Nowadays kids are fundraisers, entrepreneurs, mini scientists and more. Kids have sailed solo around the world, become authors and artists. The question to ask is how are parents keeping up with all of their children’s accomplishments? As a parent you need to get something out of running your child from pillar to post, activity to activity. A great way for parents to benefit is for their children to have resumes. How’s that? You ask. Sit down with your child and document where you’ve taken him or her, what they’ve done, what they’ve won, and what languages he or she speaks, if applicable. Don’t be that parent fumbling to develop your child’s resume when he or she has a job interview the next morning. The two of you have nothing to show for the years spent jockeying from activity to activity. Proactivity is key to your child’s success along with exposing him or her to the “right” activities and/or experiences that will help him or her behave their way to success. Some parents may wonder why a child would need a resume, or how a resume could benefit a child. A child’s resume can build their spirit, instill positive views on their interests, accomplishments, and can highlight important milestones in their life. A resume is a large snapshot for that child. What is inevitable is that in today’s society a resume is the document that employers, scholarship grantors, or volunteer organizations will request. At this point in time people can’t get around submitting a resume when applying for a job or for some important life milestone, and for a child that milestone could be a coveted academic slot in a private school. How many parents think of developing a resume for their teenager, or their 11, 9, or even 6 year old? Probably, not many. Perhaps it’s because some parents just don’t know what to document and/or where to begin. Or maybe it never occurred to parents that someone so young could benefit from having a resume.
Resumes for children do the following:
- Paints a clear picture of their capabilities
- Tremendously boosts their self-esteem
- Affirms and/or praises his or her talents, skills, abilities, and interests
- Assists in providing career direction
- Assists in providing a “backpack” of skills
- Provides a sense of how well-rounded he or she is outside of the academic arena
- Lets others know that the child is more than their report card says he or she is
- Presents the child in such a way that encourages others to invest in him or her
- Lets a child know that Mom and Dad validate what he or she does
- Can help that child better explain their accomplishments and what he or she likes to do if someone asks him or her
- Can introduce a child’s small business within their community
- Will draw attention to or make the child stand out from other children when seeking grants, scholarships, academic slots, or entry into other programs such as competitions.
- Provides an element of surprise (WOW! Your child did that?)
Hopefully these bullet points above have you thinking about your son, your daughter or your grandchild, and how a resume can benefit him or her. Hopefully you will begin to jot down some of your child’s accomplishments, awards, interests, etc. Make an appointment with your child, yes – an appointment. Make it formal, relaxed and make sure you have enough time for you and your child to spend to begin to develop their resume. Explain the meaning of a resume if the child doesn’t know, then tell your child why it’s important that he or she has one. Make developing your child’s resume fun by having a large chalkboard, activity chart or flip chart. A child’s extracurricular activities are their jobs – in other words, their playtimes and learn times are their jobs. So let’s keep track of their “jobs” just like we as adults keep track of ours.
Our children need every advantage we can give them to succeed in life. Times have changed and the way our children learn has changed. Technology has advanced, the competitiveness of skills, abilities, talents are pushing our children to acquire more knowledge, to apply themselves more, and to think out-of-the-box. Early preparation will benefit them. A resume is a valuable tool parents and other nurturers can develop to provide a “backpack” of skills necessary for success. When you think of a backpack you think of necessary items you place in there to assist and sustain one on a trip. When you pack your child’s lunch you pack food items that not only he or she likes, but food items that are good for growth and development and are nourishing. A resume should provide the same. “Pack” your child’s resume with transferable skills, e.g., learning a second language, learning specific software programs, volunteer opportunities. Parents need to assist their children in choosing activities that will help them behave their way to success. Encourage your child to be a “smart” volunteer – if he or she excels within certain talents, skills, or abilities, then find volunteer opportunities in which these certain talents, skills, or abilities can be honed.
Connecting to Corporations, Volunteer Organizations, and Resource Incubators
As corporations and other organizations are looking for fresh talent they are interested in more than academics, and that’s why your child’s resume is key to connecting with corporations who are looking for children who are more than their report cards state that they are. Corporations look for individuals that can connect to its projects, objectives, goals, interests, concerns, movements, and contributions. Volunteer opportunities exist for children whose activities can relate to organizations’ mission statements, and this is how some children get summer jobs, internships, and academic slots within corporations and other organizations.
Some children are not familiar with the uses of a resume. Such documentation begun in the early years provides a jump-start for work experience, whether that work experience is opening up their own businesses and hiring employees, or working as an employee. A resume is a mere introduction into your child’s life, and what is on that resume are themes for deeper discussions about the person (child) on paper.
Another point to consider in developing resumes for children is that some children may not excel academically but have wonderful talents, skills, and abilities. Parents can highlight, on paper, these talents, skills, and abilities along with their children’s interests. Children’s talents, skills, abilities, and interests can translate into certain competencies such as leadership, teamwork, attention to detail, effective communication, or resourcefulness. A resume can be developed based on your child’s competencies alone.
Completed tasks assigned at home or other places can translate into consistency and follow-through. Your child always leaving an area in better condition than he or she found it could translate into organizational skills. If teachers and others call upon your child to perform tasks, don’t say, “Why do they always ask my child?” Maybe it’s because your child can be depended upon to complete the tasks, thus displaying a competency of dependability. A resume can emphasize or de-emphasize academics depending on how it is developed. Yes, we do want our children to excel academically. If a child is an athlete but does not excel in their chosen sport, this does not make him or her unsuccessful. A resume for a child paints that child as more than one dimensional, and helps that child to know that he or she has other areas of interest to develop. Anyway you look at it, resumes can benefit our children. Let’s use this valuable tool to our children’s advantage.
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