Some high schools and scholarship committees may request or suggest that you include an example of your high school resume with all application materials. (But do not submit a resume unless they request it after specific instructions; a high school resume is an important application strategy.) Bring your high school resume to all college interviews and hand out copies to your college counselor and professors so they can write you a strong, detailed recommendation letter. If they really want to help you, your high school counselor will be sure to add your name to their recommended list.
High school resumes are usually one-page in size, with a white or cream background and simple layout. Many hiring managers think that a high school resume is just a resume. They also believe one-page resumes lack “information value.” This is not necessarily true. Employers know how important it is to have clear ideas about what you can do for their company. If they see that you have done research on the company, on the job market, and on what employers look for in a successful candidate, they will be more likely to invite you for an interview.
To present an effective high school resume, you must emphasize your positive skills and experiences and explain how these skills and experiences have turned into a successful career. High school students often have very little professional experience, and therefore are at a disadvantage when applying for jobs. If you are a high school student, start your job application with a career statement that highlights your strengths and includes your major and other relevant education and work history. High school students usually do not have a clear picture of their own work history and often do not elaborate on relevant work experiences. In preparing your career statement, focus on the positive aspects of your past efforts, and downplay any negative traits.
Your high school resume should show that you are a member or have attended a high school that is highly respected among peers. Your statement should also highlight any college credits that you may have had during your time in high school. Colleges are particularly interested in this type of information, as most students who have attended a prestigious college are sure to have impressive college experiences. Colleges commonly check applicants to make sure that the person is qualified for admission. College credits, if they are impressive enough, could land you an interview with a top college.
The next section of your high school resume should highlight your extracurricular activities and work experience. If you were active in your high school community, this is a perfect time to list all of the volunteer positions that you have held, as well as any awards or honors you may have received. Work experience is particularly valuable if you plan to apply for a position in the field that interests you the most.
One other section of your high school resume should focus on your personal abilities. You should list your strengths individually, as well as explain why these abilities are so important for the position for which you are applying. High school information regarding personal qualities is especially useful if you plan to use a writing sample in your application. High school information regarding your abilities will allow a college or hiring organization to see just how confident you are in your ability to succeed.
The next section of your high school resume should include any colleges or potential employers that you may have contacted in the process of applying. Some people choose not to list their contact information on their high school resume, for privacy reasons. However, it is important to remember that potential employers often view high school information in order to evaluate you for a job, or to contact you in the event that the position requires personal contact. In addition, if you do choose to include your contact information, it should be the current contact information, and not a new phone number. In the case of a job, this could be the person who referred you to the company.
Finally, in the third section of your high school resume – which is your “other data” section – you can fill out the details that you feel are most relevant to your job applications. For example, you can list any community involvement or awards that you may have received during your years at your various colleges or universities. You can also note any special accomplishments that were noted in the admissions process. In high school students applying to more than one college, you can note any honors or awards that you have received, regardless of whether they came from college or another place.