In this article, you will learn:
Finding a job is never easy, even more so for high school graduates for the lack of professional experience. A resume for a high school graduate is thus one of the most crucial elements. It can reflect a job applicant’s value, strengths, and background. As most fresh high school graduates have few work experiences, designing a top-notch high school graduate resume is the first thing to nail the job-seeking processes.
A resume is essentially a summary of your educational and professional background. If you recently graduate from high school and have limited experience, you might not have much to write on your resume. However, despair not! Here are some tips to help you make up for the lack of employment history on your resume.
An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a human resource software for the employer to efficiently organize a large number of resumes. To stand out from competitors, your high school graduate resume has to be high-ranking in ATS, which means adopting an ATS-friendly resume format is necessary.
There are now plentiful resume resources online, including examples, templates, and resume builders, which you can refer to when writing your resume after graduating from high school. With a high school graduate resume template, you can develop your own unique resume effortlessly.
By tailoring your resume, you can show your enthusiasm for the position and how you strive to get the job. Also, pay attention to the differences between resumes and CVs (Curriculum Vitae).
Resumes are used for regular job applications, whereas CVs are more common for people who wish to find a job in academia or scientific fields. Thus, check the job description carefully, adopt keywords from it and create the resume or CV for senior high school graduates accordingly.
With statistics in the resume of a high school graduate, the hiring manager can easily let review the applicant’s achievements effortlessly. What is more, the significance of your experience can be shown explicitly with numbers.
An obstacle high school graduates may encounter is that they do not have sufficient working or related experience to show in their resumes. Usually, in this case, they can instead include their academic accomplishments and transferable achievements that demonstrate their skills.
However, this kind of information may be considered irrelevant and distract the employers. So read the job description carefully and only include the relevant ones!
An objective in the resume states your goal or purpose of the career. The length of a well-written resume objective can range from 2-3 sentences. There are principal elements for crafting a successful career objective for a high school graduate in the resume:
The following career objective examples for a high school graduate are provided for your reference.
Example of objective in high school graduate resume with little work experience:
Enthusiastic and self-motivated high school graduate, with 2-year experience in fashion retail. Seeking a part-time sales assistant position in GU Company.
Example of objective in high school graduate resume with no work experience:
Passionate and responsible high school fresh graduate, who is looking for an entry-level position in retail. Looking forward to learning and improving marketing strategies and procedures while gaining customer service skills.
A resume summary, as the name suggests, summarizes the content and the important parts of the resume. For applicants, especially a recent high school graduate, a resume summary is crucial because it determines if the hiring manager will continue reading the rest of the resume.
As a result, applicants should ensure that they have gotten a summary stated in their high school graduate resumes that catch the eye. Information that should be highlighted in this section includes:
First and foremost, try to pick out the key experience that adds value and attracts the attention of the employer. Think about what you have done, and most applicants have not. Keep in mind that the experience must be related to the position you applied for, and it must have happened in recent years.
In the application process, both the soft and hard skills of all applicants will be evaluated. To amaze the hiring managers at the very beginning, read the job description thoroughly and embed your compatible skills in the high school graduate resume summary.
While some qualifications are prerequisites, others are just a plus. They are always helpful because they attest to your ability. If you own any relevant qualifications, remember to mention them in the resume summary.
Example of resume summary for high school graduate with no work experience:
Ambitious high school graduate with a 3.85/4.0 GPA and sound attendance record. Served a term as student congress chairperson with 65% support from student representatives and organized a vote of government members of student council successfully.
Example of resume summary for high school graduate with little work experience:
Diligent high school fresh graduate with clear concepts of sales, marketing, and customer services. Past participant of city youth marketing trainee camp. Served as a summer marketing intern at ABC Co. Attained a 1300+ score in SAT.
Example of resume summary for high school graduate with various skills:
Versatile high school graduate with Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and English proficiency. With practical experience in social media marketing, keyword analysis, and database management. Currently serves as the student ambassador of a company in the FMCG industry.
Education is where you can stand out as a high school graduate looking for a job. An eye-catching education background balances out the lack of relevant work experience or skills in your high school graduate resume.
Here is information you need to put in this section and how you can organize it:
Specify the type of your degree and the name and location of your high school you graduated from in the resume as the types of schools, such as including public schools, private schools, international schools, and vocational schools, and degrees vary. Thus, make sure you mention the correct degree and school name here.
The duration and the graduation year are vital as well on your high school graduate resume so that the recruiter will know there is no gap in between.
Not all enterprises take much care of your academic performance. Nevertheless, it is still recommended that you incorporate their final GPAs into the senior high school graduate resume if your GPA is 3.7 or above.
If you have earned any honors or awards during secondary school or upon graduation, feel free to bring them up in chronological order. Still, avoid trivia content and keep the important ones.
If you have taken any electives or participated in any unique, noteworthy events, briefly introducing them in your high school graduate resume can be a clever idea as they might impress the employer unexpectedly.
Example of education on a high school graduate resume:
Victoria First Science High School (CA, U.S.) | 2018-2021 | GPA: 4.0/4.3
Honors & Awards:
Example of education on a high school graduate resume:
ABC High School (LA, US) | 2016-2020
Do not worry too much about the absence of related experience. By following the advice below, you will be able to nail the job application!
There are three common resume formats:
For high school graduates, the functional format best suits them because it emphasizes skills instead of showing work experience directly. Or you can choose to list your extracurricular activities chronologically and write a combination resume as a high school graduate.
As mentioned above, a clear career objective shows your vision and ambition as a starting professional, arousing the interest of the employer.
With the tips and advice above, we believe you are now able to generate a well-written part of education. Try to craft an intriguing story for the hiring manager to find out!
A personal website and/or portfolio are unique and valuable materials and can have positive effects on your application. The more special a high school graduate resume is, the more likely it will stand out from competitors.
A sincere cover letter works to your advantage when you compete with many applicants with similar conditions. It helps the hiring manager to see the efforts you put in and your passion for the position.
Award-winning sales representative with great communication skills
Desire to secure an entry-level sales position at a fashion retailer, to apply the communication skills gained in the High School Student Sales Trainee Program. Graduated from Southaven Christian School and has been a representative in the student council.
Fresh high school graduate passionate about fashion branding and sales operations. Highly competent team player, having participated in multiple inter-class projects to completion. Has a sense of style, being able to discover high-end fashion designs.
XYZ Corporation High School Student Sales Trainee Program, MS
01/2020 - 11/2020
Student helper at Lily’s Bookstore, MS
01/2019 - 01/2020
Southaven Christian School, TN | 2018-2021
--- Originally written by Fu-Yen Chen ---