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March 23, 2021

How To Create a Great Resume for the High School Student


The primary purpose of the resume is to present employers and others with a targeted summary of who you are, especially your priorities, interests and accomplishments. A well-constructed resume provides adults the ability to quickly scan your academic, pre-professional and personal history. An essential feature of your resume must differentiate you from other candidates. Can you demonstrate your growth and progression, and highlight your accomplishments and experiences? In this blog, you will learn the purpose of the resume, proper formatting, content essentials, as well as what not to include. 


  • Showcase your Brand to an Employer or Extracurricular Activity
  • 7 Essential Steps for an Effective Resume
  • Common Mistakes you must Avoid
  • Things Not to Include in the Resume


  • Showcase your Brand:


  • Just as the best tennis player doesn’t always win the championship match, and the popular politician doesn’t always win the election, the “most qualified” student does always earn their dream school acceptance letter. Often the seemingly “less qualified applicant” markets him or herself better, highlighting their strengths and assets better than the ace. Like the shiny new car in the showroom, you must do more than stand out. You must fit in. The resume helps you showcase your message, your brand.


  • 7 Essential Steps for an Effective Resume:


  • Be sure to view excellent, sample resumes
  • Perform a self-reflection of your values & goals, as well as a self-assessment of your competitiveness for the position
  • Research the opportunity for both pre-professional and personal fit
  • Create Multiple Versions
  • Create Multiple Formats


  • Common Student Mistakes:


  • Spelling & grammatical errors
  • Missing or inappropriate contact information
  • Excessive passive voice
  • Neither well organized, nor concise, nor easy to skim
  • Missing demonstrated results
  • Too Lengthy
  • Using non-uniformed text, with peculiar formatting and size discrepancies


  • Resume Do’s:


  • Accompany the resume with a cover letter
  • Have others look over the resume for content & grammar
  • Send as both an email attachment and paste into the body of the email
  • Send email attachment as a pdf to ensure proper formatting


  • Resume Don’ts:


  • Do not :
    • Use personal pronouns such as “I, you, he/she”
    • Abbreviate
    • Use narrative style
    • Include your age or gender
    • Make margins and font size too small (10)
    • Include personal information
    • Include high school experiences unless of state, national or global distinction
    • Write vague, generic or cliché statements


  • Things Not to Include in the Resume:


  • References on Request
  • Reason for leaving a job
  • Mission statement
  • Objectives
  • Your picture


  • Resume Language Must Be:


  • Written for people to scan quickly
  • Specific rather than generic, that is include details
  • Composed primarily in active voice, rather than passive
  • Written to express, rather than to impress
  • Simple & Clear, rather than to show your literary skills
  • Fact-based! Be sure to quantify experiences when possible, such as raised $3,000 in the fundraiser, 30% more than the previous year


  • Summary:


The resume is not primarily your history of your life. It is a marketing tool to present you like a commercial on TV. Please remember that effective resumes get noticed and serve you best by emphasizing your relevant accomplishments and potential contributions to the job, all while focusing on your brand, related skills and your reflections.


  • Content References: Harvard Career Service Center, Stacy Blackman Consulting, Princeton Career Services

Need help applying to college? Email or text Dr. Richardson at mrichardson@ivybound.com  609.608.6258.