Grade Level: Adult Learners

Learner Characteristics: All are high school graduates or have earned their equivalent GED. All are considered job ready, meaning they have the necessary skills to be successful in a new job environment.

Learning Context: The students will learn in a classroom environment and then break out to use available computers. This class is typically taught with 6 or fewer learners.

Technology: The technology that will be used in this lesson include an overhead projector, a laptop, Microsoft Office PowerPoint Show, internet resources (Online Writing Lab at Purdue) and online job search engines, a word processor, and email.

What does the teacher need to know? The lesson and tools were created relying heavily on the resources available from the Online Writing Lab at Purdue. It has a comprehensive tutorial for everything from writing a resume to writing a cover letter. The lesson was also created for a technology poor location and designed to implement some distance education tools.


  • The learner will demonstrate the basics of writing a résumé by submitting a résumé to their instructor.
  • The learner will find a job which they would like to apply for and tailor their résumé to the specific requirements of the job.
  • The learner will engage in active feedback with their instructor and peers until their résumé is approved and sent to the prospective employer.
Leading question: What is the purpose of a résumé and what should a résumé include?


Script: “What do you think the purpose of writing a résumé is?”

Action: Have the class brainstorm ideas on what they think the purpose of a cover letter is. If they start listed what is included in a résumé, redirect them by having them think about what the word purpose means.

Script: “The real reason we all write résumés is to get noticed by a potential employer and secure an interview.”

Introduce Objectives

Using the overhead projector, highlight the objectives for the class. Clarify with the learners any questions they may have about the objectives. Emphasize with the learners that this assignment will not be completed until several revisions have been made to their résumé and they become comfortable altering their résumé to meet the needs highlighted in the job advertisement.

Introduce principles of writing a résumé

using the Follow Along Worksheet, OWL at Purdue PowerPoint Presentations, & the Laptop Action: Link to and show the presentation.


Note: This will be a general overview and a way of giving the learners an overall feel for what a résumé could include.

Formatting a Résumé

Action: Utilizing the OWL at Purdue Website, introduce the basic sections of the résumé the learner will need to keep in mind when constructing effective cover letters. Make copies in advance of this page, so that the learners can read through this section on their own and begin answering the questions listed in the follow along worksheet.


Action: Review the basic sections and what could go in these sections by utilizing the PowerPoint show available on the OWL at Purdue website. Encourage learners to make notes on their follow along worksheet at the presentation is given.


Action: As the presentation is given, highlight and draw attention to the following slides:

  • Slide 12: Instant objective statements
  • Slide 19: Using fonts
  • Slide 24: Avoiding typos
  • Slide 44: Parallel descriptions
  • Slide 45: Seeing your experiences in a professional light


Practical Application

Action: Utilizing the completed worksheet, check for understanding with the associates by comparing their answers with the information that was presented.

Action: Break the learners out to use the computers. Ask the learners to draft a résumé for review the next day incorporating all the general sections typically included in a résumé. Ask them to review their résumé using the middle section of their writing a résumé checklist.

Day 2 – Continuation of Practical Application

Action: Pass out blank copies of the checklist to each learner. Ask the learners to take out a printed copy of their résumé. Pair up the learners and ask them to review each others résumés using the middle portion of the checklist. Give the students 10 minutes for review and 2 minutes to provide feedback. Break the students out to go back and update their resume incorporating the feedback they were given. Ask the students to email the revised product to their instructor for review. The instructor will sign off on all generic résumés before moving onto the last step.

Day 3 and beyond – Rewriting the résumé to meet the specific requirements of the job

Ask the learners to find a job they want to apply for, and to tailor their résumé for that job. The learners will be emailed a résumé checklist that they should complete as they go along. Their completed résumé will be emailed to the instructor for review. Instructors will review the résumé using the checklist and making comments and revisions to the résumé using Microsoft Word. The learner and the instructor will email the document back and forth until they both agree on the finished product and the learner sends the résumé to the prospective employer.


No formal assessment.

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