I've heard from many teen job seekers who aren't sure what a resume is, don't think they need a resume, or aren't sure what to include on a resume.
Even though a resume isn't required for a lot of teen jobs, a resume can bolster your chances of getting hired. Plus, you have more information to put on your resume than you might think. Even if you don't have formal work experience, you can include other types of work like baby sitting or lawn mowing and volunteer experiences.
Make a List
A list will help you organize the information you're going to include on your resume:
- Name, address and contact information
- Work / volunteer history
- Positive personal characteristics
- Skills and experience
- Other Accomplishments (awards, sports, activities, honors)
Review Resume Samples
Before you start, review sample teen resume samples. They will give you a good idea of what your resume should look like and what you can include on your resume.
Getting Started on Your Resume
It's easy to get started creating your resume, even if it's the first time you've done it. All you need is a word processing program like Microsoft Word and a printer. Your school or library will have everything you need, if you don't have it at home.
A quick way to get a head start on writing a resume is to use a Microsoft Word Resume Template. All you'll need to do is customize the template with your information. You can also use my resume template for high school students.
Resume Builders for Teen Resumes
Another option it to use a resume builder. MyFirstPaycheck.com has a resume builder specifically for teen job seekers. You can enter all your information into the resume builder online. You can't print your resume, but you can copy/paste it into Microsoft Word to print.
Formatting Your Resume
After you have added all your personal information to your resume, take the time to format it. Your resume should use a plain font, have lots of white space, and be simple and easy to read. Your resume has less than 20 seconds to make a good impression on an employer, so it needs to be eye-catching and easy to read.
Proofread Your Resume
It's very hard to catch your own typos, so after you have proofread your resume, ask someone else to review your resume for you. They don't need to be an expert - a family member or friend can proof your resume for you.
Keep Your Resume Up-to-Date
Now that you have a resume it's going to be much easier to apply for jobs. Keep your resume current, so it's ready when you need it. Add new activities - school, volunteer, etc. and new work experiences as they happen, so you won't have to figure out what you did when you need an updated resume later on.
Resumes for College Applications
College admissions professionals recommend filling in the boxes on your college applications rather than attaching a resume, if there's a choice. That way, the admissions staff can review your application in its entirety, rather than having to look at a separate document. If you do need to submit a resume with your college application, put the most relevant and most important information first.
References On Your Resume
There is no need to include references on your resume. Create a separate list of references to give to prospective employers. Keep in mind, too, that you can use personal references if you don't have work experience. Teachers, coaches, neighbors, and family friends who can attest to your character all make good references.