How to Build a High School Resume

Did you know that some universities ask for a resume to be submitted with your college application? Some may not be mandatory, but if recommended, it can show your accomplishments, hobbies, work experience, and skill sets gained throughout high school. Creating a high school resume is also a great idea to give to your teachers, coaches, etc. that you expect to ask to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Unsure of what to put on your resume? Don’t feel overwhelmed – here’s your guide to the high school resume based on tips from The Princeton Review:

The Basics:

1. Heading: your name, address, and e-mail

2. High school information: your graduation date, GPA (weighted), class rank, and SAT/ACT scores

3. Accomplishments: awards, publications, honors, and other achievements

4. Special programs: summer programs, college courses taken, or other specialized workshops

5. Extracurricular activities

6. Community service activities

7. High school work experience

8. Hobbies

9. Special skills: foreign language, website expertise, Photoshop, etc.


1. Keep your resume concise: Only include the most important activities, achievements, etc. For example, include that you were on the swim team for all four years of high school and then became the Varsity captain. Do not include that you ran cross country for one semester during your freshman year.

2. Focus on depth and length of activity: As mentioned above, include the most brag-worthy activities you’ve been apart of. Colleges want to see commitment and passion in a few activities, not necessarily that you were sporadically apart of 15 separate clubs. If you weren’t apart of many clubs because all of your time was spent practicing year-round for the football team and practicing for the debate club, make sure you highlight that on your resume.

3. Details, details, details: Make sure you highlight as much detail as possible to make sure your prospective university knows you’re unique! Include how many years participated in each activity, how many hours per week you spent in each activity, if you obtained a leadership position, how you impacted that organization for the better, and more. But make sure to be thoroughly honest in each activity listed!

4. Highlight what you haven’t yet: Make sure you highlight everything possible that you weren’t able to include in your college essays. For example, if you didn’t write your essays about your Photoshop skills you’ve acquired taking years of graphic design classes, showcase this passion on your resume!

5. Format your resume neatly: Make sure to include headings, bullet points, and concise phrases to make your resume as easy to read as possible. Organize your resume in a format that makes the most sense to you (chronologically, by order or experience, by order of time commitment, etc.). Save your resume as a PDF, and don’t forget to proofread, proofread, proofread!

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