This page provides you with High School (No Experience) resume samples to use to create your own resume with our easy-to-use resume builder. Below you'll find our how-to section that will guide you through each section of a High School (No Experience) resume.
If you’re a high school student stressed about writing your first ever resume, don’t worry – it’s not just you! When you’re young and inexperienced, resumes can seem like a serious challenge. All you want is to land your first ever part-time job – but how do you fill all that space, when you’re totally new to the world of work?
Don’t give up hope! You probably have more relevant experience than you think, even if it isn’t directly related to work. As a high school student, employers will expect you to include things like club activities, school-based responsibilities, and even volunteering work on your high school resume.
To give you a head start, we’ve written up a helpful guide to writing your first ever resume. We’ve put together examples of what a good resume should look like, hints on what to do (and what not to do) when writing, and advice on what to expect from the job application process – including some tips you may not get from your school’s careers counselor. Read on, and you’ll be sending out your first resume in no time!
As a high school student with no work experience, it’s unlikely that youve never had to write a resume before. Don’t let it scare you – it’s not as complicated as you might expect! In general, most resumes will contain the following sections:
Your resume needs to show a hiring manager two things, especially when you have no previous work experience. The first is that you have relevant qualifications for the role you want – whether that’s an academic qualification in a relevant field, or just some relevant experience that may not have anything to do with work. The second is that you have the skills that will allow you to excel in the role.
This means that it’s okay if you don’t have much to fill out your experience section. As a high school student, new to the workforce, you won’t be expected to bring any real professional experience to the table. The more important thing is how you present yourself in your resume – which means calling attention to the skills, qualifications and experience that you do have, so hiring managers know why they should give you the opportunity you want.
We’ll cover each section of your resume one by one, so you can build it one step at a time.
Before you actually write your resume, you’ll need to choose the right layout! The format of your resume dictates what hiring managers will notice first when they see your job application. The right format will draw their attention to your best qualities, and draw it away from the areas where you know you aren’t as strong as you would like.
This is something to keep in mind when you choose your professionally-designed resume template from our selection. As you won’t have any previous work experience, you will benefit from choosing a format that will highlight your skills instead. That way, recruiters can see what you bring to the table, rather than what you don’t!
Remember, this is only your first resume – when you have more work experience behind you, you’ll be able to create a brand new resume for future job applications. After you’ve built up a stronger work history, you will benefit from choosing a resume format that balances your skills and qualifications with your work experience. When that time comes, our resume guides for a wide range of different industries will help you make the best and smartest choices!
Some companies use an applicant tracking system (or ATS) to sort through the job applications they receive for each open position. ATS software filters resumes based on keywords (usually taken from the job description) to help weed out resumes that are generic, not qualified for the role, or otherwise unsuitable to progress to the interview stages. This is really useful for hiring managers – it allows them to speed up the hiring process, which saves them a lot of time.
But for candidates, it isn’t such good news! If your resume doesn’t get through the ATS software’s filtering system, it is likely to be rejected before a human gets to see it at all. That can be upsetting, especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your resume.
You can boost your chances of getting through the ATS software by paying close attention to the requirements of the job description. Wherever possible, you should use the exact words used in the job description when describing your skills: for instance, if a job description asks for ‘high levels of personal organization,’ use that exact phrase when writing about your experience of balancing multiple AP classes at school. Treat the job description as your guide, and you can maximize your chances of success.
ATS software can sometimes get confused by complex resume formatting. But don’t panic – all of VisualCV’s resume templates are designed to make your resume easy for ATS software to read. That means you don’t have to worry about the software being confused by the format of your resume – you can focus on your resume’s content, instead.
Most resumes open with a summary, which means it’s the first thing most recruiters will see when they pick up your resume. A summary is meant to give recruiters a short, clear description of your best qualities. The key to a good summary is keeping it brief – think about the three main reasons why you are qualified for the job you want, and write them down in three sentences or less.
It’s important to remember that your summary should be specific to the role you’re applying for. You can’t get away with reusing the same summary for multiple applications! Recruiters will notice, and it will affect your chances of getting hired.
Since you’re applying for your first ever job, you can’t talk about your past work experience in your summary. However, you can bring up your educational background, your skills, your best qualities, and any relevant non-work experience you have. Later in your career, you can use your summary to lay out your career journey so far, so recruiters can easily see where you’re coming from and what you bring.
You might be tempted to use your summary as a second cover letter – a longer piece of writing telling the story of why you want the job you’re aiming for. In fact, this is the number one thing you shouldn’t do when writing your summary!
A summary needs to be clear and to-the-point, focused on what you can offer your employer. You need to keep it focused, professional, and short. If you want to talk more about yourself, you can do that in your cover letter instead – your resume simply doesn’t have the space to accommodate it.
We know that summaries can be tough to pin down. Some recruiters don’t think you need a summary at all – in fact, opinion is divided – so don’t feel too bad if you’re having a hard time! Leave it out for now, and think about coming back to it later on.
By now, you should be pretty clear on what a summary is – but what about your resume objective?
When you’re just starting out on your career journey, an objective is a great way to give hiring managers more information about your long-term plans. Your objective should be a one-sentence statement about where you want to work or what you want to do in the future. While it might sound obvious, you do need to make sure that your objective is relevant in some way to the role you’re applying for!
You won’t always need a resume objective. They’re much less useful when you already have an extensive work history, because your career so far can tell a hiring manager a lot about your long-term goals. But when you’re applying for a first job, most recruiters agree that an objective is a smart thing to include.
We know you don’t have any previous experience of holding down a paid job – after all, this is your first ever resume! But you almost certainly have more relevant experience than you think you do. Here are just a few things you might be able to include in this section of your resume:
As long as you can use the experience to show how it has prepared you for the role you want, you can include it! Try taking the time to list all of the skills you have used or learned during your non-work experience. Then you can include any experience where those skills match up with the skills listed on the job description.
Remember, you don’t have to add everything you’ve ever done to your resume! If you’ve participated in a lot of extracurriculars, be selective about which ones you include. On the flip side, if you don’t have much experience, don’t lie to pad it out – you will probably get caught, and it will throw up some serious red flags for any recruiter or hiring manager.
Each ‘item’ of experience on your resume should come with a bullet-pointed list of things you achieved while doing it. But as you’ll see in the example we’ve provided, it’s not always that straightforward! Every bullet point should prove that you have a skill or quality listed in the job description.
That’s why you should do your best to write about what you actually achieved – not just about the basics of what you did every day. Instead of ‘cleaned floors,’ try ‘maintained a clean and sanitary work environment in accordance with health and safety guidelines.’ Doesn’t that sound more professional?
Generally, hiring managers want to see evidence that you were able to succeed in your previous work. If you can show the results you achieved by completing each task, hiring managers will be more likely to believe that you can get those results again in a future job.
Do: Volunteer, Soft Paws Animal Shelter | 2019-21
You should never write a simple list of the tasks you completed! Without any context, a basic list of responsibilities assigned to you won’t tell a hiring manager anything. They won’t have any reason to believe that you did a good job when you carried out those tasks, or that you might do them just as well in a new job.
The most important thing about writing a resume is showing hiring managers that you have the skills to succeed. Be explicit about those skills and how you have applied them in the past! You can’t afford to assume that they will make those connections without your input.
Don’t: Volunteer, Soft Paws Animal Shelter | 2019-21
Your resume’s skills section is a list of your skills – specifically the ones that will help you in the role you’re applying for. You can refer to the job description to find out what those skills are! Most of the time, job descriptions include a list of qualities that applicants should have, so use that as a guide for this section.
It will help to know the difference between ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills.’ Hard skills are the practical skills you’ll use in your role – like the use of particular tools or equipment, or the ability to use a certain software package. If you don’t have all the hard skills necessary for the role you want, don’t give up – you can let hiring managers know, either in your cover letter or as part of your skills section, that you’re keen to learn on the job.
Meanwhile, you definitely have some relevant soft skills already! We’ll cover those in more detail in the next section.
For general information about skills on your resume, check out our resume skills guide here!
Soft skills are the skills you rely on in every aspect of your professional life. Skills like communication, organization and attention to detail are vital in almost every line of work, and will help you navigate a new job more easily. When you don’t have any past work experience, a good list of soft skills can show an employer that you have the tools to succeed.
Whatever the nature of the job you’re applying for, certain soft skills are always useful. Here are some of the most important soft skills to include on your high school no experience resume!
Can you share information clearly and appropriately in person, in writing, and over the phone? Communication is absolutely critical in most jobs. Being able to communicate well will bolster your customer service skills, as well as your ability to work effectively as part of a team.
You might get away with disorganization in high school, but the world of work is a lot less forgiving. You’ll need to be able to balance your various obligations, show up on time, and look put-together. If you can show that you’re an organized person, you’ll stand a better chance of landing almost any job!
For high school students looking for their first job, this one is vital – you’re likely to need more on-the-job training than more experienced candidates, after all. Being willing to absorb and adapt to new information is an important skill that will stand you in good stead with hiring managers!
There are very few jobs that will let you work independently of a larger team. Having a job means getting on effectively with people from all backgrounds, regardless of whether or not you actually like them. Teamwork also means taking on your fair share of responsibilities in partnership with the rest of your team.
Writing your first resume can be an intimidating prospect, especially when you’re young and inexperienced. But we’ve given you all the tools you will need to write a well-constructed resume, regardless of your experience level. Remember, it’s not about what you don’t have – it’s about how you present what you do have!