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Writing a CV (curriculum vita) as a teenager when applying for scholarships, college or a new job is often a daunting task because you have yet to accumulate a long list of impressive experience. However, the benefit of writing a CV as opposed to a resume is that you can list unpaid work or volunteer work, as well as any paying jobs you have held. You can be flexible in how you format your CV depending on your personal education and experience, but make sure the flow of your CV is logical and easy to follow.
Decide what sections you want in your CV, and the order in which you want them to appear; that will depend on the target of your CV (job, college, etc.). You must include an "Education" and an "Experience" section; however, other options to consider include "Volunteer Work," "Extracurricular Organizations" or Leadership Positions." You can fill out your CV even if you've never held a job by including information on positions you have held, such as captain of the basketball team, drum major in the marching band or a babysitter for your neighbors. Another option is a "Special Skills" section, where you can include any foreign languages you speak or computer programs you can use.
Start a new document on your word processor. Create a centered heading that includes your name, which can be in a larger font (around 20 point), then your contact information in smaller (10 or 12 point) font. Your contact information should include your home phone number and cell number (if you have one), your street address and your email address. Consider creating a professional email address just for this purpose, as a goofy or immature email address name does not come across well on a CV. The ideal address is simply your name, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choose what you believe is the most relevant section from Step 1 and create a heading. If you have graduated high school, you may want to begin with the "Education" section. Include the name and location (city, state) of your school and the date you graduated. Continue throughout the rest of the sections, creating a heading for each one. All items should be listed in reverse chronological order; for example, under "Experience," list your most recent job, then move backwards. Include the name of your position (head cashier, class vice president), the name of the organization, the dates you were involved, and a short list of duties and responsibilities. Do not use long, elaborate sentences, but rather short, to the point phrases that succinctly describe the experience.
Proofread your CV carefully and, if possible, ask a few teachers to read it as well. Abbreviations and poor grammar are okay in emails and text messages, but proper English must be used in a CV. Print your CV on high-quality white bonded paper.
Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.