Sue Travers, Career & Life Coach.
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Expert column – Saturday CareerOne
Sue Travers
Career Coach CDAA: Professional Member

My son needs to get a part time job over the holidays but has never had a job. What can he put on his resume?

It can seem almost impossible to write a resume when you have never worked. However, many students will have done work experience, coached a team or fellow classmate, and participated in group work at school.

These experiences are all valuable in the world of work and are traits that employers want in employees. The trick is to explain your son’s current skills in terms of employability skills – these are the skills that are transferable from one situation to another and are sometimes referred to as ‘soft’ skills.

Skills employers want include: the ability to get on with others, a sense of humour, willingness to learn, enthusiasm, the ability to think through problems logically and solve them without constantly needing supervision, and time management skills.

Work with your son to identify his employability strengths, including some examples of when he has used them. For instance it's not enough to say “I've got good time management skills”.

Perhaps he was involved in a group project at school and could include on his resume that he was a “valued member of the group, the project was completed and handed in by the due date and received a distinction”. In this way he is showing the potential employer that he not only has effective group work skills, but good time management as well.

Most students use problem solving skills daily in class.

Listing your son’s employability skills on a resume using examples will fill it out nicely as well as impressing the reader.

Sue Travers is a Professional Member of the CDAA and operates her own business on the Mornington Peninsula. www.traverselife.com.au She can be contacted on 0433 631 376 or at sue@traverselife.com.au

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