Resumes for Kids

It’s hard to know how to write a resume when you have never had a job before.

This can be a confusing process, because it makes you wonder: “How can I get a job if I have never had a job to put on my resume?” What’s important to realize is that even if you have never had a job, you still have education, experience, activities and skills that can make you attractive to a potential employer.

This blog post will cover the following:

  • Presenting your education on your resume
  • Detailing your experience (both volunteer and paid) on your resume
  • Highlighting your skills and activities on your resume

Presenting your Education on your Resume

When you are young, employers are not expecting you to have much in the way of paid work experience.

They are however, expecting that you have some education under your belt.   When creating your resume, make sure to include a section with the heading “Education”.

Should you have received awards during the course of your education, you may want your heading to read “Education and Awards”. In this section, you will want to provide the information of the school you attend, your anticipated graduation date, any awards you have received, your GPA (if it is high), and any training or coursework outside of a typical high school.

For example, if you have taken a course on CPR and/or first aid, you will want to note that here. This information may or may not seem important to you, however employers like to see that a potential employee is taking their school work seriously.

Detailing your Experience (Both Volunteer and Paid) on your Resume

On your resume you will create a section with the heading “Experience”. This section can include experience that is paid and unpaid.

Perhaps you just turned 15 and have not had a chance to have a “real” job yet. That doesn’t mean you don’t have experience!

Pull out a notebook and think of the things you have done over the last few years for small amounts of pay, to help your family, or as a volunteer to help your community.

Many teens have babysat for siblings, younger relatives or neighbors. Whether or not you were paid doesn’t matter, this counts as experience. Click here to see a resume for a student with babysitting experience.

Beyond babysitting, other teens have helped their parents or neighbors with yard work; mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and watering plants.

Perhaps you have also been cooking dinner once a week for your family or have been responsible for feeding and walking the family (or the neighbor’s) dog.

These things are all experiences that can be put on your resume as long as you frame them the right way when including them.  You can find other tips about resumes for kids by clicking here.

While it is hard to volunteer on your own before a certain age, perhaps you volunteered with your family at a food bank or animal shelter every few months. This is also experience that belongs on your resume.

Remember that notebook I mentioned to pull out? Under each experience, list a few tasks that you did as a part of that work. For example: Pet Sitting

  • Responsible for walking two dogs for a minimum of twenty minutes twice daily
  • Ensure that household pets are fed the correct quantity of food and always have access to fresh water
  • Keep yard free of waste on a daily basis

In your notebook, you can list as many tasks as you can think of that show you are a responsible teenager. When putting together your resume, the key is to make sure that you frame these as responsibilities that you excelled at and convey to your potential employer that you’ll be a good employee. To see an example of a resume for a teenager with informal experience, click here.

Highlighting your Skills and Activities on your Resume

Another section for your resume is one titled “Skills and Activities”.

Let’s start with “skills”. First, consider what things you are good at. If you have used Microsoft Word for your papers at school, and are comfortable with it, you can list on your resume that you are “proficient with Microsoft Word”.

Do you speak Spanish? You can state on your resume that you are bilingual and speak English and Spanish. Consider what it is that you are good at and highlight it in this section.

Stay away from skills that are completely irrelevant to the position you are applying for.  For instance, if you are trying to get a job as a lawn care worker, it doesn’t make much sense to mention you are CPR certified.

As far as “activities”, this is your opportunity to show a potential employer all of the things that you have been involved in. This can include sports, clubs, playing a musical instrument, being a boy/girl scout, etc.

You’ll want to list the activity, and then provide information on what it is that you did or are doing when involved in the activity. Should you be a member of the marching band, for example, you can list that you have played the trombone for five years and have been a member of the marching band for two years.

It’s great for a potential employer to see that you have been committed to something like an instrument, activity, or sport as it shows that you are consistent and loyal to things that you care about

If you’re able to include highlights of your education, experience, skills and activities in your resume, it will help you realize all that you have to offer a potential employer. For more information on how to put your resume together, click here.

Just because you don’t have a full-time job and haven’t gotten a paycheck in the past doesn’t mean you won’t make a great employee. In fact, employers will appreciate the initiative you took to build your resume.

What concerns do you have about building a resume as a kid? If you have already put together a resume, what was your biggest challenge?  Let us know in the comments below.

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