High School Student CV Example, a Guide with Key Tips
Taking your first steps into the world of work can be daunting. Whether you’re applying for that first part-time role, or your first proper job after leaving school, entering the job market presents many challenges. Writing a great CV can make your first forays into the world of work a lot smoother. In this article, we discuss how to write a winning CV for high school students that can help you gain an advantage over other applicants.
Key Sections to Include in CV
Your CV is your first chance to impress a recruiter or hiring manager. Most CVs follow a similar structure, and each section gives you the chance to show you’re the right person for the job. Here are the sections hiring managers will expect to see in your CV:
Your CV header contains your contact details and some other important information for recruiters. Add your full name in bold, or a larger or different font to the rest of the document. Follow this with your address, your phone number and your email address. For some roles, it might be suitable to include a photo of yourself. If you include one, make sure it looks as professional as possible. Avoid adding any personal information such as your age and gender, as this can risk introducing biases to the recruitment process.
CV objective or summary
The CV objective is a brief introduction to the document and summary of your skills, qualities and ambitions. Write two or three sentences that sum up your qualities and explain what makes you a good employee. Explain what type of job you’re looking for, and why.
Here’s an example of a CV objective for entry-level roles or applicants without much work experience:
An enthusiastic and committed high school student seeking opportunities to gain experience in a fast-paced, flexible retail environment. A fast learner with excellent interpersonal skills, multitasking ability and computer literacy.
CVs for high school students or school leavers might focus on skills more than work experience. CVs that place skills before work experience are called ‘functional’ or ‘skills-based’ CVs. You might choose to split this section into ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’. Hard skills are technical, practical skills that you can put to use in the workplace. This could include computer skills or certain industry knowledge. Soft skills are the transferable skills and personality traits that make you suited to specific jobs and workplaces.
Consult the job description to understand the skills recruiters and hiring companies are looking for. This can give you a guide for what to include in this section. Don’t exaggerate or attempt to mislead in this section, as it can come back to haunt you in the interview stage.
Here’s an example skills section for an entry-level CV:
- Computer skills including Microsoft Office applications
- Budget management
- Point-of-sale systems
- Interpersonal skills
- Fast learner
- Ability to work under pressure
The education section is one of the most important parts of the CV for high school students. List your highest or most recent qualifications, including your grades. If you haven’t yet completed your studies, you could mention predicted grades.
Include the name of the course and level of the award, your school or college, its location and your dates of study. You could also add some bullet points to reference any awards you’ve won or societies and groups you’re a member of.
You can use this example education section for inspiration:
A-levels in Business Studies, Biology and History (predicted grades A, B, B), The Castle School, Taunton, September 2022 - Present
- Senior prefect, overseeing special school events, including parent’s evening and award ceremonies
- Captain of school hockey team
Anything you can include in this section will help your chances of success, even if you don’t have much real-world work experience. Include any work history in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent role, and working back in time from there. List your job title, the company name, its location and the dates you worked there.
Add some bullet points to explain your responsibilities and any skills you learned. If you haven’t had a job before, you could include volunteer work in this section. Or, you can add volunteer work in a separate section (see below).
Here’s an example of a work experience section for junior employees:
Part-Time Warehouse Operative, JTS Supplies Ltd, Stevenage, April – Present
- Working as part of a warehouse team, picking and packing orders and preparing them for shipping
- Operating under pressure and to strict time limits, to ensure swift packing and shipping of orders
- Concentrating for long periods to ensure the accurate completion of shipping forms
- Liaising with warehouse management and shipping managers to ensure fulfilment of all orders in a shift
If you think your CV is lacking relevant, compelling content, there are some optional sections you could include. Consider adding certifications or training you’ve undertaken, other languages you speak, or even your hobbies and interests. If you haven’t mentioned volunteer work in your employment history, you can do so here. Remember to relate any information back to the job description, to show you’re capable of doing the job advertised.
Tips for Writing a High School Student CV
Follow these key tips for a CV that makes a positive impression with recruiters and hiring managers:
- Use a reverse-chronological format: For your education and work experience, always list your current or most recent qualification or job first, followed by the next most recent, and so on.
- Tailor your CV: For every job you apply for, read the job description and make sure your CV explains how and why you’re suitable for the job. This means putting a little more work into each application, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
- Quantify your achievements: Add data or other evidence to show the impact you made in any previous jobs. This could include sales figures, the volume of work you did, or any positive feedback you received.
- Aim for 1-2 pages: The ideal CV is no more than two pages in length, and if you can get everything across on one page, all the better. Use a clear, readable font in a reasonable size (usually 11 or 12), and don’t try to squeeze too much onto each page.
- Use simple, professional language: Don’t try to impress recruiters with industry jargon or elaborate language. Write with simple, professional language, and be as concise as possible.
- Proofread your CV: Check your CV before you send it, including running it through a spellchecker. Correct for any errors in spelling and grammar, as these can undermine your application.
- Don’t lie or exaggerate: It might be tempting to exaggerate your experience or skills, but this is always a bad idea. It’s better to be honest and if you’re lacking a required skill or experience, concentrate on promoting your willingness to learn.
- Write a strong cover letter: Your cover letter gives you the chance to expand on your CV and sell yourself to employers. Take a look at our high school student cover letter example for inspiration on how to write yours.
- Use an eye-catching CV design: The layout and design of your CV can make it stand out from other applications. Jobseeker’s CV examples can help you to craft a beautiful CV that draws the reader in.
Key Takeaways for a High-School Student CV
For a strong high school student CV, focus on your skills and explain how they make you suitable for the job. Tailor your CV for every job application and make sure the content of your document matches the requirements for the role. Include any previous work experience you have, but if you haven’t had a job before, don’t worry. For junior roles, employers are more interested in candidates who show they have the right attitude and skills to thrive. Boost your chances of success by using Jobseeker’s beautiful CV templates and cover letter templates. Sign up today and follow the simple steps to create your winning CV.