Career planning from a résumé – building a work history

MSU Extension suggests that as part of the career planning process, students can begin building their work history in high school.

Students in high school can take a look at each section of a résumé to help plan for their career. The objective(s) in a résumé help students think about the direction they would like to go in for their career. The education section represents the training a student has received and can assist the student to think about planning for colleges and trade schools they want to attend.

Résumés have another section called experience or work experience. According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, the work experience section details previous employment information and typically includes the following:

  • Name(s) of the company(s) for which a student has worked
  • The city and state for each company location
  • Titles/positions held
  • Employment dates for each job
  • Duties performed

Where can a student start to plan their work history? The first step is a basic question for a student to ask, “What are my career interests?” The next step may involve research for some students to find basic jobs that can lead them to their career interests. Seek internships or school-to-work opportunities relating to career interests or general opportunities for employment in the city/community. If jobs aren’t available to help match the desired career path, students can still find jobs available to learn skills that will help them be successful in their future such as babysitting, fast-food restaurants, local grocery stores, movie theaters, theme parks, landscaping companies for yard work or commercial properties and others

Michigan State University Extension says students with jobs learn beneficial skills for future employment or post-secondary education. In a Youth Employment report on Child Trends DataBank, youth employment can provide valuable experience and has benefits in these areas:

  • Teaching responsibility
  • Developing organizational and time management skills
  • Can assist in saving money for post-secondary education
  • Can assist with forming good work habits
  • Youth can gain valuable work experiences
  • Youth can become financially independent

The Michigan 4-H Careers website has information on the different type of résumés and youth can see how a student’s work history is reflected in each type of résumé. As a student, begin to take the steps to start getting some type of work experience to help build a work history for post-secondary education and your future career.

For more on resume building read Career planning from a resume – the educational experience.

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