Resume and Cover Letter Tips, Tricks, and Examples

How to Craft a Resume for Teenagers + Examples

Tristin Zeman

Copywriter, Human Resources Manager, Marketing Specialist

Updated by: Lauren Hamer

Is it finally time for you to get a job? Maybe you just got your license, or your friends are too busy earning their money to hang out on Friday night. Whatever your reason for wanting a job, you must start with a resume. The internet is ripe with teen resume examples to choose from, but writing one yourself is tricky if you’ve never done it before. You’re unlikely to get a job and make money without a resume. So check out our guide to writing a professional document, as well as teen resume examples you can study while creating your own.

Table of Contents

What are the Best Jobs for Teenagers?

Working teenagers learn valuable skills faster, gain experience earlier, and handle money better. If you’re looking for a job, target part-time roles you can work after school and in between extracurricular activities.

Working as a teen can help you develop the necessary skills you’ll need to succeed in college or enter the workforce full-time. Plus, relevant work experiences help pad your resume or boost your college applications.

Some of the most popular jobs for teenagers include:

  • Restaurant server or hostess
  • Retail sales associate
  • Nanny or babysitter
  • Dog walker
  • Cashier
  • Lifeguard
  • Laborer (landscaping, lawn mowing or trimming, construction assistant)

Most part-time roles pay an hourly rate. These jobs can be lucrative, depending on where you live and the going labor rate in the industry. For example, servers can earn bigger tips at busier, higher-end restaurants, while laborers can make more in certain industries or by taking on additional clients in different neighborhoods. 

A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Your First Resume

A resume is a document created to give recruiters, hiring managers, scholarship panels, and other decision-makers more information about your experiences. It includes your contact information, details about your skills and accomplishments, and your educational history and professional work experience. You’ll use this document to apply for your first job or find a different, more advanced job as your progress through your studies and professional career.

5 Fast Rules for Creating a Professional Resume for Teens

Whether you need to create your first resume or modify an existing document into something more effective, we’ll give you a few quick rules for creating a great resume for teenagers and young adults.

Keep it short

The length of your resume is usually capped at one or two pages, depending on your experience. Most teenage resumes should be one page long, with your information organized in a simple, professional format.

Be professional

Employers expect a certain level of professionalism from their employees, regardless of age. One of the easiest ways to demonstrate a higher level of maturity is to use a simple email address. Try creating an email address using a combination of your first and last name. An email like “” sound much more professional than “”

Fill in the whitespace

A teenage resume with no work experience can look pretty empty. Even if you haven’t held an official job, there are other ways to fill the space with useful information. For instance, you can leverage information and formatting elements, such as:

  • Teams and organizational involvement
  • Awards
  • Personality trait information
  • A hobbies and volunteer activities section

Understand the Differences Between a CV vs. Resume for Teenagers

Fellowships and higher-level academic programs will request a CV instead of a resume. Resumes stick to your academic highlights: where you go to school, your extracurricular activities, student involvement, etc. Meanwhile, CVs are like resumes, but they are more specific and detailed – usually about your educational history. A CV digs deeper to list information about specific courses you’ve taken or projects you’ve completed.

Consider creating a CV if you want to target academic opportunities like scholarships, fellowships, or grants. Consider building a resume if you want to land a traditional job or internship.

Pick the right resume template for teens

Choosing the right resume template makes creating a resume much easier. Resume templates, like those found on Etsy or, are a great way for beginners to create beautiful resumes without design skills. Just make sure you choose a simple design that is visually interesting but professional enough to list your most important information. As a career coach who’s hired countless people and reviewed hundreds of resumes, overly fancy resumes don’t perform as well as clean and simple ones.

When finding the right resume templates for teens, choosing one that highlights education and non-work experience is a good idea. 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. I usually point teenagers and students to either this resume template or this resume template (both are documents I created for students I coach and work with).

Finding a Resume for Teenager Example — what to look for in a template

Clean design

A teen resume shouldn’t look childish. Leave the colors, doodles, and fun fonts for your algebra notebook – they don’t communicate your skills or employability. Choosing a clean design doesn’t have to mean a boring one, though. Choose a palette of complementary colors and legible fonts to create a resume that looks unique to you but still is easy to read.

Focus on education

As a young person, you won’t have a long work history. So, you’ll want to lean on educational and extracurricular activities. This allows you to put extra effort into sections like education, extracurricular involvement, advanced coursework, or academic honors. Templates that allow you to customize the fields will help you create a personalized document.

Avoid graphic design elements

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. Many resume templates for students add charts, pictures, and other infographic elements to fill out the doc, but you should focus on content instead. Hiring managers mostly agree that simple resumes are more effective than creative ones. If you want to showcase creativity, consider adding a link to an online portfolio where you can showcase videos, artwork, and other creative content.

Do’s & Don’ts of Creating Your First Resume Template

Creating a well-designed template now can be useful during high school, college, and beyond. These are the must-do and must-avoid tips for creating your first resume template.


DO: List all your experience

Whether it’s one page or several pages, your first teenager resume should list all relevant information. This can include any special projects, classes, awards, honors, and more (one page is usually enough room to address all these aspects). Don’t limit yourself to things that have happened at school or the workplace. Youth groups, volunteer work, and other community organization experiences are also noteworthy. Ensure you customize your resume for the specific opportunity by adding or removing irrelevant information from your master resume. The templates linked above are great examples.

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 immediately eliminate a job candidate if they notice typos and poor grammar in a resume. 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 we hardly recommend comparing yourself to others, studying your friends’ resumes and other examples online is wise to gain insight. Is there a better way to describe your experiences? Can you organize your information more effectively? The more resumes you look at, the more likely you’ll learn from them.


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

You can create a resume, even if you’ve never had a job before. 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)

Countless online resume templates include photos and headshots, but this is not a trend you should follow, especially if you live in the U.S.  Photos on resumes can actually lead to some less desirable outcomes, including workplace discrimination.

Tips to Craft a Better Teen Resume

While there’s no surefire way to ensure your resume triggers an interview invitation for every application, the most successful examples of resumes for teens follow these simple tips.

Read job details carefully

The best way to make your resume stand out is to review the job description carefully. The more you can tailor your resume to the position, the easier it is for hiring managers to understand your qualifications. Add skills and action verbs from the job description in your resume for the best results.

Highlight career objectives

An objective statement at the top of your resume can help explain your career goals to readers. If your goal is to secure a summer internship at a marketing firm, say so. If you want to get a job at a local business, talk about why you think now is the right time and the skills you hope to learn.

Give facts & figures

Using facts and figures work in two ways for your resume. For one, a resume with “exceeded sales goal by 43%” will do more to validate your abilities and impress a reader than “exceeded sales goals set by management.”

Second, concrete facts and figures help establish credibility. Adding measurable details like “improved production efficiency by 150% by introducing a new process for seating guests” gives more information about the impact of your work. With every statement, try to find ways to you can work numbers into your resume or identify the result of your actions.

Use strong and impactful words throughout the resume

Most resume bullet points should begin with an action verb, such as created, updated, or increased. These “buzzwords” can help position you as a qualified worker more than generic phrases like “responsible for.” As you write your resume, think about the actions required to complete a task. If you learned customer service strategies as a hostess, for example, consider creating a bullet point that starts with “Collaborated with management to…” or “Engaged customers with…”

Be tasteful & professional with font & color selection

When it comes to resume design, keep things simple. Black and white resumes are the safest bet, but you can use tasteful colors to enhance your content. However, you should stay away from colored or patterned backgrounds for your resume.

You must also choose the right font. Stick with a classic serif or sans serif font, such as Arial or Times New Roman. Funkier or more stylish choices may be appropriate for some creative fields, such as video making, content creation, or design, but use those fonts with caution.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

Proofreading is one of the most important parts of finalizing your resume. Spellcheck software like Grammarly can be helpful for catching most errors, but it’s also a good idea to have a friend, family member, teacher, or mentor review your resume to spot any errors you may have missed. Two sets of eyes are always better than one.

3 Ways to Make Your Teen Resume More Professional

Unlike the resume of an accomplished adult, a teen resume will likely be shorter and more academically focused. Regardless of age, it should always be professional. Here are three ways to make your teen resume more professional.

  1. Professional contact information is a perfectly fine email address, but it’s not the best choice for landing a job. When adding an email address to your resume, choose something with your name, initials, and/or simple numbers.

2. Modern, clean font

Save the Curlz, Comic Sans, and Papyrus fonts for school poster projects. For resumes, you should opt for a clean, modern font, like Garamond, Georgia, Arial, or Helvetica. 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 share additional information. Some job seekers find sharing links to a creative portfolio, Instagram handles, or YouTube channels useful. Just make sure this content is suitable for professional environments. Avoid adding links that could paint you negatively to future employers or admissions agents.

What to Include in a Resume for Teenager Example & Template

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

Add 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. If you want to add an address, include just your city and state.

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 |
Los Angeles, California | 

Resume objective

Resume objective statements tell prospective employers about your career goals and the skills you bring to the table. These are short impact statements, not long-winded paragraphs—think Twitter posts and Instagram captions. Here are a few example objectives for a resume for a teenager:

High school senior with customer service and retail experience targeting long-term server positions at upscale restaurants. Valid driver's license and strong interpersonal communication skills eager to grow within an organization.

CPR- and lifeguard-certified high school student with interests in outdoor recreation and community service. A strong varsity water polo player hoping to gain additional professional experience as a lifeguard or swim instructor.

Magazine intern, graduating senior, and student government leader interested in digital news and broadcasting opportunities in online, television, or radio. Accomplished public speaker with proven communication, research, and storytelling abilities.

Education information

Include your school name, location, expected graduation year, achievements, and specialized coursework or classes related to the desired position. Save internships or fellowships entries 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]

Education section in a resume for teenager example:

North Shore High School
Evanston, Illinois
Expected graduation: May 2022

  • 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

    What else should I put in the education section?

    Should I Include my Coursework?

    Yes, beefy education sections detailing all you’ve been exposed to can help counteract a lack of professional work experience. AP classes, large capstone or thesis projects, and relevant courses related to your intended college major or desired career industry are all acceptable resume entries. 

    Do I Include my GPA? What if It’s Bad?

    Most colleges and universities require high school applicants to list their GPA on their resumes, good and bad. In certain instances, adding additional context can help explain why your GPA is lower than you expected, such as a family tragedy or relocation in the middle of the school year. If your GPA improved from freshman year to senior year, explain what you did to improve your score. College graduates can include their GPAs as needed. If you earned a grade point average above 3.7, it’s best to include it. If you graduated with a lower GPA, you can leave it off. 

    Should I Mention My High School Degree?

    Most teenage resume examples won’t include a high school diploma, especially if you haven’t graduated high school yet. However, college hopefuls should list their high school degree for college applications and during their college tenure. Once you graduate from college, your high school degree isn’t as relevant as your post-secondary one.

    Should I Mention my Degree if I Dropped Out?

    If you didn’t complete your degree program, I usually recommend job seekers still list their degree program and school name. Then explain your reasoning in one short bullet point, like “left to pursue full-time opportunity in real estate” or “Moved back to Indiana to care for ailing mother after completing 98 hours of Psychology program”

    Extracurricular Activities

    Extracurricular activities—especially those relevant to the job– can strengthen your resume. For teens who lack work experience, these additions can make you a more interesting candidate. The following activities are perfect for your resume:

    • Student government
    • Recurring volunteer experience
    • Sports team participation
    • Club, society, and association memberships
    • Additional languages spoken
    • Study abroad/work-study programs

    Experience information

    In this spot, you’ll write an entry for all your professional experience – paid experience and volunteer work. Teens and students can also choose to leverage the experience they gained in school, such as Capstone or independent study projects.

    Experience Template:

    [Employer/Group name]
    [Your position or role]
    [Dates you were involved]
    [Summary of your involvement in bullet points]

    Experience section in a resume for teenager example:

    SLAM Cancer
    January 2019 - Current
  • Created SLAM Cancer as a way to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer; raised and donated $25K for local families with children battling cancer.
  • Organized quarterly fundraisers, partnering with businesses to offer bake sales, community sponsorship opportunities, and auctions.
  • Skill/trait information

    When looking at a resume example for a teenager 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.

    Other sections

    Feel free to add other information organized into other categories based on your personal history such as awards, honors, certifications, or volunteer work. Be sure to treat these areas with the same formality as other parts of your resume by highlighting facts, figures, and achievements.

    What to do When you Don’t Have any Experience (very likely)?

    When you lack professional experience as a teen job searcher, use other experiences to fill out this section of your resume. Have you had any after-school gigs like babysitting, dog walking, or helping with a family business? Are you engaged in any extracurricular activities at school? These experiences are excellent things to put on your resume to showcase your leadership, responsibility, and other employable traits. Additionally, a section about your skills can be used in place of an extensive experience section.


    In today’s competitive job market, a relevant internship can set you apart from other job applicants—especially if you’re a student or recent graduate with little work experience. Whether paid or unpaid, internships can serve as “professional experience” on a resume. Treat the position the same as a work entry: detail the time commitment required (full- or part-time), your daily tasks, skills gained, and earned accomplishments. Then, in your cover letter, you discuss how it has helped shape you professionally.

    Voluntary Works

    Volunteer experience demonstrates leadership skills and proves work ethic. List this info on your resume using the same format as your work experience section. Include the organization you volunteered for and the time frame. Then write a bulleted list explaining what you accomplished while there. If preferred, this can also be in its own section titled “Volunteer” or “Community Involvement.”


    If you’re targeting creative or technical industries, projects can be a great way to demonstrate skills. Consider listing consulting work for project-based fields like IT or engineering. Coding projects, app development, or website creation are great examples of projects to highlight. Creative projects like freelance writing, curating art for shows, or managing an e-commerce website are also valuable additions to your resume.

    Extracurricular Activities

    As mentioned above, extracurricular involvement can either beef up your education section or fill out your experience section. Leadership roles, such as varsity team captain or yearbook editor are most effective as their own experience entries, while memberships and associations are better served as supplemental bullet points in your education section.

    What are the General Skills you can Learn to Strengthen Your Teen Resume?

    A robust skills section should include hard skills that require special training, like coding, accounting, or cash management. Soft skills help strengthen your resume regardless of the field or industry. Soft skills that are most likely to strengthen your teen resume include time management, team collaboration, leadership, and basic computer literacy.

    Business Writing

    By this, we mean knowing how to write in a clear, professional manner. You’ll need to communicate in writing to a variety of professionals as you grow in your career, from colleagues to supervisors to clients. Understanding that messaging a professional acquaintance requires a different tone than messaging your best friend can help ensure you master important writing skills. 

    Microsoft Office Package

    Showcasing your knowledge of technical platforms and programs like Microsoft Office or G-Suite will help you integrate seamlessly into a company’s workflow. Most businesses use these programs to email customers and share projects with teammates. Basic Excel and/or Google Docs abilities are valuable skills to learn as a teenager.

    Basic Coding

    In the current job market, knowing how to write computer code can be valuable in various industries. Professional computer programmers, software engineers, and application developers use this skill daily, as do nearly all other employees who use a phone or computer regularly. While the “coding” keyword will catch a recruiter’s eye, listing the other associated skills, like analytics, HTML, or Java, is also helpful. 


    Perhaps most important, communication skills include listening, public speaking, and writing. You can write this on your resume, but you’ll need to prove it during the interview. Teenagers with solid communication abilities speak clearly, look people in the eye, listen closely, and engage with others easily. If you struggle with communication, try to master this skill first—you’ll use it in every aspect of your personal and professional journey.

    Problem Solving

    Employers love people who tackle problems on their own and identify solutions proactively. You might demonstrate your ability to think critically and creatively by brainstorming a better way to do things during a project or fixing an issue for a customer at a retail store. Practice making decisions—start with small decisions pertaining to your day-to-day—and then think about how you can share your thoughts and contribute ideas. As a result, you’ll become more confident and attractive to potential employers.

    Writing a Killer Cover Letter

    A cover letter is the final piece needed to tie everything in your job search together. A cover letter is a letter written to introduce yourself as an applicant with your resume attached. It should not just repeat the same information from your resume, but rather serve as a way to communicate with a prospective employer that you understand the job needs and have the skills/experience to fill those needs.

    How to Write a Winning Cover Letter

    Once you create a resume, you’ll need to write a cover letter to round out your job application. A cover letter is a one-page document that briefly summarizes your background and interest in the position. It’s not a long-winded document; usually, a couple of paragraphs is enough to spark the hiring manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. Here are the main points you should address in your cover letter.

    1. Introduction: After addressing the letter, you’ll begin your cover letter by highlighting who you are and why you’re applying to the position. (We include a few examples below.) Unlike resumes, effective cover letters show some personality. Try to craft an opening paragraph that engages the reader. The more likely you stand out in your cover letter, the better your chances are for an interview. 
    2. Body: Here, you’ll mention the unique attributes and skills that make you the right person for the job. What you write here will depend on the job you apply for. Study the job description to determine the most important aspects, and then discuss how you can help them complete the requirements. A bulleted list of three or four examples can help a hiring manager quickly skim your letter for the most relevant details. These examples will convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.
    3. Conclusion: Finally, end your letter by writing your next steps. More than likely, you want them to reach out to schedule an interview. So, clearly state your future availability and interest in the role. Then, sign the letter with your full name.

    Teenage Resume Cover Letter Examples

    One of my favorite strategies for teenager and student cover letters is to showcase personality. Engage the employer with the first sentence, immediately conveying how you can solve their biggest problems if they hire you. 

    Here’s an example of a cover letter I wrote for a freshman marketing student targeting a summer internship:


    Here is another example of using your personality and experiences to your advantage. In this instance, a teenager needed to get a job in a new city before college. We leveraged achievements from his old job to relate to the new opportunity. Remember, personalized cover letters are more effective than generic statements.


    Like resumes, keep your cover letter design simple. Words matter more than flair. has several professional, sleek cover letter templates you can customize, like the ones below. 

    Source: Resume Genius

    Teen Resume Examples + Templates

    Remember, not all experience has to be paid. These examples from Resume Lab show how students can use school involvement as experience.


    Here is another example of a student I worked with who used their varsity soccer experience and coaching experience to demonstrate leadership, work ethic, and commitment. 


    No matter what information you choose to include, remember to format your resume in a neat, easy-read style. Below is an example of creative resume design that uses extracurricular involvement to demonstrate skills and abilities throughout their resume. 

    Source: LaunchPoint Resume


    Creating a resume for teens starts with many of the same components as creating a resume for adults. It requires a template highlighting 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 an excellent 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

    1 Comment

    Write A Comment

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Exit mobile version