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Writing your first cv or resume

By poungsaed_eco via EnvatoElements

By Amy Price DPhil (Oxon)

Your resume for this application only needs to be a short one page document that showcases your interests and accomplishments. This will give application reviewers an idea of who you are and how your interests might grow and change during the course. Sections that some high school resumes include:

  •  Interests

  • Jobs if you have one

  • Extracurricular Activities

  • Volunteer work

  • Achievements/Awards/Honors

  • Projects

  • Additional Skills

Only include sections that are relevant and that you are happy to have accomplished. You may want to make a professional email address using your name and numbers if need be.  This is to use for scholarships, employers and other opportunities. It is helpful to share a summary of your goals and objectives. This alerts reviewers to your strengths and primary goals. One section could include any recent job/internship/volunteer experience. Think about what might be most applicable for the application and how much space you have to work with.

No one expects a student to have a lot of work experience. Instead share your activities and why you chose them. It is also good to share software, video, art, and other skills. Are you a peer to peer instructor, do you volunteer at a food bank. Are you popular on social media, have your own blog, or maybe a You Tube channel. Mention these areas and how you are using them to change your corner of the world.

Resume Building Tools for Students

To build a resume in Microsoft Word you can use a Template by going to =>Word=>New from Template and choosing a template. It will open like a word document, once it is open, save the document in a place where you can easily find it and start to write. Pages and  Google Docs also offer formatted resume templates. In Pages template choices will open with a new document. Click on Google Docs under Personal, then click on Template Gallery to see a list of template options. Here you can find multiple letter formats to use for a cover letter, and the resume formats.

Another method to prepare a resume is to use a free program to build, print, download, and even post your resume at  or search online for other programs.

This link contains more information about how to write and format your resume with some special help for teens who may not have work experience. Other examples can be found by searching Pinterest or Google Images.

One recent tool that some students have found useful is an online resume coach and building tool called Novoresume. The advantage of this tool is that it provides useful realtime feedback to help you understand how you might improve your resume and incorporates useful informational graphics into your resume. It is also a free tool.

The views expressed here are the authors and they do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Stanford University School of Medicine. External websites are shared as a courtesy. They are not endorsed by the Stanford University School of Medicine.


No one expects a student to have a lot of work experience. Instead, share your activities and why you chose them.

Amy Price, DPhil (Oxon)
Editor, The Mentor