2014-10-06 by admin
Although the accomplishment of finally graduating school is very exciting, it is also very intimidating. It’s time to prepare to venture out of the cocoon of the high school world and enter into the work force. Now you need to deal with cover letters, resumes, interviews and a whole host of other challenges that are all brand new to you. In many ways, it is like starting school all over again!
A resume for a High School student can be very challenging. After all, you have no full time work experience under your belt and you may feel that you are at a complete loss as to how to put your best foot forward when you are likely to be competing against those with both the same level of education and some work experience under their belt. No fear, everyone who has a job today is where you are right now! We all survived the first job hunt and there is little doubt that you will too.
As with your cover letter, a resume shouldn’t be printed out on anything fancier than a good solid white bond and using standardized fonts. You are not trying out for the most creative person in the world you are applying for your first job. So here are some of the ways to turn what you think may be negative (e.g. no work history) into a positive and really dress up your resume.
Start off your resume by including your contact information (remember, that email address should be professional) and then you are going to do a bit of an introductory paragraph. This is where you get to brag for a few lines about what makes you “stand out from the crowd”. You can list your best character traits here provided they in some manner have something do with your potential job. For example you wouldn’t put that you were a wonderful bicyclist here, but “dependable” would be a good trait.
For your next paragraph you are going to work on dismissing the notion that you are not qualified for the position. You can do this by listing work you have done – even if it was not formally work. For example, do not hesitate to list volunteer and community service, baby-sitting jobs, yard work, etc. in this area. This will let the employer know you are not afraid of working.
For the next paragraph you are going to want to discuss your school work. Now remember, this isn’t going to be a recap of every single class that you took. Instead, list them so that the ones that are most applicable to the job you are applying for are listed at the top. Make sure that any coursework that you have taken where you received honor status is listed (whether it has anything do with the job or not). The more relevant the coursework to the job, the better for you.
Another paragraph would detail if you took part in committees, panels or other volunteer positions in your school, your town or city or your religious community, these can be listed here. You can even list sporting activities in this area. If you had any position of authority make sure you make note of it and include the responsibilities as if they were paying jobs. For example, if you were the president or head of your school council group list that as if it were a paying job.
Your closing paragraph is where you get to make a couple of lists. List your best traits (being on time for example), special talents (they don’t have to be part of what you’d be working on sometimes these make a connection with a recruiter; leave off “Facebook Mafia wars champion”) and finally, special skills. Perhaps you are very quick at learning new software, you type very quickly or similar skills – these would all be printed in your final paragraph.
A few warnings
There are a few warnings that students might need reminding of (even those with tons of experience do). Always proofread and grammar check your resume (and cover letter). A minor mistake could make the difference between getting invited for an interview and being tossed in the recycle bin.
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