If you want to build a stellar résumé, it’s all about initiative and creating opportunities.

High school resume

How To Build A Killer Resume While In High School

Every student needs to have a résumé whether or not they’ve ever had a job. Help your students create a killer résumé that can help them snag a part-time job or get accepted into the college of their dreams.

Grades are important, I will admit. As someone who tried to get an A on everything during my first year of high school, it would be a bit hypocritical of me to say otherwise.

However, I must stress that your GPA is not the only thing that should matter to you in high school. More importantly, a number does not and should not ever define you.

There are so many things that you could be doing in high school other than solely worrying about how you are doing in your classes — such as, for instance, getting involved with extracurricular activities.

I know that the idea of being involved in activities can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re anything like I was and don’t even know where to start.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Ask around

Check out what your friends are doing. See if anyone is a part of a program or activity in your community that you find interesting. Talk to upperclassmen, teachers, and counselors in your high school and see what they have to recommend.

In high school, I knew I loved to write, and after talking to an upperclassman who was involved with a writing and mentorship program called Girls Write Now, I too became involved. I have been grateful for the experience ever since.

Don’t forget about summer activities. There are so many volunteer opportunities with all sorts of organizations that would be a great source of experience to put on a résumé. You may not have time during the school year so carve out some time in the summer!

Rock Your School Activities

Most high schools love to boast about the extracurriculars they offer, such as sports teams, academic clubs, theater groups, and community service opportunities. My high school offered extracurriculars such as model United Nations, photography club, tutoring at local elementary schools, and research opportunities at nearby colleges and universities.

Even though I wasn’t involved in all of the activities that my school offered, I was happy with the ones that I did participate in, such as the running club, the social justice club, and Girls Inc., which gave me the opportunity to tutor middle school girls in English and math.

Do Some Research

Toward the end of my sophomore year, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the summer. I decided to randomly Google “community service near me” to find opportunities available in my area. I ended up learning that my local public library was open to having interested high school students volunteer .

So I spent most of my summer helping younger kids use computers and find new books to read. Not only was the experience fun and a great way to spend my time during the summer, but it was also something that I was able to list on my résumé.

Make a Club Yourself

If you don’t like what your school has to offer, try starting your own club — either alone or with a couple of friends. In my junior year of high school, I was obsessed with many books that I wanted to discuss with others. But that was hard to do, considering that most people might not have read the same books. That is when I talked to my English teacher about starting a book club. It can be that easy. Talk to faculty and friends and get your idea turned into a club, not only for you to enjoy but for many others who might also benefit. Starting a club looks great on a résumé, by the way.

The Bottom Line

Whether it’s finding extracurricular activities in your school or community or volunteering in your neighborhood, it’s important to take the time to discover what you might want to be involved in during high school.

It is also an excellent way to build your résumé, which will be impressive to present to hiring and admissions officers at jobs, internships, and colleges that you might consider applying to in the future.

It is all about what you make of your high school experience. Don’t just spend all your time on studying. Let your experiences define who you are and what you want to do someday — that matters just as much as numbers on a piece of paper.

Check List

  • Does it seem strange to you to create a résumé if you’ve never had a job?
  • What academic accomplishments can you include?
  • What extracurricular activities or leadership positions could you put on your résumé?
  • Do you have any other achievements that would demonstrate your ability to be a good employee?
  • Take some time to create a résumé now so you have it ready to go.