Helping another adult craft a resume can be a tedious exercise of adjective selection and careful proofreading. Making a resume with a teen can be far more exciting. Teens run the 400. They twirl en pointe and slalom race and scoop ice cream and care for pet raccoons at the local nature center. Getting them to tell you about their achievements and dreams gives you a unique window into their world – theirs is a world of novelty, challenge, excitement and heartbreak. Hear their stories. Tease out their passions. Let them tell you everything that their hobbies mean to them. How is it that those activities given them pleasure? Get them to use lots of adjectives and validate their feelings by reacting with enthusiasm, even if right now they love video games and junk food and speak of these things with great delight.
Then ask about their work life – paid work, volunteering or chores around the house. Listen carefully for how the demands of the work dovetail with their preferences:
- Is it physical energy that drives them like the skills that are used in waitressing and babysitting for younger kids?
- Is it sustained repetitive tasks like stuffing envelopes for a political campaign or programming?
- Are they customer service oriented, selling shoes or cookies door to door?
- Do they patiently talk to an older neighbor or always greet people as they walk down the street?
- Maybe they like to be paid for exercise and hard labor – do they like shoveling, dog walking or mowing the lawn?
- Can they get themselves up early for that lifeguarding job or are they better bussing tables till midnight?
Ferreting out these truths can become the beginnings of them seeing and understanding basic patterns and rhythms that will drive their adult satisfaction in a lifetime of jobs.