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*A good cover letter is not enough. Kids need to develop confidence in themselves and the written and oral communication skills to express that confidence effectively.

How do you build confidence in a young person ? How do you help them develop the skills to exude that confidence to a potential employer when they‘re ready to enter the job market?

Kids today spend so much time interacting with computers, cell phones and anonymous, faceless ‘friends’ on line that they are not developing the interpersonal communication skills that are so critical to real life success.  

What would happen to most kids if someone took away their electronic gear, games and instant answers to online queries? How many kids know how to entertain or educate themselves without devices? To engage another person in meaningful conversation?  To present and promote their own thoughts, feelings and desires?  

How many kids realize that no employer is going to be impressed with their ability to text at the speed of light? That an employer would prefer to hear about their ability to problem solve, communicate with customers, promote a product or lead a team?

Sadly, not enough.  

Kids are dropping out of school at an alarming rate because they don’t understand how their schoolwork is relevant to achieving their dreams and goals. They don’t understand that the process of learning is as important as what they learn. Kids supposedly have the world at their fingertips, but do they know how to engage, interact and utilize what appears on the screen in front of them?

The answer isn’t for teachers and parents to change the world to meet kids’ expectations. There was a news article recently about a teacher creating podcasts of history lessons for his students because it was a ‘better way’ to get them interested in the day’s subject. Does that make sense? Isn’t it doing kids a disservice to make learning easier, faster, more tech-oriented? How can they hone their reading, writing, analytical and presentation skills when information is encapsulated and spoon-fed to them?  Will they expect life to be like that when they grow up and leave school?

Again and again, superstars in every industry rise to the top of their field because of their hard work, their personal charisma,  their curiosity  and their refusal to be programmed. Successful people have a passion and curiosity about their chosen field and how they can shape or change it. They know their ‘luck’ wasn’t luck at all, but hard work and perseverance. They don’t wait for someone to feed them small bits of information, colored by someone else’s experiences. They get out in the world and participate in all it has to offer.  

Successful people: – and it doesn’t matter how you define success— figure out what their unique talents are. They develop well-rounded skills that make the most of those talents. They work on building their self-confidence so others will believe in them. And they learn how to communicate effectively so others see the value in what they have to offer.  

Parents, teachers and mentors must help kids understand the importance of skills that are not honed by texting, twittering and posting.  

They must help them understand that career skills are life skills. Self-confidence and the ability to speak, write and converse intelligently and independently about yourself, others and our dynamic and fascinating world are huge advantages in any profession.  This is what an employer will respond to - not a cover letter, no matter how great the text is.  

For creative and motivating career exploration and life skills development resources – developed by former human resources marketing professionals – visit:


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