A Practical Guide To Writing a Successful CV for Teens
Updated 31 March 2023
A professional CV ensures that you make a good first impression with potential employers and boosts your chances of employment. Teenager CVs may differ from traditional ones in terms of their content due to lack of experience or education, yet it's important that they follow the same organisational structure and relevant skills. An effective teen CV draws attention to your personality and enthusiasm for the role. In this article, we discuss what a CV for teens includes, provide tips for success and offer a teen CV template to get you started.
What does a CV for teens include?
A CV for teens includes some elements of traditional ones whilst emphasising other traits and experiences. It's important to only include sections in which you have something relevant to mention, as this helps avoid making your CV unnecessarily long. The typical elements of a teen CV can include:
Education: Include the name of your school and any grades, such as GCSEs, A-levels and other certificates. Also, add any other relevant courses, such as vocational or professional ones.
Any work experience: Include any jobs you've held and add bullet points about your responsibilities underneath each job title. It's important that your work history is in reverse chronological order, meaning you can list your most recent title at the beginning and work backwards from there.
Skills: List skills that are relevant to the position you're applying for. To do this, try to match them to those listed in the job advert or job description.
Hobbies and interests: List any hobbies or interests that demonstrate skills or experience related to the position you're applying for. If you have earned any awards, compliments or achievements throughout your education, experience or extracurricular activities, it's a good idea to include them.
Why is a CV important for teenagers?
If you're a teenager looking for an internship, work experience or a job, a CV can set you apart from other candidates of a similar age. This gives you a competitive edge over others and shows that you value professionalism. A teen CV demonstrates that you're dependable and thoughtful even before you've secured a job, as you've provided employers with all the necessary information at a glance. It also shows that you're serious and passionate about your application and are willing to put time into achieving your goals.
Some employers now ask teenagers to provide letters of recommendation from previous employers or teachers to support their application. By having a CV ready, you can remind your acquaintances of what you've achieved. They can use this reminder as a guide for their recommendation letter.
Related: 10 Best Skills To Include on a CV
Tips for writing a successful teen CV
No two teen CVs are the same, yet there are certain rules and guidelines to follow in terms of best practice. Remember that you can draw from all aspects of your life when writing your CV to promote your enthusiasm and show evidence of the skills that employers are looking for. Here are some successful tips for when writing a teen CV:
Read the job description thoroughly
Always tailor your CV to the position for which you're applying. The best way to guarantee this is to read the job description thoroughly before you begin writing. Highlight any skills or responsibilities in the job description that you can demonstrate from your own experience and make sure to include them. The requirements in the job description are a priority for recruiters, so be sure to reflect them through the use of keywords and examples that demonstrate you putting them into practice.
Provide measurable facts and figures
Employers prefer it when you can provide measurable evidence for your achievements. For example, include your high-scoring percentage in a module or subject relevant to the position. If your leadership skills have resulted in a consecutive winning streak for your local sports team, use this example to show that you have excellent leadership qualities. Get creative when it comes to providing measurable evidence, as what may seem to be a trivial success can have a significant impact on your CV.
Include a personal statement
If you're applying for your first job and don't have any work experience yet, include a personal statement on your CV. Use your personal statement to outline your career goals and intentions for the future. You can also use your personal statement to give a brief introduction to the skills and qualifications that you want to highlight the most.
It's important that your personal statement is no longer than two to three sentences. Its purpose is to give hiring managers a quick summary of your CV. Make sure that you tailor your personal statement to the position you're applying for.
Use a template
Some teenagers struggle with formatting a CV because the content doesn't match the examples that commonly circulate. Using a template when writing your CV can help you make a good start and set you on the right path. For example, CV templates can help with:
skills and how to describe them
relevant experience suggestions
achievements to include
State your contact details first
Contact details are the most important part of your teen CV. This is because they allow employers to get in touch with you regarding the next stage of the application process. State your name, address, email and phone number at the top of your CV in a clear and orderly fashion.
If you have more information about professionals who can support your application with a reference or letter of recommendation, include links to them beneath your standard contact information. Employers usually ask for more details when you're hired, so it's best not to go into detail regarding your national insurance number, age or any other irrelevant personal information. Instead, focus on making sure that your standard contact information and your email address are professional and accurate.
Keep it short and concise
A teenage CV is likely to have less content than a traditional CV and employers typically respect that. It's not necessary to try to increase the length of your CV with unimportant information that detracts from your relevant skills and experience. Employers typically prefer CVs that are short and concise, since they usually have many of them to review. Keep your sentences short and remove any information that's irrelevant to the position.
Proofread your CV thoroughly
Proofreading your CV ensures that you identify any typos or grammatical errors and correct them appropriately. If you hand in a CV that has spelling mistakes or other errors, this undermines your professionalism and suggests that you haven't taken the time to consider your application properly. Remember to also proofread your CV for any structural or formatting problems.
Get a second opinion
If this is your first time writing a CV, ask for help from family members or teachers who can offer valuable insight. They're more likely to understand how employers process applications and how you can improve your CV to comply with their expectations. An extra pair of eyes is also useful when proofreading your application if you've missed any errors.
CV for teens template and example
Here's a simple template and example of a teen CV that you can follow when writing your own:
Follow this template to create a successful teen CV:
[Professional profile or portfolio link]
Objective statement [Use this section to describe your experience and explain what makes you suitable for the role, plus your future career goals.]
Experience (in reverse chronological order)
[Job title], [Name of the company], [Start and end date of employment]
[Bullet points with responsibilities]
[School] [Dates attended]
[List any qualifications or training courses you have completed, or predicted grades]
[Bullet point relevant skills relating to the position.]
Awards and achievements
[List any awards or achievements in this section.]
Hobbies and interests
[If you have a relevant hobby or if you have done any volunteering, list the details here.]
Here's an example of a well-written teenage CV:
An eager student with a stellar academic record and proven communication skills, seeking a retail position that provides the opportunity to use organisational and interpersonal skills in a real-world environment.
Summer Camp Leader, September 2019 - Present
welcomed camp members and show them to their rooms
followed instructions concerning camp maintenance and ensured the welfare of camp members
communicated with camp members, providing them with activity guides and answering any questions
kept accurate records of hours worked and logged them in the work rota on a weekly basis
increased camp member participation in group activities by 25% over two summers
Year 11 student at London School
Currently on-target to achieve A's in all GCSE subjects, including science and maths
As the leader of the London School football team, I train on a regular basis and compete in local competitions. My leadership skills have led to nine consecutive wins for the team and placed us in the top position on the league table.
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