Learning how to write a good-quality CV is the first step to finding a job and gaining valuable experience outside of school.
Once you hit 16 years, you can leave school. In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland, you can immediately start looking for full-time jobs at age 16.
However, in England, you have to continue training or education until you’re 18, including:
- remaining in full-time education, like sixth-form college
- starting an apprenticeship or traineeship
- taking a part-time job or volunteer role while studying part-time
Below you’ll find a CV template for a 16-year-old, CV examples, and expert tips to help you confidently apply for
- training programmes
- jobs for 16-year-olds
What should a CV for a 16-year-old include?
Lay out your CV with these elements:
- CV header (also known as a CV title)
- Personal statement (also known as a CV ‘About Me’)
- Work history
- Education details
- Key CV skills
- Hobbies and free-time pursuits
Here’s what a CV structure for a teenager looks like:
CV template for a 16-year-old
Below is a simple CV template that includes everything you should put on a CV. You can copy, paste, and customise it with your own skills and experience:
1. CV Title
FIRST AND LAST NAME
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 07123 456 789 | Address: 694 Barton Road, Bristol, BS7 6JS
2. CV Personal Statement
Helpful and friendly secondary school pupil with [number of years] years of volunteer experience. Aiming to utilise my [relevant skills] to fill your [position name] position and help achieve [Company’s Name]’s goals.
3. Work or Volunteer Activity
Most Recent Job Title | Company Name | Location
Start Date–End Date
- Include a bulleted list of your best accomplishments related to the experience
- Quantify your experience by adding hard numbers (like percentages, hours worked, and relevant data) to your bullet points (e.g., Handed out 150+ booklets to children and parents in a respectful and professional manner at the 2021 UK Scholastic Book Fair)
- If you don’t have any work experience, name this section ‘Volunteer Experience’ and provide your volunteering details instead
Earlier Job Title | Company Name | Location
Start Date–End Date
- Use past tense verbs to describe the experience if you’re no longer working or volunteering in that role (e.g., Improved, created, assisted)
- Provide more background details by being as specific as possible (e.g., mentioning the actual names of software, equipment, or tools you used)
Secondary School Name | Location
School Leaving Date (or Expected Leaving Date)
- If you’re writing a school leaver CV or have no work or volunteer experience, put your education section first (under your CV personal statement)
- Name your school and list your GCSE grades
- If you took a vocational equivalent to GCSEs, such as an NVQ or BTEC, provide your results
5. Key Skills
- Use a bulleted list to mention 3–9 transferable skills you’re proficient in
- Read the job advert closely and list the skills they mention (but only if you actually have those skills)
- Add hard skills which are learned from formal training or schooling (e.g., knowledge of social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, or professional tools such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
- Note soft skills that relate to your personality and work ethic (e.g., teamwork, time management, and communication skills)
6. Additional Experience
- Add other relevant sections for your hobbies and interests, or other languages you speak besides English
CV examples for a 16-year-old
Below are some CV outline examples that you can look at and download as a reference when you write your CV:
1. CV example for a teenager with no experience
- Even with no experience, you can still write an effective CV.
CV for a 16-Year-Old With No Experience (Text Version)
Enthusiastic and friendly secondary school pupil currently completing my GCSEs. Excellent self-discipline from years of practice as a pianist. Skilled with numbers and received the ‘Cardinal’s Exceptional Maths Pupil’ award in June 2021. Seeking a responsible summer position as a part-time waiter at Brighton Cheery Restaurant.
Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove, East Sussex
Holiday Baked Goods Fundraiser Helper, Dec 2021–Jan 2022
- Collaborated with 4 other pupils to create visually appealing and informative event posters using Canva and Adobe InDesign
- Advertised the sale’s dates and times during school assemblies throughout December
- Set up 5 tables and arranged baked goods in an organised and efficient manner prior to the sale
- Raised £3000 in sales and exceeded sales goals by 150% for 2 consecutive weeks
The Sound of Music Academy, East Sussex
Piano Pupil, May 2006–Present
- Practice 2.5+ hours of piano a day with no supervision
- Passed the ABRSM practical piano exams from Level 1–8, scoring 120+ with ‘Merit’ 4 times, and 130+ with ‘Distinction’ twice
- Performed ‘Piano Concerto No. 2’ for Cardinal Newman’s 2020 Winter Talent show, winning 2nd place among 35 contestants
Kumon UK, East Sussex
Maths and English Pupil, May 2010–May 2021
- Maintained high scores of 90%–100% for Levels N and O calculus classes
- Completed homework on time and received praise from Kumon instructors for being ‘organised’, ‘respectful to others’, and ‘bright and intelligent’
- Gained valuable problem solving and numeracy skills from completing 8+ maths worksheets per week
Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove, East Sussex (School leaving date: June 2022)
GCSEs: 10 A*–C including Maths, English, and ICT
- Experienced with social media platforms: Instagram, YouTube, TikTok
- Comfortable with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Proficient with Windows and Mac programs
- Quick with numbers and calculations
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Organisational skills
- Time management
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
- Amateur guitar player
- Reading sci-fi and fantasy novels
2. CV example for a teenager with some experience
- Proofread your CV before sending it out so employers can see you’re detail-oriented.
CV for a 16-Year-Old With Experience (Text Version)
Dedicated individual with 2+ years of retail and restaurant experience. Recognised for my exceptional customer service skills, ability to upsell products, and passion for working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Currently a secondary school pupil completing my GCSEs. Seeking a part-time position to demonstrate my skills and knowledge as a retail sales associate at Top Shop.
- Efficient at folding clothing and displaying merchandise
- Skilled with point of sale software and cash handling
- Experienced with keeping inventory records
- Trilingual in English, Hindu, and Punjabi
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Multitasking and working under pressure
- Adapting to new environments
- Comfortable with public speaking
SOUTHMOOR ACADEMY, Sunderland (School leaving date: June 2022)
GCSEs: 10 A*–C including Maths, English, and ICT
MISSGUIDED, Cleadon, Sunderland
Part-Time Sales Associate and Cashier, August 2020–Present
- Assist 40+ customers daily in finding merchandise and providing helpful recommendations in a kind and respectful manner
- Record inventory for 40+ new clothing items, shoes, bags, and accessories every month
- Exceeded sales goals by over 120% for three consecutive months
- Organise and change 8+ merchandise displays adhering to the store’s guidelines of seasonal colours and new trends
- Maintain an ‘A’ rating in customer experience satisfaction surveys
- Encourage 50+ new patrons a week to sign up for Missguided’s online newsletter and Insider programme
BHADI’s CURRY HOUSE, Cleadon, Sunderland
Part-Time Waitress, June 2020–August 2020
- Greeted 200+ dining guests per week and seated them at their tables while making friendly conversation
- Set tables, took orders, assisted other staff, and cleaned up after meals efficiently during restaurants’ working hours
- Memorised Bhadi’s menu and recited recommendations and special discounts to new customers
- Operated point of sale system with 100% accuracy and helped other staff members by taking payments for their table guests during busy hours
THE WILSON FAMILY, Cleadon, Sunderland
Part-Time Nanny, May 2018–June 2020
- Prepared healthy snacks and drinks for 2 girls (aged 3 and 5) from Mondays to Wednesdays and supervised them while they ate
- Played educational and fun games using flashcards, stuffed animals, and dancing to help children learn the alphabet, basic numbers, colours, and animals
- Bathed and clothed children every night after dinner and read them a bedtime story
- Helped parents with light cleaning tasks such as hoovering, washing the dishes, and cleaning up tables and playing areas while the girls were napping
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
- Amateur photography
- Knitting scarves and hats for my friends and family
- Makeup and fashion
- Sewing and embroidery
How to write a CV for a 16-year-old in the UK
Presenting yourself well to employers is an important life skill.
If you’re 16 years old and allowed to leave full-time education, a good CV can help you make up for your lack of work experience by highlighting your skills and qualifications instead.
A good CV is also important because the UK minimum wage is lower for 16 year olds than older adults. A high-quality CV can make employers consider starting you on a higher wage.
To help you learn how to make an effective CV, this video provides a quick guide on all the necessary CV sections and ways to write it well:
To build upon this video’s advice, here are three CV writing hacks for creating an effective CV as a 16-year-old:
1. Format your CV correctly
Recruiters have many CVs to choose from, so sending them a well-formatted CV shows you’re a top candidate.
Follow these simple steps to improve your CV formatting:
- Choose one of 2023’s top CV fonts — like Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana — and keep your font size between 10.5 and 12 points to ensure employers can read your CV without straining their eyes.
- 2.5 cm margins are the standard for CVs in the UK. If you’re trying to fit your details onto one page, try adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.27 cm on all sides. White space helps with readability, and margins smaller than 1.27 cm will cause your CV to look too crowded.
- Use single or 1.5 line spacing so your CV text looks evenly spread out on the page.
- Save and submit your CV as a PDF or .docx file so your CV formatting stays the same no matter who is viewing, downloading, or printing your application.
2. Tailor your CV to the job advert
Recruiters only spend 5–7 seconds scanning each CV, so determining the best achievements to put on your CV to target it to every job you apply for maximises your chances of catching their attention.
So before you apply to a company, read its job advert carefully and note the requirements (also known as keywords) outlined in the job description. Then, include the keywords you find in your:
- CV personal statement
- work experience bullet points
- additional skills section
For instance, if a company states they’re looking for someone with ‘excellent people skills’, ensure you mention your people skills on your CV.
Adding the company’s name and your desired role at the end of your CV personal statement is also an effective way to target your CV.
For instance, a sentence like ‘Seeking a responsible position as a waiter’s assistant at Earl’s Cafe’ shows employers you’ve put effort into personalising your application.
3. Provide your references on a separate page
Employers want to know that you’re a hard worker who will succeed in the role, so prove you’re the right person for the job by preparing a list of professional referees.
Your referees should be people who:
- know you from an academic, volunteer, or professional setting
- understand your personality and work ethic
- can provide employers with reasons why you’re a great candidate
If you don’t have professional references, a trusted teacher, coach, or adult who you’ve assisted would work as a referee. Don’t forget to thank them for helping you!
Here’s how to list references on your CV:
Referees’s First and Last Name
Additionally, avoid asking your family, friends, or people who don’t know you well, as their opinions of you may be biased — and could hurt your chances of getting the job.
Finally, there’s no need to include the expression ‘References Available Upon Request’ on your CV because it takes up valuable space on your CV, and employers will ask you for your references regardless.