When homeschoolers look for jobs, one common question is how to convey homeschool experience in a typical resume. Whereas public and private school students can easily plug leadership experience, extra-curricular activities, and school honors into their resumes, homeschool activities don’t always fit as comfortably into the conventional paradigms. Homeschooled students have many qualities and experiences that are beneficial in a job search; it’s a matter of putting them into terms that employers will recognize.
Honors and Accolades
Prospective employers looking to hire recent graduates love to see “magna cum laude” or “valedictorian” on a resume. Homeschoolers often feel that they can’t measure up. There is plenty of material to include. Some employers like to see what GPA you had when you graduated. If you feel it is important enough to add, you can calculate your GPA and include it on your resume. Be sure to note any honor societies you may have joined, such as Eta Sigma Alpha. Don’t forget to include other honors, such as an Eagle Scout designation, on your resume. Absent these, and you could need to specify your curriculum. You may also note if your school was a homeschool or an online homeschool as well as the curriculum. Because this is often more rigorous than most schools, consider whether you may be able to add an honors designation to some of your classes. Some states differentiate between an “honors” track and a regular track. Many homeschoolers qualify to graduate on an honors track. This, in turn, looks great on a resume.
Leadership and Service
Emphasize service and leadership. Students who attended co-ops should highlight experience if they served on a yearbook, a student newspaper, or a student council. Prominently display volunteer work. Have you ever chaired a committee for an event? Have you been an officer in a club? These positions show leadership, and they should be included. Add a “Highlighted Skills” section to outline the measurable skills you have gained, as opposed to a mere list of activities and honors. Tailor the outlined skills in a one-paragraph summary to pertain to the job you are seeking.
Self-Employment is Employment, Too
Many homeschoolers choose to work because their hours are far more flexible than those attending a public or private school. And don’t forget to include your babysitting or landscaping jobs. These all communicate responsibility. The skills you learn from employment and experiences from your homeschool are pertinent.
It’s Not Hopeless
Homeschoolers have many qualities and experiences that they can list on a resume. Emphasize those which pertain to the job you are seeking. The skills homeschoolers gain through their real-world experience is precious to employers.