Does a high school student need a resume? In a word, YES!

Many people are aware that a high school student needs a resume for employment. But there are two different types of resumes. The high school to college resume and the employment resume. You will need one or both. This LINK tells you the difference.

For those who are homeschooled, we homeschool parents tend to think everything goes on the transcript. Not so fast!

Be careful not to put everything your high school student does on the transcript. 

Why not?

Because the purpose of the ‘transcript’ is to demonstrate the student's academic ability. Only that which is learned and graded is placed on the transcript. The purpose of the resume covers everything else: community service, activities, leadership, awards, honors, employment, ….

Parents who choose to put everything on the transcript are doing their students a disservice, including athletic activities that they want to use as PE. Here’s why this is a bad idea.:

PE in most states is a very small portion of state graduation requirements or college admission requirements. Sometimes as little as 1/2 credit (one 1/2 school year). When the homeschooled student shows 4 years of P.E., no one will care. (So what? It’s just P.E.)  The colleges and universities looking at your transcript are mostly looking for 2 things: (1)GPA and (2)Rigor in coursework (AP courses, community college courses, etc. And no, when a homeschooled transcript labels a course as ‘honors’ no one takes that seriously.)

In addition, many college applications and scholarship applications ask if the activity is school-sponsored or non-school sponsored. If you place it on the transcript, it is school-sponsored. Period. Why does this matter? Because a non-school sponsored activity must be sought out. It takes more effort to participate. A school activity…well, you were there anyway. 


A student who is in martial arts for two hours per week likely didn’t ‘just begin’ martial arts. He or she probably began many years ago, perhaps at age 3 or 4. And perhaps they have a goal of earning their black belt. Odds are they are not earning any high belt levels in a school-sponsored PE class. 

Which do you think will carry more weight:

“I took a martial arts PE class” or “I did martial arts from the age of 3 and earned my 1st-degree black belt at age 14?”

It is possible to have an activity on both the transcript and the resume but to do so you must be able to separate the hours in the activity.


-Taking martial arts class (learning) as P.E.; -Teaching martial arts as an assistant instructor (leadership) and

-Competing in tournaments, winning awards (honors and awards).

The first is a transcript item. The other two are for the resume. But you must be able to separate the hours of participation.

Keep in mind, most of your student's college admissions and scholarship essays will come from their activities, not from their ‘school’ classes. 

Many college applications do not request a resume. What they do want is everything that is On the resume. Those items will be listed in the available spaces on the college application, and sometimes on the scholarship application. That which is listed on the transcript cannot be listed as an ‘activity’ on college and scholarship applications.

So there you have it. The difference between what goes on the transcript and what goes on the resume.


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