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How To Develop A Child's Resume
Abigail Reading's Resume - age 12 (Click for larger view)
I have and continue to enjoy developing resumes for children and seeing their faces light up because they see, on paper, what they have done and are continuing to do. Parents are also pleasantly surprised when they see their children's resumes. Most of the parents who want their children's resumes developed need them because their children have a job interview or they are trying to get their children into a private school / program. Some parents that I encounter are at a loss when they attempt to develop their children's resumes. A child's resume looks grown up, but can have a different look and tone to it.
Developing a child's resume is easy and is an encouragement to a child and not just a laundry list of accomplishments, so let's take a look at some areas to consider when developing a child's resume.
- The first thing to consider are the words of a child's resume. Develop a child's resume using what I call "Child-ease," the language in which a child speaks and not the language in which an adult may speak. Pint size certain words. Instead of using the word "develop," use the word "make." Use the word "gave" instead of the word "contributed," if these are the words the child uses. Other substitutes could be the words "used" for "utilized," "told to do" for "delegated," and "talked" for "communicated." Using "Child-ease" to develop a child's resume will help a child to articulate his or her resume as well.
- A child's resume can be whimsical. I developed a resume for a child who played the piano, and guess what I put on his resume, a picture of a Baby Grand as a watermark in the background - it was way cool. You may also use non-traditional fonts like Comic Sans MS, Uncle Salty 9, or Georgia. Think out of the box if you want to use some cool characters or pictures to enhance a child's resume, but don't get too crazy. LOL!
- In some cultures, our children have different names with different spellings of those names. Consider placing the Phonetic Pronunciation of a child's name under or next to it on their resume. In English, we do not always say (pronounce) a word the same way that we spell it. For example, a child's name is Louis (LOO - ee) or (LOO - iss). Here is a good website to see how names are phonetically pronounced - www.thinkbabynames.com.
- I recommend that a photo of a child is left off of their resume unless it is specifically requested. A child's photo on their resume can be requested for specific competitions, modeling, etc.
- A child's resume, for the most part, does not need an Objective Statement or a Summary of Qualifications. (See the sample resume at the top right).
- A child's resume format is easy as pie, just look up resume formats on the Internet, pick one you and the child like, and keep going.
- Allow a child's resume to have some personality. Write it in short sentences (2 or 3 per paragraph) and not with a lot of bullet points. When thinking of titles for those paragraphs be creative. If a child's activity positively impacted his or her community then put as a title to the paragraph, "Student Community Activist," or if a child traveled to Washington, DC as part of a youth program and toured the White House, then put as a title, "Washington Scholar." (See the sample resume at the top right).
- With any resume a revision date would be good to put at the bottom left. Some people have different versions; an example would be - "Revision 01, May 2014."
- If your child has a website or blog showcasing their small business, their likes, interests, or product reviews, create a QR Code on your child's resume. A QR or Quick Response code can be generated and can be easily scanned with a Smart Phone. So whoever has your child's resume can easily scan the QR code and will immediately be taken to your child's website or blog.
Here are categories for parents to consider when developing their children's resumes.
- Certificates of achievement
- Certificates for workshops
- Training Certificates
- Ribbons won
- Recommendation Letters
- Complimentary E-mails
- Thank You cards
- Service Awards
- Newspaper Features / Articles
- Noteworthy Mentions
- Volunteer Work
- Specialty Camps (Engineering, Computer, Writing)
- Small Business start-up
- Travel (international)
- Published Books / Articles / Stories / Essays / Art
- Speaking a second language
- Graduation Honors
- Musical Instruments
- Computer Literacy (software, hardware)
- Meeting an Influential Person
Please remember that a child is to have fun when you sit down with him or her to develop their resume. Let the child know this is a great way to track the wonderful things he or she does. Please don't over-schedule a child with activities or make a child participate in activities he or she does not enjoy. You may run the risk of having an unhappy child with a great looking resume.