Maybe you’re tired of having to beg your parents every time you want to buy something. Maybe you just have to have those expensive kicks. Maybe your college application is looking a little empty, or you just want to help out your family.
No matter your motivation, you’re ready to create a noteworthy teen resume – the first step into a future of creating documents that detail your professional personality, skills and work experience. What? You have no work experience? Never fear. Every person in the workforce has had a first job and many have created a resume based on other factors.
Resume.io is a powerful resource for job seekers including those new to the job hunt. We provide resume guides and resume examples for 250+ professions, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder. Whether you have your heart set on an internship at your neighbor’s office or would be happy bagging groceries, our recommendations will help you get there.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding teen resume example will cover the following topics:
- What are the best jobs for teens?
- How to write a teen resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a teen resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
If you’re hunting for your first job right now, you’re in luck! The worker shortage has created great demand for minimum-wage workers. In fact, the teen unemployment rate in 2021 was at its lowest since the 1950s, Business Insider reported.
Not only will you have a wider range of jobs from which to choose, but your pay rate is likely to be higher as employers try to attract workers.
What are the best jobs for teens?
The first job that comes to mind when many think about work for teens is fast food. That’s a fine way to enter the workforce, if that’s what you want, but a little imagination can lead you to a much wider range of job prospects.
Here are the highest paying jobs for teens and their median pay per hour.
|Job||Median hourly rate|
|Fast food server||$11|
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the minimum wage where you live and whether they apply to workers your age.
The positions above are typical first-time jobs, however, a little creativity can broaden that list significantly. Here are some other ideas for jobs that don’t require a high school diploma:
- Dog walker/pet sitter
- Web designer
- Data entry
- Office assistant
- Caddy at a golf course
Don’t limit yourself to the typical. Search a job listing site for more ideas.
How to write a teen resume
All job applications contain the same information, although the style and format may vary a bit. A great CV, including your teen resume, should contain the following sections:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
The order of your teen resume sections will be different from a seasoned professional, but the goal is the same: Get that interview and then the job!
Applying online? Want to avoid ghosting?
If you’re looking for work at the local coffee shop, this may not apply, but if you want to work for a large company, you need to understand the Applicant Tracking System. When you upload your documents and fill in an online application, ATS software will be using algorithms that look for keywords and phrases to rank your teen resume.
This means, you need to adapt your resume for each different job.
To leap your first job-hunt hurdle, follow these steps:
- Check through the job listing and take note of the skills your prospective employer seeks.
- If you can legitimately say that you have those skills, make sure they appear in your resume.
- Double check the language to make sure you are repeating phrases exactly as they appear in the listing.
Don’t overdo it and maintain your unique voice even as you make sure to get in those keywords and phrases.
Choosing the best resume format for a teen
The key difference in a teen resume and the resume of a more experienced worker is just that: experience. If you’ve already held a job, great! But if not, that doesn’t mean your resume will be a big blank.
We typically recommend the reverse chronological order format in which you list jobs from most recent on back, but as a teen, you may not have had a paying job. You can still use this format, but bump your education section up above your employment history, or even your skills section if you have a stellar academic record or many relevant classes.
The functional resume format is a better choice for teens because it emphasizes skills and attributes and downplays your work history. Employers who hire for entry-level positions are mostly looking for personality traits that will make you a good employee, also known as soft skills. (More on those later.)
Resume summary example: A short essay about you
Before you begin your job hunt (or your teen resume) ask yourself what your goal for working is. Do you simply want extra cash? Are you looking for experience you can use later? Or are you planning to go straight from high school into a career and want a jump start? The summary of your teen resume gives you an opportunity to aim squarely at your goal.
This key component of your teen resume consists of about four freeform sentences to introduce yourself, highlight your best attributes and achievements and tell why you want the job. Because your work history section will be short, you can expand this component and really let your personality shine.
Because this is an open format, you may need some guiding questions. Ask yourself: What will set me apart from the other teens who want this job? What positive words describe me best? Check out our summary resume example for more ideas on how to accomplish this.
If this seems like an overwhelming task, take a look at some of our related education resume samples. The student resume sample or the internship resume sample are good places to start. We also offer a high school student resume example. If you are aiming at a particular field, head over to our resume sample page and simply type in your desired job title.
Hardworking high school student seeking seasonal employment opportunities. Experienced in working in administrative and clerical settings. Excellent mathematical, writing and multitasking skills.
Employment history sample
Have you ever volunteered? Been an officer in a school or afterschool organization? Babysat or walked the neighbor’s dog? Then you have work experience for your employment history section!
Even if these jobs were short-term, they show that you can make a commitment and stick with it. Use the standard format of bullet items that each highlight an action you performed in your job. Begin your description with an action word that shows you’re a go-getter. Leave off phrases such as “I did” or “In this job, I.” Use the STAR method as a guide. Each item should include the situation, task, action and results.
See the employment history resume sample below for ideas.
Try some of these action words: established, strengthened, accomplished, delivered, developed, volunteered, presented, designed, planned.
Dog Walker, Norwell, MA
June 2020 - Present
- Successfully managed my own dog-walking business, serving 30+ clients in the Norwell area.
- Coordinated schedules with dog owners, making sure to respect pick-up and drop-off times.
- Worked with each dog to progress training goals.
- Ensured the safety and comfort of all dogs on walks.
- Followed owner directions in regards to dog habits and preferences.
- Respected leash laws and local ordinances around dog waste.
- Kept accurate records and communicated fees and charges to clients.
Camp Counselor at Winter Trails Day Camp, Marshfield, MA
June 2021 - September 2021
- Led a group of 6-8 campers and ensured safety and happiness during the camp day.
- Planned and implemented fun and age-appropriate group activities that rotated on a weekly schedule.
- Helped campers to smoothly transition between locations.
- Collaborated with staff and other counselors to ensure goals were being met and camper satisfaction ratings remained high.
- Assisted in program areas such as swimming, hiking and arts and crafts as directed.
Teen CV skills example: You’ve got what it takes
Hiring managers filling entry-level positions don’t expect you to have a long list of career-specific skills on your CV. Mostly, what they want to know is whether you are reliable, trustworthy, can follow directions and communicate with others. These are the soft skills that make people good employees.
Certainly, if you have job-specific hard skills and they relate to the position you seek, list them! Our skills resume sample below can help.
Top 5 entry-level skills, according to LinkedIn:
- Leadership: If you have been a team captain or an officer in a club, you have this attribute.
- Communication: We won’t go so far as to say that SnapChat qualifies, but if you can clearly share information, you can claim this skill.
- Problem-solving: If you excel at computer programming or have written a persuasive paper on fixing the world’s ills, that’s problem-solving. Real life examples count too!
- Work ethic: Do you get your schoolwork done? Do you take care of your responsibilities to the best of your ability? You’re good.
- Teamwork: Have you worked on a group project? Been on a sports or academic team? That counts.
Notice that these are all soft skills that you probably have even if you have not had a formal paying job.
- Fast Learner
- Computer Skills
- Ability to Work in a Team
Teen resume education example
Your academic career says most about you right now. In the education section you can list any classes you have taken that are related to the job you seek. If you have taken culinary arts, business classes or any other academic or vocational classes that show you can do the job, list them here. If you have space, you can even offer a short description of what you learned in the class.
High School Diploma, Norwell High School, Norwell
September 2020 - Present
- Dedicated member of the debate team.
Resume layout and design: first impressions
We live in a visual world. That means the look of your teen resume carries weight. As a teen, you can get a bit more playful (depending on where you’re applying), but your goal is to get the interview, so make sure you keep it legible and professional.
Try to fill one page without leaving huge margins or tons of white space. Write a longer summary or add details in other sections.
If you have design skills, go for it! Or consider using a professionally-designed resume template to save time and ensure your resume looks as great as it sounds.
Key takeaways for a teen resume
- Yes, you’re a teen, but you have more skills and experience than you realize.
- The worker shortage has left teens in a great position to find a job.
- Make sure you personalize your resume for each different position to impress hiring managers and beat the ATS.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. Check out our adaptable teen resume sample for more ideas on how to get started.