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How do I write a resume if I haven’t done anything yet?

So I’m 19 and I’m going to start looking for a job. Everyone’s telling me that I should have a resume, but I don’t feel like I’ve done much with my life yet (I am still a kid).
The only things that I can think of to put on a resume are.
Graduated high school
2 semesters as a culinary arts student (while i was there I got a servesafe certification, should I list that separatly?)

umm…thats it
I never really got good grades in high school. I was on honor roll for like one quarter when i was in 10th grade.
I was in SADD club in 10th and 11th grade, but i feel like that was a very long time ago, and I didn’t really do much in the club anyway, so should I put that?
never done volunteer work

I feel like my resume is going to be very skimpy, like it highlights the fact that I haven’t done much, more than the things that I have done. I look at sample resumes, and the people all have experience with other jobs, and volunteer work.
Do I even really need a resume?
This question would probably have been more appropriate in Business and Finance, but I wanted to get answers from more real people, not just people who know about businesses. Ya know?

Image taken on 2010-07-07 02:44:21. Image Source. (Used with permission)

10 Responses to “How do I write a resume if I haven’t done anything yet?”

  1. Funchy says:

    Put accomplishments, awards, etc on it. Include all schooling and certifications.

    Realize that since you’re looking for an entry level job out of high school, you’ll probably be looking at starter jobs anyway… the kind of places that just have you fill out an application and don’t look at resumes.

    In the meantime, see if you can get your foot in the door somewhere as an intern. Even unpaid work still counts as work experience.

  2. rmbrruffian says:

    At this point, I think you will be just fine filling out an application. You probably aren’t applying for a managerial position. Potential employers are going to realize that you don’t have any work experience. They won’t ask about your grades. Stop worrying, you’ll do fine.

  3. DookiesSuk says:

    Yes, put everything you’ve listed on there. As long as you were in SADD club, then you can list it and it makes your resume look better.
    Also, try and list any other skills you might have, like if you’re good at typing, using microsoft word, powerpoint or excel, stuff like that.
    Anyone looking at your resume will see your age and understand if you don’t have a lifetime’s worth of achievements and job history.
    Good luck.

  4. *~Moi~* says:

    You have already named so many wonderul things that you have done.

    Even though you think that they are not important …
    But they are!!

    What your ‘not-so-skimpy’ resume says at this point is …

    Your personality ~ are you an optimist or pessimist

    Do you interact well with others

    How ambitious you are

    How you feel about yourself ~ your self-esteem.

    Do not write anything negative, or put yourself down on a resume.

    So your resume would start off with
    — 2008 Graduated with honours from ….

    etc ………………….

    Good luck :)

    There is a wonderful world out there waiting for you :)

    Please keep your optimism :)


  5. man_with_a_big_member says:

    Whether or not you need a resume depends on the job for which you’re interviewing. Most folks interviewing young people for entry-level jobs recognize that you can’t have done much by your age because going to school WAS your primary responsibility. As for your second statement, who’s “everybody?” All those people who think they know everything?

    All I’ll say is this: be HONEST. The WORST thing you can do is make stuff up or “enhance” your accomplishments. If you do this and get a job, then you’ll feel awful, but even worse, if you get a job based on a false resume and they investigate you more completely after the hire (something that happens often) if they find out about your lie you WILL be dismissed, and then you have “THAT” on your resume. Explaining away a big gap or an abrupt, short-term job is much harder later.

    On the other hand, don’t be shy about describing things like the SADD club you experienced, because 1) two or three years ago is NOT that long ago, and 2) anything you did there that demonstrated responsibility is going to give a potential employer a clue about you.

    One more thing in closing then; often people with “thin” resumes use a “skills” resume to describe themselves. Create a list of things you can do well, like, mention some softwares that you have mastered, languages you speak comfortably if any, examples of organizational skills you have handled well, (like, a yard sale perhaps, or even completely re-doing your grandmother’s house for her), whatever skills you DO know that you are very good at. It’s also useful to learn as much as you can about the job you’re trying to get, so you can tailor a specific portion of your resume to explaining what it is you would bring to the job, in your own words. Do you know you’re impeccably punctual? Do you know you’re always willing to stay late if necessary to finish a job rather than put it off? While these last two are more likely to be in your cover letter, you “may” be able to think of some overall “skills” that are specific to each job.

    Here’s an idea. Go to any temporary employment agencies that may be near you, and fill out their applications and take their interviews and tests. Not only will you get experience from those, but you will get ideas about the kinds of things I mention from their questions. It’s not even a bad idea to go ahead and let them help you find work if they can. You’ll GET experience in a wide variety of jobs, and they do the hunting for you!

    Good luck.

  6. Liligirl says:

    Put down what you have done. Simple. At 19, without any higher education, your options are limited. And, those who would consider hiring you aren’t looking for someone with more experience than you have. At this point in your life you have potential and that is what a prospective employer will judge you by.

    Experience and education are solid basics for a career. But, and this is a big big but, being open to being taught,and being coachable, being trainable, being teachable, and learning with a good and positive attitude, that is the most valuable asset an employee can offer and one that is prized by every employer in the universe.

    I have hired people with little or no skill in my field, many times, and rejected other candidates who had tons of experience in my field, simply because I knew it would be easier to teach a blank slate how to do something than it would be to unteach someone who believes they know how to do their job best. It’s just too hard to re-train someone who is already trained and set in their ways.

    Always be coachable and you will always be an employer’s dream.

  7. alidansma says:

    First off – what kind of job do you want?

    If you want a job working with food – hightlight how much you love to cook, try new recipes, wow your family with your latest creation.

    If you want to work with children go into detail about how patient you are, how much you like to encourage others, how trustworthy you are.

    If you have ever done ANYTHING that shows you are dependable – put that. If you got perfect attendance, put that.
    If you have ever completed a project for school,put that.

    If you have never volunteered for anything, and you don’t have a job yet – maybe you should volunteer for something now. Then you can add that to your resume.

    If you can find a teacher that likes you ask them to write a letter of reference and make copies of that (don’t ever lose your original) If you are a quick learner, organized, good with numbers, a selfstarter, if you can be trusted to get something done without the boss hovering over your shoulder, put that (well not those exact words) Everyone has skills and talents, you just have to tell the person who is hiring what yours are and why they would be perfect for the job you are applying for.

    The very best way to get a job is to find a place you want to work and talk to someone in charge, sell yourself, let them know why putting you on the payroll would be a good idea for them. Be friendly, thank them for their time.

    Whatever you do…and this is VERY IMPORTANT… make sure that you treat that first job like it is the best opportunity in the world. Alway get to work early, always be the best employee they have, even if you sweep the floor. One day a better job will come along and you will want to move on and you want that employer who gave you that first opportunity to have only great things to say about you.

  8. dolce says:

    Include specific skills that you’ve gained from your experiences. A lot of times we forget what transferrable skills we gain from a seemingly useless experience. Have you ever done volunteer work? Include that too. Ever babysat? List it as childcare and mention organizational and supervising skills that you gained from it. At SADD, did you ever join a committee? Ever hold an office? Pick apart the little experiences and try to pull out a skill from it. Make a big list. A resume is very important, it shows that you have accomplishments but more importantly it shows that you are able to reflect on your experience and show that you have learned from it.

  9. Sugar says:

    You have done enough, just use what you told us. Just clean it up a little.

  10. GerberaMom says:

    If you’ve done any babysitting, that counts as experience.

    Look at it this way, if you were going to go into a work place to apply for a job and you had stupendous grades or loads of work experience, the manager would feel that you were probably not going to be satisfied with your job there for very long, or perhaps you would be looking for more money than they were prepared to pay someone.

    I think it would help if you could prove that you have an interest in the type of field they are hiring for. For instance, if it is an office, look into what type of evening classes you can take that will boost the skills you can use at the office. Tell the manager that you are enrolled in the class..and even if you don’t get that job, at least you are actively building up your skill set.