With so few part time jobs open to teenagers these days, one of the ways to gain as advantage is to have a strong resume to take along on job interviews. Unlike many adults, teens do not necessarily have a great deal of formal work experience. This does not mean that it is impossible to prepare a resume that is both focused and filled with information that is relevant to the job. Here are some tips on how to put together a workable resume for a teenager.
Before beginning to work on the actual format for the resume, it is important to gather relevant data. Along with the basics of name and contact information, there are several areas to address. What are the current levels of formal education? Is the high school student currently enrolled in a college track curriculum at high school? What kinds of extra curricular activities does the teenager engage in on a regular basis, such as community activities. Are there hobbies or skills that involve talents and skills relevant to the job market? All these factors can indicate a reliable and talented prospective employee.
Next, address any type of work history up to the current point in time. Volunteer work as well as paid work can be included. For example, if the teenager has worked ten hours a week for the last six months helping organize books or media at the local library, this should be included as work experience. Even paid tasks such as mowing lawns over the last couple of summers should be listed as work experience.
Make sure to note any awards, citations, or other honors received. A solid school year with a 4.0 average is worth noting, as is recognition from the local Humane Society for helping with a fund raiser. Honors indicate an ability to work with others and pursue goals, two traits that employers consider very important.
References are also important. Teachers, neighbors, and past employers can all function as excellent references. Be sure to obtain permission from each person you wish to list as a reference, and include as much contact information as the individual will allow.
Finally, include the reason why the job is important. This could be one or two simple sentences that indicate some talent or ability that can be refined as part of the employment, or an indication of some benefit the teenager can bring to the workplace. Keep the reason or goal focused and concise.
Last, use a simple format for the resume that is uncluttered and easy to scan. Employers do not wish to read a book as part of the interview. Arranging the information in a format that is similar to an outline makes it easy to identify information quickly and can lead productive conversation during the interview.
If possible, keep the resume to less than two pages. The chances that the document will actually be read will increase dramatically.
Use a quality grade of paper and simple fonts. Bright colors and clip art is rarely appropriate for a formal resume.
Do not exaggerate or include false information on a resume. Discovering even one line item that is not truthful is often enough to disqualify a candidate.