Whether you’re a high school student or a college student, you may discover that it’s challenging to decide what to put on your resume. Since you are just entering the workforce, it’s likely that you have little to no professional experience to include on your resume. That’s why it’s so important to highlight relevant volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, and skills you have. Here we discuss how your summary section can be beneficial and share some resume summary examples for students.
Learn more: The Guide to Getting Your First Job
What is a resume summary?
A resume summary is a brief section at the top of your resume that highlights why you'd be a good fit for a position. In one to four lines, you can explain your professional background, skills, and accomplishments. Those who have a decent amount of experience in their field tend to use resume summaries, however, as a student, you can find a way to make this section beneficial for you.
Those with little professional experience may opt-out of a resume summary and use a resume objective instead. This is a short statement at the top of your resume that explains your intentions for finding a job and career goals. As a student, you need to decide whether a summary or objective serves you better. As long as you can still keep your resume to one page, you may include both.
Learn more: How to Write A Cover Letter
How to write a resume summary as a student
Follow these steps to write a student resume summary:
1. Read through the job description
When first getting started as a professional, one solid piece of advice to remember is that you should tailor your resume to the job you're applying to. Keep a master copy of your general resume and then make slight changes based on the role you want. When planning your summary, carefully read through the job description. Think about what would make you a good fit for this role.
2. Think about your skills and experience
When applying to a student job or entry-level role, employers understand that you might not have much work experience. In this case, you need to highlight other experiences and skills that make you a top candidate. For instance, if you're applying to a customer service job, then your attentiveness to detail and communication skills could make you stand out. If you want a job as a dog walker, then your experience volunteering at the animal shelter would be good to include in your summary.
3. Show your willingness to learn
Since you are new to the workforce, employers want to see that you are willing to learn. Make it clear that you want to develop your skills and gain new experiences. Even if you have little experience, showing that you are eager and motivated signals to employers that you will be easy to train on the job.
4. Include some adjectives
Your summary consists of a few lines that explain why you're a good fit for a particular job. By including adjectives to describe yourself, your resume may stand out. Try to think of unique descriptors that would capture an employer's interest. Here are some adjectives you may want to include:
Learn more: How to Get a Job
What to include in a resume summary
Include the following details in your resume summary:
- Accolades: If you are an honors student or have other impressive achievements, mention this in your summary. This shows employers that you are ambitious and hard-working.
- Experience: When you have relevant job experience, certainly include it. As a student this may be challenging, but there are plenty of other details to include. Volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, and leadership opportunities are all great things to add.
- Skills: Read through the job posting to see any skills the employer is looking for. Be sure to include any of these skills that you have. You can also think about which other abilities you have would be helpful for this role.
Learn more: How to Write a Resume
Resume summary examples for students
Use these resume summary examples for students as inspiration for your own:
High school student
- Honor roll high school student with an aptitude for customer service. Has experience working for retailers, such as Old Navy and Gap. Experienced using a variety of point of sale systems and price checkers. Eager to develop management skills.
- Motivated high school student experienced in serving others. Has proven customer service, organization, and communication skills. Familiar with best practices for serving and willing to learn.
- Responsible high school student who enjoys working with children. Has three years of experience babysitting children ages two through 11. Enjoys coming up with creative games and activities that are enriching for developing minds. Has experience doing light housework, cooking, and taking care of pets.
- High school senior with a love for plants. Willing to work hard in a physically demanding position. Excited to learn more about gardening techniques and different plant varieties.
- Recent finance graduate with a specialization in personal finance and economics. Eager to help families plan for their futures and develop budgets that work for them. Highly skilled in Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks, and Mint.
- High-achieving college student with an aptitude for marketing, copywriting, and brand management. Experienced in building advertising campaigns through student organizations. Excited to work for an advertising agency and gain real-world experience.
- Natural-born salesman with a degree in marketing. Highly involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Marketing Club, and Salesmen for Change. Adept at learning new sales techniques and business practices.
- Hard-working college student with a passion for health and fitness. Has five years of experience participating in fitness classes and one-on-one instruction. Eager to take this knowledge of the fitness world and break into being on the teaching side. Trained in Zumba and Body Pump.