The high school years brim with activity. Besides academic coursework, your teen may be involved in community service, a part-time job, church ministry, hobbies, sports, groups, or musical endeavors. Is anyone tired yet?

We are not recommending that your teen add one more activity to an already overloaded schedule, but we'd like to suggest that your teen take the time now to summarize his skills and abilities in a resume format.

A resume is simply a record of education and work experience, usually for the benefit of potential employers. It is a useful tool to reference when completing college applications, entering a scholarship competition, or pursuing an award or honor. Creating a resume is a great assignment for your teens because it enables them to see the importance of the activities in which they are involved.

Let's take a look at the major sections of a resume.

Personal Information 

The personal information on your teen's resume should include his full name, mailing address, phone number, and, in this computer age, an e-mail address if available. Many people who contact your teen will likely do it by e-mail because it is easy and saves time. If your e-mail server allows for the use of multiple addresses, your teen should settle on an e-mail address that is professional, such as tsmith@example.com instead of bouncybear@example.com. A professional first impression is important!

Education 

In this section, your teen should list all of the schools he has attended to date, including city and state. These should be listed in descending order, with the most recent first. Don't shy away from noting that your teen was homeschooled. If you regularly use a name for your homeschool (such as Smith Academy Homeschool), you may note this name, providing the address and the years your teen has attended. If you are enrolled in an oversight or umbrella school, you may want to use its name. In addition, if your teen has taken courses at a local community college or through distance learning programs, be sure to include these schools on the list.

Body of the Resume 

The main section of the resume is divided into smaller sections. This provides an opportunity to highlight the various skills and abilities your teen has developed. Give careful consideration to the order in which you list various segments in the body. For example, if your teen has advanced to the position of Eagle Scout (a well-known and much-acclaimed honor), list that first in the appropriate section. On the other hand, if your teen has excellent musical abilities, this item would be moved to the top of the list in the body of the resume.

Various categories that may be included in this section include the following:

Work Experience 

Due to the flexible schedules of homeschoolers, many teens work part-time during the high school years. Some part-time jobs not only provide your teens with extra spending money, but the opportunity to job shadow in a line of work they are interested in pursuing after graduation. Regardless of the job your teen engages in, encourage her to build good relationships with supervisors, be attentive to detail (do all things "heartily, as to the Lord"), treat coworkers with respect, be punctual, and shoulder responsibilities with a cheerful attitude.

Every part-time job is an opportunity to add an employer to the list of potential references your teen will need when applying for full-time positions in the future. List the employer's company name and address (city and state), dates of employment, and a brief recap of responsibilities/assignments completed and skills learned.

In addition, note the unpaid positions your teen holds, such as assistant coach, office assistant, participant in theatre productions, or event coordinator.

Honors and Awards 

Homeschoolers are eligible for many of the same awards and honors as other students. In the event that you encounter an organization that excludes homeschoolers, graciously ask why. In many cases, this is not a deliberate exclusion. The sponsor of the award or honor may simply not have considred homeschoolers. Some organizations have revised their policies to include homeschoolers based on one family's taking the time to articulate reasons why homeschoolers would make attractive applicants for certain awards, honors, or scholarships.