If you are applying for a job, you need to create a resume. 

​Everyone has skills and talents.  What are yours?  You can build a resume even if you haven’t had a “job” yet. 

Start with what you know.

  1. What do you enjoy doing?  For example:  using computers, performing, sports, academics, crafts, caring for others, cooking.
  2. Think about past experiences. 
  3. Put together a list of skills and keywords to help you describe your past experiences.
  4. Have that information handy and use the Free Optimal Resume and Portfolio to create and share your resume.

Samples to help you get started.

  1. See if any of the following categories and activities interest you.
  2. Review the sample key words.
  3. Review the resume examples to help you get started.



Resume and Portfolio Builder 

FREE Resume and Portfolio Builder
Log in with your Illinois workNet account.

Optimal Resume Quick Start Guide (PDF)

Sample Youth Resumes

Samples Based on Interests:

  • Academics (PDF)
  • Arts and Entertainment (PDF)Resume
  • Sports (PDF)
  • Technology (PDF)
  • Other (PDF)


Skills – Relate your skills to activities you did in school. The most important skills employers want from you as a new employee are:

  • Independence & Initiative – Are you able to work on a task on your own? When you are finished, can you find another task to complete without direction?
  • Attendance & Self-presentation – Do you show up to class/work on time every day?  Are you able to maintain your composure and keep a positive attitude even under stressful situations?
  • Leadership & Teamwork – Were you in charge of any of your extra-curricular activities at school? Were you a good team member of your group?
  • Work Ethic – Do you finish what you start? Do you take responsibility for your own actions?
  • Positive Attitude – Do you try to see the best outcome for every situation?
  • Communications – Are you a good listener? Can you persuade others? Do you maintain eye contact during a conversation?
  • Experience – what jobs have you held? This could include any part-time positions like babysitting, lawn care, paper routes, helping neighbors, pet sitting, crafting purses or jewelry to sell.
  • Additional Information – Did you belong to any school clubs or the band? Did you volunteer for any organizations?