Hi there,

My 18 and 15 year olds are interested in applying for summer jobs. I would really appreciate any information/ help on how I can help them write resumes. They have been unschoolers all their life. 

Thank you,


Sandra Dodd

A letter of introduction is probably better than a resume, for a first job. Maybe you could write a brief note as the mom, or help them write one, describing what unschooling is and maybe saying that the learning at work will be as important as any other (or something melding the two). Depends on the kids and the job.

I wrote a letter for Marty once describing unschooling and the flexibility of his schedule. The store liked the letter, but totally misunderstood and abused the offering of our working our 180 school days around their schedule. They hired him full time when he wasn't quite 17—full time M-F 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. That can't (by state law here) accommodate anyone's homeschooling, but Marty decided to try it out for a while, and lasted until he was 18. :-)

I wrote a request for a flower shop to consider letting Holly help, and learn, and I offered to pay them. They interviewed her—I thought maybe if she impressed them they would let her work for free (not me hiring them to teach her), but they hired her for regular pay right away.

Maybe I kept copies of those, but I'm not sure.


Shannon Stoltz

A couple years ago my then 14 year old son applied for his first job.  The first place, a new locally-owned retail store, wanted an email of introduction (kind of like a cover letter), emailed with him a few times, and then had him fill out an application. Then they did an interview and asked for a references. He didn't get the job, but the next week he was asked to submit a resume for a local STEM education company.  I showed him the different formats (lots of examples online) and he chose to do a skills-based resume. With some coaching, he used the information he knew about the company and the skills they wanted (listed on the website) to create bullet points of main categories, then listed his skills and expertise for each of the categories. After the skills, where a more experienced person would put their work experience, he put his volunteer experience.  To figure out the correct wording, he used the various examples and word lists online to help him choose and format the resume to reflect both his technical and customer service skills.