With so many conflicting pieces of advice on resume writing, we decided to use a data-driven approach to find definitive answers to job seekers’ most pressing questions.
You read Catch-22 in English class last year—now you’re living it.
You’re writing a high school resume to land your first job or internship—but don’t have any experience to show.
The main point:
Your high school resume should wow recruiters and prove you’ll succeed at the job—even without any work experience.
Whether you’re a high school student or a high school graduate, you’re about to learn how to make a high school resume so good they’ll think you’re the valedictorian.
In this guide:
- A high school resume sample to land your first job.
- How to use a high school resume template to perfect yours.
- How to write a high school resume that gets interviews.
- What skills you need to list.
Create a job-winning resume with little effort. Hack your way through ATS software with our 18 beautiful templates—give our builder a try!
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Looking for other student resumes? See our guides:
- College Student Resume
- No Experience Resume
- High School Resume
- College Graduate Resume
- Graduate School Resume
Haven't found what you're looking for? Check all our Resume Examples.
High School Resume Template You Can Copy and Use
High School Senior
Determined and enthusiastic high school senior with a passion for politics. Seeking to leverage top scores in Social Science (102%) and 2-time Student of the Year award to deliver on all major KPIs as the next intern at the Cuyahoga County Government Office.
Model United Nations
- Represented two countries for numerous UN committees with pre-set topics for debate.
- Researched the background of the countries and prepared notes on possible solutions to the problems faced.
- Debated other delegates on different topics to help identify solutions through negotiation and consensus.
Cuyahoga Heights High School
- Maintained relevant GPA and successfully campaigned for the Vice President position for Cuyahoga County High School’s Vice President.
- Helped run student council meetings in the absence of the President.
- Made a platform for students to voice their concerns and to bring relevant topics to student council meetings and to the President of the student council.
Cuyahoga Heights High School
Garfield Heights, OH
Relevant Coursework: AP US History, Intro to Government, AP European History
Expected graduation: 2020
Membership: NHS, Student Council, United Nations
- Time Management
- Strong work ethic
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Student of the Year, 2017-2018
- Vice President of the Student Council
- Volunteer cashier, Goodwill
- Debate Club
- Political Science Club
- Spanish Club
Let’s get started on a high school student resume that’ll help you escape from your catch-22:
1. Choose the Best Format for a High School Student Resume
Think of writing your resume like a take-home test:
The standards for getting an A are higher—
You need to do your research, use powerful language, and customize your resume for the job you want to land.
It won’t be easy—you only have 7 seconds to not flunk off the bat.
That’s how long it takes recruiters to scan your resume and decide whether they should invest more time on your application.
To pass the eye test, make sure your resume isn’t cluttered.
Here’s how to make your resume format crystal clear.
High School Resume Format
- Pick a visually appealing resume template or a free Google Docs resume template.
- Go with the standard reverse-chronological format. It’s the standard format all recruiters favor.
- This resume format highlights your experience or key achievements by listing your latest position at the top and the others below.
- Choose resume fonts like Cambria or Times New Roman in 10-12 pt. You want to come across as professional and show you’ve done this before.
- Embrace white space by using 1-inch margins.
- Don’t overwhelm the recruiter with information not targeted to the position you’re applying for. Do so by limiting your resume lengthto one page.
- Separate your resume sections. Go with: Header, Summary, Experience, Education, Skills, and “Additional.”
Expert Hint:Don’t save your resume as a Word doc. Convert it to PDF to ensure your layout works on all software and devices.
2. How To List Contact Information on Your High School Resume
You’ve passed the eye test. Now the easy part—listing your contact information.
It should be simple, right?
Wrong. It’s easy to screw up.
But—we have your back. Just follow these tips:
Name (& Subtitle, Optionally)
Start with your first name followed by your last time. To add a little depth, think about putting a subtitle below your name to brand yourself, such as “Highly-Motivated High School Senior”.
As a high school student or recent grad, you’re likely to stay local. The plus side—companies want local hires for tax purposes and commute times. Look at the job offer and see if it’s best to add. If you go door-to-door handing in your resume, make sure to add your address.
We don’t live in the Stone Age. Everyone uses email, so this is crucial to add in your resume. But it’s important to come off professionally by using a Gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) as opposed to one you made in middle school (email@example.com).
List your personal cell phone number. It’s best not to add other numbers on your resume template for high school students. Who has a house phone these days anyway?
You’re just a high school student, so using a premier professional networking platform wasn’t on the table for you. Well, now is the time to impress by creating one—you’ll need it sooner or later so why not start early? Here’s how: Use LinkedIn Like a Pro: Hot Tips for Students and Recent Grads
Most teenagers live on social media. But adding your social media addresses to your resume can only hurt your chances if they are filled with your spring break photos or memes. So add Behance if you’re a creative and forget about FB, Insta or Twitter. Plus, remember to check your online presence for any disturbing content. Employers might google you.
Blog or Website
Maybe you have a blog, website, or online portfolio? Great, add the URL to show off your hard work. But make sure it’s hyperlinked on your PDF version so the employer is just one click away.
3. Write a Catching High School Resume Objective
The basics are done. Now’s the time to hook the recruiters.
What’s the best way to make your resume stand out?
A pitch-perfect high school resume objective.
It’s a short paragraph at the top of your resume that explains what skills will make you a good fit and what you’re hoping to achieve for the company.
- Anadjective (compassionate, enthusiastic, determined)
- Title (Student)
- Highlight your accomplishments as a student
- What you hope to achieve for the company
Take a look at which high school resume objectives work and which ones do not:
High School Student Resume Objective—Example
See the difference?
Use the bad example and you’ll be expelled from the applicant pool.
The good example gets to the point—it details the hard work you put in as a student and shows you are knowledgeable in the industry you are applying. Plus, it makes an offer to help achieve the company’s goals.
The bad example reads generic and provides no value to the recruiter. It doesn’t even use the name of the target organization—you get the feeling the resume is being spammed around to all companies within a 30-mile radius.
Expert Hint: Finish other resume sections before you write the objective. It’ll feel like you’re reading a SparkNotes version of Crime and Punishment.
4. Turn Blah Education to a Reason to Hire You
You’ve been in the halls of a school your entire life.
It’s where you’ve achieved some of your greatest accomplishments, whether it’s acing your AP or Honors courses, heading the debate club, or earning a high GPA.
The education section on your high school resume is where you can show this off.
Start by listing your school name and expected graduation date.
Highlight your biggest achievements as a high school student.
List any AP or Honors courses you attended under relevant coursework—extra brownie points if it connects with the position you’re applying to.
Put your GPA (if it’s higher than 3.5) on your resume since this is the first job you’re applying for or if you’ve recently graduated.
And don’t forget about your memberships, especially if they were academic-centered.
Take a look at how this candidate made her education section on her high school resume shine with her biggest achievements—and one that is just blah:
High School Resume Example—Education
You get the difference.
The bad example just lists a high school and graduation date. Not a slacker, but nothing to be proud of.
The good example shows the high school student excelled during her time in high school.
It signals to the recruiter that you didn’t just get by in high school but you achieved and grew—two values much appreciated in the workplace.
Expert Hint: Ifyou don’t have much job experience for your high school resume, make your education section longer. Don’t forget to show your clubs, affiliations, and memberships. Treat it like your glossary yearbook page.
5. How To Describe Any High School Working Experience
Here’s the core issue—
You don’t have any job experience but it’s needed for a position you’re applying to.
You’re doomed, right?
Not so fast.
Think about any seasonal or temporary work experience you might have. It could be part-time, volunteering, or freelancing gigs.
If you do have relevant working experience, here’s the best formula to use.
How to write a job description for a high school student:
- Don’t skim the job ad—read it thoroughly.
- Highlight the skills you gained from previous working experiences.
- Think of how you can wow employers with those skills.
Check these high school resume job descriptions out:
High School Student Job Description for Resume [Sample]
You see who gets an A+ here.
But—what if you don’t have any work experience to show? You spent the majority of your time excelling as a student and didn’t have the ability to do any freelance, part-time, or full-time season gigs.
You’re not expected to have relevant working experience if you’re applying for your first job out of high school.
Just skip this section and highlight your skills more in the next section of your high school resume.
More on that in the next chapter.
6. How To Put Skills on a High Schooler Resume
Without the work experience, you’ll need to show you have the relevant skills to be a top-notch employee.
And you know you have the talent.
The hundreds of other high school students out there have talent as well. What’s worse, you don’t know which resume skills to put.
Well, we’ve got you covered.
Start by making a master list of basic skills you have. Here are a few to consider putting on your high school resume:
High School Student Skills for a Resume
- Writing Skills
- Technical Skills
- Marketing Skills
- Management Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Analytical Skills
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Time Management Skills
- Active Listening Skills
- Computer Skills
- Effective Communication Skills
- Decision-Making Skills
- Creative Thinking Skills
- Leadership Skills
Fair warning, though:
Don’t overload your high school resume with a massive skill list. You need to cater your skills to the position you’re applying to.
The job ad is the master cheat sheet for you to use. Read the responsibilities and duties section and try to find the most relevant job skills needed for that position.
Then, see which of your skills match the job ad. Choose 4-5 skills and highlight them in your skills section.
Check out a good and bad example below:
Example of a High School Student Resume Skills
Don’t forget—your high school student resume should be packed with useful keywords. It’s one way your resume will pass the ATS resume-scanning test.
Wait—what’s this ATS I’m referring to?
It’s a software tracking system that recruiters use to weed out applicants whose resumes don’t match for the position they are applying to. If you don’t have the right keywords for the position, then you’ll likely to land in the reject pile automatically.
Use the skills section as a way to bypass the ATS software. It’s a great place to match these resume keywords. But don’t forget to do the same in other sections as well.
Follow these simple steps to ensure you’re using the proper resume keywords:
Find resume keywords from the job listing and sprinkle them in your skills section. If you’re applying for a receptionist position, then use resume keywords like: MS Office, typing speed, and multi-tasking.
Use 25-30 resume keywords. Don’t overload your resume with them.
Expert Hint: Make the skills section read like it’s a one-page summary of a Tolstoy novel. No need to add all the fluff— list only those skills which are relevant to the job ad.
7. Load Your High School Student Resume With Other Sections
Here’s the golden secret:
Every high school student has the same resume sections above.
Want to stand out?
Add one or two bonus sections to get recruiters to notice you:
If you don’t have the life or work experience, then official certificates are one way to boost yours. Only choose relevant ones, such as a Microsoft Office certificate.
Were you a student of the month? Voted best friendly high school student? Awards show your achievements as a high schooler in a valuable way. It highlights how you were above other high school students. Show it here to wow job recruiters.
Many high schools require their students to volunteer over the summer. Did you spend your summers taking care of senior citizens? Well, list it here! It counts as job experience
You’ve spent several years taking German, Spanish, or French, right? Why not list in your language skills section? Your second language could be what gets you a foot in the door for your first position.
The more you can show off your experience during high school, the better. And this is the place to do it. List the clubs you participated in, such as student government, the student newspaper, or any other academic clubs to boost your profile above other candidates.
Look at this great example of extra sections for a high schooler:
High School Student Resume Template—Extra Sections
You see how the first high school resume samples show key skills.
Expert Hint: Don’t forget a high school student cover letter. Most jobs require a cover letter—and it’s where you can give more details about your passions and interests (here you can find a comprehensive list of interests).
You want a high school resume to land in the interview pile. Here’s what you do:
- Go with the high school resume template from the beginning. It’s got everything you need.
- Showcase your achievements with a captivating objective. Highlight these throughout all other resume sections.
- Detail your educational background. Don’t forget to add relevant awards and classes you took, along with the school name, city, state, and when you’ll graduate.
- Highlight your skills. Refer to the job ad and add relevant hard and soft abilities.
- Write a high school cover letter. Let your passion and interests shine in this cover letter for your first job or internship.
Got questions on how to write a great high school student resume with no experience? Not sure how to put high school on a resume? Need to learn more about writing resumes? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.