Creating your first resume can be an intimidating task when you’re a teenager. Maybe you’ve never had a job and with the current condition of the world, prospects for summer employment aren’t looking great. Internships, camps, and other resume builders may also be in short supply. That’s why we asked our friends at Deloitte to share some of their high school resume tips to help students prepare for future career and college opportunities.
1. Customize your resume for each job.
You know what they say—you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why, once you create the bones of your resume, you’ll want to customize each version you submit to be the best match for the job you’re applying to.
2. Make your summary pop.
The summary section of your resume is an opportunity to let your personality shine. The summary consists of two or three sentences at the top of your resume that pack in information about who you are and the unique skills you can bring to the job. It’s an employer’s first impression of you. You should consider including dynamic language and strong action verbs.
3. Tailor your experience to the job requirements.
Use your resume to highlight skills that make you stand out. If you’re applying for a customer service job, include experience that shows you know how to take care of people. If you’re hoping to work on a landscaping crew, include experience that shows you know how to work on a team.
4. Include relevant education.
Up to this point, school has been your job, and employers realize that. Highlight the skills and knowledge that you’ve acquired from relevant classes that make you an excellent candidate for the job. For instance, if you’re applying for a job working with kids, mention the early childhood class you took. If you’re applying for a position as a cashier, include the money management or accounting class.
5. Don’t forget about extracurricular activities and community service.
Experience working with people is valuable; it doesn’t matter whether or not you earned money doing it. Employers are interested in knowing what you’re passionate about and want to see that you’ve made a commitment to showing up and participating.
6. Highlight achievements and awards.
It’s okay to brag on yourself in this section of your resume. Your achievements can help you stand out from the crowd. Include all leadership positions you’ve held and the contributions you’ve made that have produced impressive results.
7. Keep your resume brief.
Most hiring managers do not have the time to pore through long descriptive paragraphs. Remember, you want to catch an employer’s eye quickly, so be concise. Your best bet is to structure your resume in a bullet-point format, one that draws the eye to the most important information. Think of each section as a teaser that the employer can’t wait to hear more about in an interview.
8. Keep it simple.
Of course, you want your resume to stand out from the crowd, but now is not the time for fancy fonts, wild colors, or photo collages. Limit it to one page and make sure it is uncluttered, easy to read, and informative.
9. Keep it professional.
Make sure that your contact email is appropriate and professional. You’re not likely to get many responses to PartyBoy5890 or SheSoLazy888. Your best bet is to go with a straightforward firstname.lastname email format.
Your resume is a representation of who you are. It should be spotless. Ask at least one other person to proofread your resume. Check and double-check for spelling, grammar, and consistency of verb tenses, font, and font size, as well as a balanced layout.
High schoolers can get more resume tips and advice for building their careers from Deloitte.