Very few people have ever gotten a job without some kind of a résumé and cover letter. A résumé is the most basic job-hunting tool a student can have. Many colleges have special courses or advisers to help students with preparing résumés. Consider adding this topic to your course if this skill is not being taught or help is not available in another area of the college, such as a career center.
Many students in community college programs are in transition: just starting careers, looking to change careers, or perhaps reentering the job market after a long absence. They may need extra help preparing effective résumés. Some ways you can help students improve their résumé-writing skills include:
- Inviting faculty from your school's career office to work with students in groups or individually to craft effective résumés
- Sharing examples of effective résumés in class and asking students to work on their own as homework
- Requiring those participating in internships or service learning to update their résumés as part of their grade
Even if you devote little class time to résumé building, students should leave your class knowing where they can go for help.
Interviewing is one of the most crucial—and most anxiety-provoking—parts of a job search. Mock interviews provide students with an opportunity to practice interview skills in a realistic, non-threatening situation. Your school's industry partners, your own work contacts, and fellow instructors are all good examples of individuals who might be willing to spend an afternoon or two giving mock interviews to prospective students. Not only does the practice benefit students, it allows employers to meet prospective employees and sharpen their own interviewing skills.