A résumé is a written document that lists your work experience, skills, and educational background for one purpose: to let employers know what a great hire you will be! Begin by providing your contact information at the top (name, address, phone number, email address). Then include the following sections:
- Experience - Go in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent job. Include major volunteer work or internships here too. List job title, name of employer, city and state, how long you held the job, and briefly describe your responsibilities.
- Education - If you have attended more than one high school, list them in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent school. If you already have your high school diploma, be sure to mention that, as well as a good GPA, classes that might relate to the job you're applying for, and awards/honors you've received.
- Skills - Include skills that make you marketable and set you apart from others, such as computer programming skills. Focus on skills that might relate to the job you're applying for. (Other optional sections include community involvement, awards/achievements, and personal interests.)
There's no need to include references on your résumé; simply write: "References available upon request" and make a separate list for yourself of up to three different people your employer could call to confirm your skills, experience, work ethic, etc.
Be aware that formatting also counts:
- Keep it simple. Your résumé must be simple and easy to read. Use a basic font like Times New Roman in 11 or 12 point with black ink. Use white or off-white paper.
- Proofread. Absolutely no typos. Read it over and then have someone else do the same.
- Organize your résumé. Put the most relevant information first. If your education is more impressive than your experience, put that first.
- Be concise. A résumé should be no longer than one page. Keep it simple and effective.
- Highlight your strengths. Play up your background and skills to emphasize how perfect you are for the job.
- Use power words. For every skill or job you describe, think of words that make it sound great.
- Be honest. Go ahead and pump yourself up, but make sure you can back up what you say.
For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, visit Military Youth on the Move!