Resume Writing for Teens 9-12

Author: Jennie Withers
Lesson Plan:


Title - Resume Writing for Teens
By - Jennie Withers
Primary subject - Vocational Education
Secondary subject - Language Arts, History,Economics
Grade Level - 8-12
Hey, Get a Job!, available at    (optional, but helpful)
free resume templates for teens at
2 50- minute class periods
Day 1: 
Objective: Students will know the purpose of a resume, basic rules for writing a resume and begin to create resume of their own. (Section 3 - Hey, Get a Job!)
Language Arts teachers may choose to have students write a resume for a character in a novel or story instead or as a warm-up for students writing their own. For example, what if Beowulf had to apply for a job? What would his resume look like?
·         Examples (both good and bad)
·         A worksheet or questionnaire to get them started on their own resumes
·         List what a resume is used for: getting a job, college applications, scholarship applications, to give to those you would like to write letter of recommendations for you
·         Hand out or project resume examples - discuss which are good and which are not. There are some good ones from teens on on the resume templates link. This should lead into a discussion of the basics of resume writing.
o        Resumes must be typed
o        Print resumes on high quality paper - office supply stores call it resume paper
o        Keep your resume to one page
o        Use a proper format - use a template
o        Write in the active voice - No- I have written..., Yes - I wrote...
o        Focus on these three skills - communication skills, problem solving skills and technical skills - point out to students that even if they have no work experience, they should have skills to put in a resume
o        Pay attention to words - brainstorm a list of words with students to use on resumes. Some examples: assisted, implemented, contributed, organized, planned, trained, supervised, selected, earned, presented, mediated, taught, represented  - they should come up with 25-50 to get the idea of work oriented action words.
o        Tell the truth - that includes exaggeration
o        References - this is often times not on a resume, but they need to understand they will need to have contact information for the standard three references
o        Customize the resume for the purpose - a job resume is going to be different than a resume for a college application.
o        Check, check and double check and then have someone else proof it
·         Create a worksheet or some questions that include things teens can put on a resume. It's a way to get them writing and it is a lot less intimidating than giving them a template and telling them to plug it in. Things to be included:
o        Objective - one sentence that sates why you're sending the resume to them and it's a worthwhile place to plug some positive characteristics.
o        Challenging or workplace oriented classes they've taken in school. Their GPA if it's good.
o        Work experience if they have any. Most recent job, what they did and for whom, list of duties (remind them of the words you brainstormed earlier).
o        Volunteer or community service. Stress the importance of this, particularly if they have little to no work experience. List their title or roll, what they did and for whom, list of duties.
o        Talents or skills they have that would be relevant.
o        Honors and awards (academic, athletic, community)
o        Extra-curricular activities - clubs, associations, activities outside of school, hobbies and interests.
Day 2:
Objective: Students will create professional resume using a template. (free templates that were designed for teens with little to no work experience are at
·         computer and printer
·         resume template
·         Show students the templates available to them. They need to choose the template that works best for them. For example, if they don't have any work experience, they don't want to choose one the highlights work experience. 
·         Students need to copy and paste the chose template into a word document. They can make changes on a web template, but they can't save it.
·         Input the information the wrote in the previous class, print and turn it in.
Note: I go through my students resumes and then they revise and turn back in. The second time I have volunteers from the business community look at them and write on the resume whether they would interview the teen or not. My students love this because it makes the experience more real and more meaningful to them.