I feel a lot of pressure to make my kid do something amazing because otherwise he won’t get into a good college. It is not hard to even get into the private high schools in my area. How can we beef up his resume and application value without freaking him out?
-Marsha, Boston, MA mother of 2 tweens
“Impossible is the Opposite of Possible:” Micheal Sera’s Mock Video Resume. This video brings a little light to this overall stressful article. I saw this a few months ago and just love his humor. (Just to be sure for you serious readers, he is being sarcastic and making fun of some of the ridiculous video resumes out there…please do not make a video like this)
I purposefully titled this article “How to Build Your Kid’s Resume” not “How to Build Your Teen’s Resume”, because parents have to start early.
I love writing this blog, but I hated writing this article. It sort of feels like I am encouraging parents to sell their child’s fun-loving soul for a stronger college application. I DO NOT MEAN THAT!
Yet, for parents who want their kids to be competitive in the workplace and in the college application pool, they do need to start early because it is fiercely competitive.
Here are a few tips to plant the seeds of a great college application and resume in your kids and make it as painless—and beneficial as possible.
1) Find passion
Never, ever, push a hobby or interest on your kids. My parents tried with piano, with soccer, with softball, with gymnastics (I hate all of these things now). Try to tap into and foster a passion (even if it is small) that already exists.
2) Don’t bring up the resume idea too early
You do not want to make your kids paranoid. You and I know that their sports interest might have great potential, but they do not have to know necessarily. Tell them you think they have a lot of potential and maybe you should try taking it to the next level.
3) Think of ways kids can bring a new spin to an old topic
Everyone talks about being more green, but when a kid talks about it and spreads a message, it is much more newsworthy/interesting/exciting and resume worthy. If your child loves art, have them hold a neighborhood camp on teaching each other crafts, if they love to cook have them do some fun instructional videos on YouTube.
4) Give them a project
No summer should be boring, have them come up with a month-long project and teach them how to tackle big goals. Check out my post on this: 10 Ways to Tackle Any Problem.
5) Any expertise can be giving back
No matter what your child’s passion is, they can make it charitable. This is a good message, good for the community and lastly, good for resumes. If your kid wants to be a vet, have them organize a group with friends and their pets to elderly homes and hospitals to give puppy love to patients.
6) Bring in outside help
I have a fabulous career coach, Courtney Macavinta, author of Respect RX who has helped me with all of my projects, career and resume from the beginning. She lives in San Francisco and helps me and her other clients all over the country and world by phone. I really recommend having a phone consult with her! Contact her here and tell her I sent you and you are interested in her coaching!
7) Think outside of awards
Ew, awards are so much pressure. A lot of parents are so focused on getting awards, nominations and certificates. In this day and age, just doing something different can be good for a resume. Most of what they do can be great content for interviews and college essays, it does not have to be so official.
Hope this helps! Post your comments below!
Dream big, work hard and you will get there,