Resumes & Cover Letters

How To Write a Resume for a Teenager: Top Tips

June 23, 2021

As a teen, you may need to create a resume to apply to jobs. It is important to create a professional resume, even if you do not have experience, that includes your most relevant skills. Understanding how to write your first resume and the components of a resume can help you improve your chances of getting a job. In this article, we discuss how to write a resume for a teenager and include a template with some examples to help you write a successful resume.

Considerations for resume writing

Writing a resume as a teenager entails being concise and systematic. You may not have much experience to put down, but you can list skills that are relevant to the job. A well-written resume demonstrates your writing skills and attention to detail. These are two important factors for any job. You can also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role through your resume, which can be viewed favourably by future employers.

Here are some factors to consider when writing your resume:

  • Formatting
  • Layout
  • Content
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Achievements
  • Language
  • Tone

How to write a resume for a teenager

Your resume may differ slightly depending on the role you are applying for. There are some things that are standard across all applications. Here is a guide to help you:

1. Read the job description thoroughly

The job description is your best friend when writing a resume. You can highlight keywords and include them in your resume. The job description will give you a clear understanding of what the employer is after. You can tailor your resume to suit this, whilst always remaining honest with the information you provide.

2. Provide contact details

If an employer cannot contact you then it's likely you won't get the job. Your contact details can be clear so employers can contact you for an interview. They are often the second thing you write on a resume after your full name. You can provide your phone number, email address and address. If you feel uncomfortable providing your address, then write your town/city and state.

Your email address can include your full name. If you do not have an email address like this, then make a professional one that can be dedicated to job applications. If you have a website or online portfolio, be sure to add the link. There is no need to put unnecessary information like your social media handles unless the job requires it. You also do not need to add banking or super information. Your employer will ask for these details once you are hired.

3. Include an objective statement

This is very important if you do not have much experience. It can state your personal goals and career intentions. Limit this to 2 or 3 sentences, make it concise to grab the attention of your hirer without being overly wordy.

Example:

“Hard-working year 12 student with excellent time management skills. Seeks to learn customer service skills in a retail environment.”

You can adapt this statement for each job you apply for. This is important if you are seeking jobs in different industries.

4. Add relevant sections

One common mistake people make when writing a resume is making it overly detailed and long. Your resume can be simple and easy to read, only containing the relevant information to that job. State skills that apply to the role you are applying for. You can also add any experience or hobbies that are relevant. Common sections to include are:

  • Work history: List your past jobs in reverse chronological order in dot points and describe the duties for each in dot points.

  • Education: List the name of your school, the year you are in or graduated in and relevant courses.

  • Skills: List the skills which are relevant to that job.

  • Awards and achievements: describe any awards you have received in school and significant achievements.

  • Hobbies and interests: Only include this section if they demonstrate your skills or are related to the job.

5. Provide facts and figures where possible

If you have received awards or high scores in school, then provide those figures. If you excelled in a co-curricular activity that demonstrates a relevant skill, then add that too. For example, these could be sporting or academic awards.

6. Edit and proofread your resume

Make sure you check your resume thoroughly before sending it off. It's a good idea to get someone else to read it for you too, as a fresh set of eyes. You can run it through free editing software to check for any spelling or grammatical errors.

Template for a teenage resume

Here is a basic template to help you format your resume:

Contact Details

[Name]
[Address]
[Phone Number]
[Email address]

Objective

[Use this section to describe your experience and explain what makes you suitable for the role.]

Experience

[Title]
[Company Name]
[Dates of employment]
[Bullet points with responsibilities]

Education

[If you are studying, list the details of what you are studying.]
[School]
[Dates attended]
[List any degrees you have completed]

Skills

[Include a list of any relevant skills you have, using bullet points.]

Awards and achievements

[If you have won any awards or other achievements, list them in this section.]

Hobbies and interests

[If you have a relevant hobby or if you have done any volunteering, list the details here.]

Example resumes

Writing your resume may be easier if you have some examples to draw on. Here are two:

Example resume for 14-year-old with no work experience

Kate Smith
Richmond, Melbourne 3121
kate_smith@email.com
0400 123 456

Objective

Enthusiastic student with excellent academic record and artistic skills. I am looking for a retail position that will allow me to demonstrate my organisational skills and interest in fashion.

Experience

Art piece was chosen for exhibition at the national gallery

  • My multi textile statue was chosen for an exhibition of local high school students in Melbourne
  • Only 30 pieces chosen state-wide
  • Won an award for most intuitive

Education

Year 9 at Richmond School of Design

Skills

  • Organisation
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Creative thinker
  • Self-motivated

Hobbies

I attend dance classes multiple times a week and compete in competitions. It has taught me to be motivated and how to manage my time.

Example resume for 16-year-old with work experience

John Gray
Mt Lawley, Perth 6050
john.gray@email.com
0401 123 456

Objective

Committed student with excellent grades. I am looking for an office administrative position. I would like to demonstrate my attention to detail and interpersonal skills.

Experience

Babysitter, January 2018 - present

  • Baby-sitting for multiple families in my neighbourhood
  • Watching children while parents are out
  • Helping with their homework
  • Making sure they stick to the schedule given to me by their parents

Education

Year 11 at Lawley High School
Award in English Literature

Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills

Hobbies

In my spare time, I like to read. I have found this has improved my literature skills, giving me a larger vocabulary.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the most common questions teenagers ask when writing a resume for the first time:

What format should I send my resume in?

Not all employers will have the same computer as you. If you have written your resume on a Microsoft Word document and sent it to someone with an Apple computer, they may not be able to view it correctly. This is why you can always send your resume as a PDF document.

What do I do if I don't have any experience?

Employers know that many teenagers will not have work experience. It is best to think of some hobbies or interests that relate to the job. For example, if you are applying for a job at your local café, you could say you have always been a keen coffee connoisseur. Just make sure you are being honest.

Is my resume long enough?

Most hiring staff will not read through pages and pages of information about a candidate's job history. Having a succinct one-page resume with relevant information is enough. Refraining from submitting overly long resumes can help you ensure you're providing the best and most relevant information when applying to jobs.

Should I attach my photo to my resume?

A photo is unnecessary unless the job description specifically asks for it, or it is relevant to the position itself. If you do need to add a photo, make sure it is professional and that you are wearing neat clothes with tidy hair. You can check with the company offering the job to ensure your photo meets their specifications.

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