Over the past several weeks, Help Desk students have been working on creating their digital career portfolios. Since the majority of Help Desk students are preparing to graduate and are heading off to college in the fall, I wanted to ensure they would be leaving Burlington High School with their first professional resume as well as a LinkedIn profile. I also wanted them to leverage the digital tools About.Me and Re.vu. My goal in having students complete this project was to help them establish a positive e-reputation, be competitive among their peers, and provide them with a foundation which they could build upon as they continue to develop their skills and gain experience at the college level and beyond. In addition, the items they have created for this project positively contribute to their digital footprints and will help them build a professional network. Should an employer or college admissions representative Google search a Help Desk student, the result will be positive and impressive.
Creating A Digital Presence
At the onset of this project, many Help Desk students had resumes which included every single activity they had participated in since their freshmen year. In fact, some students had experiences from middle school on the first draft of their resume, making the document far too long. To successfully meet the one-page resume expectation of this project, students had to critically analyze their most important experiences, skills, and accolades. Their challenge was to evaluate which experiences were most relevant to their intended academic major and future career goals. On the other hand, some students had resumes which omitted valuable experiences they had gained while in high school, including their involvement in the BHS Help Desk program. Through individual consultations and the resources provided in this helpful teen resume guide students were able to summarize their unique strengths and abilities in a concise, one-page document (see Amit and Trevor’s resumes as examples). Not only do the final drafts of their resumes meet (or exceed) the project expectations, their portfolios will certainly help them obtain interviews for future internships and employment opportunities.
While students have learned how to properly structure and format a resume, what’s even more important is that they now understand how to articulate their academic, athletic, and extracurricular activities and accomplishments. This project has provided students with an increased level of confidence and this comes at the perfect time. As they prepare to graduate and pursue their college degrees, they have a digital presence that they have created and control. They are proud (as they should be) of the online image they have developed and are eager to learn more about networking and preparing for the next step in their professional lives. This Thursday, as part of the Burlington Public Schools Parent Technology Night, they will have the opportunity to do just that.
The Opportunity To Learn From An Expert
Michael Westervelt, Executive Director and Founder of Next Step Boston, will join us this Thursday as the featured presenter in the “Putting Your Best Digital Foot Forward” workshop. Next Step Boston provides career counseling to high school and college students and offers services including resume building, cover letter writing and a variety of seminars and networking opportunities designed to help young people advance towards the next step in their careers. All Burlington Public School students and their parents are invited to this event to learn how they too can go about leveraging digital tools to prepare for the next phase in their lives, whether that be college or the workforce. Parents of students at any grade level are encouraged to attend Thursday night’s event, as it is never too early to start planning for the future. The event is being held at Marshall Simonds Middle School in the Library Commons from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. We are fortunate to have Michael joining us and hope that all Burlington Public Schools parents and students will take advantage of this exciting opportunity.