Resume and Cover Letter Tips, Tricks, and Examples

How to Craft a Resume for Teenagers + Examples

Tristin Zeman

Copywriter, Human Resources Manager, Marketing Specialist


Creating a resume is a great way for teens to practice their employability skills. Whether applying to a college, internship, scholarship, or an after-school job, a well-crafted resume is a great way to make an applicant stand out. 

A beginner’s guide to creating your first resume

A resume is a document that is created to give recruiters, hiring managers, scholarship panels, and other decision-makers more information about the person behind the application. It includes contact information, an objective summary, information about skills and accomplishments, and a history of all educational and professional work experience. 

5 fast rules for creating a professional resume for teens

Brainstorming a way to create a resume for teenager example template

Maybe you have practiced creating a resume in high school, or maybe this is your first attempt. Either way, we are here to give a few quick rules to create great resumes for teenagers and young adults. 

Keep it short

A resume should only be one or two pages, even for people with extensive experience. Yes, keep your resume short and to the point. However, you should still make use of all the space on the page. You should have it neatly formatted so it is easy to read and review. 

Be professional

Even as a teenager, employers expect a certain level of professionalism from their employees. One of the fastest ways to show a potential employer that you have some growing up to do is by having an unprofessional email address or voicemail message on your phone. 

Pro tip: Your email address could be as simple as your first and last name.

Fill in the whitespace

A resume for a teenager with no work experience can look empty. Despite the fear that there is nothing good to put on your resume, there is good news. There are creative ways to fill the space on the resume page with useful information. Check out sample resumes for teenagers for unique ideas of how to fill in space with little professional experience. For instance, you can use things like:

  • skill graphs
  • awards sections
  • personality trait information
  • other graphic or text elements

CV vs resume for teenager

Some programs, especially fellowships and higher-level academic programs, will request a CV instead of a resume. Similar to a resume, a CV is designed to give more information about educational background. However, a CV tends to go into more detail. 

While a resume may have the highlights of your academic career — where you go to school, your extracurricular activities, student involvement, etc — a CV will dig deeper. A CV may have information about specific courses you’ve completed or projects you’ve done. Typically a CV is requested for opportunities in academia, things like scholarships, fellowships, or grant programs. A resume is requested by those looking to hire for a job. 

Pick the right resume template for teens

Choosing the right resume template makes creating a resume much easier. Resume templates, like those found on Canva or Resume.io, are a great way for beginners to create beautiful resume designs without design skills. 

When it comes to finding the right resume templates for teens, it is a good idea to choose a template that highlights education and non-work experience. For students, choosing a template that is designed to showcase education and personal traits, instead of work experience, is a great alternative to a traditional resume. 

Finding a resume for teenager example — what to look for in a template

what to look for in a resume template for teens as you scan a printed out version of it

Clean design

A teen resume shouldn’t look childish. On one hand, colors, doodles, and fun fonts are great for decorating anyour algebra notebook. On the other hand, it is not so great for clearly communicating skills and employability. Choosing a clean design doesn’t have to mean a boring one, though. Choose a palette of complementary colors, legible fonts, and smart graphic elements to create a resume that looks unique to you, but still is easy to read. 

Focus on education

In most cases, a teenager won’t have a long list of jobs to put on their resume. This means the majority of the page should be filled with education and education-related experience. While it is possible to take an experience-focused resume template and use it for education-related information, it will be much easier to base your design on a suitable resume template from the start. 

Relevant space fillers

If you’re creating a resume for a teenager with no work experience, it’s likely you’re going to need to find a creative way to fill some whitespace. While an experienced adult is likely to have so much information they need to trim their resume, a teenager or young adult is likely to have the opposite issue. Instead of having a blank-looking resume, look for a template that has unique ways to fill in space like infographic elements or charts. 

Do’s & don’ts of creating your first resume template

Creating your first resume template is a helpful way to set yourself up for future success. A well-designed template can be useful during high school, college, and even beyond. These are the must-do and must-avoid tips for creating your first resume template. 

Do’s

DO: List all your experience

A template should have all the possible information you’d ever want to include. Your template can be several pages long or you can choose to have your one-page template and a separate document where you write down all your education and experience. This can include any special projects, classes, awards, honors, and more. You aren’t limited to things that have happened at school or in the workplace, either — youth groups, volunteer work, and other community organization experiences should be noted. When it comes to customizing your resume for a specific opportunity, you can either eliminate things from your master resume or use the notes about your experience to fill in the template. 

DO: Ask teachers, counselors, and others for help

Avoid stress and missed opportunities by getting the input of others on your resume. More than 75% of employers will eliminate a job candidate right away if they notice typos and poor grammar in a resume. Don’t get eliminated before you have a chance. Ask a teacher, counselor, or another trusted adult to proofread your resume and offer advice before sharing your resume with prospective employers. 

DO: Look at other teenage resume examples

While comparing yourself to others is rarely encourage, comparing your resume against others is a great way to come up with some helpful insights. Is there a different way to describe your experiences? Is there another way to format your information? The more resumes you look at and use as inspiration, the more likely you are to be able to learn from them. 

Don’ts

DON’T: Think you’re too inexperienced for a resume

Even if you’ve never had a job before, it’s not too early to start creating a resume. Like most things, creating a winning resume takes practice. It is better to start now than to regret not starting sooner.

DON’T: Include a photo (if you’re in the United States)

One of the more recent resume template trends is to include a headshot in the contact information section of your resume. In some countries, this has been done for years and is seen as a great way to establish a name-face familiarity that can help job seekers seem warmer and and more likable. This trend, however, has not caught on in the same way in the United States. It can actually lead to some less desirable outcomes including discrimination.

First resume examples & best practices 

Show business resumes for kids & teens

When people think about creating a resume to land a job, they’re often thinking about work in an office environment. However, it is important to remember that resumes are used for many different kinds of opportunities. One of the most common reasons to create young teen or kid resumes is for acting and show business opportunities

These resumes should have a bit of educational information (where the student has gone to school and any notable achievements or involvements) along with past entertainment work. For a young performer, this resume likely includes information about any classes or training (dance classes, acting classes, etc), as well as names and dates associated with previous work. One thing that makes show business resumes unique from other types of resumes is that there should also be a section detailing the person’s physical characteristics like height, weight, skin, and eye color. 

Other Typical Resume examples for teens

3 ways to make your teen resume more professional

Unlike the resume of an accomplished adult, a teenager resume will likely be shorter and more academically focused. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it should be less professional. Here are three ways to make your teen resume more professional. 

  1. Professional contact information

Fluffybunny69@yahoo.com is a perfectly fine email address, but not the best choice for a resume. When adding an email address to your resume, choose something with your name, initials, and/or simple numbers.

2. Modern, clean font

Curlz, Comic Sans, and Papyrus might be acceptable fonts for a school project. When it comes to a resume for teens, these fonts should be avoided. Instead, you should opt for a clean, modern font. When designing a resume for a teenager example fonts to use include Monserrat, Raleway, or Helvetica and most teenage resume template designs will come pre-loaded with fonts that will have a professional look and feel. 

3. Social media and portfolio links

Adding your social media or portfolio links to your resume is a great way to add a wealth of information about yourself. Some job seekers and applicants find it useful to share a portfolio URL, Instagram handles, or even Youtube channel information. As you share, make sure to only share channels that have content safe for future employers or admissions agents to see. 

What to include in a resume for teenager example & template

Identify your strengths- what are your strengths

Creating a sample teen resume starts with understanding the information layout required for a resume. While teen resume templates can take on a lot of different shapes, they should include the following information.

Contact information

Your first and last name, one phone number, one email address, one portfolio link, and up to two social media links at most. Social media should only be included if it is workplace appropriate and shows your skills, personality, or career aptitude. Traditionally, an address would also be added to a resume, however, as most resumes are being posted online this isn’t always the safest choice, especially for teens. Instead, your city and state can be added to your resume to provide enough information to potential employers without adverse privacy issues. 

Contact Information Template: 

[First & Last Name]

[Phone number] [Email address]

[City, State]

[Portfolio and/or social media]

Contact information in a resume for teenager example:

Olivia Rodrigo

555-123-4567 | Olivia.rodrigo10@gmail.com

Los Angeles, California

linkedin.com/in/oliviarodrigo | oliviarodrigoofficial.com 

Education information

Include school name, location, expected graduation year, achievements, and specialized coursework or classes that relate to the desired position. Choose to include education-related experience, things like internships or fellowships here, save them for the “experience” section, or create a hybrid “educational experience” section based on the amount of education and experience you have. 

Education Template: 

[School Name] 

[School City, State]

[Expected graduation year]

[Achievements]

[Coursework]

Education section in a resume for teenager example:

North Shore High School

Evanston, Illinois

Expected graduation: May 2022

Achievements: 

  • 2020 Prom Queen
  • National Honor Society President
  • Captain of Varsity Soccer team
  • Treasurer of NSHS Film Club

Relevant coursework: Accounting 101, Intro to Human Psychology, Fundamentals of Communication, Behavioral Economics

Experience information

If you have paid or volunteer experience, this is the spot for it. Teens and students can also choose to leverage the experience they gain during their education, things like capstone or independent study projects, and put it here, 

Experience Template:

[Employer/Group name]

[Your position or role]

[Dates you were involved]

[Summary of your involvement]

Experience section in a resume for teenager example:

SLAM Cancer

Co-Founder

January 2019 – Current

Created SLAM Cancer as a way to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer. As of 2019, we have raised and donated $25,000 to local families with children battling cancer. 

Skill/trait information

Most teenagers won’t have a lot of information to fill out their first resume, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have valuable information to share. When looking at a sample resume for teens to use, you’ll likely see a large portion of the document is dedicated to highlighting hard skills and soft skills. Explicitly detailing soft skills like communication, time management, and problem-solving or hard skills like AutoCAD or HTML coding is a great way to highlight your skills and interests.

Conclusion

Creating a resume for teens starts with many of the same components as creating a resume for adults. It requires a template that highlights a teen’s education and education-related experience to showcase their skills, abilities, and education in a way that makes them stand out. To get the most out of crafting a nice resume, it is highly recommended that you take these resume for teenager example sections and templates, put them together, and compare them with other teen resumes.

Additional Resources

Popular Jobs For Teens

Fast Food Attendant

Grocery Store Cashier

Daycare Assistant

Restaurant Server

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Tutor

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