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Resume Tips for High School Students

Image courtesy of ethicalsystems.org

Image courtesy of ethicalsystems.org

Tylyn Johnson, Chief Editor

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In a time where people are learning what it means to be professionals at younger ages, it is important that high school students begin preparing to enter the professional world in whatever field they seek. This includes knowing how to interview well, network properly, and build a strong resume. The first two skills take time and practice to learn, simply because those skills requires tact, and the ability to form a positive (professional) relationship. Most people are able to do this, or at least practice it.

However, creating a document outlining all of your experiences as they relate to a position of interest—internship, apprenticeship, job—is a bit more difficult than you would expect. After all, one would be tempted to either fill it with pages upon pages of information (a serious no-no), or manipulate the page settings so that they can make it all fit into one page (not smart). And while there is no one resume format that will work for everyone, this article should be a good guide for high school students to understand how they can create their very own “starter” resume.

The following are the usual resume sections that you should have: Contact Info, Summary/Skills, Education, Experience. After that, you can include sections like Volunteer Work, Accomplishments, and others. List positions, awards, and education reverse chronologically (Newest to oldest, top to bottom). It does not look good to muddle the timeline of your work history.

In terms of formatting, a clean 10-12 font will do the trick for a majority of the document, besides enlarging your name at the top of the resume. Also, please do not use unusual colors or less-than-clear designs, it just simply does not help your case.

Resumes are meant to be concise documents that allow potential employers to determine if they should interview you for that position. So that means a few things:

  1. Keep everything to a single page, and only go to two pages if you have at least a decade of experience to discuss.
  2. Use bullet points, avoid sentences.
  3. Make sure that the document is easily readable.

Hiring managers will probably have a stack of resumes to read, they are not going to waste their time going through your three-page resume, or the resume with no page borders, and size 7 font.

One should also avoid proclaiming subjective traits like “creative leader” or “thoughtful team player.” Your experience should speak to that for you. Also, do not include any information that is irrelevant to the employer, like your age, religion, any photos of yourself, or anything else.

Otherwise, the rest of the document is kind of up to each individual. There are plenty of ways in which one could organize different parts of their resume. For example:

Organization/Employer. Position.                                                         Years Involved

  • Accomplishment/Duties
  • Accomplishment/Duties

– OR –

Award. A few details.                                                                                Year(s) Earned

Of course, those are some of the favorites of the author of this article. For more, all students should check out Allison Green’s Ask a Manager Blog for more tips and tricks for resume-formatting, as well as advice for handling all sorts of professional situations; from the mundane to the viral.

Caveat: This advice may vary from field to field, where some professions may require a portfolio, while others seek live demonstrations of one’s abilities. To know more, students should research the professional norms of their respective fields of interest. Otherwise, this advice generally applies to most positions that people of many fields seek as they are hunting for jobs, internships, and other professional development opportunities.

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