Searching for your first job in high school can feel like an incredible task. Luckily, there are tons of resources out there to help you put together a resume and cover letter.
The first thing to keep in mind is that most jobs high school students qualify for require an application, rather than a resume. The application generally asks for the same information as a resume would show, as well as a few questions important for the job itself.
However, it always looks more professional when you can attach your resume to an application. So, if you’re looking to take your job search one step further, keep reading for how to craft the perfect resume and cover letter.
Cover letters for high school students
Luckily, most high-school-level jobs don’t require a cover letter. The questions on the application itself are meant to capture your general knowledge and thoughts around what you’ll be doing.
If you want to write a cover letter to include in the application, keep reading to learn what a cover letter entails.
Let them get to know you
While your cover letter should focus on your accomplishments and personal skill set, there are a few other things you want to share.
- Who are you?
- Why you’re interested in the position
- Why you’d be a good fit for the position.
Highlight your skills
Your next task is to insert some information about your skills. Even for entry-level roles or part-time jobs, you want to include some skills you’ve gained through other part-time work, volunteer roles, and at school.
For instance, if you were part of an organization at school and participated in fundraising or event planning, include those details in your cover letter. Have you won an award for your writing or other academic achievements? Highlight those as well.
Tell them why they should hire you
A cover letter also convinces hiring managers you’re the right person for the job. Tell them why you’re a great employee. If you organized a lecture, tutored students who achieved success, or took advanced placement courses, those are all the marks of a hardworking, dedicated individual.
Thank and sign-off
You want to end your cover letter on a note of confidence. You’ve already laid the groundwork for why you’re a good fit. Now it’s time to remind them of those skills and your excitement. At the end, thank them for taking the time to consider your application.
Writing an entry-level resume
You might not feel you have any relevant experience to put on your resume, but if you’ve gone to school, participated in organizations, or even helped out at your parent’s business — you’ve got more than you think.
Think back on all the things you’ve accomplished thus far and consider how you can spin those into valuable skills and experience.
With resume job experience, you can highlight pretty much everything you’ve taken part in. Nobody expects an entry-level candidate to have years of work experience, so don’t fret!
Instead, highlight what stands out to you. You can include your part-time job, involvement in student government, participation in an organization like Girl or Boy Scouts, and even your participation in sports, arts, and academic clubs at school.
Your unique skills
After providing an overview of your experience, highlight some special skills. What did that experience teach you? What have you gained from it? How did you make things better?
A google search will lead you to strong action keywords to use on your resume. Here are some examples:
This small list is only the beginning. The Muse points out tons of great action words for all skill levels.
As we mentioned before, writing a resume for entry-level positions doesn’t have to be scary. Just consider all your accomplishments and activities, and pull your experience from there.
Don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar, and have someone proofread it for you before sending it off to any hiring managers. The last thing you want is an excellent resume with terrible spelling mistakes.
Overall, present yourself as confident, excited, and hardworking. With that attitude, there’s no doubt you’ll capture the attention of a hiring manager and land a great first job.