It’s time for a special girl in your life to write her first resume. While you might see it as an exciting rite of passage; she feels flustered about how best to promote herself. Ruby Hunt, Director of Human Resources at the Dallas Museum of Art, understands applying to gain experience before having experience can feel daunting. This is why she put together the following list of tips to help girls show off their unique skills.
What Every Girl Needs on Her First Resume
Volunteer Efforts and Activities
Resumes that stand out include volunteer efforts and activities. Look around the community for volunteer programs. Is there a nonprofit that aligns with your girl’s passions? Many volunteer programs have training, which means she’ll learn new skills in addition to working with others. For example, the Dallas Museum of Art has a Teen Ambassador Program that emphasizes the value of teamwork, collaboration, and communication with peers. It also offers mentorship with DMA staff members. Additionally, participating in the school orchestra, performing in a ballet recital, joining a teen writing group or being part of organizations like Girls Scouts, all of these are valuable on a resume. Involvement shows initiative, passion, and commitment to supporting communities.
Make sure your girl is not shy about sharing her achievements. They show what is important to her and sets her apart from other applicants. For recruiters, past achievements can be a predictor of future performance. Examples of early resume achievements include: honor roll, promotion to leadership positions (such as student publication editor or theater stage manager), attendance awards and recognition for activities or subjects.
Always Submit a Cover Letter
It is easy to just send a resume, but a well-written cover letter is a great way to let a bit of your girl’s personality shine through. Remind her she’ll need to write a customized cover letter (and resume) for every job she applies to. The cover letter needs to show she understands what a recruiter is looking for. Also suggest your girl ends her letter with a call to action (such as requesting an interview or meeting).
Create a LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile is a must in today’s online world. Your child is most likely familiar with other social networks, walk her through setting up LinkedIn. Discuss building a network (such as through an alumni group) and getting recommendations from those who can speak enthusiastically about her skills. Remember LinkedIn is a multimedia tool, which means images and videos can be added to a profile. Planning on having family photos taken? Ask the photographer to take a professional headshot of your teen so she can use it for her profile. Lastly, have your girl customize her LinkedIn public profile URL.
Follow Companies and Organizations Online
Recommend your girl follow the companies and organizations she is applying to online. Reviewing their missions/core values ensures she and they are in alignment. Good companies and organizations hire for skills; great ones hire for skills and culture. The information your girl learns about a company can help her tailor a resume and even be beneficial during an interview. Additionally, following companies and organizations make it possible to learn about internships or job opportunities the minute they are posted.
Learning to write a well-crafted resume and promote oneself will help your loved one make strong first-impressions throughout her career. Be sure to remind her that even the most successful individuals once started with a complete blank slate.
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