Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our kids are preparing a resume; every student should

    We’re getting ready to help and encourage our children to prepare resumes.
    Are they applying for a job? Not right now. Are they applying for admission somewhere and in need of a resume? Not right now. But they will be preparing a resume, nevertheless.
    Some years ago, when Bill Clinton was president and Jinny was teaching English-History-Newspaper at Marshall Academy in Holly Springs, the English Department chair required each student to keep a resume filed on computer, which was updated at least three times per year. The chair, Sally Spencer, was a fine English teacher, but she also had a keen sense of what students needed to do to give themselves a bit of an edge in getting into and doing well in college. There were only three or four English teachers, so Sally was the queen of a very small hive, but she was a wonderful teacher and leader, per my wife and my own observation.
    Most of us, as adults, have created a resume and found it lacking in some area or another. The same is true for jr. high and high school students. But students are in a position to quickly remedy deficiencies in their resumes. They need to act quickly, too, because college applications are just around the corner.
    Time passes, and as it does resumes need to change, too. Our sixth-grader Lucy asked us whether she should include the fact that she won the regional science fair in fifth grade. I said of course, but by the time she gets to ninth grade it may need to go, and by 11th grade it will certainly be off the resume. That’s the reason the resumes need to be updated several times each year.
    There are a lot of opportunities available for jr. high and high school students, but many of them require being selected. And that selection is made in large part from a student’s resume and academic record. Having a resume already prepared allows students to simply print it out and send it in. More importantly, it allows students to see the areas in which they need improvement -- and to act accordingly.
    Of course, we can hope and pray that our children will use their resumes to actually apply for a job!
    In any event, our children will soon have resumes. If you have jr. high or high school kids, they should, too.

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