It has been an exciting week in our home as both of my teens, Miss 14 and Mr 17, have landed themselves casual employment – one as a checkout operator in a supermarket, and one as a sales assistant with a national retailer. It is such a fantastic opportunity for young people to work. Aside from the monetary benefits of working, it also assists them to develop a work ethic, to improve their confidence, and to learn many useful skills (such as customer service skills and teamwork) which will assist them in gaining other roles throughout their career.
In my day job, I assist job seekers with injuries and disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. I have been working in this field for 20+ years and have become skilled at writing resumes. I gave my teens some assistance in fine tuning their resumes and they both found jobs within a couple of weeks.
It can be challenging for students to develop a resume as they often have little or no experience to include. Many students feel that they don’t need a resume but it will increase their chances of getting hired. If you are a high school students, or you are assisting a teen to develop a resume, here are some helpful tips.
What to Include in a Student Resume:
Include your name, address, telephone number, mobile number, and email address. State your date of birth – Some employers will only employ students who are older than 15 years.
State how many hours of part time/casual work you are looking for (eg Seeking 10 hours of employment during term time, but available to work additional hours during school holiday periods). Advise the employer when you are available (eg. Available to work after school from 4 pm, and all day Saturday). If you are looking for casual work over the summer period, let the employer know that you will be available over the busy Christmas/summer period. Employers are also interested in your transport arrangements if you are younger than driving age. If you are applying for positions that are local, let the employer know that you can easily access the job by walking or on public transport.
State what year of school you are undertaking and the school you attend. List what subjects you are studying (especially if they are relevant to the type of work you are seeking).
State any further certificates that you have (eg Senior First Aid, Bronze Medallion, Duke of Edinburgh Award).
List all previous work that you have undertaken (this can include both paid work and voluntary work) and include dates, and list of duties you have undertaken. Include jobs like paper round, babysitting, dog walking, school work experience Many schools now expect students to undertake a set number of hours of voluntary work so be sure to include this.
Personal Qualities and Characteristics
Include any personal qualities that you have that you can bring to the job – reliable, flexible, teamwork skills, good communication skills, sense of humour, cheerful, friendly, honest, hard working.
List any academic, cultural, or sporting awards that you have achieved at school or in the community. Include any positions that you have held at school eg yearbook committee, leadership positions, mentoring younger students, debating team,
List a few activities that interest you, particularly if they are relevant to the job you are applying for. Include things like sport, music, hobbies, scouts.
List the names and contact details for two referees. It is usual to list previous employers. If you haven’t been employed, use the name of a teacher or sports coach, or someone that knows you well.
Where to Apply
The best way to find a job is through word of mouth. Ask your friends, family, neighbours, and other people you know if they have any job leads for you. You can also look online (such as SEEK) and in the local paper. Drop a copy of your resume off at places that may employ young people such as supermarkets, fast food outlets, retail stores.
If you live in Australia, here are some helpful links: