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Teen girl takes notes on her desk about resume writing with bubble - how to write a resume for teens

How to write a resume for your first job — for teens


-Do you need a resume for your first job? Yes, you typically need a one-page resume detailing your skills and past experiences to submit a strong job application. 

-There are many jobs for teens with no experience required — like tutoring, coaching or social media marketing.

-Greenlight has many resources to help you find a job (like resume formats for first jobs) — so you can earn money and build wealth.

Resumes — and why they’re important for a first job

A resume is typically a one-page document that summarizes your relevant skills and experiences. You submit a resume as part of your application for a job. A strong resume will show employers that you have all the skills necessary to get the job done.

So what’s the deal with resumes — and why are they so important? Well, the purpose of a resume is for you to make a great first impression when applying to jobs. Resumes are typically the first thing employers will look at when reviewing your application. So, to keep your chances of interviewing high, ensure you have relevant skills on your resume that match the description of the job you’re applying for.

Greenlight teen girl laying down outside writing notes on how to write a resume for teens for a job

Before diving deeper into how to write a resume, remember that resumes should be easy to read. They’re also a representation of your professional self. Now, let’s get you on your way to your dream job with your (soon-to-be 👏🏽) new resume.

How to write your first resume and where to find resume templates for your first job application

Start off with a free resume builder or resume sample. With so many free options online, it’s easy to create a resume in a few hours. From resumes for a teen’s first job to resumes for teens with significant work experience — you can find many examples here

Once you find a resume template for your first job, ensure you have the following information on your resume in short-form bullets or sequential snippets.

Resume for teens blank template example with different sections, against green background

Here’s what you should include at the top of your resume:

  • Your full name 

  • Your phone number

  • Your email address

  • Your resume objective (optional) — for example: to gain employment in a specific industry

  • A link to a portfolio of work (optional) - for example: if you are applying for a graphic design internship, link to a few examples of your designs

As long as your contact information is at the top, the rest of your resume can be organized in many different ways. And although your resume format will likely take up one page, try to be as detailed as possible.

Pro tip: Use the Action-Context-Result format or X-Y-Z formula to show your direct impact in previous leadership or working roles. The action-context-result format is leading a sentence with an action you performed, the context of the action and the direct result of your efforts. The ‘Google’ recommended formula is the XYZ formula. The formula follows the format, "Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z].”

Keep in mind that many employers use an applicant tracking system to help filter out resumes. Most of the resumes that successfully go through the system are simple, use black font only and have a sequential format. Here are a few examples of sections you can include after your contact information. 

Include an education section with the following information:

  • Any relevant education, including high school AP courses or college courses, including your GPA if you’re proud to show it off

  • Any diplomas or certificates

  • Any academic accomplishments, achievements or awards

  • Any extra-curricular groups you are involved in to demonstrate your leadership and multitasking skills

  • Test scores on standardized tests, like the SAT or ACT, if you’re proud to show these off

Include any internship, work or volunteering experiences including:

  • Any paid or unpaid internship experience such as a summer internship

  • Any relevant volunteer work experience such as helping your local animal shelter

  • Any part-time work experience such as tutoring, working in customer service or being a camp counselor

  • All these experiences should be detailed with the name of the organization or company, the dates you worked there and your position

Include any skills you may have acquired through your academic or life experiences:

  • Any soft skills such as organizational skills, communication skills or leadership skills

  • Any additional language skills are a big plus — especially if you have to communicate with customers from different cultures and backgrounds

  • Any  technical skills that match or are relevant to the job description, like familiarity with certain software (Excel, Adobe Suite, etc)

  • Any other skills that may be relevant to the industry you want to work in — such as drawing or painting abilities if you apply to an arts and crafts store

If you have extra space on your resume, consider including any interests that can help you stand out from other applicants (optional):

  • Include interests that are unique and relevant, such as books or reading (if you’re applying to work at a bookstore)

  • Include any extracurricular activities or clubs you may be involved in that can speak to your interests and passions

In addition to your resume, include any references that can support your application (optional):

  • If you have current or former supervisors that can speak highly of your professional work, ask if you can include them as a reference on your application

  • If you have any teachers or coaches that can speak to your academic achievements or leadership skills, ask if you can include them as a reference on your application

Review your resume before you submit it to employers

The best way to leave a good first impression on a hiring manager is to make sure your resume is error-free. That means making sure your grammar is in check. Once you’ve finished reviewing your resume, ask a friend or family member to review it, too! 

Where to find jobs for teens with no experience

Way 👏🏽 to 👏🏽 go! You wrote your first resume. What’s next? If you don’t have a job in mind yet, consider searching online for any opportunities. 

Greenlight teen searching resume templates on her phone with speech bubble: what are my life goals?

If you’re a college or high school student, consider asking your school counselors if they know of any job or internship opportunities. Sometimes schools or universities will post job openings for students on their websites or bulletin boards. Take advantage of these opportunities as many of them are suitable for teens or first-time job seekers!

Grow your knowledge and your wealth — with Greenlight

You made it to the end! 🎉 Here’s your final reminder to check in with us once you secure a job (and your first paycheck 💰) to get a personalized debit card and money app. Plus, direct deposit is included — so you can conveniently manage your money right from your phone. 

Teens hanging out around an outdoor table discussing their futures with the Greenlight investing app

Looking for more career and money content? Greenlight has you covered. Next up, we’re helping you secure your dream job — so you can continue to grow your wealth and your knowledge. 

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