Why should we hire you? Why are you a great candidate for this job? Those are tough but common interview questions. Here's how to answer them right.
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You’re ready to write a high school student resume to score that teen job.
Whether it’s afterschool jobs to save for a car or weekend jobs to prep for college, you’re eager to crack your knuckles and get to it.
You need a high school resume as exciting as summer break.
This high school student resume guide will show you:
- High school student resume examples better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
- How to write a high school student resume that gets more job interviews.
- Tips on how to put skills and achievements on resumes for high school students.
- How to describe any work experience you have to get any teen jobs you want.
Here’s a sample resume for high school students:
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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.
We have resume guides no matter which level of education you’ve accomplished:
- High School Resume Templates
- High School Graduate Resume
- Resume for College Applications
- College Freshman Resume
- College Student Resume
- College Graduate Resume
- Student Resume Templates
- Scholarship Resume
- Medical Student CV
- Internship Resume
- First Resume with No Work Experience
- Resume for a Part-Time Job
- Camp Counselor Resume
- How to Put Athletics on a Resume
- Sample Resumes for Different Jobs
Now, let’s get started writing a high school resume as impressive and incapable of doing wrong as Jackson from Sex Education.
What’s the Best Format for a High School Student Resume?
Like teachers grading tests, hiring managers scan each resume to see who passes.
According to our HR statistics report, hiring managers scan your resume in less than 7 seconds.
Don’t pass that initial glance, and it’s back to the drawing board for you.
Use the chronological resume format.
This resume layout keeps your high school resume in order like a Trapper Keeper. Hiring managers and HR staff love this resume format as it’s already familiar.
Here’s how to structure a high school student resume template:
- Start with the right contact details so the employer is able to get in touch.
- Write a captivating resume objective for your heading statement.
- Document your current high school education thus far.
- Add past or current teenage work experience, if you have it.
- Prove your teen resume accomplishments by using numbers.
- List your student resume skills which match what they’re looking for.
- Include extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and other resume sections.
- Use relevant resume keywords to tailor your resume to the job description.
To guide the employer’s eyes easily through your resume sections, use plenty of white space and clear section headings.
Choose the best resume fonts to keep it legible and easy to read.
Finally, according to the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy, write your resume in line with the three Cs: make it clear, concise, and compelling. Keep that at the front of your mind as we dive in.
Pro Tip: Save your high school student resume as a PDF. The PDF format guarantees the employer sees it as you intended, no matter which device they choose to view it on.
Not convinced using the reverse-chronological format is right for your high school resume? There are other options. See our guides: Best Resume Format: What Resume Model to Choose? [+ Resume Format Examples] and How to Build a Resume
How to Put Contact Information on a Resume for High School Students
If there’s one thing you know how to do on a high school resume, it’s your contact information section, right?
Not so fast—
Before you skip this section, know this: you can easily screw this part up.
Avoid a failing resume contact info section by following these tips:
Name (& Subtitle, Optionally)
Write your first name followed by your last name. Optionally, consider adding a subtitle below your name to act as a branding statement, such as “Personable High School Senior.”
Several jobs in your area may prefer local candidates, for tax purposes, commute time, etc., whether it’s NYC or Riverdale. Check the job ad to see if you ought to add it. Also, if you hand in a physical resume (as opposed to email), add your address.
As the preferred means of communication in the modern age, it’s the most crucial contact info you’ll add. Keep it professional (e.g., email@example.com) instead of your middle school handle (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org).
Add your personal cell phone, if you own one, rather than your house phone. Don’t add two numbers on your resume template for high school students, because it’s harder to keep track.
As the premier professional networking platform, you’ll need a LinkedIn profile sooner or later. If you already have one now while you’re in high school… damn, kid, you’re going places!
Add relevant social media, like Behance for designers. Facebook and Twitter are rarely useful on a high school resume, but employers often google and find you anyway, these days. Check your online presence to make sure there are no embarrassing pics, and set profiles to private.
Blog or Website
Do you have a personal website, portfolio, or blog? If it’s relevant, add your URL to show it off! Make sure it’s properly hyperlinked on your PDF version so the employer can go straight to it (same with the social media and LinkedIn URLs).
Pro Tip: You know how you listed your cell phone digits? Change your voicemail to be professional. You don’t want to lose out just because you had a corny message (“Sorry, can’t come to the phone right now, probably either wasted or in detention!”)
How to Write a High School Student Resume Objective
When I gave a class presentation, I appreciated any fellow classmates snoozing. You know, to feel less nervous.
Don’t pull that same stunt here—
On a resume template for high school students, you need to grab their attention and keep ‘em intrigued with a compelling heading statement.
Now, if you have worked a job during your teenage years already, we normally tell you to write a resume summary.
However, any teen jobs you’ve held aren’t lengthy enough to be considered “experienced,” so do the same as a resume for high school students with no experience—
Write a resume objective.
The objective statement explains your goals and the position and experience you’re hoping to obtain. You’ll emphasize skills to show them you have what it takes to be their next great employee. Add a numbered achievement to prove your worth.
Here are two sample resume objectives for high school students:
Sample High School Student Resume Objective
|Personable and outgoing high school junior with passion for cuisine and friendly service. Seeking to leverage top scores in Culinary Arts class (104%) and 2-time Student of the Month award winnings to become the next evening shift prep cook at Ditmars Diner & Delivery.|
|I’m a high school junior without any food service experience, but I’m super friendly and willing to learn. I have my own wheels, so commuting to work won’t be a problem.|
See the difference in these high school student resume examples?
That wrong one will get you immediately suspended—from the applicant pool.
But how about that right one!
You might have a high school student resume with no work experience, but you talked up relevant classroom knowledge.
Also, you gave some numbers to verify your claims of greatness.
Finally, you used the company’s name so they know you’re not just spamming this resume out to the entire school district.
You’re on your way to schooling the other candidates!
Pro Tip: The resume objective goes first on your high schooler resume, but don’t write it first. Save it for last so you’re able to use the rest of your resume to guide its writing.
Want more advice on writing a career objective on a high school resume for teen jobs? Check out our guide: General Resume Objective Examples [20+Examples of Great Career Objectives]
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Is Your Education Section Underperforming? It Might Be
You don’t want your resume to become a dank meme 15 minutes after you send it.
If you write a high school resume with a poor education section, that’s the only way the employer will keep it around.
Sample Resume High School Students—Education Section
Here’s how to list high school on resume for students:
I.S. 141 The Steinway High School
Long Island City, NY
Relevant Coursework: Culinary Arts, Food & Nutrition
Expected Graduation: 2020
Membership: National Honor Society
High School Resume Section
For your high school resume section, include the full name of your high school, the city and state it’s located in, and your expected graduation date. Include your GPA if it's a 3.5 or higher and list any courses that are relevant to the job. AP, Dual Credit, and Honors courses are also a great addition to your high school resume.
In other words, stand out by going above and beyond. Our example above is festooned with extras, and the only thing to remember is to keep it relevant.
Here, we listed coursework relevant for a high school student aiming for a job in food service.
It also shows this candidate is a high achiever with that NHS membership.
That’s an undeniable A++!
Pro Tip: Thinking about adding your GPA to the resume for high school students? Think carefully—if you don’t have as close to a 4.0 as possible, you’re only hurting your chances by adding it.
Got another educational scenario? Check this guide out: Education Resume Section: How to List High School & College Education
How to Describe Any High School Working Experience
According to the US Department of Labor, the labor force participation of teenagers will decrease by almost 10% between 2016–2024.
But it doesn’t mean you’ll have it easy—
As that article states, teenagers with jobs still account for roughly one-third of all teenagers, so the pool is quite large. On top of that, there are relatively few job positions available which suit teenage employment’s hours, seasonality, and abilities.
So, you’ll have a lot of competition.
How to beat the other high school job candidates?
If you have previous work experience, write a work history section that ranks highest like the valedictorian.
Here are two high school student resume samples:
High School Work Experience for Resume—Examples
Food Preparatory Cook
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
Food Service Prep Cook
The wrong one above deserves to be thrown in the Upside Down with the gate shut behind it.
It’s missing the choice job duties and numbered achievements which make the right one so awesome.
Taken on any online work or freelance gigs? Or maybe you've tried volunteering?
Add those to your experience section, as well.
High School Resume with No Experience
But what if you have a resume for high school student with no professional experience?
Skip this section and continue below.
Pro Tip: Use a condensed style of writing in your high school resume. Leave out pronouns, conjunctions, articles, and transition words to make it brief but impactful. Do that in every section of your student resume, not just here in your work history.
How to Put Skills on a High Schooler Resume
You’ve got mad talent, right?
So does every other kid in your high school.
Show the employer you pass the test and they can pass on the rest with a skills section that makes them swoon with delight.
Which resume skills, though?
For starters, make a brief list of basic skill sets you have, like this one below.
Example High School Student Skills Employers Look For
- Technical Skills
- Management Skills
- Marketing Skills
- Computer Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Analytical Skills
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Time Management Skills
- Active Listening Skills
- Writing Skills
- Creative Thinking
- Decision-Making Skills
- Effective Communication Skills
Cramming your high school resume with just any skills won’t get it crowned prom monarch.
Don’t do it.
Rather, go back to the job ad and use it like the best exam cheat sheet ever.
Here’s a sample prep cook job description for high school student applicants:
- Responsible for receiving food items and supplies as requisitioned and prepares these items for production 
- Responsible for assembling and measuring of ingredients as per standard recipe 
- Notifies and communicate plant hazards to supervisor
- Adheres to established work schedules with regard to work days and job assignment as instructed by supervisor, first or second cook
- Uses various equipment and kitchen utensils while performing assigned task
- Operates equipment in a safe manner and cleans all equipment according to established guidelines 
If you read each job ad carefully, it’s easy to tailor your skills section to match:
Resume Examples for High School Students—Skills Section
That wrong one above is as lovable as the school bully.
Put skills that don’t matter to them, and the only reactions you’ll get are a roll of the eyes and your resume tossed in the bin.
That right example is how you tailor a resume.
Finally, get along with the ATS.
An applicant tracking system is software larger companies use to sort and manage the dozens of high school resumes they get each day.
Employers first scan student resumes into the program. Next, they search for specific resume keywords for each applicant. Then, they receive a score back like a report card based on each candidate’s match to the job description.
Use keywords which the job ad uses and stay close to the wording of the job description so the ATS scores your resume easily.
Pro Tip: The job description may not include all the skills the HR manager will search for in a candidate. In that case, use Glassdoor to get some insight from current and past employees.
Want more tips for writing the skills section for high school student resumes? See our guide: 99 Key Skills for a Resume (All Types of Professional Skills with Examples Included!).
How to Add Other Sections for an Effective High School Resume
Here’s the thing: every high school student up to this point has those past few resume sections.
You need to stand out like a Mardi Gras outfit in a sea of school uniforms.
With additional resume sections.
Extra sections are like electives which you choose to boost your curriculum (vitae, in this case).
On a resume, the right ones will get you noticed.
Here are great options to add on a sample resume for high school student teen jobs:
High School Student Resume Samples: Extra Sections
Official certificates look great on your student resume, making up for your lack of life and work experience. Go for relevant ones, such as a food safety certification for food service professions.
Volunteer working experience on high school resumes are an excellent way to add work experience when you don’t have any—or even if you do. Spent time helping out the local animal shelter? That’s job experience!
You’re required to take that French or Spanish class, so put it to work for you. These days, a second language on a resume for students may just be the clincher that gets you in the door.
Your pastimes and passions offer the hiring managers insight into you, the human. On top of that, they’re a great way to show your skills in an indirect manner.
5. Extracurricular Activities
Not a normie? Extracurriculars on a resume for high school students make employers’ hearts race. Participation in student government, athletics, the student newspaper, drama class, or academic clubs look great and will put you far ahead of the other candidates.
Pro Tip: Are you feeling intimidated because you’re just a teen and you haven’t earned all these items yet? Don’t worry. While you’re applying, consider getting some experience, earning a certification, or building new skills. Do a one-off gig on Upwork, for example, to gain your first work experience.
How About a High School Student Cover Letter?
A resume without a cover letter is like turning in an algebra test without showing your work—
It won’t do.
More than half of all employers say turning in only a resume will have it graded incomplete.
Here’s how to write a cover letter for high school students they’ll go nuts over:
- Start your introduction in a compelling way that grabs their attention.
- Lay out your case on why you are the best candidate for the teen job offered.
- Add numbered achievements from past work or school to prove your skills.
- Show enthusiasm, drive, and that you will be thrilled to be part of their group.
- End your high school cover letter with a powerful call to action.
Your high school student cover letter is the first impression you’ll have on them—
Make it as strong as the defensive line of your school’s football team.
Pro Tip: Use Grammarly to check your student resume for typos and grammatical errors. Ask your parents or a teacher to make sure the resume reads right and there are no incorrect dates.
Want to know more high school cover letter tricks that always work? See these articles: Professional Cover Letter Tips and How to Write a Job-Winning Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps (12+ Examples)
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Hopefully you see now that writing a great resume for teenagers is child’s play.
Here’s how to write a high school student resume:
- Use reverse-chronological format. This resume format is the most familiar high school student resume template for hiring managers; it’s easy for them to read and understand.
- Start with a captivating objective. A professional career objective is tailored to the company, tells them your background, and summarizes your candidacy for the job.
- Emphasize your education. Add relevant high school honors, achievements, and classwork along with your school name, city, state, and expected graduation date.
- List your work experience. Add key wins and accomplishments to prove you were great, rather than merely listing job responsibilities.
- Highlight relevant skills. Include both hard skills and soft skills which the job description dictates, and use resume keywords throughout.
- Include extra sections. Add volunteer work, certifications, languages, hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities to make your high school resume stand out.
- Edit and proofread. Go through it twice yourself to look for any typographical errors or other mistakes. Ask a friend to proofread it for inconsistencies.
Now THIS is a high school resume that graduates at the top of its class!
Got any questions on how to write a resume for high school students? Not sure how to talk about your teen job skills or high school achievements? Get at us in the comments below, and thanks for reading!