What should a 16-year-old put on a resume?
If you are a high school or a college student struggling to make your first teen resume, you're not alone.
Generally, resumes showcase a candidate's professional experiences and skills.
However, as are a teenager applying for their first job, the basics for building a resume are slightly different.
For instance, a teen resume has an objective section instead of a resume summary.
Read on to learn more about teen resumes and related FAQs like the following:
- What is a teen resume?
- What sections should you include in a teen resume?
- How to create the header of a teen resume?
- How to create the objective section of a teen resume?
- What skills should you add to a resume for teens?
- How to write the work experience section in a teen resume?
- How to add education experience on a teen resume?
- How can you add certifications on a teen resume?
- Which additional sections can you add to a teen resume?
What is a Teen Resume?
A teen resume is a page-long document that showcases the best of your academic achievements and skills.
Whether you're applying for your first-part time job or college interviews, and internships, having a resume supports your application as it makes it easier for recruiters to see all your information in one place.
A teen resume is different than a professional resume as it focuses on academic achievements, volunteer work, projects, and extracurricular activities rather than work experiences.
According to the relevance with the job profile you're targetting, you can include the following volunteer work experiences in teen resumes:
- Volunteer work at animal rescue shelters
- Art museums
- National parks
- Political campaigns
- Food pantries
- Retirement homes
- Habitat for humanity
- Organizations like Red Cross
- Local libraries and
- Community blood drives
Also read: How to write a resume with no experience?
What Sections to Include in a Teen Resume?
First things first, you must compile all your information in a single file to streamline the process of building a teen resume.
Once you have all the information in one place, you can pick and choose which information you want to include in your teen resume, based on the job description.
Ensure to present this information in different sections to increase the readability of your resume by giving it a crisp and professional look.
Listed below are the must-have sections in a teen resume:
- Personal Information
- Internship/Volunteer experience (if any)
- Awards and Achievements
- Extracurricular Activities
- Additional Information
Teenage Resume Header
The header is the topmost part of your resume which is the first thing that the recruiters will see.
Your teen resume header must always be your full name in the largest font size of 14-16 points.
If you have a middle name, you can initialize it like so - Mary J. Blige
Ensure that you don't go with generic resume headers like "CV" or "Resume."
Recruiters already know that the document is a resume. What they don't know is who it belongs to.
Thus, it makes sense to write your name as the header of your teen resume.
Teen Resume Personal Information
Right after the header, you must create a section for your personal information.
This section must include the following details:
A Reachable Phone Number
Ensure that it is a contact number on which you are available at all times.
Write your country's International Subscriber Dialing (ISD) code and a plus sign (+) before the number.
A Professional E-mail Id
E-mail addresses with names like 'email@example.com' not only sound unprofessional but can also cost you your chances of getting shortlisted for the job.
So make sure that your e-mail address sounds professional. Preferably, one with your full name like firstname.lastname@example.org
Mention the city and state of your current location - not your hometown (if they are different).
Also, you don't need to provide details like your street address and zip code of your current location.
LinkedIn Profile Link
Provide a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile or an online portfolio if you have one.
In case you don't have a LinkedIn profile, consider making one as it can be beneficial for networking and finding job opportunities.
A profile title in your teen resume is the name of the profile you are applying for.
A few examples of profile titles that you can add to your teen resume are - industrial relations counselor, criminologist, dietician, etc.
Also, your profile title should be the second-largest text in your resume with a font size 12-14 points.
Teen Resume Objective
Although the objective and key skills sections must be placed at the top part of your teen resume, it must be written only after writing the other sections so that you have a clear understanding of what your core skills and objective are.
When writing your objective section, don't write about your expectations from the company and the role.
Instead, write what you can provide to the organization as an ideal candidate.
Your objective statement must show how you could benefit the company with your skills and knowledge.
Highlight the skills that can fulfill the requirements of the role you're targetting and emphasize your proven track record of academic achievements.
Also Read: How to write a resume objective in 2022?
Key Skills for Teen Resume
The skills section of your teen resume must list the core skills that you possess in terms of the job description and requirements.
For instance, if you are applying for the job profile of an assistant, it must showcase skills like:
Remember to always refer to the requirements listed in the job description of the listing to understand which skills you must list in your resume (as long as it stands true to you).
The listed skills must be backed by your academic qualifications, volunteer or internship experiences, or academic projects that you've been a part of.
If you possess technical skills like proficiency in programming languages and familiarity with using specific tools or software, you can create a separate section under your key skills and list them.
Given below is a snapshot of the key skills and technical skills sections in a resume:
The following are some other examples of key skills that you can add to your teen resume according to your qualifications:
Also read: How to write a resume skills section?
Volunteer/Internship Work Section
Instead of a professional work experience section, your teen resume can have a volunteer or internship work experience section.
And depending on the relevance of it, you can either have the education section or this section before the other.
You can list your internship/volunteer experience using the reverse chronological format with the following details:
- Name of the Organization
- Location (city & state)
- Starting & completion dates
- Your designation
- The duties you performed
Also, here are some best practices you must follow to present your work experiences:
- Avoid writing in bulky paragraphs and use bullet points
- Begin your sentences with a power verb like managed, assisted, organized, etc. to create more impact with your one-liners
- Highlight the keywords in your bullet points
- Quantify your achievements and use figures whenever possible
- Use the cause-effect relationship to build your one-liners as shown in the following example:
- Scheduled 10+ meetings every week by coordinating with clients and senior management to ensure smooth operations
- Assisted in making travel arrangements for 15+ clients who were traveling to the city on company business
Teen Resume Education Section
You need to leverage your fresh education to show your potential through your teen resume.
This section must present your college and high school qualifications along with some details about the coursework.
Write the name of the school/university, the name of the degree, along with the location and dates of enrollment & graduation.
If your GPA is higher than 3.5, you can mention that as well.
Teen Resume Certifications
If you have taken up extra certification courses or training that is relevant to the job you're applying for, you can list them in this section.
Adding certifications to your teenage resume increases its value and helps you stand out from the crowd of applicants.
Provide the following details while listing your certifications:
- Name of the certification course
- Name of the certifying institution
- Dates of enrollment and graduation
Additional Information for Teen Resume
Furthermore, to provide extra details about your academic experience and qualification, you can include additional sections like the following to your teen resume:
As teens don't have work experience to put on their resumes, you can list academic projects that you've been a part of.
Academic projects include the significant projects that you did in school or college.
To list your projects, use the format given below:
Name of the project | Dates of the project
One line description of the project
Projects objectives, your role, and the outcome of the project
Awards & Achievements
The awards and achievements section will include any major awards or certificates you received for exceptional academic performance or for participating in quizzes, sports, projects, etc., at the school or college level.
You can also include awards or recognition that you may have received for your volunteer work or internship.
Follow the given format to list your awards & achivements:
< Name of the Award > | < Reason for getting the award > | < Name of the awarding institution > | < Dates >
This section will mention all the extracurricular activities that you took part in at school or college.
It could be anything from being a part of the basketball team or leading the eco-club or becoming the captain of the soccer team.
Extracurricular activities showcase that you possess teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.
If you speak multiple languages, list them in your teen resume as it can be an asset if you are planning to work in the service, tourism, and sales industries.
Also read: How to write an entry-level resume in 2022?
- You should start every point with a power verb in your teen resume internship/volunteer experience section
- Quantify your achievements wherever possible
- Use bullet points instead of bulky paragraphs in your teen resume
- The font size for your teen resume body should be between 10-12 points, as these font sizes are easily readable
- Use professional fonts like Ariel, Helvetica, and Tahoma to write your teen resume
- Ensure that your key skills match your work experience and the profile you're applying for
- Customize your teen resume according to the job description of the role you're applying for
- Write the objective and skills section after writing the other resume sections
- Your objective statement should focus on how you can benefit the organization with your skills and knowledge