Honestly, I’m not a helicopter parent anymore, but I am more than happy to jump in and offer my opinion and guidance to my two 20-something-year-old kids.
Our son went to his first career fair a year ago and it led to opportunities and eventually a full-time “real job” where he pays his rent and his bills. Our daughter is nearing the end of her college career and I suggested she attend a career fair—sooner rather than later. She wasn’t thrilled but after pushing a little, she agreed and picked a date from her school’s career fair calendar.
I suggested several times to go to a group hour-long prep meeting for the career fair that was scheduled last week. I think she finally agreed to get me to stop with the “suggesting” but she didn’t go. Instead, she set a one-on-one appointment with a career counselor. Unfortunately, the counselor double-booked her appointment and my daughter received zero prep from her school.
This is the part I’m really proud of. My son took over. He helped her write a resume, coached her on an elevator pitch and even went so far as to help her select professional clothes. Since he’s been through the process, we were all relieved. Also, reading resumes on a daily basis is part of his job working for a high-tech placement company that specializes in software engineers in Dev Ops for the Cloud.
Today is the career fair. I’m excited for my daughter and proud of my son. I want her to be relaxed and enjoy the experience. I reminded her that this is her first career fair and she has more opportunities ahead. She can look at this one as a learning experience to better prepare for the future.
Her main concern was the resume and what should she put down for experience when she’s been swimming her entire life and has only worked a few months as a lifeguard and swim instructor.
I googled what student-athletes can put on their resumes and found a lot of helpful information. Student-athletes cultivate many traits that employers love—like self-motivation, teamwork, coachability, time management, perseverance, a strong work ethic, etc. After my son worked on the resume with my daughter I learned a few things I never knew:
Her part-time job as a lifeguard was pretty impressive. She saved a toddler’s life.
Her favorite memory of college was not the year she dropped 20 seconds on the mile, but rather last year when she was throwing up in her hotel room, sick as a dog with the flu, and rallied to swim the mile—because her team needed her to score points. She didn’t include this fact on her resume, but it will be a good story to tell in an interview.
To read in more detail about what student-athletes can put on their resumes, here’s a story I wrote for SwimSwam called “6 Traits Swimmers Have That Employers Want.”
What do you think kids should include on resumes, if they’ve never held a “real job?”
The good news is that employers do not expect someone right out of college to have a real job. What I really wish for in high school is for the kids to have some real life training…how to fill out an application…how to do their taxes. Don’t get me started. I think the lifeguard experience is great on a resume. It shows a high level of responsibility. I think the most important thing is honesty. It is ok to say that you don’t have a lot of experience…an instant good weakness for the interview. Best wishes!
Thank you for your comments. I agree with you 100 percent that our kids should get real life training such as budgeting, balancing a check book, even addressing envelopes. With email and texting, a lot of kids don’t know how to do that!