Helping Your Kids Boost Their Resume Before Hitting the Workforce

Helping Your Kids Boost Their Resume Before Hitting the Workforce

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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Most of us remember our first jobs. The feeling of empowerment that comes with getting your first paycheck and the uncertainty that often comes along with learning how to navigate the world of work. However, it can be intimidating for kids to enter the workforce, whether they’re applying for an internship, trying to make some extra cash working retail during high school, or getting their first job out of college.

As a parent, it’s not your job to go through the application process for your kids. It’s important to let them take the lead and assert their independence. No one wants their parent sitting with them in an interview, and that’s not the best way to introduce them to the “real world.”

With that said, you can and should help your kids prepare for the hiring process. You can help them build a resume well before they’re ready for their first jobs, then give them more specific tips before they start actually looking for a job. Here’s what you can do.

Encourage Your Kids to Try New Things 

No matter what their age, encouraging your kids to try new things is a great way to build the foundational skills needed for a strong resume. A kid who tries lots of new activities is going to be better prepared for learning how to perform the duties of their first job than a kid whose only hobby is watching television.

When opportunities for new experiences come up, try to make it easy for your kids to say “yes.” While it can be difficult to motivate moody teenagers, an early life full of new experiences helps build curious, enthusiastic, and adaptable adults.

Trust Them with Independence Early 

When your kids are living at home, it can be easier to do things for them, rather than teach them new skills. Yes, it’s faster to do your teenager’s laundry and you might avoid some ruined clothes, but it’s not setting them up for the independence they’ll need in the workplace.

Trust your kids with independence and allow them to make mistakes so that they build skills before they go out looking for a job. If you do everything for them, you’re not empowering them or allowing them to build independence.

Provide Opportunities for Skill-Building 

There are lots of ways for your kids to build skills throughout their lives, from participating in organized sports to volunteering and babysitting. Whenever possible, provide opportunities for your kids to build skills.

If they want to join the band? Great! They’ll learn about dedication, collaboration, and listening. If they want to take care of a neighbor’s pet for the weekend? They’ll get a chance to practice reliability and responsibility. If your college student wants to study abroad? Try to make it happen — they’ll learn how to communicate better and be more adaptable.

There are lots of opportunities for skill-building that kids can use to boost their resumes. No one is expecting a young person to have lots of “real” job experience, but it is possible to learn applicable skills even before entering the workforce.

Research Certification Programs 

If you have a teenager or young adult who is excited about entering the workforce and getting a job in a specific field, see if you can help them find courses to help them with the job-specific skills they need. For example, if they want to learn more about a topic like digital marketing or just want to increase their general business acumen, there are courses and certification programs that can be free or affordable.

Come Up with Skills Together 

When it comes to your kids’ first resumes, there won’t be a lot in the way of work history you can add. However, you can help them come up with skills and traits they have that they can add to boost their resumes. Personality is important when it comes to landing the right job, and identifying your child’s best traits can help them in their job search.

Come up with examples of valuable “soft skills” together that your kids can list on a resume and use in an interview setting. Employers will be looking for examples, so coming up with specific stories they can point to will be helpful.

Practice Interviewing 

The interview process is intimidating, even for people who have been in the workforce for years. One way you can help your kids when they’re entering the workforce is to practice interviewing them. Sure, they might roll their eyes, but getting a chance to work on their interviewing skills can be incredibly helpful for their confidence.

Help Them Write a Resume 

Writing a resume isn’t the most fun activity in the world. It can also be challenging if you’ve never done it before. Provide support and advice when they’re working on their first resume. Again, it’s important to have them do the work — but be prepared to offer help and feedback. Knowing that their parent has their back can make all the difference.

*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.


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