How to write a stand-out resume for teenagers

How to write a standout resume for teenagers

Photo Credit: the Italian voice via Compfight cc

Thanks to technology, being a teenager is more expensive than ever before. As always, many young people are relying on part-time jobs to fund their lifestyle.

But the teenage job market is a competitive one. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 41% (or 595,000) of Australia’s 1.4 million full-time students aged 15-24 years work a part-time job most weeks.

Sacha Kaluri, co-founder of the Australian Teenage Expo and teenage motivational speaker, says these days young people really need to make sure their resume stands out from the crowd.

“Employees often get hundreds of resumes in front of them for just one or two job positions, so you need to make sure your resume really speaks about who you are in a clear cut and precise manner,” says Sacha.

No need to engage a resume service company. Here are Sacha’s six steps for creating a stand-out resume for a teenager.

1. Volunteer

You may find it hard to land your first job with no experience, so volunteering for a company or a charity will give you much needed skills and knowledge. But also, it will prove to prospective employers that you are the motivated, energetic and enthusiastic person you’re saying you are.

2. Great references

Most young people use a teacher as a reference, which is no longer enough in this job market. Get out there and get involved in as much as possible to build your own networks and referrals outside of school.

3. Creativity

Look outside the square on how things are done. A resume does not have to be printed on a white piece of paper – think about how you can stand out. A student who wanted to work in childcare put together a resume looking like a child’s book. The first place she sent it to called her immediately and gave her the job. Another idea is to include relevant photos: clothing ensembles you’ve put together if applying for a job in fashion, or a photo of a car you are fixing up if applying for a mechanic apprenticeship.

4. Tailoring

One resume does not fit all applications. Think about what kind of person the employer is looking for and tailor your resume to fit their needs. Try to use the same words from the job description in the resume or cover letter.

5. Never, ever, lie

Employees tell me all the time that young people lie on their resumes. It’s easy to write you are good at something, but then when you have to do it you need lots of support or are not competent at all. Think of your top three skills and sell those instead.

6. Spelling and grammar

Check it, check it and check it again, then get someone else to go over it to make sure it’s perfect. Your resume is the first impression an employer will have of you. A spelling mistake might take it to the bottom of the pile.

Sacha shares these final words for young job seekers: “Think positively and get excited about applying for jobs, and make sure that when you call an organisation, you always have a positive and friendly phone manner.”

About the author

Australian Teenage Expo 2013Sacha Kaluri is a youth motivational speaker who speaks to thousands of young people around Australia every year.

In 2011, Sacha co-founded the Australian Teenage Expo, a large-scale youth event which last year attracted almost 8,000 visitors to the Melbourne Showground.

Australian Teenage Expo aims to provide everything a teen, parent or educator needs to know about in three key areas – Education, Services and Products.

Sacha also shared 6 tips to help reconnect with your teenager.


The Kids Are All Right will be giving away an iPad Mini to one lucky person who attends the 2013 Australian Teenage Expo.

Look for the Parents Cheat Sheet postcard in the showbag for all the details on how to enter. Once you’ve entered the competition, stick the postcard to your fridge so you always have Victorian school term and public holiday dates handy, along with essential phone numbers for your teenager.



  1. Point 5 and 6…yes and yes!!
    I remember reading the resumes of some very young girls who were applying for the office administrator where I was working at. One girl had a hot pink border around her resume. Hmmmm…slightly off the professional mark, I thought.
    Grace recently posted..Facebook Lovin’ Sunday – 04/08My Profile

  2. What a great article. So practical!
    Love this line – “Think positively and get excited”
    Collett Smart recently posted..Video Games are good for you…wait, what?My Profile

  3. And keep your Facebook set to private… when I am looking for babysitters or au pairs I will always attempt to find them on Facebook to see what’s public. Another tip, don’t gossip about your previous employers, it sends the message you will gossip about me next!

    Getting a part-time job has been the best thing ever for my teenage son, he’s worked at McDonalds for a year. Careers teachers at school can help kids with additional needs (of any kind) to access support to get part time work, yes, even school kids. Fantastic introduction to the real world of work.
    Seana Smith recently posted..The Funerals We Miss – This Emigrant’s Lament And A Fond Memories Of My GranMy Profile

  4. Points 3 and 6 ring so true. How hard is it to run a resume through spell check or even use grammarly.

    Creativity makes your resume stand out in a sea of boring same old trying to be professional resumes.

  5. Victoria richardson says:

    Hey guys I am turning 13 in April and I need to put some cash together any ideas



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