A resume for a 15 year old

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I write some darn good resumes, but I have no idea how to do a resume for a 15 year old with no job history and who's school history is iffy because of her anxiety. She's in school, but I can't write anything like "honor student" or "no absences". She tests in the high college level for reading and writing and I'd like to highlight that, but I think maybe that should go in the cover letter?

    difficult child wants to work at the local book store (not a chain store). They don't have an application process; they take resumes. (I called to ask if they hire 15 year olds.)

    Any ideas?
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think I would put her school history in as positive a light as you can and highlight in the cover letter that she has qualified to take a different route through school thereby givng her a less typical level of experience than a typical 15 year old. Use her differences as a positive. Focus on her interests, especially reading and attention to detail.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Ask her what she likes to do, try to identify exactly what she is good at and what she is not good at then use this information, expressed as positively as possible, to "sell" her. She also needs to have some ownership in this because whatever you write, she has to endorse at interview.

    Explain to her that lying on a resume is unacceptable (even though people do it) but it is not only acceptable, but desirable to "blow your own trumpet". The resume should list all achievewments but for a beginner, tere won't be much there except where she has been to school and when, as well as what level of education she has reached. Include any extracurricular courses and activities ("tennis once a week for two years"; "ten-pin bowling league") as well as general interests and hobbies. If they are a bit of a worry for you AND if they are not in any way relevant, then leave the info out. You therefore don't put down as hobby, "Hanging around with friends on street corners to pick up guys, smoke cigarettes and deal drugs" even if the drug dealing shows enterprise, an ability to understand the workings of small business and a certain level of challenging people skills.

    See? You can sell anything!

    As I said, the resume is a list, sometimes in 3rd person, but there should be an accompanying letter in the first person which is targetted specifically to that job application which sells the applicant.

    Actually, I think it will be a very healthy exercise for her, and maybe even for you, to go through the process of highlighting her strengths.

    An example I can think of - "I would be very good in this job because I love to read books. Although I am still young and have many more books to read in my lifetime, I already have a deep interest in some areas which could be of value in recommending books to customers. I intent to continue reading, which will only broaden my knowledge and increase my usefulness to you. I have great computer skills, being experienced in [list the software she is good at and include social networking and especially any website design] and I'm also a fast learner with any computer technology I may not yet have had the opportunity to experience.

    I would love to come and work for you because I enjoy meeting people and would prefer to complete my schooling from here on, from a more adult education perspective, studying while I work."

    See how she feels about something like this. If you can help her feel a bit better about herself in terms of her chances, then she could go in to an interview feeling a bit more confident. Role-play it with her if she will let you, or see if a friend will role-play the interview process with her. Interviews are stressful for all applicants, even those who are well qualified and experienced in the workforce. I actually serve on staffing selection panels at difficult child 3's school and I've seen applicants for positions (including staff I know well who are going for promotion) being intensely nervous and sometimes making a mess of their interview. In one heartbreaking case, the staff member made such a mess of her interview for a promotion that we were unable to give it to her. The boss then decided to create a special position just for her, to help her get some sort of promotion because he knew she was up for the job, but she simply had not been able to do it via interview. Too nervous.

    I hope this works out for her.

  4. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    If she has participated in any social groups at school, or in her community or at church, even girls scouts when she was little, I would include this information, as you could discuss how well she works with people or the public, etc. If there was any volunteer work she did for an organization, that could also be highlighted.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Any clubs she belongs to? Girl Scouts? Athletics?
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Also, can you get any recommedations from teachers or other community leaders?

    We'll be going thru this soon but I've told difficult child he might have to start with volunteer work before expecting to get a paying job, especially in today's econnomy.

    I like the idea of ANY accomplishments, teams, organizations being listed. And listing her long term goals and objectives can't hurt.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Definitely highlight any and all accomplishments. When I did Miss KT's resume, I emphasized her black belt in karate and three years in marching band, along with her volunteer work with kids at church.

    I like the example Marg has. It sounds like something a serious book junkie would say.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    The thought that leaped to mind was to prepare a functional resume.

    Back when I used to work for a Headhunter, when we were prepping candidates for interviews with a hiring company we would prepare this type of resume for anyone who had a non-traditional job history, such as gaps between jobs, skills acquired in a field other than the hiring company's, etc.

    The functional resume highlights skill areas, and then provides a brief list of work experience. Given difficult child's attendance etc., that might be an approach that allows you to focus on her strengths and minimize the issues with school non-attendance etc.

    Let me know if you'd like more information.

  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Thank you for the ideas.

    Other than a brief stint in competitive gymnastics several years ago, difficult child hasn't been involved in any groups or activities. Her anxiety had nixed that.

    I'll look into how to create a functional resume. Trinity, I might have some questions for you. I can't seem to remember the difference between the types of resumes, as far as layout and how the information is supplied. That is something I used to know...

    I was thinking of listing her school (just high school because I don't think the other is relevant) where you would normally have work experience and bullet point that she has tested at high college level for reading and writing and another bullet point for testing above average in other subject areas. Then I thought I would list her skills in a bullet point format: computer proficiency, talent for learning new programs quickly, self taught on x, y, z programs, etc. And then listing her interests and hobbies: reading, writing short stories and novellas, photography, photo editing (self taught), knitting and crocheting (self taught), music, animals, whatever. I will also include an objective and all the other traditional resume information.

    Marg, I think we'll use the example you provided in the cover letter - modified to fit, of course. Thanks for offering that up. It's a huge help.

    Those are just my thoughts off the top of my head. I haven't been feeling well enough today to actually sit down and come up with a rough draft of anything.

    Of course, difficult child will have part in doing this. It will be a great learning experience for her, and will help prepare her for an interview if she understands why we're providing the information we're providing.

    Keep the ideas and thoughts on how I'm thinking of approaching it coming. I appreciate them a lot.

    The biggest challenge will be finding clothes that are suitable without completely going out of difficult child's comfort zone. :tongue: I'm sure they'll remember her when they see her. We're there a lot and with her style she tends to stand out.

    It's a really neat book store, by the way, and living in a college town makes it a bit more diverse.

    Thanks all!
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    First off........Way To Go difficult child in wanting to go for a job. That can be a mighty big deal for someone with her high level of anxiety!!

    Second......I'd be just as stumped as you per the resume for a 15 yr old. But I know that Travis had to do one for the tech school.......and actually, now that I think of it Nichole had to do one as well....can't remember for what class though. They even gave them cool fake leather folders to keep them in to protect them.

    Travis used drama and the tech classes he was taking plus references from teachers and easy child (she was married by then and it gave her a different last name). Nichole......hmmm I haven't a clue, but I do recall I was impressed with it. She didn't do out of school activities, but somehow they managed to help her beef it up. I recall Travis' more simply because he's used it alot so we've added to it.

    Fingers crossed she gets the job. But I'm guessing the resume requirement is due to the fact that you are a college town.....they're expecting college students to apply. At least that's my impression.