Contrary to popular belief, it can be beneficial for a teenager to craft a resume during high school, even if they lack any real work experience. This document can be used to pursue additional education opportunities and programs prior to college or grant you a competitive edge while applying for your first job. However, the challenge in building a resume for an aspiring professional at the high school level, is identifying the appropriate content to include. Below, you’ll find expert tips to help you craft an accomplishment-driven resume and jump-start your career.

Highlight Academic Achievements

Even at the high school level, a candidate can make a strong impression by highlighting their academic achievements on the resume. This can include grade point averages, coursework, awards, or even research papers that the applicant is proud of. Employers value candidates that take pride in their work. Because a high school student likely won’t have any professional experience to demonstrate this, they’ll need to showcase their work ethic using examples from their education.

Feature Your Extracurricular Activities

Another way to build out resume content for a teenager’s resume is by featuring extracurricular activities and student organizations you’ve been involved in. This could be a sport, an academic club, or another type of student activity that showcases your dedication and leadership skills.

These are traits that any organization will find valuable and can make all the difference in whether or not the applicant receives an interview. Many employers will likely have some bias regarding the reliability of hiring a teenager with no work experience. By showcasing extracurricular activities, you’ll be making a case for why they should take a chance on you.

Showcase Volunteerism Experience

Even limited volunteer experience can enhance the impact of a teenager’s resume. Public service says much about who the candidate is, both as a person and as a professional, which can help to compensate for lack of work history. By providing specific examples of your volunteer work, you’ll be branding yourself as the type of high character candidate the organization is looking for. This can sometimes make all the difference during the application process.

Teenager Resume Samples

When creating your first resume, you should reflect on what you’ve accomplished in your academic career and personal life. Even an independent project can be valuable if it speaks to the type of professional you aspire to become. Everyone needs to start somewhere. To secure your first opportunity, you’ll need to tell a compelling story using what you’ve learned in the early stages of your life. Below, you’ll find three teenager resume examples to guide you as you take the first step in beginning your career:

Teenager Resume Sample 1

First impressions are as important on the resume as they are during your initial interview. Hiring managers have limited time to read every document they receive in-depth, so you’ll need to grab their attention early to demonstrate that your application is worth spending more time on. Creating a professional summary at the top of your document can help set the tone for your resume and showcase that you have the skills to succeed in the program or job you’re applying to. This example is effective because it draws attention to the candidate’s interpersonal and leadership skills instead of any actual work experience:


A High School Student with entry-level experience, specializing in communication, leadership, organization, and quantitative analysis. A strong background of serving as a leader for the Brooklyn High School basketball team and providing support to fellow athletes. Adept at collaborating effectively in team-based environments to achieve goals and objectives.

Teenager Resume Sample 2

Academic achievements, student organizations, and extracurricular activities can all serve as potential foundations for the content of your resume. Showing that you’ve been involved in your school will help draw attention to your work ethic and personal drive. In the example below, the job seeker incorporates a mix of academic projects and extracurricular pursuits to paint a fuller picture of who they are as an aspiring professional:

Academic Experience

  • Achieved a 3.8 GPA over the course of three academic years, received honor roll recognition, and served as a member of the National Honor Society
  • Completed AP English and AP History courses with semester grades of 90% and 92% and achieved qualifying marks for college credit during the final examination
  • Participated as a member of the North Philadelphia High School track team and competed in over 20+ competitions within the school district

Teenager Resume Sample 3

Employers and academic programs are drawn to candidates with a history of public service. As a high school student, it’s important to emphasize your volunteer experience and community involvement as much as possible because this can help separate you from other applicants. Whether you volunteered a few weekends at a soup kitchen or helped organize a charity event at your school, you should provide insights into these experiences and how they helped you grow as a person. In the example below, the candidate features a number of different volunteerism projects they were involved in with their high school and local community:

Volunteerism Experience

San Francisco High School, San Francisco, CA

September 2019 – May 2021

  • Coordinated with a team of 15+ students and two faculty members to plan, organize, and execute the annual blood drive at the San Francisco High School, which included distributing and gathering medical forms to ensure medical eligibility for blood donations
  • Volunteered at the West Line Youth Basketball Camp in 2020, supported coaches in managing drills and distributing lunches, and provided mentorship to child athletes
  • Provided support for the annual Toys for Tots holiday drive, which included working with a team of students to perform outreach activities to secure donations

Before submitting your application, you should proofread your document carefully for any misspellings or grammatical errors. The person reviewing your resume will want to see your attention to detail. Even a minor mistake can sometimes brand the applicant negatively if it’s glaring enough. You should also save your document as a PDF file to ensure that the formatting remains consistent across all operating systems and devices.

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Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

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