What high school students should be doing depends on what they eventually want to do. Some students interested in medicine, law, or research. Others want to work with their hands and others want a career that allows them to be outside. Preparation to do these kinds of things can be very, very different but there are a few common threads.
No matter what you decide to do in life, your supervisor, manager, partner, banker or whoever has a vested interest in your success will expect you to demonstrate a few important characteristics. You will be expected to display your intelligence by making sound and informed decisions. You will be expected to work diligently until the project has been completed, or the goal has been achieved. You will also be expected to set up and take control of a situation when unexpected things happen and make the best of unforeseen circumstances. These character traits are simply known as intelligence, willingness to work and leadership skills.
So, how will your business associates know that you possess the qualities they look for in an employee, partner or someone asking for investment capital? They can only predict your future success by looking at your past experiences. This is why we make and maintain resumes.
Each of the characteristics that are important for a successful career should be prominently displayed on your resume. They won’t be labeled as, “intelligence,” “willingness to work,” and “leadership skills” but there will be obvious when they read about the activities you participated in, the projects you completed, the awards, certificates or recognition you received for a job well done and the positions you have held in organizations.
These things don’t suddenly become important once you are in your late 20’s or early 30’s when you are seeking a promotion. They are important when you are 15 or 16 years old and looking for that part-time job or applying to attend a summer camp where the number of participants is limited. It will also be a very important part of your college application. Yes, admission committees will look at the work you have done over the past four years and use it to decide how successful you can be at there school. College is the first extensive application many students are asked to complete, but it won’t be the only one. Make sure that all your applications are impressive by getting involved, learning all you can and keeping track of all your achievements.