Having a well-presented resume is your most important tool when applying for a job, and most jobs these days will ask for one, even if it is a job through someone you know. If you’d like a job it’s a good idea to have your resume ready to email to anyone who suggests an opportunity you are interested in. A resume should reflect your qualifications, experience, industry knowledge and skills – as well as updated contact details.

Some great things to include in a resume (usually in this order) are: an opening statement about you, a list of your previous skills and experiences, your education and your work history. Remember, even if you haven’t worked in a paid job before, there are always skills and experiences you have whether it be volunteering, roles at your sports club, or leadership roles you have taken on at your sports club, school, local community centre, church or mosque. Perhaps it is a love of cooking or making coffee that you use for large family events? Try to consider the type of job you are applying for when you write your resume, so that you can ensure what you write is relevant.


You’ll also want to include some references or referees at the end of your resume. These are people who you know will be happy to speak about you on the phone to a potential employer, and who will not only say good things about your abilities and attitude, but will also be able to speak about your skills relevant to the job. The main rule is, you can’t use a reference who is related to you personally. Some great people to ask to be references can be teachers, coaches, pastors, imams or people who have supervised you while volunteering. Just don’t forget to ask these people for permission and their contact details first, and make sure you let them know when you have applied for a job so that they are prepared for a call! 

It’s important that a resume is well presented and that you show you can use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. While reading over it a few times is helpful, it’s also good to get a teacher or another adult to take a look at it and give you any feedback to help. Don’t forget to use the language that is natural to you, while keeping it formal and professional.

More info on resumes

Youth Central - how to write a resume

Zety - how to tailor your resume

Check out example resumes

Youth Central - sample resumes and cover letters

Just after some more inspiration?

FYA - job application tips from a HR professional

Jobted - How to write an effective resume, a practical guide

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