Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guidance Lesson: Resume Building (11th & 12th grade)

The purpose of this lesson is to explain what a resume is, its purpose and importance, and how to create one for a specific opportunity. When creating a resume, the most important thing to remember is context – why am I creating/using this resume? What am I trying to convey to my readers? Helping students get clear and specific on these points will not only create stronger resumes, it will foster a strength-based conversation of self-awareness and future planning that incorporates an awareness of others’ values and perspectives. All students have marketable traits, skills, talents, and experiences; the best thing a counselor can do for a student is help him/her see this for himself/herself.

This activity satisfies many ASCA standards, key among them are:

C:A1.3 Develop an awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests, and motivations.

C:A2.6 Learn how to write a resume.

PS:A2.2 Respect alternative points of view.

What is a resume?
      A resume is a brief representation of your personal, academic, and professional qualifications.
      To effectively create a resume you must first take a personal inventory of your characteristics, skills, and achievements.

Activity 1 – Brainstorm
This will generate some content from which students may begin their resume later. Students will write down their ideas during this section.

·         Create a list of five of each:
·         Personality Traits and Strengths
o   Quick learner, personable
·         Interests
o   Sports, Debate, ASB
·         Skills
o   Microsoft Office, making copies
·         Experiences/Achievements
o   Previous employment, Teaching Assistant

What do you enjoy? Choose up to three or come up with your own.

Students should think about what they like, not just what they think that they “should” be doing.

• Working with your hands
• Playing sports
• Working with children
• Helping sick people
• Serving others
• Mathematics
• Reading
• Filing/Organizing
• Cooking
• Cleaning
• Working independently
• Learning
• Teaching
• Writing
• Arts

Choose a career field either from our list or one of your own. You are not bound to this choice; we will simply be using it to guide our activities today.

Ideally, the previous lists will help inform this choice so that students have sufficient content and interest to proceed.

• Government
• Health Care
• Service
• Non-profit
• Construction
• Landscaping
• Information Technology
• Sales/Retail
• Research
• Business
• Legal
• Education
• Hospitality

Activity 2 – Learning about resumes
This is the most passive part of the lesson, asking questions to the class will help keep students engaged.

What information is on a resume?
Resumes include a lot of information:
·         Contact Information
o   Name, Address, E-mail, Phone Number
·         Education
o   School, Grade Level, GPA, any degrees
·         Experience
o   Previous employment, Volunteer, Clubs/Teams
·         Leadership
·         Skills
·         Additional sector/content specific relevant details

Why is a resume so important?
      Your resume may be the first and only impression to employers/admissions.
      This is your opportunity to present yourself how you want to be perceived.

Remember your audience!
      Tailor the resume to the specific employer
      Edit, edit, edit
      Include most recent and most relevant experiences
      Adjust phrasing and emphasis
      Be prepared to provide a contact to verify experiences.

Activity 3 – Resume writing
If computers are available, creating a flexible, updateable document is most useful and applicable for students.

Your turn!
·         Start by inputting your contact information
·         Choose your headings based on the role for which you are applying. What is most important for this position?
o   Education, Work Experience, Volunteer Experience, Skills, Leadership
·         Fill in the sections you chose.
Review your work – let students share what they have done and their rationale.
      What did you include? What did you exclude?
      How would you tailor your resume differently if you were looking for different position?

What’s next?
·         Always be updating your resume
·         Be sure to get background knowledge on the company before applying
o   Do they have any specific requirements or guidelines? Do they need an academic transcript? References? Recommendations? A cover letter?
·         Be on the lookout for new experiences!
·         There are many resume and career resources online – share from your local school district
·         Come to the Counseling office if you have any questions or want extra help. Our doors are always open!


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