How To Write Your High School Resume for College Applications

By Indeed Editorial Team

September 7, 2021

Though many professionals create a resume to secure new employment, resumes can also be required as part of a college application. High school students can use resumes to showcase their work history, accomplishments, club involvement, hobbies and more. To have a successful application, it's important to properly format and use a resume to highlight your best accolades.

In this article, we outline the steps necessary to create a high school resume for college, with tips and examples you can use to create your own.

Related: High School Resume Tips and Example

What is a resume?

A resume is a document that showcases your educational background, experience skills and expertise. A resume is often one to two pages in length and provides a summarized version of your professional background. They are typically used to land a new job and are often sent to hiring managers along with your cover letter. Using your resume, recruiters determine whether or not your qualifications meet those of the job they're hiring for. Many individuals tailor their resume to the industry they're in and use it to highlight their best qualifications since it's often their first impression to hiring managers.

Related: Resume Samples and Templates

How to write a high school resume for college

When you create a high school resume, there are certain elements to keep in mind to properly showcase your accomplishments. Here are the steps to follow when creating your high school resume for your college application:

1. Start your resume before your senior year.

As you make your way through high school, it's important to keep track of your hobbies, awards, accomplishments and activities you're involved in. This will remind you of what you did throughout high school, beginning with your freshman year. It will also let you see where you need to improve. For example, if you don't have any volunteer work listed, it gives you time to gather volunteer experience before submitting your high school resume.

2. Consider what you want to include.

Before writing your resume, consider the sections you want to include and what you ultimately want to highlight. Consider the college you're applying to and what skills and experience could help your application. Refer to the list you created in the last step and think of what you want to showcase on your resume and what's the most relevant.

3. Create a resume outline.

Create a resume outline that will lay the foundation for your resume. This is essentially a framework or blueprint that shows where you want every section to go on your resume. A resume outline will help you better organize your thoughts and ensure you're highlighting everything you set out to.

4. Include your name and contact information.

Next, start creating your resume. Begin by writing your full name, address, city, state and ZIP code. You should also include your phone number and email address. Make sure the email address you use is professional.

5. Include a section for your qualifications.

After your name and contact information, create a section where you'll essentially write a resume summary or objective. This part of your resume should state who you are, your intention with the resume and any relevant skills that set you apart from other candidates. This section should outline your goals and essentially work as a tagline for your resume.

6. Include a section for your educational background.

Next, create a section for you to list your educational background. This will be a list of any high schools you attended or are currently attending. Include the name of your high school, the town it's in and when you expect to graduate. You can also list your GPA and any honors you received while at that high school. If you are taking advanced classes, you should mention those, as well.

7. Include an experience section.

You should also list any work experience you have. This can include babysitting, being a lifeguard, volunteering, internships you've done and more. Consider the most relevant experience you have. Detail the location of your workplace, the city, your title, the dates you worked there and your job responsibilities. List your work experience in chronological order with the most recent at the top.

8. Include an awards section.

If you received any awards while in high school, list them in an awards section on your resume. This can include anything from the honor roll to your placement in an essay contest. Make sure to detail the award or honor as well as who gave it to you.

9. Include a skills section.

You should also create a skills section that highlights both your hard and soft skills. Some skills you can include strong communication skills, being a good listener, your typing speed or your ability to use certain computer software.

10. Include an activities or hobbies section.

If you played sports, participated in a club or other organization, your activities section is a great place to highlight it. List any activities or hobbies you were involved in, your position title, the years you participated and your duties.

Do you need a high school resume when applying to college?

Some colleges require a high school resume as part of your college application. Though most people consider resumes as something you'd use to land new employment, creating a high school resume will highlight your qualifications and skills learned during this period of your life. It also gives you good practice for creating a resume in the future. It's important to check with your prospective college and see if they require you to submit a high school resume with your college application.

Best tips when writing a high school resume

As you write your high school resume, keep these tips in mind:

  • Make it concise. When you write your resume, make sure to highlight only your best and most relevant accomplishments that make you a good candidate for the college you're applying to. Avoid a long-winded resume and stick to one page.

  • Highlight accomplishments you didn't highlight previously. Your high school resume is a great opportunity to highlight any hobbies or other things you didn't mention in your college essays or other application materials

  • Be honest. Make sure you are honest and accurate in your resume. Don't provide colleges with false information as it could leave them with a false representation of your background and qualifications.

  • Use the right format. When you create your resume, make sure the formatting is consistent. It should be visually appealing and present your background in an organized fashion.

  • Proofread. Before sending in your resume, it's important to proofread and check for any spelling or grammar errors.

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

Template

Here is a template to use when creating a high school resume:

[First and last name]
[Address, city, state, ZIP code]
[Phone number] [Email]

[Qualifications / Resume summary / Objective]

[Education]

[High school name, town, state, GPA]

[Experience]

[Company name 1, city, state]
[Job title, dates worked]

[Job duties]

[Company name 2, city, state]
[Job title, dates worked]

[Job duties]

[Awards]

[Name of award, organization or company name]

[Skills]

[List of hard and soft skills]

[Hobbies]

[Hobby 1]

[Position title]
[Dates worked]

[Duties]

[Hobby 2]

[Position title]
[Dates worked]

[Duties]

Examples

Here are some examples of high school resumes to consider as you create your own:

Example 1

Here is an example of a high school resume:

Jane Smith
123 Apple Tree Lane, Sacramento, CA 55555
555-555-5555, jane.smith@email.com

Qualifications

Highly organized and responsible high school student with customer service experience and passion for problem-solving. Key skills include:

  • Strong communicator: effectively presents information both orally and in writing.

  • Fast learner: Able to quickly learn new skills with efficiency.

  • Leadership experience: Experience in training co-workers in an effective manner.

  • Mathematics: Excellence in math skills that have been used to handle customer service duties such as cash register handling and monetary transactions.

Education

Adams High School, Sacramento, CA, 95555; 4.0 GPA

Experience

Maddison Boutique, Sacramento, CA
Customer Service Representative, June 2019-present

  • Greet customers entering and leaving the boutique.

  • Offer customers information on all products.

  • Organize all products and maintain a clean store.

  • Collect payments for all customer purchases.

  • Train new boutique hires.

Nel's Ice Creamery, Sacramento, CA
Ice Cream Scooper, January 2018-May 2019

  • Greet customers entering the ice cream shop.

  • Collect payments from customers.

  • Adhere to all safety and health regulations.

  • Scoop ice cream for customers.

Awards

  • Honor Roll, all first three years of high school

  • First Place award for the Gallo's Literary Fiction Contest

Skills

  • Computer skills

  • Word processing skills

  • Cash register skills

Hobbies and activities

Two-year member of the Adams High School soccer team
Three-year member of the Adams High School school newspaper

Example 2

Here is another example of a high school resume:

Kennedy Jones
123 Willow Lane, San Diego, CA 55555
555-555-5555, kennedy.jones@email.com

Qualifications

Highly motivated student with a strong work ethic, childcare experience and passion for early childhood education. Key skills include:

  • Interpersonal skills: Strong people and communication skills.

  • Fast learner: Quick learner of various skills including childcare techniques.

  • Creative skills: Ability to express myself artistically and creatively.

Education

Oceanaire View High School, San Diego, CA, 95555; 3.5 GPA

Experience

The June Family, Poway, CA
Babysitter, August 2019-present

  • Clean up all play areas.

  • Play and spend time with the family's children.

  • Prepare all food for the children.

  • Get kids ready for naps.

  • Help with potty training.

San Diego Child Care Center, San Diego, CA
Volunteer, March 2018-July 2019

  • Play with kids and babies.

  • Assist with snack preparation.

  • Help employees with nap time preparation.

Awards

  • Honor Roll, junior year of high school

  • Third Place award for the San Diego District Essay Contest

Skills

  • Computer skills

  • CPR and First Aid Certified

Hobbies and activities

Three-year member of the Oceanaire View High School swim team
Two-year member of the Oceanaire View Magazine club

Browse more articles