by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Thanks again for taking our Teen Resume Writing Quiz.
Need help getting started on your resume? Use our free Teen Resume Writing Worksheet to take you through all the steps to developing your resume.
- When describing work experience, paragraph style job descriptions are preferred over bulleted lists.
False. Employers have a very limited amount of time to review your resume, and short, bulleted lists because they are much easier to read and understand. If you currently have paragraph descriptions of your work history, find a way to break those down into two to four bullet points.
- Resume writers should avoid using descriptors such as “duties included” and “responsible for.”
True. Employers know the duties for the typical jobs held by teens, so instead, describe how you excelled at each job by focusing on your accomplishments and achievements.
- It’s perfectly acceptable to use personal pronouns (I, me, my) on a resume.
False. Resume writers want to avoid the personal pronouns as much as possible. Instead of saying something like, “I provided customer service to an average of 60 customers on each of my shifts,” simply state (in bullet form): “Provided customer service to an average of 60 customers per shift.”
- Action verbs and job-specific keywords need to be included in all resumes.
True. Action verbs are the foundation of all resumes and are used to express your skills, assets, experience, and accomplishments. Avoid nondescriptive verbs such as “do,” “work,” and forms of the verb “to be.” Instead, begin each descriptive section with an action verb (such as provided, managed, collaborated, developed, accomplished, etc.). Here’s where you can find a list of great action verbs for job-seekers.
Keywords are nouns and noun phrases that relate to the skills and experience that employers use to recall resumes scanned into a database. Keywords can be precise “hard” skills — job-specific/profession-specific/industry-specific skills, technological terms and descriptions of technical expertise, job titles, certifications, names of products and services, industry buzzwords, etc. Read more about keywords.
- The best resumes have specific — and quantified — job accomplishments rather than job descriptions.
True. All employers know the duties of a server, retail clerk, cashier, etc. What they really want to know about your past work experience is how you made the job better. In other words, they want to know what you did and what you accomplished. For teens, this aspect of resume writing may be a bit harder, but take the time to at least consider your accomplishments. Read more about using accomplishments.
- Personal information (such as age, race, marital status) should never be included on resumes in the U.S.
True. You should never list any personal information about yourself on your resume, nor include a picture. Do include key contact information so that employers can reach you, but that’s about as personal as you should get.
- References should never be listed on a resume.
True. Reference belong on a separate page — and never on your resume. And for that matter, never put supervisor names or contact information on your resume either. Your references belong on a separate page that has the same format as your resume and cover letter. And remember to ask people if they would be willing to serve as a reference for you before you add them to your references page! Read more about references and reference lists.
- While content is the most important element of a resume, the format must also be both distinctive and attractive.
True. The content of your resume is the most important element, but if the design or format of your resume is so bad that employers can’t get to the content, then you have a problem. You want to use normal (readable) fonts in normal sizes (generally 10-11 pt.). Keep page margins a healthy width and use white space to make the resume visually appealing. See our sample teen resume.
- Having any typos or misspellings on a resume are lethal to a job-seeker’s job-search.
True. In reality, not all employers are that harsh, but many tell us that any resume that contains an error goes right to the trash can. And if your resume is your introduction to the employer, then it should be important to you that it makes a great first impression. Always spell-check your resume — and always have at least one other person proofread it.
- There is one resume style preferred by all employers.
False. In fact, just about everyone has little quirks about what they like to see and not see in resumes, so your goal is always to follow the most mainstream advice (which is what Quintessential Careers always provides). It would probably be easier if there was just one format, but it would also be really boring because all the resumes would look alike! Just remember to develop a resume that has strong content and a distinctive style — like our sample teen resume.
How Did You Do?
Give yourself one point for each correct answer and then add up your score:
- 9-10 pts. — You know resumes! Your resume should stand out from others.
- 7-8 pts. — You have basic resume knowledge, but need to learn more.
- Under 7 pts. — You don’t know much about resumes, but now is a great time to learn.
Remember, no matter what your score, go to our Resume Resources page for tons more resume-writing tools, including some great sample resumes.
See also the Job and Career Resources for Teenagers section of Quintessential Careers for more job-hunting tips, articles, and resources to help you get a job.
Don’t forget to check out our entire collection of Tests and Quizzes for Job-Seekers.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this quiz? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Enhance your career! Take advantage of all of our expert free career development advice, tools, and more in our Career Resources Toolkit for Job-Seekers.