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How to Write a CV for a 16-Year-Old

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A CV for a 16-year-old is an important asset to have when the teenager begins looking for a part-time or a summer job. In most cases, it should be a short, one-page document that lists his contact information, skills and any relevant experiences. Regardless of what's on a CV or resume, simply having one in hand when applying for a job speaks volumes to an employer about his preparedness and seriousness about getting a job.

Organizing a CV for a Teenager

All CVs should have the job applicant's contact information, education and relevant experience. Other than that, how the CV is organized and what information is provided depends on the person.

If the teenager has held part-time or summer jobs already, a Work Experience section may be appropriate. If she has volunteered, then a Volunteer Work section is a good idea. Otherwise, an Experience section may be the best place to organize any relevant experience the teenager may have.

Headings should be in a larger font than the rest of the content, or in bold. Information should be brief, using bullets to highlight only the most important points.

Including Contact Information

The top of a 16-year-old's resume or CV should include the student's name, address, telephone number and email address. This information is usually centered and is often in a bold font, but the formatting is not important, provided the information is prominent and easy to read.

Example:

John Doe

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33 Street Road

Mytown, Massachusetts 02114

(123) 555-5555

john.doe@email.com

Adding a Brief Education Section

Beneath the Contact Information should be the Education section. This is normally a single line to explain what high school the student attends. It can also include the grade she is in, or the year she plans to graduate, and her GPA.

Example:

Education: Pine Forest High School, class of 2020

Composing an Experience Section

Most employers take it for granted that a 16-year-old applying for a job is going to high school, has hobbies and other interests. What they don't know is what experience the teenager may have that can be applied in a work environment. So this information should be directly below the teenager's contact information. If the teenager has had any job before, even cutting grass or babysitting, it should be placed in this section.

Even if a teenager has never had a regular job before, she should have plenty of experiences that can be useful in a job situation. Select experiences that demonstrate skills that will be useful for the job, or those that demonstrate responsibility. Volunteer work is ideal for this part of the CV. If the teenager hasn't done volunteer work, it would be a good idea to do some while looking for a job. Not only does volunteer work give her something to put on the resume, a well-chosen volunteer position will give her skills employers are looking for.

Example:

Downtown Senior Home, Mytown Massachusetts (June-August 2018)

  • Assisted in kitchen preparing meals
  • Dining room server
  • Organized volunteer program for residents' leisure activities 

Additional Information to Include

For adults with higher education or work experience, including information about hobbies and other interests is usually unnecessary. However, when it comes to a resume or CV for 16-year-olds, relevant hobbies and extracurricular school activities can tell an employer a lot about the job applicant. Membership on a sports team, for example, will tell the employer about the teenager's fitness for physical work. Interests and hobbies can also provide talking points for the employer to use during the job interview.

Reference Do's and Don'ts

Even without prior work experience, a teenager should be able to provide employers with three character references. These should always be adults and can include teachers, neighbors or friends of the family. Reference contact information should not be put in the CV or resume. The applicant should have the contact information available to give during the job interview.

Example:

References: Available upon request.

Asking for reference letters may eliminate the need for telephone calls; however, calls from the prospective employer should be expected. No one should ever offer references without informing those people and telling them to expect a phone call.

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has been a hiring manager and recruiter for several companies and advises small businesses on technology. He has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles on careers and small business trends for newspapers, magazines and online publications including About.com, Re/Max and American Express.

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