I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to start a new unit with my AP students, but they have spent the past two weeks taking AP exams and state tests. So today, I pushed on the gas and we jumped from 0 to 60 in two seconds flat. We powered through how to fill out a job application, how to research a potential employer, and how to use that research information to tailor resumes.
After a few false starts where a large group of the class was missing due to exams, we finally had all students present and we took care of business in a flash.
In two weeks time, we will be holding mock job interviews. I have scheduled 10 people from our community to come in and roleplay in mock job interviews with my students and coach them on their interviewing skills. And we have only three class periods in which to prepare for these interviews so they don’t come off like Robbie Hart asking for money to put in his jar on top of his refrigerator.
So today we spent time filling out a paper job application from Peet’s Coffee and Tea. We discussed different application formats, like online apps, etc. We discussed how paper apps beg to filled out on a separate piece before filling in and how important clean penmanship and thoughtful answers to questions on the applications were important to get them in the door for an interview.
We spent time researching potential employers–everything from what kind of application do they take (online, paper, both), is the company growing, who the CEO is, products, key competitors, etc. I recommended conducting a little reconnaissance by visiting the potential employer and talking with the employees about their experiences in the application and interview process with the company as well as what they liked most about working there.
We also talked about using the language of the employer to tailor their resumes. For example, floor sales positions at Abercrombie & Fitch are called “models.” At Houston’s Restaurant, hosts/hostesses are called “greeters.” So we talked about taking the action verb skills we highlighted last week and matching them to the job descriptions and using the language that the companies themselves use in writing our resumes.
After we selected these verbs, we started writing our resumes in class with the instructions to bring a hard copy to class in our first class next week after the long weekend. We powered through a slideshow explaining the form and function of each part of the resume and started crafting real time. By the end of our two hours, we felt like we had sprinted a whole marathon, but we made up a lot of ground.
“Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive