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What is the best age to start making a physical resume?

I am a sophomore in high school and I am realizing that it may be a good idea to start creating a resume and wondering if I should, and if so what is the best kind of thing to put on it?
#high-school #education #resume #student #college#lawyer

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John’s Answer

Olive approach your resume the same way you would approach a college application or scholarship application: how do you best capture your strengths to prove that you've got what it takes. The best resumes are actually no more than a page and are carefully worded to show off your best attributes. We all have to start somewhere and your high school career (yes, career) has just as many important moments to document. It’s just a matter of identifying them.

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 college recruiters, you should include it. 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. This is a tremendous help to college recruiters, who often lack the time to thoroughly peruse each and every resume they receive.

• 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,

Experience working with people is valuable; it doesn’t matter whether or not you earned money doing it. College recruiters are interested in knowing what you’re passionate about and want to see that you’ve made a commitment to showing up and participating. If you held any sort of leadership positions in these roles (such as secretary of a club or team captain), be sure to note them.

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 colleges? 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.

Olive you can find a number of great, free templates that are easy to work with for your high school resume. There are some on Microsoft Word, Pages and on Google Docs. They’re already formatted and are generally accepted resume shapes, so it’s good to start with those. At this point, keeping your resume simple and clean is a good rule of thumb.

Hope this was Helpful Olive

Thank you Lailah. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank John Frick

Thank you! olive P.

Your Welcome Olive. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. John Frick

Thank You Hoang. “The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good. ” – Ivan Scheier John Frick

Thank You Cameron. No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another. John Frick

Thank You Amanda. “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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Judy’s Answer

Hi Olive! This is a great question. I wish I asked myself this as a Sophomore in HS.

I would add a follow up question:
What are you going to do with this resume?

If it's to find a new job, I would start with:
• List your role and responsibilities.
• Compare your current work experience and see how it matches with the job posting.
• Don't forget to add awards, accomplishments and volunteer experiences. Experience is valuable!

If you're not looking for a job and want practice, start making a list of:
• Start listing all your school extracurricular activities.
• School awards, accomplishments and volunteer experience whether at school or outside.
• Are there big projects or events you led?

Updating a resuke can be a lot of work if you wait to do it all at once. Make time once a month to add experiences to a working document. That will help keep track of the work you've done. The challenge is staying ready so you dont have to get ready when the opportunity comes.

I coach on resumes and interviews. If youre interested in a free consultation, I'd be happy to provide one. Good luck! You're on the right track!

Judy recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of experiences (work, volunteer, projects, awards, accomplishments etc)
Research the importance of a job description
Carve out time 1x month to revisit your list and add experiences.

Thank you this is really helpful! I was applying for a position for a volunteer youth organization that asked if you have a resume to include one and it made me wonder if it's something that I should start making. olive P.

Hi Olive, Sounds like a great opportunity! If you have work experience and school experience, start there. Wishing you all the best! Please do not hesitate to reach out with additional questions! Judy Park (She/Her)

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Brent’s Answer

Hello Olive,
It's great that you are being proactive and thinking about building a resume at an early age. Absolutely, you should create one. Granted, the focus and order of the resume sections should change drastically as you gain work experience. Right now, focus on gaining early work experiences with skills that could prepare you for the future career paths you may be interested in. Initially, without work experience, your resume should consist of scholastic activities, classes, academic accomplishments, extracurricular clubs/sports/associations, strengths, skills, etc. A good rule of thumb is to keep the resume under 1 page until you gain work experience in 2-3 roles or employers. Be clear and concise.

The mere fact that you have a resume will set you apart for your first job! Once you gain some work experience, maintain a journal or email yourself any time you receive positive feedback from a manager or customer. Also, constantly be thinking about the positive impact you are making and seek to take on additional responsibilities like projects. Keep a record of quantifiable results, awards, achievements, ideas process improvements, revenue generated, time saved, etc. and place the most impressive ones worth mentioning on your resume. Employers will be fighting over you and throwing money at you in no time.

I saw you hashtagged "lawyer" in your question. If I were you, I'd search online for law offices, call them and ask if they could use some administrative help. Most of them are very small businesses of one to four attorney partners with endless amounts of "busy-work" and they each put in 50-80 hours per week. Many would be happy to accept cheap labor or even allow you to job shadow them for free. Offer to volunteer as an unpaid intern for a few months. The value is that you'll gain exposure and start building relationships in the industry way earlier than anyone else your age and potentially find a mentor that can connect you with business leaders at hundreds of companies.

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Shelby’s Answer

I definitely recommend sooner rather than later! I am in my last semester of 6 years of college, and I have only made one resume back when I got a part-time job a few years ago. In all honesty, I do not even know if I still have the document for it. I wish I did, because I have awful memory, and it is very important to keep track of dates. Even if you just begin a rough document of the job title, small description, and beginning/ending date for the experience, you will be in a good spot. This way, you will be ready to make edits and spruce it up to look like a professional resume whenever a job opportunity reaches you. I hope this answer helps!

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Hoang’s Answer


Congrats on getting an early start on your career path. An early action plan of your professional goals might also strengthen your job applications later on down the road. Another benefit of early preparation is the opportunity for you to assess and reflect upon your own professional journey.

In regards to specific skill sets of a strong resume, I found that a clear career objective, proper format, and specificity will have an impact

Career Objective - The objective of your professional goals functions in much the same way as a thesis. Employers look for the objective as a guide for the rest of the resume. Having an early career objective early on in the resume writing process will also help facilitate subsequent stages of building your resume.

Format- Proper indentations, font sizes and grammar reflects your professionalism.

Descriptiveness: Clear descriptions of your job responsibilities increases your credibility. For example, instead of writing "assisted with classroom management", a more specific description, such as, "Checked student attendance and verify completion of homework assignments as a teacher's assistance for a classroom of pre school students.", allows the reader to better assess your skills.

Hope that helps!

Hoang recommends the following next steps:

Formulate a clear objective
Format with precision
Provide specific examples

Thank You So Much! olive P.

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Alexandra’s Answer

A resume is fluid. Sooner you start to add what you've done in the paper better. this way you can keep track of your achievements and at the same time have a clear scenario of the gaps you might have and work to fill it before you finish HS.

Thank You So Much! olive P.

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Kevin’s Answer

The folks above answered your question well. I would say being a HS sophomore is a good time to begin developing a resume. Even if you are not working yet, cataloging your your extracurricular activities (clubs, organizations - especially if you hold an office or active leadership role) is a fantastic means to exemplify your drive, work ethic and interest/ambitions.

Developing a resume now will get you comfortable with identifying the most important things you wish to highlight about yourself and your experiences. Also, keep an eye out on how to make it visually appealing with the way the content is laid out. People sometimes forget that if a resume comes across as too cluttered and overbearing to read, it can get skipped upon. Balance out the real estate of the resume through the use of varying font sizes, bullets and spaces (between paragraphs or sections) as you shift from one experience to the next.

Thank you this is really helpful! olive P.

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Andrew’s Answer

Hi Olive,

This is an excellent question, and credit to you for starting the process early! I have a few thoughts on resume writing:
- The most important thing is to be succinct in your resume - if you put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter, they have so many applications to review and they want to be able to identify the best candidates efficiently.
- I agree with Kevin's advice too on the formating - making your resume visually appealing will help set you apart and highlight why you are the candidate for the role.
- Whenever possible, use concrete numbers/figures when highlighting your achievements and the impact/result of your work
- Get as many people to review your resume as possible. Getting their feedback on if they think you are represented by your resume will help you a lot.
- Don't be modest - your resume is an opportunity to showcase all your achievements and you should be proud of everything you've done!

I hope this helps and all the best in your career!