Why Teens Need a Resume in High School

Why Teens Need a Resume in High School

I’ve always loved to bake; other people love to eat those baked goods. My senior year of high school, I decided to make a small business out of it. Each and every day, I baked and wrapped cookies to sell the next day at school. 

From my little side hustle in high school, I learned to manage inventory, pricing, money, and advertising. I had to figure out customer service. Prioritizing my schedule became key, so that I had time to bake and still complete all my school work. 

When I was writing a resume for college and scholarship applications, my mom had to push me to include my cookie business on my applications. “Why, Mom? It’s just a thing I do. They won’t care.” 

Mom, you were right and I was wrong. They – store managers, colleges, scholarship committees – do care about the skills you learn OUTSIDE of school. In fact, those skills can make the difference between getting the scholarship or not!

Let me walk you through why a resume in high school is so important and what to include on your resume – even if you’ve never had a job!

Why Teens Need a Resume in High School

resume high school

Why a High School Resume is Important

Yes, you’re only in high school. But the experiences you’re had this far are important! You have learned so many skills that can impress a future boss, college, or scholarship committee.

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When you apply to anything, you want to make yourself stand out. The skills and knowledge you’ve learned can do that for you! You just have to market yourself as the best candidate around!

And your resume doesn’t have to be all fancy summer internships. If you watch your siblings after school, include it! If you walked dogs in the neighborhood, flip sneakers (yes, I had a student who did this), or have a side baking business, be sure to include those. You have so many skills that would be useful in the workplace or college.

This resume is also a huge help to those adults who are writing a recommendation for you. When I wrote recommendations for my students, the one thing I asked for from them was a resume. It sat right next to me while I wrote the recommendation letter and I incorporated as much of it as I could.

What to Include in Your Resume

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Initially, create a general resume that covers all your skills and activities. When you are applying to jobs, college, etc, you will copy that resume and then make it specific for that application. 

  • School experience – challenging classes, current GPA, academic awards
  • ANY jobs you worked – it’s doesn’t have to be for a company or business. In fact, being an entrepreneur is a bonus!
  • Extra-curriculars, especially ones where you’ve stuck around. A leadership position is always appreciated.
  • Any awards you received at school or from community organizations. Some examples include honor roll, sports letters, citizenship awards, employee or volunteer of the week or month, etc.
  • Volunteer work – just because you didn’t get paid, doesn’t mean your time was worthless!
  • Summer experiences such as specialized camps or programs
  • Skills – a list of your skills, this might include languages spoken (being bilingual is a big bonus!), computer skills, etc.

What Should Your Resume Look Like

Your resume should be less than 1 page. You’re in high school, so the chances that it would go onto more than one page are slim…

There are so many resume templates out there. I happen to like this one and these ones. If they don’t work for you, just Google “high school resume template.”

Hopefully, you will get started on your resume ASAP. when you’re ready to apply for college, a job, or a scholarship, you can just print that resume out and show off your skills!

What do you think is important to include in a high school resume? Let me know in the comments below.


Related Posts: Why Teens Need a Summer Job, How Teens Can Get Volunteer Opportunities

Why Teens Need a Resume in High School
Why Teens Need a Resume in High School


3 thoughts on “Why Teens Need a Resume in High School”

  • Thanks so much for this Ms Porzel! I’m a sophomore and I’m really worried about how I’m going to actually build a unique resume in the midst of COVID 19! Do you have any ideas?

    • I would spend this time in 2 ways. 1. Brainstorm all the skills and experiences you already have. Remember that working around the house, such as babysitting younger siblings or cleaning, is experience! 2. Try to get new skills in your neighborhood or home. Take on odd jobs in the neighborhood, take a typing course, or learn how to use a common program such as Word or PowerPoint.

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