Resume Writing For Teenagers

If you are a teen, this is probably the first time you are writing a resume. A resume is a document that highlights your skill set and experience for a specific job. If you are looking for a certain job, then you want to tailor the resume so that you can shine to a potential employer.If you want your resume to stand out from all the other resumes that an employer receives, then you need to think about making some subtle yet essential tweaks.  Throughout this page we will examine what teens can do with their resume to have the best chance of getting employed.

Resume Tips For Teenagers

In order to make your resume different from the other resumes, use your resume to tell a story. Even if you have limited experience, you can still make this happen.

After all, people spend hard-earned money on movies or books that weave a good storyline. If you, yourself, can harness this kind of power, you will make it easier for a hiring manager to keep your name embedded in their mind.

Below are a number of tips to help you create a resume that will stand out among other teenagers.  

We highly recommend you get our FREE Teen Job Survival Guide as it will help you better understand not just resume writing, but everything else when it comes to getting a job as a teenager.

Make Sure The Resume Looks Pretty

one of the most important thing with a resume is to make sure that it looks good for those who are viewing it.  While you could figure out a design yourself, one of the best tools we've found to help is MyPerfectResume which will let you create a resume absolutely free.

Use An Attention-grabbing Font

While most people use Calibri or Times New Roman on their resumes, make yours stand out by using a 14-point Georgia font – a type of print that is much more readable on a computer display.

This seems like a really simple change, but doing that can make you stand out and increase the readability of your resume.  If you choose a font aside from Georgia, make sure that the font is easily readable and give it to your parents or someone older to read it.

Compose Your Resume into Three Main Sections

Compose your resume’s history so it has a beginning, middle and an end. Make your resume read as an adventure – one where you are the hero.

Make the hiring manager feel like they are reading an interesting narrative – highlight your achievements during your academic career and in your extracurricular life. Share some of the internships or jobs you have held in the past if applicable.

Make sure that your skills and experience are presented in a way will make your resume easy to remember.

Link Details about yourself to a Blog or Website

When hiring managers see your resume for the first time, they will probably be reading it on a computer.

That gives you an opportunity to provide more details about your academic history or work-related accomplishments.

Make Use of Bold font

The best way to create a readable resume is to bold the most important sections.

Not only will it make the resume more readable, it will also demonstrate to a potential employer that you are proud about your accomplishments.

If you are not sure what to highlight, ask yourself what areas you would bold if the hiring manager could only see 10% of your resume.

A Teenager General Resume Template

A good template to follow for a general resume with a teenager that has little experience would be as follows:

· Name of the applicant and contact information on top.

· Personal characteristics, objective for finding a job

· Educational background (include your GPA – if scholastically high)

· Related Jobs, Internships, or volunteering.

· Links to school projects and achievements on a blog or personal website

Create an Infographics Resume

You might also consider creating an infographics resume if you have some related job experience (paying and non-paying) under your belt.

Creating this kind of graphic not only makes your resume stand out, it will also be much more interesting to scan and read. Hiring managers appreciate this, especially if they have to read a large amount of resumes each day.

Tools for this are and

Writing a Resume For Your First Job

If you have never written a resume before, then this is your opportunity to brag a little about yourself (and that's okay). While you don’t want to go overboard, you do want to make sure your resume reflects details about your abilities and skills that will clearly place you in the running as a top applicant.

Pretend You are Doing the Hiring

The key to writing a good resume is to make sure you tailor the document to the job for which you are seeking. Take the stance of the hiring manager.

If you wanted to hire a candidate for a particular job, what would you like to see highlighted on his resume? If you don’t have direct job experience, then concentrate on the skills you have achieved during your academic career.

Highlight Your Knowledge and Skills

While you don’t get paid for participating in school, you certainly do build up experience and knowledge. It's also a time when you learn certain skills – skills that are related to communications, leadership and collaboration. Highlighting these attributes can show an employer your ability to handle certain job responsibilities.

Therefore, when you are creating a resume, look at what you have achieved so far in your academic career and in your extracurricular activities. What have you learned and achieved? How can these experiences be used on the job to which you are applying?

What Information Should a Resume Have?

So, what goes into a resume?

You need to include the following:

· Name and contact information

· Education

· Experience

· Skills

· Languages

· Honors and awards

· Activities

· References

As you can see from the above listing, your resume is designed to play up your strengths! Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of those strengths. If you include all of the information above when you write your resume, you'll have a pretty solid document to share.

Stand Out from the Rest

Definitively, strengths are the skills you develop. These skills may include computer or writing skills or the ability to listen, lead or communicate. What you need to do it emphasize your skills on your resume and that will separate you from other job candidates. That is why it is essential that you identify and confirm your abilities.

A Resume is a Job Marketing Tool

If you do set up a time for an interview, make sure you arrive a few minutes early, dress neatly and professionally, and are armed with information about the company to which you are applying. Your resume and your interview time is your chance to market your skills and abilities for a specific position.

Remember, your resume is just the first step.  The real test comes in the interview itself.

Resume Format

The resume format refers to the way the copy on your resume is organized. You can select from a variety of styles. However, it is important to maintain consistency and clarity. Also, it is essential to keep the items on your resume in chronological order and nicely aligned. A resume should be simple to read and mistake-free. With that being said, before you submit it, make sure you have a parent or teacher look it over.

Resume formats can be set up in traditional or more creative styles. However, keep to the template you choose and do not get carried away. The primary function of a resume is to show an employer who you are and what you can do.

As mentioned previously, a great tool to use for resume building is at Use this site to help you set up your resume so you come across in the best possible light. Your resume is you calling card for an interview.

Present Professional Contact Details

Make sure you create a good impression with the contact information you add to your resume.

For example, your voicemail greeting should be professional and appropriate. You should not include a ring-back on your phone or give them a link to your Facebook account if you have a lot of questionable posts for everyone to see.

Make sure the e-mail address you include is professional-looking too.  Don't give them something like, you will never get a call back.  It's not a bad idea to set up a separate email account specifically for your job search.

Highlight Your Education

Naturally, since you are writing a resume for your first job, you will mention your education. Highlight what you have learned by starting with your most recent schooling, but do not include any infromation about your middle school or earlier.  Employers only care about high school or GED and beyond.  

Make sure to add the date of graduation or the expected date that you will graduate

What to List under “Experience”

A very crucial part of any resume is the experience. This is the section where you can list activities that helped you to learn new skills. Activities can include anything from a volunteer project to a summer internship to a babysitting assignment.

Place the experiences in order either chronologically (to emphasize your progress) or functionally – showing your most relevant experiences first or by grouping similar experiences together. You can use whatever date format you wish in order to show the time you were at each place where some experience was gained. Just make sure you keep the date form consistent.

Describe Your Experiences

For each experience, describe your responsibilities or what you did specifically. If you still hold a certain job, use present verb forms. Use past tense verbs for jobs you no longer have. Always make sure you integrate action words in the resume. Some examples of action words include calculated, facilitated, achieved, administered, analysed, chaired, consolidated, drafted and enforced.

Writing a Resume With No Experience

If you're looking for a job with no solid job experience, there are still other things you can bring to the table.

In this instance, you need to highlight your skills and education. For example, maybe you have taken a few photography courses or you are pretty good at working with Photoshop.

Are you adept with social media or in getting the word out about certain events?

This is where you begin if your experience is limited to your extracurricular activities or schooling.  Employers will be willing to give you a shot because you'll be cheaper than more experienced people and you'll probably work harder too!

What Should You Emphasize?

When you're formatting this kind of resume, you want to show off your special talents, or skills that will be helpful to your employer. You want to define those unique qualities that set you apart from the other applicants. That means listing computer programs that you know and use and to provide an assessment about your knowledge overall.

Think outside the box here and consider the things you know really well.  If you're good at Powerpoint, list it!  Have experience with Photoshop?  List it!  

Sometimes you may apply for one specific job and a person will want to hear more about the skills you listed as they could use you in another area of their business.

Are You Bilingual?

If you have language skills, then be sure to list them. This is the section of the resume where four years of Spanish lessons have finally paid off.

However, make sure you are honest too. For instance, you may want to say you are fluent in Mandarin but one year of lessons will not be enough, especially if you are caught in a lie.

A lot of jobs depend heavily on bilingual skills. Therefore, lying about your language ability can be embarrassing and can also get you fired.

Awards and Honors

If you are writing a resume that does not list much in the way of job experience, you can highlight any honors or awards you have received instead. Just list the award and the date of its receipt. No description is needed for the content, that's what the interview is for.

Activities Outside of School

Let employers know that you are active in pursuits outside of school. This shows that you are a well-rounded candidate. List the pertinent activities and your role in each pursuit. Activities might include coaching, working as a tutor, participating in telemarketing, volunteering, outdoor sales, sports, everything helps.

Adding References

You always need to have people back up your qualifications. Therefore, you will want to add a “References” section to your resume.

A reference is an individual who can testify and confirm that you are the right person for the job. Be sure to include this part to your resume if one or more people have agreed to serve in this capacity. A reference can be a former employer or supervisor, youth worker, teacher or coach.

Reference information should include the phone number, email address and the organization of the person.

If you don’t feel comfortable including references on your resume, tell potential employers that you will offer names of references when required or when an offer is made.

Age Has Its Limitations

While a resume can help get you in the door of a company, employers also realize that younger workers are usually motivated and energetic. Workers of this age group are also usually eager to earn cash, especially if the job is a summer position or part-time. However, your age will also impact the types of jobs to which you can apply and what you'll be able to get.  

Though you may not want to hear it, you need to have more experience being an employee in order to be considered for better jobs.  Or, you can try to bypass everything and work for yourself, but that isn't an easy road to go down.

What if You're Under 18 Years Old?

If you are under the age of 18, federal legislation does regulate the kind of work you can accept and do. Non-agricultural jobs require that applicants be at least 14 years old. Workers who are 14 and 15 years old cannot work more than three hours per day or 18 hours per week when school is in session. During the summer or on holidays, workers of this age group can work 40 hours per week, or 8 hours per day.

Employers Who Hire 16 and 17 Year Olds

Many restaurants and retailers will accept resumes from teens that are 16 and 17 years of age.

Your first resume therefore may be directed to such teen-friendly employers as the following:

· JC Penney

· Kentucky Fried Chicken

· AMC Entertainment

· Boston Market

· Burger King

· Jiffy Lube (17 and older)

· Chick-fil-A

· Steak ‘n Shake (except supervisory position s and higher)

· Arby’s (crew members)

· Valvoline Oil Change (17 and older)

Just keep in mind that the various teen jobs can have varying age requirements.

For example, if you are 16 or 17 years old, you may be able to work as a stocker, sales associate or cook but will be unable to work as a cashier or server.

You can find more information about jobs for 16 year olds and jobs for 17 year olds on our website as well.

Employment/Age Certificates

Some states require that you possess an employment/age certificate when submitting a resume or applying to jobs. You school’s guidance office may have the forms you need to apply, or may be able to direct you to where they can be obtained. You may also be able to check with the labor department in your state.

Check with the BBB

When applying to companies and writing a resume, make sure to check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for complaints. Make sure any company to whom you apply is complying with both federal and state labor laws regarding teens in the workplace.

Sometimes you'll be asked to work at a job for "commission only" or some other questionable payment structure and when this happens, feel free to say no thanks and move on.  Unfortunately, some employers will try to take advantage of you because of your age but if you're careful, you can avoid it all together.