The Dos and Don’ts of High School Resumes

what to do and not to do for college resumes

Resumes are concise summaries that describe a candidate’s education, experience, skills, and qualifications related to each position they apply for. The purpose of a high school resume is to get you an interview and provide a sample of your organizational and communication skills. However, it seems like new rules and guidelines about resumes are constantly coming out, which can be confusing to navigate when trying to create your own. 

That’s why we’ve rounded up the top dos and don’ts of high school resumes, covering the traditional and new rules. Take a look through the list, then pull up your resume to make sure it’s ready to be sent out into the world.

The Dos 

1. Customize your resume for each application

Each resume should be tailored to a specific position and should demonstrate your particular skill set, experience, and accomplishments necessary to do the job. It also makes it clear why you are the right fit. 

2. Keep it to one page

College admissions boards, recruiters, and organizations read a lot of resumes. They don’t want to spend a ton of time poring over multiple pages. Tailor your resume to include the most relevant information in a detailed but brief way.  

3. Keep the information in chronological order

An out-of-order resume makes it hard to see what the applicant has accomplished and what they hope to do. A functional resume focuses on skills and experiences in a clear and organized manner, which is also something you want the receiver to note!

4. Proofread, then proofread again

Wouldn’t it be a shame to spend hours creating a resume only for it to be submitted with an error? That’s why it’s vital to proofread your work. Ask your advisors, peers, and teachers for help.

The Don’ts

1. Copy the job description word for word

You shouldn’t take exact phrases from the posting or description. Instead, try to find another way to say the same thing that provides more context and examples.

2. State that references are available upon request

References should be prepared as a separate document rather than included on your resume as a request. It is assumed from interviewers that you will be able to provide the contacts when asked.

3. Experiment with a complicated format

It’s best to stick to a clean and straightforward format. It makes your resume easy to read and will allow your experience to help you stand out rather than the fonts, colors, or designs. 

4. Use cliches or idioms

It is best to stay away from overused phrases such as “team player” and detail-oriented.” You should also avoid using too much industry-specific jargon. 

Bonus: Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. 

If you feel overwhelmed or are unsure how to start writing your resume, let Ivy Camps USA help! We offer one-on-one mentorship catered for upper-level high school students nearing or actively applying to universities and internships. 

Each student is assigned a tutor who will serve as a positive peer role model through their strong work ethic and academic success. Sessions are 60 minutes long and offer one-on-one personalized support and feedback. 

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