Maybe you’re tired of having to beg your parents every time you want to buy something. Maybe you just have to have those amazing shoes. Maybe your University application fund is looking a little empty, or you just want to help out at home.
No matter your motivation, you’re ready to create a terrific teen CV – the first step into a future of creating documents that detail your professional personality, skills and work experience. What? You have no work experience? Don’t stress! Every person in the workforce has had a first job. CVapp.ie has got you covered!
CVapp.ie is a powerful resource for job seekers including those new to the job hunt. No matter what job you’re after, our recommendations and top career advice can help you get there.
This CV guide, alongside our corresponding teen CV examples, will cover the following topics:
- What are the best jobs for teens?
- How to write a top teen CV
- The best format for a teen CV
- Advice on each section of your CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Our top CV layout and design tips
How to write the perfect teen CV
All job applications contain the same information, although the style and format may vary a bit. A great CV, including your teen CV, should contain the following sections:
- The CV header
- The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The CV skills section
- The education section
The order of your teen CV sections will be different from a seasoned professional, but the goal is the same: Get that interview and then the job!
Applying online? Want to avoid ghosting?
Whether you’re looking for work at the local Tesco or you’d like to work online, you need to understand the Applicant Tracking System. When you upload your documents and fill in an online application, ATS software will be using algorithms that look for keywords and phrases to rank your CV.
This means, you need to adapt your CV for each different job.
To leap your first job-hunt hurdle, follow these steps:
- Check through the job listing and take note of the skills your prospective employer is looking for.
- If you can legitimately say that you have those skills, make sure they appear in your CV.
- Double check the language (e.g., keywords!) to make sure you are repeating phrases exactly as they appear in the listing.
Be sure to keep your unique voice as you include important keywords from the job description!
Choosing the best format for a teen CV
The key difference in a teen CV and the CV of a more experienced worker is just that: experience. If you’ve already held a job, great! But if not, that doesn’t mean your CV will be completely blank.
We typically recommend the reverse chronological order format in which you list jobs from most recent on back, but as a teen, you may not have had many opportunities for paid employment just yet. You can still use this format, but bump your education section up above your employment history, or even your skills section if you have a great academic record or many relevant classes.
The functional CV format is a better choice for teens because it emphasises skills and attributes and doesn’t prioritise your work history. Employers who hire for entry-level positions are mostly looking for personality traits that will make you a good employee, also known as soft skills. (More on those later!)
CV professional summary example: A short essay about you
Before you begin your job hunt (or your CV) ask yourself what your goal for working is. Do you simply want extra cash? Are you looking for employment experience you can use later? Or are you planning to go straight from secondary school into a career and want a jump start? The professional summary of your CV gives you an opportunity to aim squarely at your goal.
This key component of your CV consists of about 4-5 freeform sentences that introduce who you are, highlights your best attributes and achievements and tells employers why you want the job. Because your work history section will be short, you can expand this component and let your personality shine through.
Because this is an open format, you may need some guiding questions. Ask yourself: What will set me apart from the other teens who want this job? What positive words describe me best? Check out our summary CV example for more ideas on how to accomplish this.
Hardworking and enthusiastic secondary school student working looking to use advanced computer skills to help local businesses and communities. Seeking to use my knowledge of social media marketing, coding and ads management in a summer internship position. Strong communication skills and fluent in English, Irish and German. Dedicated, hardworking, and committed to becoming a dependable and valuable team member.
Employment history sample
Have you ever volunteered? Been an officer in a school or afterschool organisation? Babysat or walked the neighbor’s dog? Then you have work experience for your employment history section!
Even if these jobs were short-term, they show that you can make a commitment and stick with it. Use the standard format of bullet items that each highlight an action you performed in your job. Begin your description with an action word that shows you’re proactive. Avoid using phrases such as “I did” or “In this job, I….”
See the employment history CV sample below for ideas.
Try some of these action words: established, strengthened, accomplished, delivered, developed, volunteered, presented, designed, planned.
Language Tutor at Flynn Language Consultants, Dublin
July 2020 — Present
- Collaborated with colleagues to create an effective language learning environment
- Developed a series of interactive activities that increased student engagement in German & Irish language classes
- Assisted students in developing their language skills through one-on-one tutoring sessions
- Implemented a student-centered approach to language instruction that enabled students to further their understanding of the language
Coding Consultant at Dublin Youth Co, Dubln
December 2019 — June 2020
- Developed a series of coding challenges to assess youth progress and identify areas of improvement
- Assisted Dublin Youth Co in creating a youth-based curriculum for a coding boot camp that covered the fundamentals of web development and coding
- Mentored students and helped youth create comprehensive coding strategies in fictional and realistic scenarios
Teen CV skills example: You’ve got what it takes
Hiring managers filling entry-level positions don’t expect you to have a long list of career-specific skills on your CV. Mostly, what they want to know is whether you are reliable, trustworthy, can follow directions and communicate with others. These are the soft skills that make people good employees.
Certainly, if you have job-specific hard skills and they relate to the position you seek, list them! Our skills CV sample below can help.
Top 5 entry-level skills, according to LinkedIn:
- Leadership: If you have been a team captain or an officer in a club, you have this attribute.
- Communication: We won’t go so far as to say that Snapchat qualifies, but if you can clearly share information, you can claim this skill.
- Problem-solving: If you excel at computer programming or have written a persuasive paper on fixing the world’s ills, that’s problem-solving. Real life examples count too!
- Work ethic: Do you get your schoolwork done? Do you take care of your responsibilities to the best of your ability? You’re good.
- Teamwork: Have you worked on a group project? Been on a sports or academic team? That counts.
Notice that these are all soft skills that you probably have even if you have not had a formal paying job.
- Google Suite
- Adobe Photoshop
- Computer Skills
- Communication Skills
- Leadership Skills
Teen CV education example
Your academic career says most about you right now. In the education section you can list any classes you have taken that are related to the job you seek. If you have taken culinary arts, business classes or any other academic or vocational classes that show you can do the job, list them here. If you have space, you can even offer a short description of what you learned in the class.
Leaving Certificate, Gaelscoil Dún na nOíocht, Dublin
September 2019 — Present
CV formatting: first impressions
We live in a visual world. That means the look of your CV carries weight. As a teen, you can get a bit more playful (depending on where you’re applying), but your goal is to get the interview, so make sure you keep ithe content of your CV practical and professional.
Try to fill one page without leaving huge margins or tons of white space. Write a longer summary or add details in other sections.
If you have design skills, go for it! Or consider using a professionally-designed CV template to save time and ensure your CV looks as great as it sounds.
Key takeaways for a teen CV
- Yes, you’re a teen, but you have more skills and experience than you realise.
- The worker shortage has left teens in a great position to find a job.
- Make sure you personalise your CV for each different position to impress hiring managers and beat the ATS.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. Check out our adaptable teen CV sample for more ideas on how to get started.