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Your 13-year-old need a CV!

Yes, you heard right, thirteen-year-old.

We all know that when a young person is looking for part-time or full-time work, they are told they need a CV (curriculum vitae, which is Latin for “Course of Life”). This is a document highlighting their academic history and skills.

Did you know that is just as important to start one at the age of 13? It is a good idea to get your teenager to consider creating a CV for themselves.

You are probably wondering why my 13-year-old need a CV? They are busy studying and have no work experience!

You are probably thinking, why am I talking about those ages?

The reason is at those ages they are learning valuable skills, but they just do not know it!. Every activity outside of school is building their soft skills. These are, for example, football practise, swimming clubs, drama classes, coding clubs, Scout and Brownie groups, etc.  

What are soft skills? This is sometimes called “People Skills”. All it means is the ability to relate and interact with people. The top 10 soft skills which employers look for are:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Self-motivation
  • Decisiveness
  • Flexibility
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time management.

Your child is learning these skills through the activities they do. A CV would be a way of documenting those skills.

Those skills and any achievements gained is brilliant to have on their first CV. They may not remember or think of it as relevant when they are older and are applying for a job, but it shows commitment, dedication, and responsibility. These are qualities which prospective employers are looking for in an employee.

It can be used as a booster to their morale. The teenager is reminded of a time when they had achieved their goal and had success. This is all documented in their CV.

The CV for a teenager is simple in design and content to an adult CV but must still have the relevant information. CV format for teenagers has this structure:

  • Personal details. Name, address, email address (if you have one), phone number and age (if under 16). This should always be at the top of the page.
  • A personal statement. This should be a brief (no more than 3 lines) describing who your teenager is, what your teenager has to offer and what your teenager is looking for.
  • Work experience. Any completed any work experience (including volunteering) in the past, it goes in this section. It should always be – job title, name of business and date worked.
  • Skills. These can be soft or hard skills. The hard skills are tangible. Examples are; being able to create a spreadsheet in Excel, can design a poster using Canva, etc. Soft skills examples can be captain of the football team, part of the debating team, belong to Scouts, Cubs etc.
  • Education. List of the schools your teenager has gone to or are studying at. If your teenager is in year 9, 10 or 11, they can put predicted result in. If they have taken their exams early, then actual results should go in.
  • Hobbies/ activities/outside interest. Opportunity to show who your teenager is. Don’t put activities that will not interest the employer. An example would be going out with friends, seeing films.

It is good practice to have a CV available and to get them to update it when needed. It will save them a fortune later in life if they can do this themselves.

I know a teenager who could do with one, so I will be getting started with him soon.

Until next time!