Teen Resume

Outline for Talk on Teen Resumes at Training Ground—2/15/07 Mrs. Julie Welch

Why a Teen Resume?

  1. What can a teen resume be used for? Applying for scholarships or grants. Seeking internships or volunteer opportunities. And of course, applying for a summer job or other part-time job.  You can also adapt it for use on the back (extra-curricular record) of your high school transcript.
  2. It’s also good to get to into the habit of having and keeping a resume up to date because it’s something you’ll be doing your whole working life. You might be moving from job to job to advance your career and you may even be changing careers. So your resume will be changing just as much.
  3. Better to have it on file because then it’s available to update whenever the time comes for whatever purpose that might be, rather than having to create it from scratch, perhaps under pressure of an impending deadline. It’s much better to be able to just go to your computer and bring up your resume file on a moment’s notice, than having to suddenly create one when you want to apply for a job or wait for when it comes time to apply to college.
  4. Everything you’ll have on a resume—even at this stage, your work as a student—tells who you are and what kind of an employee you might make; a future employer will be able to tell a lot from it.

Understanding the Resume

  1. The first thing to understand is that admission directors, just like hiring managers, are very busy and swamped with applications, so most just skim resumes as they search for the best candidates; experts estimate that that most employers look over resumes for a maximum of 20 seconds! What does this mean? That you have a limited amount of time to catch that person’s attention and make a good first impression.
  2. After all, a resume is really like a sales brochure or a document that tells your story, and you want to make your story as captivating as possible.
  3. You want your resume to be well-written, free of mistakes, and presented in a style and feel that encourages the reader to take a closer look, to extend that 20 seconds.
  4. A brief word about paper selection: white or ivory are the best color choices; choose high-quality paper, with a water mark; in other words, using the copy paper you use in your computer for basic print jobs is not the best choice; when you go to the paper aisle at Staples or Office Max you’ll see paper marked as “resume paper” or “business paper” and these are the types you want to use; print paper with watermark facing up.
  5. Choose a font (Times New Roman) and type size (12 pt.) that is readable; these little things mean a lot.
  6. Try to keep it to one page.

How to Write a Teen Resume

  1. When you write your resume, you’ll find you’ll use a lot of the same skills you use in essay writing and other writing you’ve studied, so don’t be afraid of the idea of writing a resume; just as in other types of writing you’ve done, you’re going to want to have your resume written concisely and formatted well; and you’ll want to allow time for revision.
  2. First, you’ll want to prepare the materials you’re going to use to write your resume. Gather your credentials and application forms and keep them in front of you to make the writing process easier; make a list of important information such as names and titles of former employers and your supervisors, your job titles, dates of appropriate work or volunteer experience, and responsibilities you had there.
  3. Begin writing your first draft
  4. Heading: Name, Address, Phone #, E-mail address; your name should be set apart somehow, definitely boldface and in a slightly larger type size (14 pt.); use a professional e-mail address, such as one that might contain your first initial and last name; don’t use your “unique” e-mail address you use with friends
  5. Objective/Qualifications Summary: An objective is almost always used with a professional resume and it may very well be what works best for your teen resume. An objective states what your goal is or what your career focus is, i.e., something simple, but specific like “To earn a bachelor’s degree in English at Harvard University” or “To obtain a part-time sales position at Linens ‘n Things”; a qualifications summary can sometimes go further on a student resume by offering an admissions director, for example, insight into what you have to offer a particular school; it’s a series of brief descriptions of your best qualifications (read example); it will depend on your own situation as far as which one works best for you; either is perfectly acceptable
  6. Education: list any schools you may have attended/and briefly describe your home-school educational credentials and expected graduation date.
  7. Experience: Could be work experience (if you have any) or volunteer experience, or even home-school projects in which you learned important skills; you can also omit this section altogether if it doesn’t suit you; if you do include this section, use action words and detail to describe your job duties. Relevant Studies: Includes particular coursework that might pertain to the college major, internship, or job you’re pursuing
  8. Honors/Awards: Any honors you want to highlight here, again particularly those that pertain to your field of interest
  9. Extracurricular Activities/Additional Information:  Include special skills/talents (computer, language), leadership roles, participation in clubs; this is where you demonstrate your uniqueness (could scan in artwork on the side)
  10. Finally just a line that states “References available upon request” if this is a resume for employment.
  11. Last, and never least, PROOFREAD!! (and have adult proofread)
  12. This general resume that you’ve created can later be customized for different jobs or other kinds of opportunities to which you might apply.

Cover Letters

  1. When responding to an ad in a paper or if someone told you about a job or if you’re doing a job search and sending a resume, always include a cover letter with your resume.
  2. The cover letter will introduce you and tell the employer why you’re writing to them. In the intro. paragraph, name the position, or field of work you’re asking about. Tell them how you heard about the opening. In the body of the letter, mention your qualifications. Why you’re interested in that company or type of work. If you have related experience, you should point that out. You’ll refer the reader to the enclosed resume, then conclude by indicating you’ll be in touch to set up an appt. or refer them to your contact info. for them to get in touch with you.
  3. Then end with typical closing: Sincerely or Very Truly Yours or Cordially with your signature above your typed name.
  4. Also: follow up with a thank-you letter the day or the day after the interview. A thank-you letter should, in addition to thanking them for the interview, indicate your interest in the position, reaffirm your unique qualifications, and that you’ll be looking forward to hearing from them.


Format for a Teen Resume

A Handout by Mrs. Julie Welch


1. Gather credentials and application forms

2. Make a list of important information:

a.  Names and titles of former employers and your supervisors

b. Your job titles

c. Dates of appropriate work or volunteer experience and responsibilities there

Write your first draft

1.  Heading

a. Name

b. Address

c. Phone number

d. E-mail address

2.  Overview

a. Objective: Your goal or what your career focus is

b. Qualifications Summary:  A series of brief descriptions of your best qualifications

Note: Adapt your resume for each application.  Items 2a and 2b should fit the position for which you are applying. Items #3-7 should be written in the order of most important (to the position for which you are applying) to least important— OR from the greatest strength you have to the lesser strengths.  For a job as a camp counselor, it makes more sense to list your volunteer, work, and teamwork experience first and your academic honors later, but for a job as a bookkeeper or analyst, it would be helpful to put your strong math/academic skills at the forefront of your resume and your travel hobby at the bottom. In your early years, you should keep the resume to one page; summarize well and refrain from listing irrelevant information.

3.  Education

a. List any schools attended and briefly describe home school credentials and expected graduation date

4.  Experience

a. Work experience

b. Volunteer experience

c. Home school projects in which you learned important skills

5.  Relevant Studies

a. Coursework relating to your college major, internship, or job you’re applying for

6.  Honors/Awards

7.  Extracurricular Activities/Additional Information

a. Special skills/talents

b. Leadership roles

c. Participation in clubs

8.  “References Available Upon Request” (if needed)

PROOFREAD! And update your resume periodically.