Title: “Building Our First Resume”
Intended Grade Level: High School; Special Education
Introduction: Students in special education often get overlooked when it comes to the career development dimension of the school counseling world. A lot of lessons focus on the social and emotional development of the student, while forgetting that they, too, hope to become productive, engaged and happy members of society after graduation. For this reason, I created a guidance lesson geared towards high school special education students who have tested lower on the cognitive scale (between 5th and 8th grade). This lesson focuses on the strengths, goals, and support systems of the students while helping them to create their first resume. This lesson can easily be incorporated into a larger group of lessons on career development.
Applicable standard(s), objective(s), competency(ies):
ASCA Standard C:A2.6 Learn how to write a resume
ASCA Standard C:B1.2 Identify personal skills, interests and abilities and relate them to current career choice
Introduce the lesson by gauging what students know about resumes. Use this information as a pre-test. Activate prior knowledge by having them come up with skills that might be good to have in the workplace, or asking if any of them have had jobs and what was useful to them. Create anticipation for the lesson by asking the students to think of a dream job while you pass out the resources for the activity.
Begin the activity by having the students fill out a worksheet asking them what their dream job is. The bottom of the worksheet should have a space for students to draw a picture of what that dream job looks like on a daily basis. This will help the students get into the mind-frame of having that type of a job and what it entails. After each student has had sufficient time to complete the initial worksheet, pass out a resume template that the students will fill out together as you move through a powerpoint explaining each section. Sections include; name, contact information, skills, interests, experience, education and references. Keep in mind the strengths that each student has and what they can bring to the table for the type of dream job that they want. Make sure that it is apparent to them that they have strengths and can use them. If a student is struggling to come up with a reference, help them fill in that section with the information of a safe adult like you or a teacher. Let the students share what they are excited about as they move forward in the lesson.
Once each of the students has completed their resume and students have shared what they wanted to, begin closing the lesson with a quick assessment of new knowledge. Ask the students what they have learned and add to the list of skills that you had created at the beginning of the session. You will know if the lesson has been successful if the students can add to their prior knowledge of their strengths, skills, and what a resume is.
• If a student says their dream job is to be a unicorn, validate it! Even unicorns have skills and activities that the counselor can work off of in order to create a Unicorn resume!
• If a student is cruising through the worksheets, challenge them by coming up with more information. On the flip-side, be aware for any students who may be falling behind and help them to come up with strengths for their resumes.
• This lesson is easily tailorable for individuals who may need special accommodations: for example, let a student complete the resume orally by asking them about each section and helping them to fill it in. This can help with students who may struggle with writing or reading prompts.