Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Madness -- Thankful for our Blessings -- Applying for/Getting Your First Job -- Resumes

It's been a truly beautiful weekend and beginning of Spring -- daylight savings time is here again, so we have longer days.  The stores, restaurants, and amusement parks are hiring for summer and your teen wants a job = more spending money and more freedom.  How can we help them get that first job?

It goes back to high school.  Most high schools require some sort of volunteer or community service.  This is how teens get work experience.  Your teen will be expected to dress appropriately, learn the procedures and requirements of the job, arrive on time, and work the entire time.  All of the attributes of a regular job without the pressure (or the pay.)  When they are looking to complete their high school graduation requirement for volunteer and community service hours, make sure they "learn" while they serve.  

If they volunteer at the SPCA, Animal Shelter, Humane Society, they will learn how to deal with customers, deal with problems, handle paperwork, take care of pets, be around pets, wash pets, walk pets, play with pets, and clean up after pets.  Then when a Veterinarian, pet store, pet sitter service, neighbor, or friend needs help with their pets, your teen will have experience to get the job.
If they volunteer at a church or synagogue event such as rummage sale, yard sale, pancake breakfast, luncheon, craft sale, car wash, Holiday event, or recycling drive, they will learn how to greet customers, sell items, count money, make change, give receipts, set up, clean up, price items, serve, load and unload.  There are many jobs requiring those skills and experience.

Our school has a Booster Club for sporting events where students volunteer to greet people, serve people, make change, package and sell food, and clean up.  Again, lots of businesses looking for people with these skills and experience.

Each time your teen volunteers, records are kept of the hours, supervisors observe and "mentor" teens, and references and recommendations are collected.  Now your teen has information for their resume.  The sooner they start this process, as a Freshman and Sophomore, the better they will get at it.  They need to note "Job Titles" of the people they work for, with, and what their job title is, so they will have these handy when they're ready to write their resume.

What else do you put in your teen's resume?  
 You list character traits such as:  reliable, responsible, hardworking, personable, helpful, works well independently, positive contributor, team player, supportive, caring, conscientious.  You list skills and experience such as typing, filing, research, computers, power point, word, excel, program knowledge, etc., on their resume, too.  The more volunteer work experience they have, the more glowing words you can put on their resume about how they handled themselves.  Add any honors and recognition your teen has received:  GPA, Honors and AP classes, elected offices, sports awards, scholarships, etc. 

Don't forget all their fun high school activities, such as sports (practicing shows commitment and perseverance, builds positive team spirit, learning through competition, goal setting, striving, and achievement), clubs (leadership, team activities, community spirit, learning), music (practice shows hard work, goal setting and achievement, following directions, contributing to a positive group accomplishment), student council (shows leadership, community spirit), theater (shows dedication, perseverance, hard work, commitment, team and group cohesion,) and so on.  All this information and experience will also help them with their college applications.

Now you're ready to put it on paper.  Fortunately, there are many resume templates and examples on the internet.  You choose one and start filling it in.  Don't forget to have a separate page or the last section of the resume for references:  name, job title, email address and phone number should be sufficient for them to contact your teen's references.  These should be people who worked directly with your teen, mentored them, supervised them, who can attest to their work experience and character.  You must also have their permission to list them as a reference.  It's even better if they will write a short letter of recommendation.  Keep a file of originals and give out copies.  Make sure your teen has this information programmed into their phones (or they will be calling you for Ms. X and Mr. Y's contact information.

Once they have their resume, it's up to them to present themselves as potential employees with the poise, self-confidence and marketability to "sell themselves."  They may have some bad job interviews and work experiences before they get the hang of it.  But, hey, that's part of life as an adult.
Tags:  Jobs, Resume, Work, Volunteer, Experience, Activities, High School, Recommendations, References, Interviews, Character, Community Service, Team Member, Leadership Role, Sports, Supervisor, Helper, Job Title, Clubs.

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