Teenagers, like adults, need to develop a workable resume that can be used to apply for jobs and submitted with college applications. Many 17-year-olds have difficulty writing their first resumes because they don’t have a lot of work experience. If you fall into this category, don’t fret. It’s not difficult to create a resume if you’re 17--you just have to find ways to play up your strengths on paper.
Open a word processing document. It’s best to compose your resume on a computer so you can make changes as necessary.
Put your name and contact information at the top. The first thing employers or college committees want to see is your name, address, phone number and email address listed clearly at the top of the page. If you don’t make this information easy to read, then you risk losing out on an interview or college acceptance because they have no way to contact you.
It should look something like this:
First Last Name
City, State Zip
Phone Number Email Address
Create an Education section. This should come directly after your contact information and be clearly listed under an “Education” header. Underneath the header, list your high school, along with your grade level and expected graduation date. You can include your grade point average, but a good rule of thumb is to only include it if it’s a 3.0 or higher.
Another good idea is to include relevant coursework along with your education information. For example, if you’re applying for a summer job at a veterinarian office, include coursework that would help you in the position, including any science or business courses.
Your Education section should look something like this:
City High School
12th Grade – Expected Graduation: Month, Year
GPA: 3.4 out of 4.0
Relevant Coursework: Honors English, Honors Biology, Geography, Chemistry.
List your work experience. This section comes directly after the Education section and lists any jobs you’ve held, along with the dates you worked and your responsibilities/achievements at the job. If you haven’t held a regular job before, feel free to add any jobs, like babysitting or volunteer work, that show off your responsibility.
Your Experience section will look like this:
Company #1 Name
Company #2 Name
And so on, until you’ve listed all of your relevant work experience.
Include an Honors section. This section is intended to show that you’re a well-rounded person. To fill out this section, write out any honor societies, clubs and organizations that you belong to,
Your honors section will look something like this:
National Honor Society
Offices held (if any)
High School Math Club
Awards or offices held (if any)
Add a skills section. This section allows you to add any pertinent skills that you weren’t able to list somewhere else in your resume. Skills that can be included are things like computer, language and customer service skills that show how valuable you are as an employee.
Check over your resume for spelling or grammatical errors. It’s also a good idea to have someone else (a parent, teacher or trusted friend) check it over as well. Employers and college committees are known to disqualify applicants who have errors on their resumes because it shows that they don’t pay attention to detail.
Save your resume. Name the file something you’ll easily recognize later, like "FirstLastNameResume." That way you can easily update it as time goes on and you gain more experience.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep your resume to one page, if possible. It's fine to expand to two pages--just be sure to put your name and contact information at the top of the second page. Don't go over two pages--employers generally don't have the time to go over a very long resume.
- Photo Credit job image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com
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