Resume Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 3: Resume Writing

Building an effective resume isn’t just about listing your work experience and your school achievements. While those sections are obviously important, getting an employer’s attention in a short amount of time is just as important. On top of that, a resume doesn’t necessarily look the same as it did years ago; now it really has become a marketing document designed to help you stand out from the hundreds and thousands of other applicants all vying for the same job. The following lesson plan will help students build a document that will put them ahead of the curve, all while demonstrating the nuances of formatting resumes and including effective cover letters.

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Teacher Companion:
Our resume lesson plan utilizes a slideshow full of information on how students can build effective resumes, even if they’ve never done so before. Building a resume is an ever-evolving process and no longer looks like the document many seasoned workers have grown familiar with over the years. Pieces and parts may look the same, but utilizing the resume correctly will, in the end, help initiate the process in getting that sought-after job. So writing a successful resume remains crucial in the job process.

A resume is the most important marketing document a person may ever write, simply because they are marketing themselves. On average, hiring managers only take about six seconds to look over the document, so you have to find a way to stand out somehow. The resume that’s right for each individual depends on their defined skill set, employment and volunteer history, and what they want next. If a person merely wants a “job,” the resume should be tailored toward using keywords and a summary of qualifications that show off skills, competencies, and any and all experience. When looking for that next step in a career, the document should pay close attention to the details.

Successful resumes keep it simple but also help define how the applicant is going to benefit the company in question. The document should be customized for each job, or at least each industry, to ensure hiring managers understand your direction immediately. The summary of qualifications should evoke the “elevator pitch,” not be an “objective” that is generic and doesn’t use appropriate keywords. Instead, it should set the appropriate tone for the rest of the document. Employment and educational histories should be accurately represented and may be used in any resume format that fits the applicant’s immediate needs.

Attaching a cover letter acts as an appropriate supplement to the resume, not a rehash of what’s already stated. The body of the letter should entail why the applicant is best-suited for the position. Potential employees should “sell” themselves accordingly, focusing on how known skill sets benefit the specific company. Using appropriate headers, formats, and effective closers help cover letters stand out, as well.

All slides should present themselves in a way that students understand the basics about writing an effective resume and cover letter. The accompanying videos, links, and handouts should be used at the teacher’s discretion to help supplement the presentation itself. Thank you for choosing our job skills curriculum, and please look to our additional presentations to help your students move into the job market with confidence and success.

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