Do teenagers need a resume? Not long ago, the answer was no.
Most employers were not that open to hiring high schoolers. Today, however, that’s changing. With the gig economy and freelancing on the rise, landing a quick side-job or seasonal employment is way easier. But considering that most companies now do their recruiting online (including for temp/seasonal positions and internships) you are expected to act like an “adult” applicant and file your resume.
And here’s the deal: a fine-written resume can really impress potential employers. Even if you do not have much job experience, most employers will appreciate the effort you have made and the fact that you have followed the corporate formalities. Even if you were not asked to provide a resume, it’s best to bring one to your in-person job interviews. In fact, better to bring two copies. One you will give to the hiring manager. The other you can give to anyone else who attends your interview.
Essential Tips for Writing Your First Resume
Before you create your resume, there are some quick guidelines you should learn. A sloppily written resume or one that doesn’t contain the right information is likely to be tossed aside.
So you’ll want to create a resume that highlights your skills and shows that you are the ideal candidate for a job. Some rules apply specifically to teenage applicants. These are designed to ensure that you can look as appealing as possible to potential employers, even when you don’t have a significant amount of work experience.
Keep the following tips in mind as you write your resume.
Remember that many companies now use an applicant tracking system (ATS). This is a software that companies use to automatically scan resumes, and discard the ones that are not relevant. They work by scanning for keywords. These are phrases that indicate you are qualified for a job.
For example, if a job listing says, ‘Must be able to use Microsoft Excel’, the ATS software will scan resumes for the keyword phrase, ‘Microsoft Excel’. If that’s not in your resume, it would likely be discarded. When you read a job listing, make a list of keywords to add to your resume.
List your accomplishments. This is different than listing your duties. Sweeping the floors at a fast food restaurant is a duty. Maintaining a safe and clean restaurant is an accomplishment. Show proof when you can. This could be an award you’ve received for good work or another honor.
It’s okay to focus on academics. As a teenager, you aren’t expected to have much if anything in the way of work experience. So, the best way to show your skills and qualifications is through your academic work.
One thing you can do is match the items you place on your resume with the work requirements. Are you applying for a job at your local library? Highlight your excellent grades in English and Literature? If you want to work as a cashier, mention that you’re an A student in math. Finally, remember that sports and activities count as well. So do your community service hours.
Be Honest! Don’t lie or exaggerate on your resume. Companies will check, and the last thing you want to do is be embarrassed by your own dishonesty.
Proofread your resume carefully. Use spell check, but don’t rely on that entirely. Read your resume, and ask a friend or family member to look at it as well. You want to show that you’re careful and that you pay attention to detail. Also, use a professional looking email address.
Put a summary statement at the top of your resume. This will describe your talents, interests, and goals.
Resume Sample for Teens (Word version)
Resume Example for Teens (text version)
Metro high school senior in search of part-time employment in the food service industry. Responsible, communicative and result-driven A+ student and cricket team captain.
Hardworking and friendly student with academic and work experience in food preparation and service seeks a part-time position at a local restaurant or cafe. Team player, coachable, problem solver who is able to show empathy towards customers and coworkers both.
- Cash Handling
- Food Service Sanitation
- Customer Service
- Time Management
- Walk-In Management
- Restocking and Inventory
- Dish Machine Operation
- Cold And Hot Food Preparation
- Catering and Event Set Up And Tear Down
- Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel
Metro High School Sept. 2015 to Present
Culinary Arts Program
Treasurer Future Farmers of America. Winner of Illinois State Student Bakers Association Pastry Championships. Created an on-campus food pantry program to help solve the problem of food insecurity facing 20% of the students attending Metro High.
State of Illinois Department of Health
Advanced Food Service Sanitation
100% Test Score
Completed 16 hours of training on food safety and sanitation issues commonly encountered in restaurants and other businesses. This course is in addition to the mandated food service training.