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Here’s a full preview of page one of this CV for 16 year olds:
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How to write a CV for 16 year old jobseekers
Chances are, if you’re 16, you won’t have a great deal of work experience – and this can make writing a CV for 16 year old jobseekers challenging. Our guide will help you, suggesting alternative types of experience you can include if you’re looking for a job.
Use our CV template (download above) to get you started. It’s split into sections and is easy to fill in.
Include your contact info
At the top of your CV, include:
- Your name e.g. “Alice Johnson”
- Your full address with postcode
- Your mobile phone number
- Your email address
TIP: Make sure your email address is professional – for example, firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com
Q: Should I include my social media profiles and/or website?
A: Only if they add value. For example, if you regularly blog about, comment on or share topics relating to your industry, this will help show a passion for the subject. Social profiles can be a great way to show prospective employers that you’re really keen to get involved with your work!
Typically, the only social media profiles you’ll consider are LinkedIn and Twitter. However, if you create visual work such as graphic design, Instagram will also be a possibility. Make sure your profiles are fully and professionally completed – you can find out more about creating a killer LinkedIn profile here.
Q: Should I include my age or date of birth on my CV?
A: No, do not put your age or date of birth on your CV as it may lead to discrimination.
“When advertising a job role, employers can’t include age limits, and should avoid using words which could suggest they are looking for applicants from a particular age group – for example, by using terms such as ‘10 years’ experience’, ‘enthusiastic young people’ or ‘ recent graduates’. They can ask for your date of birth. For example, to check you are over 18 if necessary, or to see whether they are attracting a wide range of candidates – but they should keep this separate from the application and must not use it as a deciding factor in whether to give you the job.” ~ Age UK
Q: Should I put any other personal information on my CV?
A: Only if it’s strictly relevant. For example, in a very small number of cases it is acceptable to advertise for a particular gender (e.g. a woman’s refuge, or a carer position). In these cases you should include your gender.
You should not include your nationality, religion or other similar personal information unless you believe that it is highly relevant to the role or somehow advantageous to your application.
Write a personal statement
This is a brief section explaining:
- Who you are
- How you meet the requirements of the job
- What you’re looking for
You can leave off what you’re looking for if you’re applying for a specific job and there is no flexibility in the post (i.e. no options as to hours/days/flexitime).
The key to completing this section is to look carefully at the job advert and explain exactly how you meet the specific criteria. If you’re just applying to a company speculatively i.e. there is no specific job, use a job profiles site like Prospects.ac.uk to find the typical skills an employer looks for.
You can see an example of how a 16 year old might complete this section in our CV template (download above).
Detail any work experience
If you have paid work experience, list this in the work history section with the most recent first (“reverse chronological”). It doesn’t matter if it was a part time job or was for the family business – it’s still relevant.
Explain your responsibilities and include achievements, if any.
If the role itself is not relevant to the job you’re applying for, try to pick out any skills or aspects of the role that are. You’ll see in our example CV that although the roles are technically irrelevant, the student has focused on projects they created alongside the irrelevant tasks.
If you don’t have any paid experience, there is a range of alternative experience you could use. Here are some examples:
- Voluntary work in charity shops
- Volunteering at events, at a hospital, in a library, at an animal shelter, in a youth hostel, at a school, with a scout or brownie group etc
- Volunteering for St John’s Ambulance Cadets (be sure to mention if you have completed any of their courses e.g. Peer Educator, Youth First Aider, or awards e.g. Grand Priors Award
- Regular work for others such as helping in the family business or helping friends/neighbours with their businesses
- Writing blogs for local businesses or articles for the local paper (especially if they are relevant to the role)
- Designing posters or flyers
- Any teaching / coaching / mentoring outside of the home whatsoever, whether for a sports team, for academic subjects or anything else
- Any refereeing or umpiring in sports
- School projects outside of your regular curriculum that involved desirable soft skills such as teamwork and communication (for example, building a race car with the science team)
- Participating in school clubs that built desirable soft skills, such as the debating team
- Freelancing (for example, on PeoplePerHour.com or Fiverr, or for local businesses/family and friends)
You can also list anything you’ve participated in that helped you build the type of skills the employer is looking for. For example:
“I took part in the National Citizen Service during the summer. This included working on a project to repurpose plastic waste in the local community by transforming the rubbish we collected into ‘eco bricks’ and turning those into a flower bed/bench feature in the local park. We then covered these in decorative tiles and filled them with flowers. This was an awesome experience as not only did we clean up the park and give our community a new public space to enjoy, but I also learned and practised a lot of new skills such as negotiating with the Council, communicating with stakeholders and working as a team.”
“I am a police cadet in the 13 – 18 group. This has given me the opportunity to support my own community through volunteering and social action projects. Working with others has helped build my teamwork and communication skills further.”
Army cadets experience or Duke of Edinburgh are likely to be worth including, as they help you build desirable skills.
Remember! Check the job advert for the skills that are most important to the employer and look for examples of those. If the job advert doesn’t offer much detail, check Prospects.ac.uk job profiles (link above).
List your qualifications
List off your qualifications in the education section with the highest first. If you’re currently taking a qualification, it’s fine to list it – but make sure it’s clear that the qualification is ‘in progress’. It will help employers if you state when you’re likely to complete it.
For GCSEs, you don’t have to list every single grade, although do this if your grades are fantastic.
- DO mention GCSEs that are relevant to the qualification.
- DO mention Maths and English – these are important to employers, no matter what job you’re in.
List hard skills
It’s not always necessary to have a skills section – it really depends on the job. If the job requires soft skills only and you have a reasonable amount in your work experience section which covers those skills, you won’t add any value by listing off soft skills separately here.
If however you have very little in the work experience section, you may be able to find other ways to demonstrate that you have the required skills.
I am a good presenter and debater, having spent two years in my college debating team.
If the job requires hard skills, it may be worth listing them here, together with your skill level. For example, “Copy typing speed – 40 wpm”.
Q: What’s the difference between a hard skill and a soft skill?
A: A hard skill is a specific measurable skill, such as typing speed, the ability to code or the ability to use a software package. A soft skill is more difficult to measure – such as good communication, teamwork and organisation. Most roles rely on a combination of the two.
Give some hobbies and interests
This seemingly unimportant section of your CV can actually give you a better chance of getting a job interview than other job applicants, if used correctly.
Listing off some hobbies and interests can help hiring managers build a better picture of who you are. Take care not to list anything that may be seen as a negative, such as sleeping or socialising.
The interests section of your curriculum vitae can provide further evidence of soft skills – for example, sports may indicate teamwork, communication and commitment. Sporty hobbies also show that you like to keep fit which suggests that you’re more likely to have good physical and mental health (e.g. less sick days).
References are optional
Some people include references on their CV. This isn’t strictly necessary as employers will ask for them anyway if they want to offer you a job.
The only time you may want to include references is if you have plenty of room and you can give two very good references (for example, high up positions in a company you worked for or course leaders at your institution).
Use a cover letter
Now you’ve written a great CV, it’s time to work on your cover letter! Click here for our guide to writing cover letters that work.
Originally published on 27th October 2016.