How To Craft a High School Resume in 6 Steps (With Examples)

Updated July 31, 2023

As a high school student, developing a resume is a great way to start preparing for the working world. Resumes can be used for job applications, to secure internships and even to help complete college applications. Your high school resume will likely be focused on relevant coursework, extracurricular activities like volunteering or clubs and any job experience you do have.

In this article, we offer some steps, tips and examples to help you compose a high school resume that stands out to potential employers and sets a foundation for a successful career.

Resume Format
Image description

"Resume Format" is the title of this infographic that shows an image of an example resume.

On the left side of the infographic, a numbered list points to each section of the resume.

  1. Name and contact information

  2. Summary or objective

  3. Professional history
    a. Company name
    b. Dates of tenure
    c. Description of role and achievement

  4. Education

  5. Skills

  6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

On the right side of the image is a sample resume with the name Janet Chobot and lines representing text underneath. Then the headlines Summary, Professional History, Educational History, Skills, and Awards & Achievements. Under each section are lines representing text.

Related: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

How to write a high school resume

Here's how to write a high school resume step by step:

1. Include a career objective

A career objective is a one or two-sentence statement summarizing your career goals and how your talents and skills align with the needs of the employer. While people of any age and career level can benefit from including an objective statement on their resume, it’s especially important for a high school student. This is largely because your work history may not reflect your future goals.

Adding a career objective to your resume will give employers a clear idea of why you’re applying for the role and how their decision to hire you could be beneficial.

Examples of high school student's career objectives

“I am a motivated team player and aspiring graphic designer seeking an opportunity to work in a sign shop where I can apply my skills and further develop my artistic abilities.”

“I am an aspiring leader, with more than three years of experience in child care, seeking a position as a summer camp counselor. I’m excited to share my talents while expanding my leadership skills as part of a valued community institution.”

2. Highlight any experience

From babysitting to mowing lawns, volunteer work to extracurricular activities (such as clubs or sports), you should include all previous experiences that illustrate your work ethic and your ability to participate in team-based activities. Be sure to highlight any leadership experience, special achievements or awards you earned within those roles.

While the positions you’ve held might not specifically relate to the job you’re applying for, highlight relevant responsibilities or transferrable skills you can take with you into the new role. Take time to review the job description and look for specific keywords or requirements that align with your skills and talents.

For example, if you’re applying for a role as a barista and the job description says they want someone with good customer service and organizational skills, your work experience may look something like this:

American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Student Volunteer, 2016 – Present

  • Manage registration table, including greeting and checking in participants

  • Hand out water and snacks to participants at check-in points

  • Attend, contribute to and occasionally lead after-school planning meetings

  • Spearhead efforts to recruit and train new student volunteers

3. Provide a detailed education section

As a high school student, education and exploration of your interests—like sports or academic clubs—have likely been your primary focus. While you may not have a long list of job experiences, your participation in school, both in and out of the classroom, will provide potential employers insight into the value you’ll bring as an employee. This includes both academic achievements and participation in activities that prove you to be a balanced, well-rounded person.

If you’ve achieved an impressive grade point average or completed challenging coursework, listing this information can illustrate your dedication and ability to overcome obstacles. Additionally, be sure to include your extracurricular activities. This shows employers that you’re able to balance multiple responsibilities. Finally, be sure to list any completed coursework related to the job.

For example, if you’re applying for an internship at a newspaper, your education section may look something like this:

Susan B. Anthony High School

Graduation Date: May 2019

GPA: 3.7

Relevant coursework: Introduction to Journalism, Yearbook, Creative Writing, Photography

Clubs: School newspaper, Art club, International club, Future business leaders of America

Related: How to List Education on a Resume

4. List awards and achievements

Employers are looking for candidates who have a history of making an impact. Sharing your awards and achievements—academic or otherwise—proves you can make positive contributions and will help you stand out above other candidates.

Here are a few examples of awards or achievements you can include on a high school resume:

  • Member of the National Honors Society

  • Elected student body president for the 2016-17 school year

  • Awarded school newspaper best feature article of the year

  • Helped yearbook staff increase ad sales 30% year over year

5. Share hard and soft skills

Employers prefer to hire employees who have a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are abilities that are specific to the job, while soft skills are attributes that can be applied in any position. In most cases, hard skills are learned and based on experience while soft skills are rooted in your personality and are often not easily taught.

For example, if you’re applying for an internship as a graphic designer, your hard skills might include:

  • Photoshop

  • InDesign

  • Logo creation

  • Digital design

  • Print design

And your soft skills might include:

  • Active listening

  • Verbal communication

  • Accepting constructive criticism

  • Customer service

  • Problem-solving

Related: Interview Question: “What is Your Greatest Strength?”

High school resume example

Below is an example of a high school resume to reference as you’re drafting your own. You can also view our full list of resume samples for more inspiration.

Tomas Domingo
(555) 111-2233

I am a motivated, aspiring finance and accounting professional seeking an opportunity to learn alongside industry leaders in the tech space where I can apply my skills and further develop my passion for mathematics.

River Tech High School
Graduation Date: May 2019
GPA: 3.8
Relevant coursework: Intro to Business Studies, Calculus 1 & 2, Advanced Geometry

Experience & Activities
Finance & Accounting Internship
Crane & Jenkins, Fall 2018

Performed systems analysis, testing and documentation for existing processes
Organized process to decrease time spent reviewing by 10%
Project team selected as winner for most innovative at program-end

Mathletes Team Captain, 2017–2018

Lead weekly team meetings and developed practice events to prepare for the annual Winter Math Competition
Team won nine of 10 competitions during tenure as team captain
Increased spring sign-ups through recruitment events by 15%

Thompson’s Grocery, 2015–2017

Strategically plan ahead according to high traffic times of day
Handle register during high pressure
Conduct all transactions involving gift cards, refunds, and store credit

Awards & Achievements
Intro to Business Certification
Member of the Key Club 2016, 2017, 2018
Academic Honor Roll 2014–Present

Skills & Abilities
G Suite
Active listening
Accepting constructive criticism

As a high school student, you can develop an impressive resume filled with relevant coursework, volunteer work, skills and abilities and other experiences that make you a good fit for a job. By highlighting your greatest strengths, skills, abilities and future aspirations, you’ll leave a positive impression on hiring employers.

Frequently asked questions

Aside from listing awards and achievements, what else can I include in my high school resume to stand out?

To stand out against others in the running, add a section for references. If you've had any work experience at all, get in touch with your supervisors to ask whether potential employers can contact them about your qualities as an employee. You can also include teachers, community leaders and other people of authority with whom you've worked in some capacity.

What qualifies as volunteer work on a high school resume?

For your high school resume, any work that you willingly do in your free time qualifies as volunteer work. It isn't limited to just formal volunteering opportunities. For example, if you regularly help an elderly resident in your neighborhood with chores, that too would count as volunteer work.

What resume format is best for a high school resume?

What constitutes the "best" format for a high school resume depends on how much relevant work experience you have. If your past employments, volunteer work and extracurricular activities can fill out a Work Experience section, you could do well with the chronological resume format. If you lack such experience, a functional resume might be the better choice.

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