If you’re looking for a low-stress elective this semester, I have a perfect course for your teen. This Career Planning & Preparation course will teach them to write a resume and cover letter, understand the interview process, and get them polished and ready to land that summer job!
I built this high school curriculum using a bundle of many short-courses offered by Saylor Academy. Saylor Academy is a non-profit organization offering online learning for no cost. This course is open to any student of any age. No placement or documentations are required. Just sign up and learn!
*NOTE: You can simply click-and-learn using the links below, but if you take the time to register your teen on Saylor Academy’s website, your student will earn a certificate of completion for each module. This is not required, but if your teen responds well to this rewards, it’s worth doing and costs nothing!
- Complete all of the individual units below.
- Approximate time range is given for planning purposes, but no time restrictions exist for this course.
- Units include optional quizzes to check your understanding.
- The parent is the teacher of record for this curriculum.
- Suggested homeschool course title: Career Planning & Preparation
- Award 0.5 high school credits on the homeschool transcript.
- This course will not generate college credit.
Module 1: Resumes & Cover Letters
- Unit 1: Introduction to the Résumé In this unit, we discuss the function and purpose of a professional résumé. We explore three traditional résumé formats: a conventional résumé, functional or skills-based résumé, and chronological résumé. We also look at examples of CVs to help you present your credentials to potential employers in the academic world or other positions that require a different type of résumé called a curriculum vitae (CV). You will notice that the type of résumé you choose depends largely on what you want to market about yourself and who your audience is. Completing this unit should take you approximately 1-3 hours.
- Extra: Complete the High School Student’s Resume Template. Completing this activity should take you approximately 1-3 hours.
- Unit 2: Key Components of a Résumé, Cover Letter, and Portfolio Now, let’s focus on the key components your résumé should contain in greater detail. What consider the categories do you wish to include to highlight your major accomplishments, professional skills, and other pertinent information? How should you organize these components to showcase your abilities to a potential employer? In this unit, we examine common design elements and simple techniques to format and style your résumé. After all the effort you have put into your résumé, you want your target audience to read it! You should include an effective cover letter to accompany your résumé. This unit provides helpful information to formulate this important marketing tool. Completing this unit should take you approximately 2-6 hours.
- Unit 3: Enhance Your Résumé and Cover Letter & Create a LinkedIn Profile You do not need to be technically skilled to create an attractive résumé. You can strengthen the language and organization of your résumé by using action verbs, keywords, and clear headings or markers. Always edit and review your résumé and cover letter to ensure their quality. Ask a friend to review your materials. Be sure to tailor your application materials to a specific position opening. In this unit, we continue the theme of developing marketing tools to introduce yourself, communicate your qualifications, and express your interest in the job. Clearly state how you can provide the ideal solution to the employer’s hiring needs. Completing this unit should take you approximately 4-12 hours.
Module 2: Interview Skills
- Unit 1: Before the Interview In this unit we help you prepare for a professional job interview. While most people think about job interviews in terms of how well you can convince a potential employer that you are the best person to fill their job opening, remember that the interview is also your opportunity to learn more about the company where you might work, and ask questions about your future job responsibilities. After you have had several successful job interviews, we hope you have the opportunity to choose among several job offers. Completing this unit should take you approximately 2-6 hours.
- Unit 2: During the Interview This unit offers resources to help you optimize the time you spend with interviewers to learn more about their expectations and convince them that you are the best person to fill a job opening. Remember not to focus exclusively on how to impress a potential employer. Think about what you want. An interview is an opportunity to meet your potential employer to decide whether you want to work for them and if the position they are offering will help you achieve your career goals. Completing this unit should take you approximately 1-3 hours.
- Unit 3: Negotiating Compensation Discussing salary requirements during the interview can be tricky. Potential employers may ask you for your salary requirements during the initial telephone screening or during later interviews. Prepare for this question by researching what comparable employers pay workers with similar responsibilities and qualifications in your area. Be prepared with a response even if your plan is to avoid giving an exact figure. Some suggest giving a salary range so you have room to negotiate after you have received a job offer. Others recommend giving one salary amount you would be happy to receive since the employer will likely offer you the lowest figure you give in your range anyway. Still others say you should never be the first to give a figure. Press the employer to give you an offer first, since their number could be higher than what you had anticipated. Then, you can still negotiate for a better compensation package. In this unit we look at salary negotiation in more detail. Completing this unit should take you approximately 1-3 hours.
Module 3: Professional Etiquette
- Unit 1: Workplace Courtesy Everyday courtesies include holding the door for the person behind you, privately and publicly thanking colleagues who help you, encouraging your co-workers, and treating others as you would like to be treated. Neglecting these courtesies can damage your relationships, cause hurt feelings, and lead to misunderstandings that are difficult to repair. In this unit, we will explore workplace manners and the positive behavioral qualities most employers seek in their employees. Completing this unit should take you approximately 2-6 hours.
- Unit 2: Workplace Communication Employees are regularly expected to interpret information correctly and communicate with their colleagues, customers, and clients in a respectful manner. Effective communication can increase motivation and create a positive work environment. Even so, one of the leading causes of conflict in the workplace is a lack of adequate or clear communication. Miscommunication can arise from a number of sources, including poor listening skills, misinformation, and misinterpreting verbal, nonverbal, and virtual messages. In this unit, we explore ways to avoid communication errors, since they can lead to disastrous results if left unrecognized and unchecked. Completing this unit should take you approximately 3-9 hours.
- Unit 3: Diversity in the Workplace Organizations that encourage their employees to share new and creative ideas to get a competitive edge. Practices that foster diversity and inclusion increase employee satisfaction by making everyone feel like a valuable member of a team working together toward a common goal. Bringing people who have different ideas and experiences together creates a diverse community that can harness the talents of each individual for the good of the whole. While many companies have a diverse workforce, it takes effort and understanding to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels like they are valuable and appreciated. In this unit, we explore diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Completing this unit should take you approximately 1-3 hours.