How To Create A Resume, For Teens

This post is part of the series, “Get The Job”. To see all posts in the series, click here.

It is about this time of year (December-January), where you should begin to think about summer jobs and internships. As a consequence, many also begin to think about resumes, cover letters and cold calling, and begin to freak out. Most traditional schools teach you very limited jobs skills and leave you completely unprepared for the real world. This series is designed to help you through the job/internship process, and Get The Job. It’s written for teens, as most online resources are created for undergrads.

The heaviest volume of internship applications are generally received between late February and early April. To stand out, you should probably submit your application by early February or late April, increasing the chances that your application gets looked over. The first part of your application that you work on is the resume.

It can be argued that the resume is the most important part of the ‘application package’ because it is a 1-page representation of you. The actual definition of resume is “a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous experience, typically sent with a job application.” It is created for your employer to see your greatest achievements (in a factual format), and is the most professional part of your ‘application package’. Because of this, most resumes are formatted similarly and are not very personalized.

There are three main types of resumes; Chronological, Functional and a combination of both. For a High School Student, the Functional style of resume is best, because you (normally) lack direct work experience. Under this format, you list your experiences according to skill and generally categorize them into sections. Now, let’s discuss how to actually build this resume:

General Information

Resumes are generally 1 page. It makes sense because employers are flipping through hundreds of applications, and you want your achievements as accessible as possible to them.

They all follow (mostly) the same style and type of formatting.

Resumes are the most important part of the application, and while simple, should receive the most attention out of everything in your ‘application package’.

The physical resume matters (more below).

Use Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman, font size 11-12 (excluding headings). Black no color. And please, for the love of god, no Comic Sans!

Choose your words wisely, it is proven that some words are better than others when in a resume. For a list of worthy words, click here.

Separate each section with a line.

Now, I’m going to walk you through creating a resume, section by section.

The Heading

This is the section that will get you the job. The heading contains all of your personal information including; Your name, address, email address, and phone number.

There are two main types of formatting:


It’s one of the most important pieces of the resume because it contains your contact information and name.

Make sure that your email is professional sounding (generally Don’t use AOL or Yahoo! mail. Also make sure that your voicemail is up to date, and not a 5-year old version of yourself.

The Summary (optional)

This is the only optional aspect of the resume. If you feel that it is not needed or it pushes the resume to two pages, then don’t include it. The summary discusses why you are qualified for the job, and does not get personal (save that for the cover letter).


This is where you include your school, in this case, high school. If you are currently enrolled, put your class year. If you are in any special programs, put a summary under the School name. Remember, don’t get personal – save it for the cover letter.


This section details current/past jobs or internships, in a chronological order and is the meat of the resume. It states the title, location, position, and date worked (if current, state 21XX-Current). Then, provides bullets (all factual, not personal). Include volunteer experience here as well. If you babysit, include it by stating ‘self-employed,’ then state ‘Babysitter’ in the position section, and explain it in the bullets below.


Here, you list your skills and achievements. What clubs are you in? Are you licensed in something unusual? Have you gone to states for a sport? Include this here.


Here, you list people that can vouch for you as a worker/professional. If you know someone relating to the field you are trying to enter, include them. Also, include someone who knows you well (and will say good things about you). Don’t include your Mom, or best friend. Put contact information, such as phone numbers and emails below their names.

A formatting tip for this section: Use white tables to easily format the references section.

Another tip: If you cant fit it all on one page, and have 1-2 lines of text on another page, try changing the top and bottom margin size from 1 inch to 0.8 inches. This should allow you to get all the text on one page.

If you’ve followed these steps, congratulations, you now are the proud owner of a stunning resume! Heres what the whole thing should look like:

[et_bloom_locked optin_id=optin_2]CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Resume Example[/et_bloom_locked]


Now, proofread, proofread, proofread. If there is a single error, it can ruin your chances for a job. Read it over, then have someone else read it over, then someone else. Then, after making the needed improvements, sit down, and pat yourself on the back. You’ve just created a resume, and made a physical and mental effort to better your future. You are one step closer to Millionaire By 25.

[It is about this time where many look down at their newly finished resume and think, “Oh s**t!”This is the moment where you realize that you don’t have a crazy amount of skills listed, and compared to the sample resumes that you’ve seen online, you’re really lacking. One, you’re not lacking, and two, remember that you’re in high school. You’re not in Harvard (yet), or have had 9 jobs. High School is a time to build your resume, so you don’t have much experience now – that’s what your working to achieve. Don’t freak out, instead take comfort that you are the 1% of high schoolers that are focused on their future, and are working to build a kickass resume. ]

Surprisingly, in a digital age, the physical resume matters a lot. What do I mean by this? The presentation – the envelope that it comes in (if applicable), and the paper that it is printed on. For the envelope, choose a thick laid envelope. Paper-wise, there is a special ‘resume paper’ that you should print on (it can be found on Amazon, or at Staples). Presentation is the icing on the cake, and can make all the difference.

Resumes change and grow with you, so this won’t be the last one you create. Update it as you reach goals and achieve important things, so you always have an up to date resume, ready to be printed and sent to an interviewer.

Remember, this post is one of many in the series, “Get The Job”. I’ve created it for people looking to get their first (or second) job or interview, but have no way of going about it, because traditional schooling doesn’t teach it. To view the rest of the series, click here.

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