Getting the Job

Learning Goal:

  • Students will be able to find job postings for their career interests 
  • Students will be able to complete an accurate, neat, and complete job application
  • Students will be able to write an effective resume, cover letter, and thank you note
  • Students will understand strategies for effective interviews
  • Students will be able to analyze job offers and negotiate effectively

Job Search

upset girl
Landing your dream job doesn't have to be frustrating. The first step is the job search. We'll explore (company sites, job boards, associations) this link about job searching resources. Here are some job search sites to consider:

Find a job description for your career. What are the highlights (qualifications, salary, description, etc.)? Is this a job you would want? Why or why not? Add this info to the collaborative page.

Job Applications

The job application is usually the first step in the hiring process, and it can be used to 'weed out' unqualified applicants. We will look at these resources on completing job applications. I recommend creating a 'master' job application that you keep updated and can use for future jobs. This personal data record would be a good template to use. 

The Challenge

Use this link or another source to find a job application that looks interesting. Complete the job application as neatly and accurately as possible. Turn these in to the homework folder when finished. 

Resumes & References

In many cases, your resume (and cover letter) will be the key to landing an interview. We will focus on creating custom resumes, as opposed to using a resume builder or template (which are both a Google away). In my experience, resume builders or templates tend to be too generic and I recommend using them as a fail safe. Help is available. We'll look at how MN Job Service can assist

When you have no idea where to start, a handbook can be a helpful guide. These tools will walk you through creating a resume step by step. We'll use this handbook as an example. Answer question two, three, or four from page one and use that answer to write an accomplishment statement shown on page four. Add your accomplishment statement to the collaborative page above. 

We will check out some suggestions from this resume lesson. What can we do to write an effective resume? This video will help answer that question. We'll also check out the videos (stop second vid at 8:25) below about how to create a resume with no work experience and resume mistakes.

If you can't create an effective resume, it's your fault. There are a plethora of great resume resources online, here are just a few:
Using the links above and the collaborative page, we will break up into groups and find the following information.
  1. What type of resume should you use? What are my options? When should they be used?
  2. What sections or parts need to be included?
  3. How should I format my resume? Length? Font? Layout? Color? Readable/scannable?
  4. What are action words and why do I need them?
  5. Strategies, tips, and tricks.
  • All groups - Good resume example and bad resume example. Explain what's good and bad for each example. 
Add your chunk of information to the collaborative page. Visuals are always good. Be ready to share and explain what you found with the class.

We'll look at my own resume as another example. I recommend that you find an example to use as a guide to build your own resume. Also, try searching for 'cashier resume' or 'babysitting resume' or 'insert your experience here resume' to find examples of accomplishment and experience statements. Use the examples as a starting place and tweak to fit your resume.

A resume builder or this **HS Resume Handbook might be a resource if you have little to no experience. These tend to be too generic and I recommend them only if you are having trouble writing a custom resume. Here are a few more resume resources:


We will look at the following links about references and reference checks.

The Challenge - Resume & References 45 pts (assessment)

Find a resume example to use as a guide. You will write a one page functional or chronological or mixed resume for a position within the career you have chosen. Your resume will need to include (not necessarily in this order):
  • A header section with contact info.
  • Summary, snapshot, or objective
  • Skills
  • Work Experience/Professional Experience/Employment History/Volunteer Experience 
  • Education
  • Other relevant section
Your resume should be tailored to the position you are applying for. We will use a continuous feedback/improvement model for this project. You will submit a version, get feedback, make needed changes, and resubmit. Use the questions below to self-assess your work:
  • Did you include all the required sections? Is the information complete and accurate? 10 pts
    • Did you use action words to start accomplishment or experience statements? Are they specific and/or quantifiable? 3 pts
    • Are the accomplishments, experiences, and skills you included tailored to the position you are applying for? 5 pts
  • Is your resume complete, accurate, and error-free? 7 pts
    • Spelling or grammar errors?
  • Is your resume under one page? 2 pts
  • Is your resume visually appealing? Did you use appropriate fonts? Did you use consistent layout and formatting? 8 pts
    • Is it easy to visually and digitally scan?
You will also create a reference sheet (10 pts). You need to have at least three references and evidence that you asked them for permission. Your reference sheet should include:
  • A header section with contact info.
  • Reference name followed by their job title/position, place of employment, address, phone number, email, and relation to you (manager, co-worker, pastor, school advisor, etc.)
  • It might look something like page two of this document
Send both your resume and reference sheet to me on Schoology.

Cover Letters

A cover letter gives you an opportunity to further explain or describe the experiences and skills mentioned in the resume. It is also the employer's first impression of your writing abilities and communication skills. We will check out the video from this link about writing effective cover letters. We'll break into groups and look at the cover letter strategies, tips, and examples/templates from the links below.

The Assignment - Cover Letter 25 pts

Write an invited or application cover letter for a position within the career you have chosen. You cover letter needs to have the following sections:
  • Heading and greeting
  • Opening and introduction
  • Body
  • Assertive closing
Include a link to the job posting you are applying to.

Guiding Questions:
  1. Is your cover letter tailored to the position you are applying for? 3 pts
  2. Did you include all the required sections? 12 pts
  3. Is the information you provided complete/detailed? 5 pts
  4. Is the writing error free? 5 pts
Have another classmate proofread and provide feedback on your cover letter. Send your revised cover letter to me on Schoology.


All the work you've done so far (job searching, resumes, cover letters) will hopefully lead to an interview. This is your chance to showcase your personality and sell your qualifications. It is also a chance for you to evaluate whether this company will be a good fit. 

With your group (three or less), use this collaborative page to research strategies, tips, and best practices for interviews. Include the items below and be ready to share with the class.
  • At least three links that give strategies for successful interviews
  • A summary of the top five tips in graphic or visual form
  • A short video demonstrating a good interview
  • A short video demonstrating a bad interview, funny interview (PG), or interview mistakes/fails
We will look at these two links on interview strategies together (you can't use these links above). We may also watch these videos on how to have a successful interview. We will also do some interview skits in class to practice.
  • Skits:
    • Find seven interview questions
    • You will all practice being an interviewer and/or interviewee 

The Challenge - Interview Questions & Interview 15 pts (assessment)


Prepare for your interview (15 pts). Create a list with at least five interview questions (3 pts) and send these to me. You will be asked three to five interview questions during a 'mock interview' in front of the class. You will be graded on your dress/appearance (4 pts), etiquette (3 pts), preparedness (5 pts) (answers that use examples, your own questions, knowledge of the company, etc.). You will be interviewing for a position within ________. We will choose a company using this link.

2017 - 2018 - Teller at Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union

The Challenge - Interview Questions & Mock Interview Tool 30 Pts (Assessment)

You will be interviewing for a position within ________. We will choose a company using this link.

2018 - 2019 - Sales Person Best Buy

Use this rubric to perfect your skills and gain confidence for your next job interview. 


Thank You Note

Some hiring managers would argue that sending a thank you note is not only polite, but a necessary part of job searching (percentage examples). We'll look at the links below for advice on writing quality thank you notes. 
Use Scrible Toolbar to annotate or highlight the first article. After you read and annotate, talk with a partner to decide on the three most important facts and add them to this collaborative page

We'll use the video to practice folding our letters into envelopes (FYI don't try to mail).

The Assignment - Thank You Note 15 pts

Use the guides above to write a thank you note to a potential employer. Make sure to use a legible handwritten font. Fold your letter into an envelope, address it, and turn it in. 

Job Offer & Negotiation

First, we'll look at this link about accepting job offers. Use this collaborative page to pick out the three most important tips from these two links. We will also do some role play situations using the negotiating techniques we learned. 

Social Media

What does your online presence look like? If I look at your online profiles, what would that tell me about you as a person? Does that matter?

This section could be before Resumes & References (above) because it is important to consider early on in the process. 

We'll look at the infographic on this page that covers why social media is important in the job searching process. 

Form groups of two or three. Make a copy of this presentation and share it with your group. Use these two links, or other sites, to find five reasons why people should use social media in their job search. Make sure to compare and combine your results. Be ready to share what you found. 

How do we get our social media profiles ready for job searching? Use these two links, or others, to learn about best practices for social media content. Notice that not having a social media presence is just as bad as poor content. You can work with one other person. Use Adobe Spark Post (create an account) to create a funny example of what not to do. You will decide on the type and content of the post, make sure to keep it school appropriate. Share your social media post on this collaborative page. Be ready to share. 

The Challenge - Social Media Reflection 10 pts

Apply what you learned. Working solo or with a partner, pull up one of your social media profiles. Based on the information we learned, what improvements or changes could you make? Send me at least a paragraph reflecting (thoughts, feelings, reactions, highlights, etc.) on the social media information we talked about and how you might apply this to your life (changes you might make). Let me know when you've finished and we will discuss it together. 

Digital Presence 

Some companies today will want to see more than a standard resume & cover letter, they will also want evidence of your work. This would be especially true in any careers related to design. It may be smart to create a digital presence like an online resume or portfolio. 

The Challenge


Use the rubric below to create a digital resume that could also serve as a portfolio.