Resume Writing for School Students
We understand there is little to go on when you are just starting out in the world of work. Writing a resume may seem a bit counterintuitive if you haven't worked before. You may want a part-time job while completing high school, or you may be ready to graduate. Perhaps you have decided school is not for you, and you would like to transition to paid employment. Unfortunately, a resume is a necessary tool for getting most jobs, even when you have little experience behind you. Your resume is the very first introduction an employer has to you; therefore, you must get it right and make an impression. You may also be relieved to know that most employers will not have high expectations when hiring juniors or trainees, either currently studying or fresh out of school. They will be well aware of your age and willing to give you a go. All you have to do is convince them you care enough to put in some effort to get the job and that you are motivated to work. The best way to do that is to write a great resume!
How do I write a resume when I have nothing to write?
Coming up with ideas for your resume fresh out of school life can be daunting. I am often asked by school students, recent graduates and parents "What do I even write about?". The good news is the employer wants to know the bare basics, and there are lots of tidbits of information you can include to help fill out your resume, which in a few years you will probably delete and never look back. But for now, that's all we have to work with, so it has to go in. There are many elements of a school students resume which I would never recommend for an individual with years of experience. So please bear this in mind when writing your student resume.
These are just of the categories you may consider using in a student resume.
- Career Objective (Yes, we still want to know a little about your plans and goals)
- A Little About Me (If you're comfortable, share some information such as interests)
- Work Experience (If you've completed work experience put it in)
- Part-Time Jobs (Anything and everything - show us how motivated you are!)
- Courses & Training (This can be Year 10, Year 11, HSC, Tickets or Certificate II's completed while at school)
- Achievements (These can be school-related achievements, sporting or personal)
- Personal Attributes (Not sure? Ask your family and friends what they like about you)
- Volunteer Experience (Any volunteer work will do at this stage)
Resume Length / Resume Layout
Let's face the real facts. If you don't have much to write about and you are putting together brief bullet points of information, your resume is going to be quite short. That's ok. Don't drag it out over two pages just because you think one-page is too short. A nicely formatted one page resume is a lot better than two pages of white space, which makes it look like you are lacking something. But don't cram it all in. If you need the second page - go for it. Your formatting needs to be on point. Misaligned headings, different font throughout your resume, the use of random shapes as bullet points, borders and too much colour are off-putting and make you look sloppy. Tidy it up and make it look like a professional business document. Use PDF wherever possible. Oh, and one last tip, include a cover letter. We will be writing an article on this very soon!
What if I am still struggling with my resume?
Get in touch with our Career Consultants. We have written hundreds of student resumes over the years. We can have a meeting and go through all of your information, nicely formatting your document and helping you write the content. Content and structuring sentences to convey a message can be the hardest aspect of resume writing. We have been at this for years! So give us a call if you're stuck!
Linked Articles - How to Job Hunt and Find Meaningful Work
Linked Articles - Our Youth Need Support
Here is an article we featured in, in the Macarthur Chronicle over ten years ago, back in 2009 (when I had dark hair and a fringe - please don't laugh). As I said, we've been helping school leavers create an impression and get into the workforce for quite a while and although the job market has changed, a lot of the same advice still applies. It's more about the effort you put in, rather than trying to come up with something you may not yet have.