LANDING THE DREAM JOB

"I need money!  Give me a job, please!"

Objective | TasksCover Letter | Resume | Job Interview | Thank You Letter | Putting it All Together | Additional Resources | Conclusion


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OBJECTIVE

Getting a good job is not something that jumps out at you; in fact, it requires considerable research, lots of searching, and the right qualifications.  And even if you are qualified, landing the dream job has a lot to do with marketing yourself in the right way.  Securing employment or not depends on the quality of your cover letter, resume, and how well you perform in the job interview.

In this project you will go through the steps to successfully apply for and land employment.

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TASKS

The process by which you will complete this assignment is the same by which you would get a job: First, you will identify a dream job you would kill to have; then you must write a cover letter, make a resume, do well in the job interview; and finally, you will write a thank you letter to the employer afterwards.

A graphical representation of the tasks is this:

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COVER LETTER

A cover letter is a formal expression of interest in a job.  This lets an employer know you are interested in an available position.  Most often it is accompanied by a resume.  Any mistakes in grammar and/or typos will look extremely bad!  Your cover letter, as well as your resume and thank you letter, should be flawless.  Make sure you use the appropriate business letter format (example).

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RESUME

A resume is a summation of your skills and talents.  A resume lets an employer evaluate a job applicant and make conclusions as to their suitability for a job.  It is extremely important; you want to put your best face forward on your resume, and you want it to look as professional as possible!  Job applicants often spend hours and hours getting their resume just right.  It is something that has to be "just right."

Many people make the mistake of not highlighting enough of their accomplishments.  They fail, due to modesty or inattention, to list ALL the various talents, accomplishments, and skills they can offer an employer.  On the other hand, some individuals without many real accomplishments land good jobs because they managed to dress up their resume very effectively: it all comes down to how one markets oneself.  Start your resume by making a list of everything you can do -- it need not be business related.  Can you play the trumpet?  Did you get an award in elementary school?  Do you speak another language?  Do you have computer skills?  Can you do a 360 on your skateboard?  Have you done volunteer work?  If it shows skill or entails hard work, it adds to your attractiveness in the eyes of an employer.  Fill your resume with information that shows you in the best possible light, but do not have more than one page.  Keep it short, sweet, and to the point!

Remember: employers often have a whole stack of resumes sitting on their desk.  How is yours better than those of everyone else?  What does your resume have that will separate it from the rest?  Take a step back and look at your resume critically. What would a potential employer think when viewing it?  Improve it from draft to draft.  You can download Mr. Geib's resume as an example.  Make sure everything is standard and pleasing to the eye.

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JOB INTERVIEW

If an employer is interested in possibly hiring you, a job interview will most likely be scheduled.  During the interview you want to make as strong an impression as possible: be on time, look everyone in the eye, wear your best clothes, and speak clearly and confidently.  The job interview, along with your resume, is perhaps the most important step in this process.

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THANK YOU LETTER

It is a good idea to send an employer a brief thank you letter after the job interview.  This lets the employer know you are serious about getting the job, and it helps to differentiate you from the others who are competing for available positions.  It shows class; and it tells the employer you are responsible, organized, and desirous of the job. (example)

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Print out a copy of your cover letter, resume, and thank you letter.  Then get a copy of the rubric and fill out the self-evaluation.  Lastly, staple them all together in this order: cover letter on top, followed by the resume and then thank you letter, and with the rubric on the bottom.  Then hand all the work in to Mr. Geib.  Lastly, be ready to present your resume to the class in your group.

After he receives and view all your work and presentation, Mr. Geib will evaluate it according to this rubric.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

If you would like to use resources other than the ones given in this project, you may want to use the following search engines:

  • Career Resumes  Guide to writing effective and impressive curriculum vitae. Includes samples for quick ideas.
  • How do I write a Resume  Offers examples, tips, and sample templates.
  • Resume Center  Resume preparation, helpful tips on how-to.
  • A Resumed Identity  Text of this short story by the American newspaperman, wit, and author Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914).

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CONCLUSION

Looking for and landing employment is an important, if dreaded, task in life.  But just because it is not always fun does not mean it is unimportant.  In fact, how you conduct the job search in many ways is as important as your qualifications and talents.  The best job does not always go to the most qualified applicant; it often goes to the person who plays the game better than everyone else - the one who applies for the job the best.  So appreciate the importance of a strong resume, good job interview skills, and courteous and professional cover and follow up letters and you will encounter success in your job searches. 

To ask questions about the project, or to make comments about the project, please e-mail the author at: rgeib@vtusd.k12.ca.us

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FTHS  Ventura, CA     805.289.0023x1214     rgeib@vtusd.k12.ca.us