You’re about to draft a resume for a summer or part time position you can hold while you’re still in high school. Congratulations! And welcome to the working world. There’s nothing more satisfying than collecting a paycheck that you earned with your native smarts and the labor of your own two hands. But before you start racking up interviews, you’ll need to impress your potential employers and find a way to set yourself apart from the dozens of other young people who will be competing for the same handful of open positions. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Start with a short summary.
Begin your document with your name and contact information (LiveCareer can provide formatting tools that will help you choose a font and style). And right under this introductory information, create a three line paragraph that summarizes your skills and intentions. Simply state what you’d like to do, and list a few reasons why you’ll be great at it.
2. Think carefully about what your employers might be looking for.
Waiting on tables (just as an example) is difficult and demanding work…At least it is if you’re doing it really well and helping your employers make money. This job requires careful attention to detail, strong listening skills, great customer service skills, and the ability to sell items by making recommendations and pitching specials. If you intend to show up on time and just do your job, that’s fine. But let your employers know that you plan to do a little more than just the minimum.
Your employers may be operating on some negative assumptions about teenagers regarding their skills and work ethic. So set yourself apart from that hypothetical crowd. Make it clear that you’re the exception to this “rule,” and you plan to make a powerful impression starting on day one. These employers probably care more about their business than anything else (expect maybe their children), so make it clear that you’ll take this place as seriously as they do.
4. Emphasize your grades and study skills.
If you’re earning straight A’s and working hard on your extracurricular activities, make this clear under your “education” subheading. Again, employers want reassurance that you know how to buckle down, make commitments, and follow through. High grades can suggest this if you don’t have much previous work experience.
5. Leverage your “Skills” section.
Use your skills section to highlight any skills that might be at all meaningful to your employer. Beyond your specific lifeguarding, stockroom management, or basic childcare skills, include your proficiency with software platforms like Microsoft office, your athletic accomplishments, your language skills, and your extracurricular achievements. These skills will help you stay in the minds of your employers after they put your resume down.
6. Write well.
Your resume should contain absolutely no typos. But beyond that, make sure your phrases are smooth, your verbs are well chosen, and your words are elevated and precise, not slangy. Before you submit your resume, show it to your parents or someone in the adult world who knows how to give editorial advice.
Above All, Be Precise, Clear & Positive
At your age, a great candidate is a candidate with a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, a sense of judgment, and a sense of attention to detail. A strong resume and cover letter can showcase all of these skills. Visit LiveCareer, create a beautiful application, and land you the position you’re looking for.