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Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter and Resume

In a short few weeks, the school year will come to a close and you might be thinking about getting a summer job or a part-time job to continue through the year. As a high school student or recent graduate, you are in a competitive job market. You need a resume and a cover letter that really stands out in order to land the job you want, especially one that comes with flexible hours. Concerned you don’t have much or enough to say in your cover letter or resume? Don’t fret! We have some useful tips to help you put your document together in order to get that job.


As a high school student, there are lots of things you can write about in your resume that will grab the attention of potential employers. Regardless of the amount of experience you have, you can still craft a well-organized and well thought out document that reflects what you do have to offer, and it just might be more than you give yourself credit for. By doing so, you are demonstrating that you are professional, responsible and that you know about marketing—specifically how to market yourself. Although you might not have formal work experience, many of the skills you acquire in the classroom, through volunteering, or through school clubs are transferable to paid work. Highlight those skills in your resume to sell yourself as a potential employee.

Cover Letter

A cover letter is also known as a “letter of application,” which you submit for a job. You write a cover letter by focusing on the following: your work ethic and how responsible you are; your flexibility and willingness to work and perform a variety of tasks; and your enthusiasm for working collaboratively with the company you are applying to. Make sure your cover letter has the date; an opening greeting; an introductory paragraph; 1-3 short and concise body paragraphs; a closing paragraph; and a closing sign-off with your signature.

Include These Points in your Cover Letter:

  • This might seem obvious, but do a good job on it—explain why you want a job. Employers want to know. For example, if you want to save money for university, you are demonstrating that you will be a dedicated employee because you have a goal to work towards.
  • Mention your flexibility to work when you are needed, including evenings and weekends. Potential employers are looking for employees who are dedicated and available. Employers want employees who put work before their social life.
  • Make note of your interest in working as part of a team and list examples of when you have done so in class or as a volunteer. This shows you have strong interpersonal and communications skills and have the ability to work well with both colleagues and customers.
  • Point out that you are a self-starter who learns quickly. This indicates that once you are trained you can work independently and responsibly without direct supervision.

Working while you are a high school student gives you the opportunity to get a foot in the door and work your way up for a good company. It gives you the opportunity to understand how a company operates from an entry-level position. Writing an effective cover letter and resume can help you achieve your goal of landing a job that could be one of the best experiences you have ever had.