5 Steps to Help Students Write a Resume for Summer Work

3 min


As the school year comes to an end, you might be on the lookout for some productive yet fresh activities for the kids.

Are you a high school teacher? If so, why not get your students writing their very first summer job/internship resume! Once the dust settles and grades are no longer a priority, you can help your kids out and devote some time to walking them through the process of writing a resume. Sure, not all of them will look for an internship gig or summer job. However, writing a resume is a solid writing exercise in its own right. Done right, it could also be a fun opportunity to level with the kids. After all, who doesn’t have trouble penning an eye-catching resume?

By writing their first resume they’ll practice:

  • writing in a formal style,
  • being succinct,
  • talking about their education, abilities, and experience.

Writing an attractive resume is a challenge — as you probably recall. Don’t worry, though, this time we’re by your side.

1. Resume writing 101

There are great how-to’s on writing resumes out there. But the whole process of penning a resume can get complicated. So, let’s stick to what is most relevant to adolescents.

First of all, don’t make them write a lot. The whole idea is to keep it brief, no more than a single page in length.

Here’s what they need to know:

You start a resume with your contact information on top. This includes your full name, phone number, email address, and regular address (if relevant).

Tip: Make sure they don’t use emails like [email protected] or [email protected]!

Nowadays, it’s fine to provide a link to social media profiles, so let them do it. Just make sure you tell them to clean up their online presence first, though.

Extra credit: You could also encourage them to set up their very first student LinkedIn profile. This sounds like overkill, but those students who really want to find a summer job or internship might actually benefit from this.

2. Starting strong with a resume objective

Not many teenagers have had work experience, so encourage them to start with a resume objective, which goes on top, just below the contact info.

A resume objective is a quick pitch explaining what they want to achieve — get that summer job, land that internship — while also providing info about why they are the best pick.

Remember, this is not an excerpt from their cover letter. It’s a snappy, to-the-point sales pitch.

Extra credit: Cudos to any kids who manage to make the pitch tweetable (i.e., make it under the 140 character limit)

Example: Meticulous captain of the chess team looking to apply analytical thinking skills as a Data Entry Intern. Has experience with MS Office. Can touch type.

3. No work experience? How about extra-curricular experience?

Unless the kids have had some previous summer job or interned somewhere, they won’t have any work experience to talk about. You could encourage them, however, to write about extracurricular activities.

Captain of the debate team? That sounds like some proper experience. Brainstorm what skills were required of her.

Leadership? Check.
Teamwork? Check.
Communication skills? Check.

Remind the student that s/he needs to be specific.

For example:

Leadership and teamwork:
  • Led the debate team to state championship.
  • Cooperated with the team on researching debate topics.

4. Talking about education and GPAs in resumes

Obviously, most of the resume will focus on their education. Help them write it up. Refer to guides on putting education on resumes.

One important note: They’re still in school, so they can’t provide the end date for their education. Here’s the workaround:

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH
Expected to graduate in 2018

You don’t list your GPA on a resume once you’ve graduated and landed a regular job. However, kids could (and many should) volunteer their GPA.

Tip: In this case, figuring out how and when to list your GPA on a resume is fairly straightforward. If it’s a 3.7 or above, encourage them to do it. Scores between a 3.5 and 3.7 would make the cut too, though scores lower than that are best left unmentioned.

5. A personal touch — the hobbies section

Once the core of the resume is done — the contact info, resume objective, education section — encourage your students to write a few words about their hobbies.

Obviously, this section shouldn’t take up more space than the others. However, since they’ll be relying on how personable and enthusiastic they seem to the recruiter, it makes sense to reveal a bit about themselves here.

Have fun with this activity. If you play it right, you might even learn something new about your students!

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author image_BartThis article was written by Bart Turczynski — a writer at Uptowork, where he writes about the ins and outs of job-hunting to help the right people find the right job. In his spare time, he should probably cut down on binge-watching series and reading.


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