While solid grades and challenging classes are essential to high school students when applying to college, high school students’ extracurricular activities tell colleges about their interests and show that they are active and engaged members of their communities. The resume that high school students build should tell their story, painting a picture of their growth, progress, and interests over the past several years. Whether your child is finishing middle school or starting high school, it’s never too early for students to start thinking about building their resumes.

One of the collateral damages from the COVID-19 pandemic is the ability of high school students to participate in extracurricular activities and to build their resumes. 

Many students were stopped in their tracks, as they cannot go to their volunteer activities. High school clubs are, at best, online. Most students are searching for productive ways to fill their free time as the pandemic lingers on. 

But there are still ways for high school students to get involved, to make a difference, and to build their resumes. High school students must get creative when contemplating which extracurricular activities they can pursue during the pandemic. 

Here are the four pivotal steps for high school students to take when building their resumes.

1 – Choose activities that reflect your personality and interests. If you like science, consider starting a mini-greenhouse or vegetable garden in your yard. Check out The Everymom for guidance on building a vegetable garden. This is a pandemic-friendly activity that doesn’t require significant financial investments but can reap significant personal rewards. But don’t start a dog walking business if you don’t like animals. 

2 – What you do with the activities you choose is more important than the activity itself. If you are a student athlete sidelined by the pandemic, start an outdoor exercise class for elementary school students or senior citizens. Musicians can livestream concerts for people in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. See what The Washington Post had to say about livestreaming music for nursing home residents. Make the most of your own strengths, leveraging them to help and engage other people.

3 – It’s not the number of extracurricular activities, it’s the quality of extracurricular activities that are important when building your resume. Choose quality over quantity. Even during the pandemic, high school students have limited time. Random activities that don’t reflect a student’s personality do not help to build a significant resume. It is better to focus on fewer, meaningful activities. 

4 – Find opportunities for leadership. It is important for high school students to join clubs and organizations, but it is also important for them to distinguish themselves as leaders. During the pandemic, these leadership initiatives are more challenging to find. Choosing to pursue an independent activity that will help others shows initiative, motivation, and leadership qualities. 

Building high school resumes is particularly challenging right now, but there are still many opportunities out there for high school students. GAMECHANGER’s resume specialists are always available to help you to build your unique story, brainstorm extracurricular activities and leadership opportunities, and support high school students as they maneuver through pandemic learning. 

Until December 15th, GAMECHANGER is offering 10% off our resume building support services. Email [email protected] for more information.