When should a Teenager Create A Resume?
How many of us created our resumes just before needing it the first time? Was it the night prior to that big interview? How about when faced with that discouraging “upload resume” button on a job search website?
It’s a mad scramble to desperately cobble something together attempting to recall all those names and dates. It is not expected from applicants looking for summer jobs, therefore, it is put off until “after graduation” when it is really needed.
AN ALTERNATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Build your resume as soon as something eventful occurs in your life; an award, a summer job or some special recognition.
You may be surprised how easy it is to forget your accomplishments. What was the name of your supervisor at Starbucks? Phone number? What was that writing award in 9th grade? Which committee in High School did you join and what were your major accomplishments? Where did you volunteer last summer and what did it teach you?
Get it all on your resume from the smallest accomplishments to the big ones. Include all the details – you can always edit it down later. Of course, you may remove entire items from your resume as you continue growing your list of accomplishments and job experience. It’s much easier to remove an item than to add one a year later when the details are hazy.
Building a resume can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. What is a resume? It’s a reflection of what you have achieved as your life and career marches along. It’s a mirror that a potential employer holds up to their job description and company culture to receive a first impression.
If your resume appears to not be a good fit, offer enough information or reflect adequate experience, you may never get to the interview step in your application process where, you think, you truly shine. It doesn’t matter how good an interviewee you are if the HR department never calls.
The job hunt is a competition and you may need to purposely make the effort to gain specific experience in order to qualify to meet your goals.
For example, if you want to become a doctor, you should consider volunteering at a hospital. Keep your eye on your resume as a gauge of whether you are achieving our goals in order to maximize your chances of success; self-fulfilling prophesy.
Take a look at a college application (future blog) and you will what activities are expected from you during High School. They should all be on your resume.
Even if you are planning on becoming an entrepreneur, a resume may be helpful, someday, when you are sitting across the desk from a banking loan officer. They like to see experience in the field in which you are planning to begin your business.
Let’s face it, not all of us are the right fit for running our own business. Plans change – having an up-to-date resume may help to get that “temporary” job until you can figure it all out. Hedge your bets.
STUDY (RESUME) GROUPS
Consider applying the value of study groups to building a resume. Get together a few friends and build your resumes together. Check in with each other during your High School and College careers and compare. This may motivate you to shore up some areas that may be too light (such as volunteerism).
Imagine how much faster and easier it will be to complete job applications when you have all the information at your fingertips?. Applications are required, in most cases, even if you have a resume.
Finally, how much better will you look applying for that summer job when you are one of the very few applicants with a resume? You’ve just given yourself that much better chance to get that job!