Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Write a Resume: Step by Step

What is a resume? According to Big Future by College Board, “A resume is a document that sums up your skills, experiences, and accomplishments so a potential employer can quickly see whether you are a good fit for a position.” A well-crafted resume can set you apart from the crowd and can only benefit you in your efforts to obtain the job or opportunity you are applying for.

College Basics explains that it is very beneficial for high school students to have a resume so that they can gain insight into what makes them unique from other students. A resume provides the opportunity for students to highlight their most significant achievements, activities, and other special traits. Even if you don’t have formal work experience, you can include other types of work like babysitting or volunteer experience.

Study Point also provides great information on high school resumes, why to have one, what to include, and other tips.

Although every resume is different, there are a few general guidelines that you should follow: keep it concise, use a basic font (Times New Roman), and don’t use colored or decorated paper.

Now what should you include in your resume?

·         Name and contact information
This section should include your full name, address, phone number, and email address so that your employer can easily contact you with questions or follow-up information.

·         Personal statement or objectives
In this section of the resume you can write a personal statement that gives an overview of your qualities and qualifications or you can write an objective statement that explains the type of position you are looking for and other employment goals.

·         Relevant work experience
Even if it isn’t much, you should include any experience that shows you are reliable, responsible, and hardworking. You can include an after-school job, summer jobs, babysitting jobs, or internships. Make sure you keep track of the dates in which you held these positions so you can list that on your resume. You should also include your job title and a brief overview of your duties in each position.

·         Volunteer/Extracurricular experience
This is your chance to show your involvement and commitment. Are you a student-athlete? Are you in honors society or another school organization? Do you volunteer at a local food pantry? If so, you can include any of that information in this section. Also be sure to list any leadership positions you held in any of these activities.

·         Education
For now, just list the high school you attend and if you have received any AP or other college-level credit.

·         Skills
Everyone has some sort of valuable skills to offer to an employer. The most common skills in this section are software programs on the computer. You can also include any other languages that you speak or if you experienced with blogging, video editing, etc.

These are just guidelines for a basic model resume; however, it is important to tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. Also be sure to keep your resume up to date with any new experience and skills that you acquire. Here is an example resume using the format listed above:

Sally Studente
35 South Elm Street
Lake Forest, OH 45276
Lake Forest High School – Lake Forest, OH
            September 2011 – May 2015
                        Received college credit for AP Physics and AP Calculus
Career Profile
Hardworking and committed student who excels at math and physics. Looking to further education and abilities with valuable experience.
Work Experience
Clippard YMCA Lifeguard
·   Work 15 hours a week
·   Certified in CPR

2012-2013 school year
·   Provide babysitting for families on evenings and weekends


Ohio University Upward Bound

·   Attend monthly workshops
·   Gain skills valuable for post-secondary education

Lake Forest Soccer Team Captain
Fall 2014
National Honors Society
2011- present


Microsoft Word
Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft PowerPoint

Here are a few other sites with example high school student resumes:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stand Out in Scholarship Essays

You may have top-notch grades and qualifications, but so do many other students who are applying for the same scholarships. Essays are a chance for you to set yourself apart from the crowd and let the reader know what kind of person is beneath the GPA and test scores. Since the essay portion of a scholarship application is so crucial, it is important to know what to do and what not to do while in the writing process.

Follow the prompt/guidelines
Not every scholarship is going to have the same essay prompt. One may ask you about to discuss an event in your life that changed you, while another may ask you to describe one of your greatest achievements. Many scholarship essays even have specific word counts or other formatting guidelines. Be sure to follow these explicitly.

Speak simply and specifically
It is very important to keep your essay clear and concise. You don’t want the person reading it to be lost or confused on your organization and word choice. Speak in words that you fully understand and be sure to stick to one thought or idea per paragraph. Sometimes it is easiest to write out an outline first that connects one main idea to another. This will help structure your essay and give it a nice flow.

Make it personal and passionate
It is easiest to write on topics that you are truly passionate about. If you write about something you don’t really care about just because you think it will be a crowd pleaser, that bland attitude will show through in your writing. When following the prompt, use it to your advantage and discuss something that you could talk about forever.

Edit, edit, edit
Not only should you proofread your own paper, but you should also read it aloud and have someone else proofread it as well. It is important to not go straight to your parents or friends to proofread your paper. You want it to be edited by someone who is not afraid to point out the flaws and who can help you restructure the essay to make it the best it can be.

Do not…
Use unfamiliar words from a thesaurus
So many students nowadays write essays with open in the next tab. It is okay to find synonyms for repetitive words; however it is vital that you don't use these words improperly. Also, don’t reach too far with your word choice. The person analyzing your essay will know if you are just adding big words to look more intelligent.

Restate what is already on your resume
The essay portion of a scholarship application gives you the opportunity to be yourself and share a unique story. Simply talking about every club you were involved in or every award you received in high school will not help you out. You have the chance to provide that information in the application portion of the scholarship.

Simply ask for money
Do not begin your essay by saying “I could really use this scholarship to help pay for my school tuition.” Or “I come from a low-income family and this scholarship would be crucial for me.” Everyone applying for the scholarship has one goal, and that is to receive money toward their tuition. Even if your circumstances are worse than others, it will not help you to ask for money in your essay. Show that you deserve the money through your achievements and your story, not by simply asking for it.

Here are a few more sites that give tips on writing scholarship essays:
How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
10 Tips for Writing Effective Scholarship Essays
4 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

If you have any questions, email us at or message us on Facebook!