High School Resume — Complete Guide + Free Templates
This guide will answer all your questions about how to write a resume when you’re still in high school. If you’re worried about your lack of work experience or you’re unsure about your skills, you’re in the right place — we’ll show you how to write a great high school resume.
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High School Resume Templates
These high school resume templates will make getting started easy. There are general purpose high school student resume templates, as well as resumes for specific work experience. These templates will guide you with a professional resume format and a basic idea of what to write. We also have student resume examples and other professional resume templates.
Fast Food Employee
Part-time Grocery Store
How to Write a High School Resume
Start with the job search.
Determine if you want a part-time job, an internship, a seasonal job or a trade job. This will help you determine what work experiences and skills you need to highlight in your resume. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all resume; each one should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for.
Establish your strengths.
Think of your participation in clubs, teams, associations or even hobbies. Make a list of these activities and what you’ve learned in them; it could be teamwork, self-discipline, creativity, communication. You will use these qualities to write your resume’s skills section.
Choose the right format.
The same way one resume won’t work for every job application; one resume won’t work for every candidate. The following three resume formats help present you in the most flattering way while downplaying any potential weaknesses you may have like, say, lack of extensive work experience.
- The functional format is known as the skills-based resume. This is the format we recommend for most high schoolers since it’s ideal for those with no experience. It focuses on the skills you’ve learned instead of where you’ve learned them.
- The combination format combines the characteristics of the functional and the chronological formats. You could use this format if you have a limited work history, but you’ll still get a strong focus on your skills.
- The chronological format is rarely used by high schoolers since most teens don’t have a long work history. However, if you’ve had more than two years of consistent work, such as recurrent summer jobs, you could use this format. Don’t worry if you’ve hopped from job to job. This is perfectly OK with this type of resume; employers will understand the nature of your work history.
What to Include in Your High School Resume
1. Strong summary statement
A summary statement, also called a professional summary, is basically a pitch of yourself to your potential employer. It is composed of two or three sentences that convey your strongest qualities.
For example, if you’re applying for a sales associate position, your summary statement could read like this:
“Hardworking student with professional experience in customer service and sales. Created business plan for the Annual Class Bake Sale which resulted in a 75% increase in profits compared to the previous year. Proven team player with excellent verbal communication skills and ability to solve problems quickly.”
2. Relevant work history
If you’ve had common high school jobs like cashier, retail associate or babysitter, include them in your work history if you’re applying for similar positions.
Every work experience entry needs to include a job title, the dates of employment and any major achievements. We always recommend you quantify these achievements with numbers.
Here’s an example:
Sandra’s Beauty Supply — Sept. 2019–March 2020
- Restocked over 500 items on the sales floor weekly
- Greeted customers with a smile and answered questions about products
- Handled an average of $2,500 of cash flow per week
3. Showcase your skills
The skills section is one of the most important sections of your resume since it includes the main professional qualities that will get you hired.
Let’s continue with the sales associate example. You can include a list of six to eight skills such as:
- Customer service
- Cash register operations
- Refunds and exchanges
- Credit card processing
- Product knowledge
- Attention to detail
In a functional resume, your skills will form the basis of your resume. Instead of listing job titles, you will list three to four main skills. Each skill should be followed by the tasks and achievements that prove you have developed them.
- Attended library visitors, assisted them with their book search, and processed their loans and returns
- Greeted 50+ diners per shift, directed them to their tables, and answered their menu and service questions
- Answered an average of 25 daily calls and maintained a welcoming reception area
4. Awards, honors and special achievements
Include a separate section in your resume that lists your participation in clubs or student associations; extracurricular activities such as theater, sports or band; and any other impressive accomplishments.
Take a look at how you should format it:
Treasurer, Hope High School Student Council — 2018-2021
1st Place, Galway STEM Competition — 2018
Member, Audiovisual Club — 2018-2021
5. Display your education
To list your education you must include the name of your high school, its city and state, and your expected graduation date. Here’s how it should look:
Anticipated graduation date: May 2021
6. Contact information
Your resume begins with your contact information, which includes your full name, email address, phone number, and your city, state and ZIP code. It was customary to include a full address, but since it’s unlikely you’ll receive traditional mail, this is not necessary.
Follow this example:
Once you’ve understood the purpose of every section of your resume, keep in mind a few of these tips and suggestions to perfect your resume.
- Do include your GPA if it’s above 3.0.
- Do have a set of professional references ready just in case.
- Do include any volunteer work you’ve done.
- Don’t write “references available upon request.”
- Don’t copy-paste job descriptions into your resume.
- Don’t give away too much personal information like your exact address or photos of yourself.
Mind your fonts and margins
Your resume shouldn’t extend beyond one page and it should have a good balance of text and white space. A cramped resume will look amateur and unprofessional. Stay away from eccentric fonts; these look immature and can be hard to read.
Proofread your resume
A cover letter could help.
If you think the real impact of your accomplishments is not getting through in your resume, you can write a cover letter to explain your achievements. Talk in detail about accomplishments like raising your GPA by two points in one school year, or about your campaign for student council president. These types of anecdotes show you’re a motivated student and professional.
How do I write a resume with no work experience in high school?
The best way to write a resume if you have no experience and are currently in high school is by using the functional resume format. This format shines a light on all the great skills you have: responsibility, discipline, teamwork. Really be critical of your strengths and redefine them as professional skills in your resume.
How does a 16 year old make a resume?
If you’re 16 and in need of a resume, what’s most important is having a strong skills section and a professional-looking resume.
To start off, every resume should have the main five sections: contact information, summary statement, work history, skills and education.
Follow the steps laid out on this page to create a terrific high school resume that will impress any employer.
How long should my high school resume be?
All high school resumes should be one-page long. Stick with the most important information and never fill it with fluff. Repeating the same thing or rephrasing it will make it seem like you don’t have much to stay. Sometimes less is more as long as it’s quality.