Show employers you’re a high school student ready for a real job with a resume highlighting your achievements and skills.
Forget about worrying about a lack of experience or your age. You can easily overcome these obstacles by crafting an effective resume that convinces employers you’re serious and mature enough to handle any job.
This high school resume writing guide will show you essential tips to create a resume that showcases your potential as a high school student. Additionally, with the help of high school resume examples, you can learn what achievements you should include to get called back for an interview.
Here’s what we’ll discuss in this resume for a high school student writing guide:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
4 tips for preparing to write your high school resume
1. Make a list of things you’re proud of.
Before writing your resume, prepare a list of accomplishments you’re proud of. If it’s your first time writing a resume, brainstorming achievements from your high school career will help you choose the top achievements for your resume.
Think back and pinpoint circumstances where you’ve excelled, such as:
- Sports competitions
- Winning a student council election
- Participating in a dramatic play
- Volunteer work
- Debate team competitions
- Part-time jobs after school
- Science project showcase
- Dance recitals
- Any school project you aced
Create a document with a list of these and any other achievements you’d eagerly share with others. This document will serve as a base for your resume.
2. Pick information that’s relevant to your desired job.
Once your list of proud achievements is ready, you’ll want to determine which deserves a spot on your high school resume. How can you decide? Easy. If the achievement demonstrates skills and knowledge directly related to your desired job, you should consider including it in your resume.
Tailoring your resume for a specific job ensures your best chances of getting an interview. Your high school resume shouldn’t be a general overview of all your skills and qualifications. It should be a curated selection of qualities that demonstrate you’re the ideal candidate for that role.
For example, let’s say you’re applying for a job as a restaurant waiter. You have experience helping at your family’s sandwich shop, cleaning pools in the neighborhood, and working summers preparing and selling seafood at the pier. Out of these three experiences, you should focus on your work at a sandwich shop and the seafood stand on your high school resume because they require a similar skill set.
3. Consider including a work experience section.
Because work experience is one of the five essential resume sections, we always recommend including it. For high school students, including a traditional work experience section, can seem impossible if they’ve never had a formal job.
Remember that you can include some informal jobs in your work experience, such as:
- Informal work at a family business
- Seasonal or part-time jobs
- Volunteer work
If you can’t think of an experience that would fit in a work experience section, you can replace it with another section where you can share your unique accomplishments.
Some sections you can replace the work experience with on your high school resume are:
- Volunteer Experience
- Extracurricular Activities
- Hobbies & Interests
- Freelance Work
4. Don’t stress about graduation dates.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t include graduation dates on your resume to avoid hiring bias from employers. However, if you’re a high school student under 18, an employer must know your age before hiring you because of child-labor laws. As a minor high school student, you should include your expected graduation date in your education so employers know you’re working toward that goal.
Remember, certain employers like fast food restaurants and retail stores expect to receive applications from high school students, so don’t think of your age as a setback for your chances of getting a job.
High school student resume examples
Check out these resume examples for high school students to see how other students would build their resumes for various jobs. Remember to customize your resume to fit your needs and the job requirements. These high school student resume examples can serve as inspiration.
- Retail Sales Associate
- Food Server
- Camp Counselor
- Pet Sitter
What is the best resume format for a high school student?
You can easily recreate all these resume formats inside our Resume Builder and get automatic formatting so everything fits neatly into one page. Ready to start applying for jobs?
How to format your contact information
The first section on your high school resume is the contact information. This section remains the same in all resumes and should include the following:
- Name: Include your first and last name.
- Phone number: Include your cell phone number or the telephone where employers can most easily reach you.
- Email: Use a professional email address free of nicknames that can be exclusively associated with you.
- Location: Share the city and state where you reside so employers know you can reach your place of employment.
- Links to social media accounts: Although optional, you can include your LinkedIn profile or social media accounts relevant to your role (a Facebook Business account, for example).
Make sure you leave out this information from your contact information:
- Residential address: Never include your full street address for security reasons. As a minor, this can pose a big risk to your safety.
- Photo or headshot: Including a profile photo or headshot in your resume is an ongoing debate. Some corporations are wary of resumes with headshots in the United States because of potential discrimination lawsuits. However, including a headshot in your CV is standard practice for jobs outside the U.S.
How to write a resume objective that impresses recruiters
The opening section of your resume is the professional summary or the resume objective. Both of these sections serve as a brief introduction to your most relevant professional information, skills and qualifications.
The resume objective is ideal for high school students with little or no formal experience. Resume objectives focus on what you wish to accomplish in this new position and your career. In tandem with this objective, you’ll want to highlight the skills and experiences that equip you to excel in the role.
Pro tip: If you have quite a few years of experience, you’ll want to consider writing a professional summary instead.
Resume objective example for high school resume
“Motivated and dependable service industry professional eager to contribute cash handling, stocking and kitchen prep skills to a reputable dining establishment. Possess training in various knife techniques and maintains a spotless kitchen environment. I am quick on my feet, a fast learner, and a respectful crew member.”
Want more ideas of what to write in your resume objective? Find dozens of pre-written phrases you can copy-paste to your resume objective and edit to fit your unique characteristics when you use our Resume Builder.
How to write a work experience that shows off your achievements
Your work experience section includes a list of jobs organized in reverse-chronological order. Start with your current or most recent job first and work your way backward to the first jobs you had.
Every work experience entry should have the following information:
- Your job title
- The company or employer name
- Dates of employment
- Basic location (city and state)
You should also include some bullet points to describe various accomplishments you achieved in that role, in the case of chronological and combination resumes.
The key to writing an impressive and informative work experience section is to favor accomplishments over job responsibilities. You may instinctively write your job duties instead of being specific about your achievements. Any other applicant might have the same job responsibilities as you, but no one has the same accomplishments.
Work experience example for high school resume
Babysitter 01/2022 – Present
Orange Theory Gym | Pasadena, CA
- Supervised play area with 6-10 children ages 3+ up for four-hour shifts.
- Organized different recreational and educational activities for toddlers and grade school children, ensuring friendly social interactions. Constantly updated these activities to prevent boredom in kids and keep them engaged while parents exercise.
- Effectively de-escalated tantrums and conflicts between children quickly to ensure pleasant experiences for all children and avoid interrupting clients’ workout sessions.
Our Builder can automatically generate a work experience like this one, personalized to your specific requirements. Simply type in your desired job and years of experience, and our Resume Builder will create a custom work experience section for you.
How to add relevant skills
The skills section is one of your resume’s fundamental sections, and fortunately, formatting it is pretty straightforward.
Your resume skills section should include six to eight professional skills and a balanced mix of soft and hard skills.
The most important thing to remember when writing your skills section is that you can’t arbitrarily add the first skills that pop into your mind. Gain the most out of this section by choosing skills the employer explicitly requires from you in the job description.
All job advertisements include requirements and responsibilities so you can determine if this is the type of job you can excel in. These skills and qualifications found in job ads are called resume keywords, and you should include as many as you can throughout your resume, especially in the skills section.
Skills section example for high school resume (Hostess)
- Dining room management
- OpenTable expertise
- Excellent verbal communication
- Knowledge of POS systems (Clover, Lightspeed)
- Complaint resolution
- Friendly demeanor
Find hundreds of skills just like this in our Resume Builder’s database. Type in your desired job title and years of experience, and the Resume Builder will suggest the most in-demand skills that best fit someone like you.
How to showcase your education
Another section where high school students can shine is the education section, where you can go beyond your high school diploma.
Because you haven’t graduated yet from high school, your education section should look like this:
Education example for high school resume
High School Diploma – Expected graduation: June 2024
Sacred Heart Preparatory School | Atherton, CA
Some additional information you can include in your education section is:
- Your GPA: Include your GPA if it’s 3.5 or higher.
- Honor roll status: “High Honors Grades 9, 10 & 11”
- Class rank: This is your position in class based on your GPA and a class member’s GPA. Mention your class rank if you’re in the top 25% of your class.
Customize your resume with additional sections
After completing your main resume sections, consider adding extra sections to showcase achievements beyond skills, education and experience.
Below we’ll share some custom sections standard in high school students’ resumes and how to write each of them.
Honors and awards
An Honors and Awards section is a classic addition to many high school resumes. This section allows students to show they excel in their studies, which can also make you an appealing potential employee.
Some honors and awards you can include are:
- Being an Honor Roll student
- President’s Award for Educational Excellence
- President’s Award for Educational Achievement
- Advanced Placement Scholar Award
- Scholar of National Merit
- Class rank acknowledgment
- Award for Perfect Attendance
- Awards for excelling in specific school subjects
- Awards for academic competitions
- Prizes for National Forensic League competitions
- Awards for Sports competitions
Honors and awards example for high school resume
Honors and Awards
AP Scholar Award with Honor(2022)
1st Place Award– Regional Forensic League Competition (2020)
2nd Place Award – Regional Forensic League Competition (2021, 2022)
President’s Award for Educational Achievement (2012) – 8th Grade Graduation
Including a Volunteer Experience section can show employers that you have acquired some real-life professional skills and savviness. Volunteering also looks great on college applications, so having a solid set of volunteering hours is a big plus.
Some places where you can volunteer are:
- Animal shelters
- Women’s and children’s shelters
- Environmental preservation organizations
- Children’s hospitals
- Veterans’ hospitals
- Homes for senior citizens
- After-school daycare/tutoring
Volunteer work example for high school resume
150 Hours – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
50 Hours – After School Supervised Studies, Central High School
Sharing activities and other experiences beyond your academics tell employers of your areas of interest. Focus primarily on extracurricular activities that directly relate to your desired job. For example, if you’re applying for a customer service or retail position, sharing your long career as a Girl Scout can be a great way to validate your sales and organizational skills.
Some other extracurricular activities you can include are:
- Student body council
- Drama club
- Individual or team sports
- Robotics club
- Environmental Club
- Domestic sciences club
- National Honor Society
Extracurricular activities example for high school resume
Vice President – Stuyvesant High School Student Council (2022-2023)
Treasurer – Stuyvesant High School Student Council (2021-2022)
Mathletes Club Member (since 2021-Present)
If you have multiple language competencies, share them on your high school resume. Sharing your various language skills is an excellent addition to your resume if you’re applying for jobs that require you to interact with all kinds of people, such as retail, customer service, receptionist work or even government.
Language skills example for high school resume
English: Native Language
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Connect with employers with a cover letter
A great way to increase your chances of getting noticed by recruiters and landing an interview is by including a cover letter in your job application. The cover letter benefits high school students with limited work experience who want to showcase other achievements and convey their commitment to the job.
Create a personalized cover letter in minutes with our Cover Letter Builder!
Benefits of using a cover letter:
- Allows you to share even more professional accomplishments.
- It lets you contextualize how and where you developed your skills.
- It helps you connect on a personal level with employers.
- It gives you a chance to sell yourself as the ideal candidate.
- Offers the opportunity to share the positive side of perceived shortcomings as a high school student.
Key takeaways for writing a high school student resume
- Pick the combination or functional resume format if you have limited work experience.
- Focus on achievements demonstrating your abilities to excel in your desired job.
- Write a summary objective showcasing relevant skills and career goals.
- List various soft and hard skills relevant to the role.
- Share unique achievements instead of generic job responsibilities in your work experience section.
- Highlight your academic achievements in your education, and share your expected graduation date.
- Customize your resume with additional sections like Honors and Awards, Extracurricular Activities or Volunteer Work.
- Use a cover letter to show employers all the ways you’re a valuable candidate, even as a high school student.
- Use a Resume Builder like ours to make the process easier and quicker for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a high school resume be?
Your high school resume should be one page long. One-page resumes are the preferred length for most recruiters because it allows them to easily scan your resume in seconds and get through as many applicants as possible quickly. The golden rule of resume length is to have one page for every 10 years of experience. If you’re having trouble formatting your resume, try using our Resume Builder, which automatically organizes your resume to fit neatly onto one page.
What’s the best way to create a high school resume?
The best way to create a high school resume that gets you interviews is to:
- Edit your resume with relevant achievements for each job application.
- Include keywords from the job description that recruiters want to see on your resume.
- Use a professional resume template that’s organized and visually appealing.
- Reap the benefits of using a Resume Builder that offers pre-written phrases and a database of 100+ in-demand skills.
How do I write a resume with no experience?
When writing a resume with no experience, compensate with a diverse skill set, a strong education, academic achievements and any certifications that can validate your specialized knowledge.
In our no-experience resume writing guide, learn every tip for creating a genuinely impressive resume, even if you haven’t had an extensive career.
Is it OK to put your high school diploma on a resume?
You can include your high school diploma on your resume if you’re a recent high school graduate or college student. However, suppose you’ve already graduated from college. In that case, it’s best to leave your high school diploma out, and any other academic achievements from your high school career since these can seem outdated.
Learn more in our article on how to list education on a resume.
Should high school jobs be on a resume?
It depends. If you had jobs during high school unrelated to your career, you’re better off leaving those jobs out of your resume. You should only include jobs directly related to your career or desired role on your resume. However, suppose you had a retail job in high school and are currently a college student looking for a job in the same field. Then, you should add this job to your resume so employers know you have that relevant experience.