How many parents think of developing a resume for their teenager, or their 11, 9, or even 6 year old? Probably very few. Perhaps it’s because some parents just don’t know what to document and/or where to begin. Or maybe it never occurred to them that someone so young could benefit from having a resume. A resume for a children does the following:
- Paints a clear picture of their capabilities
- Tremendously boosts their self-esteem
- Affirms and/or praises his or her talents, skills, abilities
- 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 his or her report card says they are
- 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
- Provides an element of surprise (WOW! Your child did that?)
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 child in choosing activities that will help him or her 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.
Some children are not that familiar with a resume and its uses. In developing such a document, parents and other nurturers are identifying the child’s interests, knowledge, skills, abilities, achievements as well as boosting their self-esteem. 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. Developing a resume for a young child is a self-esteem booster and lets that child know that what activities he or she takes part in are important and this is one of the ways we celebrate their activities.
Another point to consider in developing resumes for children is that some children may not excel academically but have wonderful talents and abilities. Parents can highlight, on paper, these talents and abilities along with their children’s interests. Children’s talents, 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 can translate into consistency and follow-through. Your child always leaving an area in better condition than he or she found it can translate into organization 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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