PARENTS – How You Can Help your teenager, land their first job.

Back in the day.

Most of you with teenage kids, will have fond memories of a childhood through the 70s and 80s. I certainly do. Cordless phones and TV remote controls were new and exiting. Many of us were fortunate enough to have the rudimentary video games or a VHS player. But none of these things consumed our entire lives.

Many of you, like me, will have spent much of your time outdoors, on a BMX or climbing trees and building camps. A game of football or cricket, at the rec’ or in the street, was almost an everyday occurrence, especially during the holidays. The girls that didn’t join in would be seen skipping or hula-hooping just about anywhere. On rainy days, the yoyo or Action Man got dragged out the toy box or mum and dad’s old bed sheet over the dining table, would be reassigned to form make-shift tent.

What’s changed ?

As you might guess, I’m saddened by the changes that technology has bestowed upon our younger generation. To start with, the distraction of television during mealtimes silenced the family and reduced interaction around the dining table. Since then, digital technology has consumed teenage culture; Advanced gaming and social media have isolated many teenagers, widening the void of parent/teenage interaction. Today, teenagers re-affirm bonds with friends and sometimes strangers through smart phones and the social media explosion. The family bond, telling each other about their day of mischief or Mum and Dad’s interesting day “at the office”, have gone by the wayside for most families.

The point to this trip down memory lane is to demonstrate the disconnect we’re creating between working adults and our young generation of school-leavers. Their transition from GCSE or A-Level qualification, to the adult workplace will be a big step. How prepared is your son/daughter for the transition from being a big fish in a small pond to their release into the work sector ‘ocean’? Putting that question to them will normally be answered by a grunt or murmur, if you’re lucky.

My previous articles;

give some advice and guidance on preparing a CV/Résumé and, for an interview.

Mums and Dads … times have really changed.

By comparison, my job hunting days while at school, and once I left, were much easier than it is now. In most cases, a simple response to a job ad in the newspaper, by phone, followed by an interview with your potential boss, was about It.

To the rescue!

With the exception of the pub/bar, corner shop, and local pet store, many businesses use recruitment agencies. They now deal with hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications. As we approach the end of the school year, use this opportunity to connect with your teenager by helping them prepare for that first step into the working world. Don’t assume that the school has prepared them, even if you’ve dished out thousands on private schooling. Agencies use advanced software, Applicant Tracking System (ATS), to scan CVs for relevant keywords that match the job’s skill criteria.

Recruiters will read pre-selected CVs, looking for academic, as well as soft skills. These are skills developed through nurturing and moral guidance, mostly from yourself. So, who better is there to help them recognise these skills but you. The shared experience of producing a CV, Cover Letter and preparing for an interview can be very rewarding and secretly, I think your Son/Daughter will really value the support as they secretly mask their angst and, as they make their way out there, relying on your support.

As Parents, we are our children’s Leaders.

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