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How to Write the Right Resume When all You Have is a High School Diploma

Updated on January 30, 2014

Your resume introduces you

Resume reasonings

Employers want to know a little about you before they actually meet you. The resume introduces you and gives a highlight of your abilities. Your abilities include your educational level, job experiences and other learned skills.

When writing your resume, always align your skills with the position in which you apply.

Do not put that on your resume

Today's resume can easily change to fit the job description. But, do not put the following on any resume:

  • Age, sex, religion or marital status
  • Why your previous job did not work out
  • Jobs you did not have
  • Experience you do not have
  • References
  • Too much information


The stages employers use when hiring begins with taking resumes from applicants. Write a one page resume using proper spelling and grammar. If you use more than one page, misspell words or use improper grammar, your resume will go into the trash.

If you apply for a job that requires years of experience, you should not expect a call back for an interview.

But, if a job listing says no experience necessary, the employer expects young people just starting out.

Some employers prefer hiring people without experience because:

  • They want employees to do tasks a specific way
  • New hires will not have acquired bad habits elsewhere
  • The employer needs temporary help

You probably have experience you do not think goes on a resume. Any work you preformed for money or any work completed for charity counts as experience. Your experience may include:

  • Babysitting
  • House sitting
  • Dog sitting
  • Yard work
  • Cleaning swimming pools
  • Fund raisers
  • Yard sales

If you raised money for a class trip by working in a concession stand or at a car wash these provide experience in multitasking and following direction.

Taking money and issuing receipts gives you experience in a retail or fast food setting.

Working at a yard sale or a swap meet booth also provides you with work experience.

Bad resume

Skills and abilities

Many people make the mistake of listing every skill and ability they possess. Employers hiring for a receptionist do not care if you can play the violin.

On the other hand, if you scheduled appointments for your mom's nail salon on weekends, put it in the resume. Pertinent information related to the job you apply for goes on your resume.

Never lie on your resume because the lie becomes very apparent once you start the job.

If you learned a skill in school, definitely put it in your resume followed by your strength in demonstrating that skill. For example, if you worked with a photo shop type program all four years of high school you would say you have used the program and can do so expertly.

Resume Knowledge Quiz

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Put it all together

Arrange your skills, education and experience to fit one page and include your complete contact information, with email address. Begin the resume with your objective or, commonly used now, the qualities you possess that make you the best candidate for the job.

This section, called a qualification box, states your most qualifying attributes. The qualification box catches the eye and immediately tells the reader whether or not to interview you.

Next, list your education and educational achievements. Lastly, write the skills and experience you do have for the job. When you have only education with little experience, this resume style, the Functional resume, works better.

Now go get a job.


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