active listening
  • Bookkeeping
  • Data analysis

Effective soft skills for your high school student resume

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Responsibility
  • Adaptability
  • Willingness to learn
  • Self confidence
  • Work ethic

4. How to best describe your past work experience as a high school student?

As a high school student, you likely do not have very much work experience just yet.

If you have worked in part-time positions, then these should be included within your work experience section. However, if you have never worked a job, you may need to consider extracurriculars you can describe and sub in for formal jobs in a section simply titled “Experience” or “Hands-On Experience.”

This can include academic positions you have held, such as being a team captain or club president.

No matter what experience you choose to describe on your resume, consider which details will make these examples more compelling. The more specific you can be the better!

Here is an example of a work experience entry from a high school student’s resume

Barron Collier High, Naples, FL
Varsity Soccer Captain
August 2020 to Present

  • Led team of 20+ students in daily practice drills, physical conditioning, and scrimmages.
  • Designed new uniforms for the team and successfully presented these designs to the Head Coach for approval.
  • Provided teammates with encouragement and motivating speeches, helping several to create more balanced schedules with time for their school work set aside.

5. How to properly list education on your high school student resume?

When you write a resume as a high school student, you will likely still be in the process of completing your education and earning your high school diploma.

It is always necessary to indicate on your resume that your education is ongoing. Additionally, you should list your expected date of graduation, as well as the specific name of the school to give credibility to your educational credentials.

If you have any notable academic achievements – such as membership in an honor society or extracurriculars – these can make good extra details to add to your education section as well.

Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a high school student’s resume

East Rowan High School, Salisbury, NC
High School Diploma

  • Expected Graduation: May 2023

Academic Achievements:

  • Student Body President, 2021 to Present
  • Principal’s Honor Roll, 2020 to Present

 

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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