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What are the best ways to improve my resume?

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John’s Answer

Jessica almost any job that you’re applying for as a high schooler will understand that you probably don’t have a ton of work experience to write about. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t “wow” them! If you’re in high school, the most important things that appear on your resume are probably going to be school-related. This means classes, activities, sports, and clubs, as well as academic achievements. You might also have volunteer experience. Even tutoring a sibling or helping a neighbour can go on your resume. Think hard about what you’ve done with your life and don’t undersell yourself, and you’ll have a great resume in no time!

You probably have an email address and a cell phone, so those should be displayed in a prominent place on the page. Instead of putting your full address, as some other sources might advise, it’s now becoming common only to include your city and region since most people are no longer sending out snail mail. Many people, including high schoolers, have websites, blogs, and social media accounts. If you have a link to something that you’re very proud of and want to show to potential employers, you should include it. It might not relate directly to the job you’re looking for, but it can provide proof of other traits you write on your resume. Just make sure it is completely clean of anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. 

Here’s a critical section many people forego in order to fit more experiences on their resume: the resume objective. That’s because a career objective paints a big picture of you that your limited experiences as a high school student can’t; it highlights your skills and what you can contribute in a succinct paragraph. Employers already know that you want their job, so instead it’s better to write an “elevator pitch” at the top of the page that will help your potential employer understand you as a person and remember what’s on your resume. This is a tremendous help to hiring and HR manager, who often lack the time to thoroughly peruse each and every resume they receive.

You will find the required skills and qualifications listed in the job posting for most jobs listed online. If they aren’t listed, review the requirements for similar jobs to help generate a list of applicable skills. Highlight the skills that are the closest match to the job on your resume.
• Communication – Skills that refers to your ability to both convey information to others and to listen. This skill includes oral and written communication.
• Dependability/Responsible – Employers seek teenagers who are mature and whom they can rely on to show up on time and get the job done. Emphasize your responsible nature.
• Quick Learner – Employers typically don’t expect high school students to know all the skills they need for a job right away. However, they will expect you to pick up new skills quickly.
• Teamwork – Many jobs for high school students involve working on a team, include in your resume examples of times that you worked well as part of a team.

The work experience portion of a standard resume can easily be replaced by a section describing your involvement in extracurricular activities, volunteer groups, or both. You can also include your hobbies and interests on your resume if they reflect positive qualities that transfer to the workplace.

To help further convince hiring managers you’re the best candidate, it’s crucial that you include any coursework related to the position you’re applying for. Make sure you include the courses you’ve taken to illustrate your exceptional communication and people skills — in the education section of their resume. Can you see why listing these classes would help this candidate stand out to employers? It’s easier to fill a vacancy with someone who has some experience or familiarity with the role or industry, even if that background is purely foundational. Why? It’ll be easier to train these candidates instead of those with zero background knowledge.

Hope this was Helpful Jessica

Thank You Kiirsten. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck John Frick

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Julian’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

The top 3 things i would keep in mind are:

- Tailor your resume to the job your applying for.
- Keep your resume to one page.
- Group your relevant work experience together; even if it's seperated between jobs.

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Fiwany’s Answer

Hi, I want to echo all of the previous suggestions and would like to add that you could include other projects or competitions you have participated in. For example, a number of high school students include science fair projects. I would also include your GPA and any honors/awards you have received. Don't forget that you can also include any other volunteer/leadership/project experience from outside of school. Make sure you have a clear and consistent formatting throughout and keep your margins the same for all sides.

Hope this helps!

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Alyssa’s Answer

Hi Jessica, There is some great advice above. You can also work with a recruiter to improve your resume. Recruiters will fix up your resume and help you find a job at no cost to you. This is a great option since they'll be familiar with your background and what employers are looking for in their future employees. Best of luck!

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Kiirsten’s Answer

Hello there, Jessica!

John made some really good points above-- I would just add to have someone proofread your resume before you submit it. Resume's are just a little peak at what kind of employee you might be, so make sure your resume is buttoned up :).

Good luck!

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Jessica,

The best advice I would give is to keep it to one page and the most relevant information. Try to avoid jobs from years prior if you've had jobs more recent.