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Putting 4-H Experience on Your Resume – 9.150   arrow

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by J. Carroll and K. Wolfe* (4/13)

Quick Facts…

  • Ask yourself: What can I do? What can I do well? What do I really like to do?
  • With so many activities, it’s common to forget details of different accomplishments. Your record books can help you remember.
  • Most word processing programs have resume templates. They look nice and are easy to adapt to your needs.
  • A resume is one way of presenting your background and your strengths.
  • Share your resume to get feedback from friends, leaders, parents, teachers and others.

Projects and programs in 4-H teach young people life skills. Communication, citizenship, decision-making, leadership, interpersonal relations, and community/global awareness are central to 4-H participation. These skills help prepare young people for their next steps, whether in school or the workplace. Sometimes translating the experiences in 4-H to an employment, award, or school application can seem difficult. Unpaid experiences at any level can count toward your next goal. Here are answers to common questions about how to transfer 4-H skills, knowledge and insight to the workplace.

List Your 4-H Skills and Experiences

Which 4-H skills and experiences are fitting for future jobs, award applications or academic interests?

Be aware of and pay attention to your skills and knowledge. This is an ongoing process, so you’ll answer this question many times. It’s important to get started. Make a list. Look in the secretary’s book and your e-records to remind yourself of experiences you’ve had in 4-H. Ask yourself: What can I do? What can I do well? What do I really like to do? What are some of my favorite accomplishments? What are my best skills? Pretend your best friend is writing an introduction for you–what would it say? Don’t forget your personal qualities, too.

Begin to decide on your work-related goals, then examine your experiences and values that support your workplace and career goals. Example: Maybe you would like to be a television news person or a teacher. How are your demonstrations, illustrated talks, or other speech arts presentations going? Do you enjoy them? How can they be improved? Are you reading and learning
about many topics?

List five to 10 realistic action steps. Check them off when completed. Example: Choose activities to enhance and expand what you already know and have experience doing, as well as activities to help you learn new skills. If you haven’t already worked in teams, look for opportunities to get experience with a judging or competitive team. When you have learned something, design a project training for others. Ask about committees and delegations you can work with. Get started!

Organize Your Experiences

How do you organize your experiences and effectively record and present them so employers and schools can get a good idea of what you really can do?

Record books. Keep track of the time you’ve spent, deadlines set and met, problems faced and how you solved them, and decisions you made. Example: This summary will illustrate your ability to use resources, including time, materials and people. With so many activities, it’s common to forget details of different accomplishments. Your record books can help you remember. Use the club secretary’s book, too, to help document your activities and your attendance.

Portfolio. Record all your 4-H experiences and keep them together with your copies of resumes, letters of reference, certificates and work samples (photographs, news clippings or anything else you have to show your work).

Example: When you exhibit your projects, save your illustrations or photographs and any certificates or ribbons you’ve earned. When you hold a club office such as parliamentarian or president, save a copy of an agenda you especially liked. This folder will document your ability to acquire and use information.

My skills, knowledge, and personal qualities


Work and Career Goals Experiences & Values


Action Steps Date Completed

Learn Resume Basics

What is a resume and how do I create one?

A resume is one way of presenting your background and your strengths. It should incorporate much of the information in your personal portfolio. Example: Working with information is an important skill. You show your ability when you put together your resume. Your thinking skills in organizing materials and your ability as a communicator will also show through.

In general, you will put your strongest and best materials first; keep your resume brief (one page if possible). Keep it simple. Avoid personal material. Use active positive language, without slang or jargon. Be sure to show your technological savvy by including the various computer programs that you are skilled in using. Remember to proofread it several times so there are no errors or inaccuracies of any kind.

A chronological resume is a good start. List your accomplishments in order, with dates and a few facts. A functional resume is often recommended, because it groups your accomplishments under broad categories such as Managing Resources, Interpersonal Skills, Information Systems, Technology, etc. Most people use a combination resume, which highlights both your skills and your actual experiences. You can list two or three of your most important skills and then three or four of your most recent related experiences. You could also group your skills and experiences under Basic Skills, Thinking Skills, and Personal Qualities. Another way would be to list the 4-H Life Skills you have learned especially well.

Share your resume to get feedback from friends, leaders, parents, teachers and others. Consider their suggestions as you make your resume tell your story. Example: You can use the various systems you work in for feedback: school, family, local 4-H club, 4-H councils, State 4-H Senate, etc. Sometimes it’s easy to see the leadership experience you are getting; don’t forget you are also learning about how different people and things work together.

Look at Sample Resumes

Most word processing programs have resume templates. They look nice and are easy to adapt to your needs. There are several sites online. Type “resume templates” into a web browser to find free templates for resumes.

Libraries and school counselors have lots of resume references.

Ask your county Extension 4-H agent for additional help.

Following is an example of a resume that is based on the actual education, experience and skills of a 4-H member.

Kirby A. Student
123 West First Street
Anytown, State 01234
(123) 456-7890


Opportunity to use education and to demonstrate skills and abilities in support of a successful youth organization.


Hometown High School 2013
Anytown, State GPA 3.82
Activities & Awards: Student Council President, Sophomore Class Vice President, Pep Club, Best Writer Award, Highest GPA in American Literature, Soccer MVP, Track State Qualifier


Day Camp Assistant — Summers, 2011 – 2012
Assisted with design and delivery of programming for 45 day campers. Activities included games, crafts, music and dancing, sports, contests and field trips.

Day Camp Junior Assistant — Summer, 2010
Participated in activities with 33 day campers. Learned procedures and practiced assisting with younger campers.

Junior Superintendent & Dairy Bar Worker — Summers, 2007 – 2011
Performed as directed in assisting management of all aspects of General Department of County Fair. Followed instructions and initiated action when necessary to assure smooth running of judging, awards and refreshments.


  • Communication: Co-Presenter at State 4-H Conference; Speech Arts Champion; Master of Ceremonies for Speech Arts Contests and Achievement Nights
  • Citizenship: National 4-H Conference, National 4-H Congress, 4-H Washington Focus, Colorado Close-Up
  • Decision making:State 4-H Foundation Advisory Board; County 4-H Youth Advisory Board
  • Leadership: One of six youth selected from state to attend National 4-H Conference; District representative to State 4-H Conference, District Vice President, Interim President, Historian; County Day Camp Co-Chairman/Chairman; County Overall Outstanding Junior Leadership Award
  • Interpersonal relations: Mentored new 4-H club, All-American 4-H Club President
  • Community/global awareness: Special Olympics volunteer, Global Citizenship Project

1J. Carroll, Colorado State University Extension 4-H youth development specialist; K. Wolfe, Colorado State University Extension 4-H youth development agent, Larimer County. 8/98. Revised 4/13.

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.

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