Should I Include High School Achievements On My Resume?

High school is often the most perplexing time in a student’s life. From the overwhelming study patterns to the compulsions of taking part in extracurriculars. At the same time, applying for colleges also acts as an added worry for young adults. On top of all, a lot of skepticism around the whole application process leaves the students worn out and tired.

One such confusion arises when students are just puzzled about what to add to their resume and what not. While the student might have had their share of achievements during high school, whether to add it to the resume or not for colleges or internships becomes a big dilemma. 

Therefore, in this blog, we will talk about whether high school achievements can be added to a student’s resume or not. We will also navigate through the various tips and tricks to help you craft that perfect resume for college and further internships.

Can I include high school achievements on my resume? Exploring the ideal practices

The high school phase and the months just before passing it can be tedious and ambiguous for students. At this point, as students begin to apply for internships, part-time jobs, and colleges, a lot of students wonder if their high school achievements would matter to their potential employers or colleges. 

In school, when kids are into community service, earning good grades, and even playing sports, they will have some glorified moments of receiving some or the other awards. But the real question arises if the students can include these moments of glory in their resume. 

Well, the answer to this confusing question would be YES! The best idea would be to create an “Awards and Accolades” section in the resume and mention your most prestigious moments in high school. However, these should be either related to the internship or college you are pursuing or should be super captivating. For example, if you are applying to a science college but adding your achievements in art, this would not make any sense. But, at the same time, if you add something which has to do with science, for example, standing 1st in the chemistry fair for 2 consecutive years, this can make all the difference. 

Therefore, the right way to go about it would be to filter those awards and achievements and pick the best ones based on your gut feeling. At the same time, follow these tips and tricks which can help you make your awards section stand out:

  1. Provide a piece of background information with each award. This would give a quick explanation of what each award means. Explaining briefly how or why you earned the award is also a great idea. 
  1. Make sure your awards section is prominent. However, it should not be the entire focus of the resume. Simply put, the award section should depict that you are amazing at what you do but should not be boastful or your main “selling point.”
  2. Do not go way too deep into the past. Talking about the last few awards can be the way to go about it. Hence, keep them as filtered as possible.
  3. Another crucial thing to always keep in mind is to never lie about your awards. It is okay if you have none or less, but adding fake ones can land you in deep waters. Hence, be honest and transparent about it. 

Dos & Don’ts for a successful resume for high school students

High school can be an arduous phase of a student’s life. Especially when it comes to further internships and college applications, crafting the perfect resume needs a good understanding of the do’s and don’ts of a good resume. Hence, keep these pointers in mind for a fool-proof success worth resume. 

Always focus on positive results and accomplishments that can make an impact on the employer or college application.Never mislead employers or college about your GPA, skills or accomplishments.
Make sure to mention all the experiences and awards in the chronological order, and carefully giving a gist about each accolade.Do not put all the eggs in one basket, making the resume look haphazard and all over the place.
Qualify and quantify as much as you can by mentioning numbers, percentages and other details wherever possible. Never make generic claims without backing them up with proofs.
Always expand your professional and volunteer experience to show proofs of your skill. Do not go beyond two pages, as it overwhelms the employers or interviews. The trick is to keep the resume short and simple, and at the same time, include all possible details. 
Proofread, Proofread and Proofread. Take help of teachers, parents, siblings and even friends to help you point out your mistakes and possible errors.Do not submit content with grammatical and other errors as it can curate a super negative impact on the interviewer. 

What else to include in your resume: High School edition

Apart from the awards and accolades section, students can also include:

  • Education (High School), including your GPA
  • Jobs
  • Clubs/Activities
  • Achievements/Awards/Honors
  • Projects
  • Additional Skills
  • Hobbies

Bonus Tip: At the same time, it is also crucial for the students to ensure that there is not much white space in the resume. 

Always remember…

The resume that you are sending out is there to tell a story, and all your accomplishments should be a part of it. However, knowing when to stop adding these is also a crucial aspect. Hence, judge yourself about when you should just remove the high school accolades from the resume.

At the same time, if you have something extremely uncommon, like a major award, a national recognition, or an Olympic medal, you are free to keep it for a lifetime. Therefore, trust your instinct to add or remove the accomplishments based on your professional experience. While the achievements section can be a great conversation starter, one should be very careful in picking and selecting what to include and what not to. 

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