Resume for a High School Student: What To Include

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 December 2022

Published 14 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As a high school student, you may want to prepare yourself for the working world by developing and updating your resume. Resumes are used for job applications, to apply for internships, apprenticeships and general job roles throughout your working career. Discovering how to construct your high school resume can help you reflect on your experiences and create a resume that can make a professional impression. In this article, we discuss what to include in a resume for high school students and provide some tips and examples.

What to include on a resume for high school students

Below we look at the important areas to consider when writing a high school resume:

Emphasise your education

Education is important to the employers that review your job application because it explains the topics you're interested in and have learnt. As a current student, emphasise your education, including past subjects, current subjects, grades and what you wish to study.

If you achieved impressive academic results or completed challenging coursework and projects, listing this information can illustrate your dedication and ability to overcome obstacles. In addition, including extracurricular activities is valuable on a resume for high school students as it showcases your interests, dedication and commitment.

Example:

Jane V Penrose High School
Graduation Date: Nov 2020
ATAR: 86.00
Relevant coursework: Introduction to Journalism, English Literature, Creative Writing, Photography
School cubs: School newspaper, Art club, International club

Highlight any experience

Any volunteer or paid work is valuable to include on high school resumes. Whether that was babysitting, mowing lawns, umpiring or volunteering, provide all of the experiences that illustrate your ability to participate in a team, commit to helping people and your work ethic. Make sure you include any leadership responsibilities you had or special achievements within this experience. It also shows employers that you're a dedicated, hard-working and committed candidate, making a positive impression.

You may also want to review the job description of the role you're applying for and look for specific keywords or requirements that match with your experiences, and ensure you use these keywords. For instance, if you're applying for a role at the cinema and the job description states they want an usher who can work independently as well as part of a team, your work experience section on your resume can showcase this.

Example:

Surf Life Saving Club
Student Volunteer Lifeguard, 2017–Present

  • Attended lifeguarding duty and monitored my allocated section of the beach.

  • Worked within a team to perform my specific duties.

  • Worked independently when monitoring swimmers.

  • Treated beach-goers for minor injuries and educated them on dangers.

List awards and achievements

Awards and achievements show employers that you have a history of achieving impressive results and making an impact. Whether it's an academic award or anything else, listing them in your resume can make your job application stand out.

Example:

  • Year 11 academic excellence award

  • Year 12 High school prefect

  • Rothdale Tigers Best & Fairest award

  • Long jump school interstate champion 2017

Highlight your skills

As a high school student, you may not have much previous experience to relate to the job you're applying for, so your skills can be a great way to demonstrate your suitability for the role. Employers prefer candidates with a mixture of hard skills specific to the job and soft skills that can help you succeed in the position. If you were applying for an apprenticeship as a carpenter you may include skills you currently possess that may transfer well to woodwork.

Example:

  • Workshop hand-tools and machinery skills

  • Computer-aided design

  • Mathematics skills

  • Organised and self-motivated

  • Verbal communication

  • Accepting constructive criticism

  • Problem-solving

Promote your attitude and performance

If your greatest strengths are your habits, attitude and performance, you may not have a chance to highlight this anywhere else on your resume, but employers value these traits in employees. Employers don't expect you to have a lot of experience as a high school student, so may look for candidates with good work attitudes and performance. You can include your performance in your resume with a heading and list.

Example:

  • Near-perfect attendance at school and sports training

  • Punctual to every class

  • Participated in every school club I was interested in and some unfamiliar ones to learn more about them

  • Led online classroom forums to discuss coursework

Include a career objective

A career objective consists of one or two sentences that summarise your career goals and how this objective aligns with the employer's needs. It goes at the very top of your resume and is the first bit of information that hiring managers read while assessing your resume. People of all ages can benefit from a clear career objective statement in their resumes. However, it's necessary for high school students because your work experience may not reflect your future goals yet. Including a career objective explains to employers why you're applying to a position and how their role helps you move towards your goals.

Example: I am a motivated team player and aspiring ecologist seeking an opportunity to work with animals in your pet shop, where I can apply my skills and passion for animals and develop my knowledge further.

Related: Resume Objective Examples for Students (With Tips)

Tips for writing a high school resume

Below we take a look at some tips to help you craft the perfect resume for your job applications:

Make an outline

If you're unsure how to begin your resume, you can make a quick list or outline of all the possible experiences, skills and awards you can include. This way, you can supply yourself with most of the information to include and find the right words to describe the information later on. Think of this as a brainstorming exercise, though you can always return to the list and add more when you think of them.

Use action words

Use active language when describing the information in your resume, as it can portray you in a dynamic and determined way. Active voice is especially applicable in the descriptions within your resume, where you use lists to describe your experiences. Start the phrases with action words like led, taught, served, wrote, researched, created and calculated.

Below are a few examples of what you may include on an action worded list:

  • Led my netball team to win a grand final in 2018

  • Tutored four students in mathematics

  • Won an award for my final year 12 media project

  • Volunteered with a local charity and helped set up their fun run

Keep it short

It's important to remember that employers want to understand you and your experiences quickly, as they may be busy and have other applications to assess. Therefore, your resume should fit within one page, and if it goes for significantly longer than that, it can be a good indication to shorten it. You can use bullet points under each heading, which allows you to list various information in a short space and improves the readability.

Also, try to make each sentence essential and valuable for the reader. When you write a sentence, ask yourself if it's important to include and adds value to your resume. If not, it might be better to leave it out.

Tell a story

You can connect to your reader by relating your experiences and skills with the requirements for the role. This can create a short narrative that makes your resume cohesive, readable and explains why you're applying for the position. For example, if you're applying for a barista job but haven't worked in a cafe before, emphasise your customer service skills, work ethic and teamwork experience and connect them to the role's requirements.

Edit and proofread the document

Editing and proofreading your resume is essential to create a professional and positive impression. First, you can review your draft for errors and inaccurate information and correct it. While doing this, ensure that the resume makes sense and that each sentence adds value to the resume. Finally, you can ask a relative or your career guidance counsellor to offer constructive feedback to improve your resume.

High school resume example

Below is an example of a high school resume that you can use to help you when creating your own:

Contact
Fiona Franklin
(+61) 412 345 678
f.franklin@email.com

Career Objective

I'm an aspiring graphic designer seeking an internship with an agency where I can gain real-world experience and use my skills and talents in client projects. I'm excited at the opportunity to join your renowned agency and learn from industry leaders to further develop my passion for graphic design.

Education

Northfields High School
Graduation Date: May 2019
ATAR: 71.65
Relevant coursework: Intro to Design, English Literature, Media

Experience & Activities

Graphic Design Volunteer
Northfields Newspaper, May 2018 - May 2019

  • Logo design for the school newspaper

  • Designed the graphics used in the newspaper and related events.

  • Worked within a team to produce ideas for content.

Barista
Ocean Coffee, 2015–2018

  • Developed specific skills within a fast-paced environment

  • Strategically plan ahead according to high traffic times of day

  • Handle register during high pressure

  • Built rapport with customers using strong customer service

Awards & Achievements

  • Intro to Business Certification

  • Member of the International Club 2016, 2017, 2018

  • Academic Achievement Award 2016

Skills & Abilities

  • Photo editing software

  • Graphic design software

  • Active listening

  • Accepting constructive criticism

  • Problem-solving


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