Resume writing is an important life skill in today's fast-changing workplace. Where prior generations had one or two steady jobs in their lifetime, today’s workers can expect to have six to nine jobs before retiring. That’s why knowing how to write and maintain a clear, effective and professional-looking resume is key to achieving a successful career.
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To help students practice (and have a little fun), we provide two sample resumes for students to review. One comes from "Sally Sad," a high school graduate with little motivation, job experience or sense of professionalism. The other is from "Joe Graduate," a sharp student who graduated from a state university and has been active acquiring several skill sets.
Go over both resumes as a class. First, have students spend a few minutes writing down errors and needed improvements in Sally’s "bad" resume. (NOTE: Four typos were intentionally added in. Can students identify them?) As a class, list the problems on a dry-erase board or chart paper.
Next, go over Joe’s "good" resume. Compare and contrast the two resumes, explaining why Joe's is better and writing these aspects and reasons on the board or chart paper. Students also can suggest improvements Joe could have made.
You may want to note that there is no single best way to structure a resume. Additional sections that could have been included in the samples are Computer Skills, Honors and Awards, and School Activities. (See the sample at the end of this guide.) Ultimately, the resume should be tailored to the specific job for which one is applying.
Here are some points to cover when reviewing the sample resumes.
Joe’s Good Moves:
Once students have completed their analysis of the resumes, go over best practices for resume writing. If desired, have students use the samples above and/or the sample at the end of this guide to write their own resumes. Ask students to pair up and critique each other's drafts.
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