Originally Sent: 4/4/2013
April 4, 2013
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Your Teen’s Resume:
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Webster defines a resume as “a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience.” This type of information necessitates compiling a continuing record of your teen’s activities, volunteer or community service, and talents or skills as they occur in her life. Keeping these records up-to-date will save you and your teen much time and angst when organizing the information into data to include on the resume.
Reasons for Resumes
You may think that resumes should be created when a person is ready to look for a full-time job. However, we suggest that your high school students craft one to proffer for part-time jobs or when interviewing for college admissions. The information included will show why and how your teen qualifies for the position he is seeking and that he has the competency to do the work. A college applicant can use a resume to provide the admission counselor a well-rounded view of himself as a person, demonstrating that he would be an asset to his chosen school.
A resume also shows that your teen cares about the position she’s interviewing for and is motivated to present her achievements in a professional manner. The resume can be a conversation starter and give her talking points to use during the interview. One of our sons had a lawn and landscaping business during high school, which he noted on his resume even when interviewing for full-time positions. He said it often interested the employer and broke the ice at the beginning of the interview!
In today’s employment market, a resume is expected for job procurement. Employers use it as a quick way to judge an applicant’s merits and capabilities. It includes references for the employer to contact in order to verify the applicant’s qualifications. In addition, the resume is useful in selling your teen to a college or an employer, so use it effectively. Encourage your teen to create it well and be engaging in order to catch and hold the interviewer’s attention long enough to discover more about the applicant.
Information to Include
Who are you targeting with your resume? What is its objective? These questions will help you determine the information you wish to include and give you the flexibility to craft the document to fit each specific situation.
Resumes typically include personal information, job experience, education background, and a listing of skills. Involve your teen in keeping track of his participation in various activities and have him make note of an instructor’s, coach’s, and supervisor’s contact information that may one day be needed for personal and professional references.
Some general principles to keep in mind:
- List the most recent information or experience first whether its employment or education
- List the most important to least important, especially when including extracurricular activities, awards/honors, etc.
- List qualifications and skills in order of importance or most recent (such as certifications or licensing)
- Keep the information concise
- Try to keep the resume to one or two pages
Resources for Creating Resumes
You’ll find a wide variety of resume formats. Some are quite formal while others are more conversational in tone. In either case, your teen should format the resume so that it is well-organized and visually appealing. You’ll find sample resumes, tips, and resume templates on HSLDA’s high school webpage.
The College Board expands on the points we are making and includes links to additional resume formats. An internet search will reveal additional sites with helpful tips and suggestions.
A Record of Progress
Your teen’s resume will not only be useful to others, but it can also serve to encourage your teen as he gains experience, develops skills, and achieves success in his high school endeavors. As he adds to his resume each year, your teen can see areas he’s grown in and also get an idea of other areas in which he may want to gain more education, training, or expertise. Creating a resume makes a great English assignment for your teen. Remind him to pay close attention to spelling, punctuation, and word choice.
It may even be a good experience for parents to take this opportunity to add to and revise your resume! Your teen may want to help by editing it and making suggestions. You never know when it might be needed.
Join us next month as we talk about the importance of and sources for reading lists.
Watching new life spring forth,
Becky Cooke & Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants
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