Creating a resume can seem like a lot of work. You may choose to send this resume to a prospective college, a job or internship, or a summer program. How can you make your resume stand out amongst the crowd? Highlight your achievements with these tips!
This category is the most straight forward. You will need to create a section called “Education” and include your high school along with your GPA. If you took classes for college credit while in high school, or enrolled in another academy or institution, be sure to record this as well! If you’re a senior and you already know where you’re going to college, include this with your anticipated year of graduation.
If you worked a job or an internship during high school, colleges will love to see this. It shows them that you were able to manage multiple responsibilities (academics and extracurricular activities) in addition to your job.
Leadership and Activities
Here you can brag about the organizations you were involved in and how you contributed to those organizations. If you had an important leadership role such as team captain, president, vice president, treasurer, etc., then record it! If you did not hold a leadership position, that’s okay! Just write down your position as “member.”
Honors and Awards
In this section, showcase all of your awards and recognitions. Graduating with honors, an athletic achievement, or an extracurricular milestone are all great things to add under this heading!
Additional Information/Skills and Talents
If there’s anything else you want to display that doesn’t fall in the above categories, you should consider adding it under this heading. For example, if you are fluent in any world languages or have experience with Photoshop, you can say that you have advanced knowledge in this subject area. Add anything that will set you apart from other students! Feel free to include any special talents, passions, skills, or even community service that you can think of. Try adding anything that will set you apart from other students!
Make a list of everything you did
Compile all of this information by making a list. Think of all your accomplishments in high school, and write down everything that comes to mind. After you complete this list, organize the activities into the categories above. If your resume turns into a super long laundry list, decide which achievements are worth keeping and which ones should be cut out. If you need help, reach out to a parent, teacher, or counselor. They will be able to assist you in choosing the most important components to keep. General rule of thumb: Keep your entire resume to one page (two pages at most).
Utilize bullet points
Along with each item on your resume, add a few bullet points underneath. This helps the reviewer to understand what you did through short descriptions. Avoid writing complete sentences in your descriptions; use action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point to communicate your involvement. For example: “Wrote several articles for the myOptions’ advice blog.” (As opposed to: “I wrote several articles for the myOptions’ advice blog”). Another quick tip: Include numbers that describe your accomplishments (money raised, etc).
Organize your information
Your information should be compiled under all the correct headings so the reviewer can easily locate what they are trying to find. Your resume should also be clean and free of any grammatical errors. Check for consistency in spacing, alignment, and special characters.
Include specific dates
Be sure to include the times you were involved in all your activities and experiences. Add the month and year in which you first started as well as the month and year in which you ended. (Example: March 2017-April 2018). Including the dates gives a reviewer a better idea of how much experience you have in that activity. You should also organize your resume in reverse-chronological order with your most recent experience listed first and older experience recorded last. Think of your resume space as invaluable; therefore, you want the most important information at the top of the page.
Include relevant contact information
This seems like a no-brainer, but when you’re caught up in the act of crafting a resume, you can easily forget to put your contact information. (Sometimes, people will even forget to include their name!) Add your email address, mailing address, and phone number under your name at the top. This ensures that the reviewer will be able to contact you after seeing such an impressive application!