High school is the time for new beginnings and new responsibilities. In addition to increased study hours and extra-curricular activities, you need to keep in mind that applying to colleges is just around the corner. Even as a freshman, it’s not too early to think about how you are going to present yourself on paper to future colleges and employers, and a resume is one way to do it.
If you’re considering a job or internship this summer, you need an updated resume ready to go. However, before you can start writing and formatting your resume, you need to do some prep work. Start the information-gathering process early, so you will have everything you need when you are ready to create your resume. We suggest keeping a notebook or folder that contains detailed notes and information about your schoolwork, activities, and jobs.
So what should you include on a resume? Keep these 10 things in mind.
1. Your contact information: This seems straightforward enough, but keep in mind that your resume should present you in a professional way. Start by ensuring you have an appropriate email address that doesn’t use cutesy nicknames or phrases (for example, CrazyGuy10@email.com won’t fly). You may wish to create a separate email specifically for your job or internship search. Also, be certain to provide a phone number that will get answered by a person and have a proper voicemail message set up.
2. High school name and location: Be sure you have the correct address. Also have on hand the name and contact information of your guidance counselor, teacher, or staff member should a future employer ask for it.
3. Objective or summary: An objective is a statement about a goal you have with regard to a job or internship position. A summary is a few sentences that sum up your experience and strengths. You don’t have to have this written right away, but you may wish to take some notes to refer to later.
4. Relevant coursework: Not every class or course needs to be included on your resume. However, think about what courses might be relevant to a future job or internship. if you know you may look for an engineering internship, include any math or CAD classes. If you want to a journalism internship, include any writing or journalism classes.
5. GPA: If your grade point average is impressive (3.5 out of 4.0), include it.
6. Academic honors, awards, or memberships: Keep track of any honors or awards you have received as well as membership in any honorary society or other academic-oriented organization.
7. Extra curricular activities: Keep a list of sports, clubs, or other non-academic organizations that you have been a part of. One way to organize this is to list the activity subject (e.g. track team, yearbook) followed by the year(s) or grade(s) in which you participated in that activity.
8. Specialized programs: Perhaps you participated in a language immersion program or studied whale behavior one summer. Include the name of the program, a brief description, and the dates in which you participated.
9. Community service and volunteer work: Write the name and dates of all community service or volunteer activities in which you have participated. Write a brief description of your involvement in each activity.
10. Jobs or internships: Include any summer jobs or other internships that you have held. You should include the name of the company or organization, the location, and the duration of the job or internship (month and year). Write two to five sentences or phrases that describe your duties or accomplishments for each position.
Gathering information is half the battle! When you are ready to write and format your resume, you’ll have everything you need to get started.