Why Do I Need A Resume?
A resume is the most important document in a job search process. It’s a calling card, a marketing document, a well-crafted record of your skills and experience. Your resume needs to grab the reader’s attention to help land the dream job or internship you’re seeking.
A resume is a living document that needs to be updated constantly. It is easy to forget what you’ve done if you don’t write it down. There are skills and experience you acquire with every project, internship, job or volunteer activity so make sure to document everything. Include anything that is relevant to the job or internship you are pursuing.
On average, recruiters spend 6 seconds on a resume when considering applicants. Make sure it’s clean, easy to read and highlights all your best attributes. Don’t make the person reading your resume have to work to understand what you’ve done or want to do. Your goal is to get an interview where you can really highlight your best skills and experience.
Items to include in your resume.
- Education – add degrees (if still in school, include “expected” MM/YY), certificates, GPA (if above 3.0)
- Work Experience or Internships – paid or unpaid and use bullets for achievements and accomplishments
- International (school or work) – study abroad, internship overseas
- Skills – include hard skills (G Suite, programming languages) and soft skills (customer service, project management)
- Awards – grants, scholarships, honor roll
- Projects – anything that made an impact either for a class, personal blog
- Volunteer Experience
- Extracurricular Activities – anything outside of school credit or work e.g. officer or leadership role
- Other Information – anything interesting about yourself e.g. play 4 instruments, speak 3 languages, completed a half marathon, links*
- Objective (optional) – not needed for entry level job seekers
- Contact Information – OK to leave off address, but include phone, email, city, state
- *Links – included links to online writing portfolios, a personal website, my Github page, LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, Instagram account, and photo blog. Make sure this is appropriate for your specific job/company
- Easy to read format – use bullets, headers, indent, dates (months/years) with easy to read font e.g. Helvetica, Calibri, Arial
- Focus on your transferable skills, related side projects, and relevant coursework
- Add tools/skills you have used even if you’re not skilled at it, explain in interview
- Keep your resume current and up to date
- Align dates and locations to the right to be consistent in the formatting
- Use powerful verbs e.g. managed, facilitated, utilized
- Include data to support your work, projects or experience
- Check for typos – proof your document and have a couple people review for errors
- Ensure all public content (social media) is appropriate
- Too Lengthy – don’t go over 2 pages, keep bullets concise
- False statements – it’s ok to include skills you may not be an expert on, but do not include false statements
- Obvious skills: Email, MS Word, Internet
- Avoid cliches and jargon
- Personally identifying information (age, race, religion, etc.)
- Include “references available upon request”
- Send as a Word doc – save as a pdf to ensure you don’t lose the formatting
Resume Resources for High School Students
- Here is a good example of a well-formatted, easy to read resume.
Choosing a Font:
Job Skills Links:
- LinkedIn for High Schoolers: Check out this link on tips to create a LinkedIn profile.
- Best Skill Building Jobs for High Schoolers
Resume Action Words