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Young female student taking notes for her studyThink resumes are just for adults and college graduates seeking employment? Actually, it’s a great idea to make your first resume in high school, starting in ninth or tenth grade. Surprised?

Keeping an up-to-date resume is an excellent way to track your accomplishments, projects, honors and activities. If you keep a current resume, when it comes time to start filling out college applications, you won’t have to try and remember everything you’ve done since your freshman year. It will all be right there!

Resumes can also be a valuable resource to give a teacher, mentor or counselor who has agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you. Might as well make it easy for them to gush about you! And finally, a resume is sometimes submitted as a stand-alone piece of information when applying for colleges and/or scholarships. If you start working on your resume early and keep it current, you are less likely to leave out important information.

What should you include in a high school resume? You’ll want to include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. You could include a one-sentence summary of your primary goal(s). In addition, you’ll want a section on your high school education, including your GPA. Highlight any special or advanced coursework and any AP tests successfully completed.

If you worked any part-time jobs in high school, you’ll want a section on employment as well as sections on clubs/activities, achievements/awards/honors and if applicable, major projects and skills/hobbies. If you have any leadership skills, it’s important to include those. Keep the resume to a length of one page, avoid large amounts of white space and make sure it’s been proofread. Update regularly as you progress toward your senior year.

It’s never too early to start planning your future, and having a resume ready to go when you start filling out those college and scholarship applications could help relieve some of the stress of the process.