Resume Optimization Course Lesson Plans

An all-in-one computer sits on a white desk with a silver lamp to the right. In the background is bright light and windows. On the computer screen is "Resume Optimization, BrightBel Online Learning, Course RES100" and Scrabble tiles spelling out "Write Resume". This is the thumbnail image for the course welcome video.

An all-in-one computer sits on a white desk with a silver lamp to the right. In the background is bright light and windows. On the computer screen is “Resume Optimization, BrightBel Online Learning, Course RES100” and Scrabble tiles spelling out “Write Resume”. This is the thumbnail image for the course welcome video.

Lesson Plan
Project Details:

Three silhouettes in a triangle shape (each of a different color - coral, blue, and green) have a yellow line in the center branching in the three directions. The logo is meant to signify clients.

Client:

Western Governors University

Green hands on a keyboard to signify tools used.

Tools Used:

Microsoft Word

Three silhouettes have a red and yellow bullseye with an arrow beneath them. The graphic is meant to signify the target audience.

Target Audience:

Adult Online Learners

A yellow spiral bound calendar with blue sqares and a checkmark in the center.

Year:

2021

Although I created an online, asynchronous course for my M.Ed. capstone research project, it was still necessary that I create a lesson plan.  The lesson plan serves as the foundation or structure to base the online content and provides a blueprint when creating a course. 

Another way of thinking of a lesson plan is to imagine handing the lesson plan off to a substitute teacher.  The plans should be thorough enough so that the course may be taught at the last minute with little to no disruptions in learning and all tools necessary are both described and explained in the lesson plan, as well as available in the classroom.

Check It Out:

Module One: Resumes

Performance Objective:  Using available templates, learners will create a personalized master resume without any spelling or grammatical errors in the final document.

Pre-Instructional Activities:  Learners are officially welcomed to the course with a brief video and immediately told of the end goals upon completion: writing their resume, creating a cover letter, and optimizing a resume.  They are also advised to plan ahead by finding a job posting of interest to use as they progress through the course.  I will motivate the learners by explaining that a resume and cover letter are the first impressions you make with a prospective employer and the importance of making it positive.  After a brief module overview, I give an overview of what I like to call “The Resume Sandwich”.  It’s an overview of the three components being taught in the course and it allows the learners a catchy visual to help remember the pieces and see how they all fit together.

New Content Presentation:  To gain attention, I will start the lesson with a few humorous memes regarding resume frustrations and struggles.  I will then ask learners if they can relate.  Resume purpose will be explained as its own genre of professional writing, distinct from academic genres (ReadWriteThink, n.d.).  I will explain the three Fs of resume writing and how to use these guidelines when creating a resume.  I will go over the five main sections of a resume and give examples of what type of information goes into each section. 

Independent Practice:  The learners will be instructed to spend some time on their own reviewing two sample resumes provided and taking note of the three Fs being used in each resume.  They will complete the three Fs of resume writing handout where they will summarize the information discussed in the class about the form, function, and effectiveness of resumes.  Reviewing the resumes and the handout previously mentioned do not need to be turned in, but are solely for learner enrichment and enhancement of knowledge learned.  Learners will be instructed to create their resumes using the resume templates offered by Cultivated Culture or any other templates of their choosing.  A resume planning mind map and resume checklist by BrightBel will also be provided, as well as a handout of resume dos and don’ts by My Perfect Resume.  Learners will upload their resume directly to the course via secure file upload on BrightBel.com.

Optional Collaboration:  For collaborative practice, students have the option to connect in the discussion forum.  This module’s discussion topic will be resume action verbs.  Learners will be provided a link to an article listing 185 action verbs created by The Muse (n.d.).  Learners can discuss their thoughts on these words, which ones they plan to use or would not use, and offer any other action verbs they think are powerful.

Assessment:  Learners take a quick quiz after the new content presentation to help cement the knowledge they’ve learned thus far.  They also take their final quiz after the optional collaboration section.  The completed resume is assessed and must be free of any spelling or grammatical errors, as well as follow the three Fs to exhibit proficiency in understanding the purpose of resumes.

Upcoming Lesson Preview:  Learners will be given a brief overview of the next lesson on cover letters and their importance when applying for jobs.  They will also be advised that the lesson format for the next section will be very similar to this one.

Instructional Resources or Materials Used:  3 Fs of Resume WritingResume Dos and Don’tsSchool Counselor Sample ResumeGrocery Store Cashier Sample ResumeResume Mind MapResume Checklist.  Optional materials:  185 Action Verbs.

Physical resources Required:  Use of a desktop or laptop computer, Internet access, use of a printer (if wanting to print out resources), a registered account on BrightBel.com, a registered account on CultivatedCulture.com, Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader, and MS Word or other word processing program.

Module Two: Cover Letters

Performance Objective:  Using a specific job posting, learners will create a unique, customized cover letter without any spelling or grammatical errors in the final document.

Pre-Instructional Activities:  Before beginnithe content presentation, I will present a brief overview of the lesson to the class.  I will then share a video talking about our dream jobs – the job we always wanted, the job posting we see that makes us squeal, or the company with which we have always wanted to be employed.  I explain that our cover letter is our chance to shine brightly and that while a resume can highlight our skills and talents, a cover letter is our chance to highlight our personality and connect more deeply with the resume reader.  Without both a good resume and cover letter, we may never get the chance to even get close to the door, let alone step inside.  This analogy helps to gain attention and motivate the learners. 

Review of Previous Content:  We will briefly review what was covered in the previous lesson on resumes.  I will highlight the writing genre of resumes, the main sections of a resume, and resume dos and don’ts.

New Content Presentation:  I will discuss the purpose of a cover letter, according to Career One Stop (n.d.): “The main purpose of a cover letter is to interest the employer in reading your resume”.  I will discuss the main elements of a cover letter from Cultivated Culture (Belcak, 2020) and offer ideas on what type of information they should add to each section.  Learners will be taught the importance of customizing the cover letter to the specific job and to avoid regurgitating all the resume information into the cover letter. 

Independent Practice:  The learners will be instructed to use their chosen job posting to craft their personalized cover letter, as though they are applying for this position.  I will also recommend learners utilize Grammarly or a similar program for help with grammar and word suggestions.  The students will be provided the How to Write a Job-Winning Cover Letter printout by Cultivated Culture (Belcak, 2020).  I will also offer two sample cover letters from Cultivated Culture and The Muse (Kalish, n.d.) as guides to help them create an interesting and unique letter. A cover letter mind map by BrightBel will also be provided to help in planning out the information to place in each area of the letter.  Students will also be encouraged to research the company being applied to before writing their letter.  Learners will upload the cover letter directly via the course page using secure file upload on the lesson page.

Optional Collaboration:  Students have the option to collaborate in the discussion forum.  This module’s discussion topic will be imposter syndrome.  Learners will be provided with an article link from Very Well Mind discussing what imposter syndrome is, its causes, characteristics, and dealing with the syndrome (Cuncic, 2020).  Learners can share whether they have felt imposter syndrome before when applying for jobs, or if it has ever held them back from applying to positions. 

Assessment:  Learners take a quick quiz after the new content presentation to help reinforce the information they’ve acquired so far.  They also take their final quiz after the optional collaboration portion of the course.  The completed cover letter is assessed and must be free of any spelling or grammatical errors.

Upcoming Lesson Preview:  Learners will be given a brief overview of the next lesson on Applicant Tracking Systems and resume optimization using a resume scanner.  They will also be advised that the lesson format for the next section will be very similar to this one.

Instructional Resources or Materials Used:  Sample Cover Letter by The MuseSample Cover Letter by Cultivated CultureHow to Write a Job-Winning Cover lettercover letter mind map.  Optional materials:  What is Imposter SyndromeGrammarly.

Physical resources Required:  Use of a desktop or laptop computer, Internet access, use of a printer (if wanting to print out resources), a registered account on BrightBel.com, a registered account on CultivatedCulture.com, Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader, and MS Word or other word processing program.

Module Three: Resume Optimization

Performance Objective:  Using a resume scanner and optimization tool, learners will analyze and edit their resumes until they reach a score of 50 percent or higher.

Pre-Instructional Activities:  Before beginning the content presentation, I will present a brief overview of the module to the class.  The lesson will start with a humorous joke about an ATS sounding like some sort of spyware that is tracking job seekers.  I will explain what an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is and what function it serves in human resources, as well as the benefits for both the organizations that use them and the applicants that are applying for jobs. 

Review of Previous Content:  We will briefly review what was covered in the previous lesson on cover letters.  I will highlight the point of the cover letter, the main sections of a cover letter, and remind students of the importance of standing out with your letter. 

New Content Presentation:  At this point, I will begin to show a video that shares my screen while I am on Cultivated Culture’s website, utilizing their ResyMatch resume scanner tool.  My video shows me live as I navigate the website and optimize a sample resume provided in real-time.  I go step by step through the process, so the learners can see how to upload their resume and the job description into the tool and retrieve their results.  I will also show them how to make appropriate changes and to recheck until they have reached the required score of at least 50 needed for their assessment.  I then discuss how there is no way to know exactly where one is in the ATS, but that it’s important to be honest, followed by a humorous meme about overstating simple, mundane tasks.

Independent Practice:  Learners are greeted by OptiBot, their resume optimization robot!  Their mission is to optimize their resume independently and continue to check and edit it until they successfully reach a score of at least 50 percent on ResyMatch.  Learners will submit a saved copy of the job posting, as well as the resume in PDF form directly to the course via secure file upload on BrightBel.com.

Optional Collaboration:  For collaborative practice, students have the option to connect in the discussion forum.  This lesson’s discussion topic will be LinkedIn.  I will provide a handout of LinkedIn’s “20 Steps to a Better LinkedIn Profile in 2020” (Fleming, 2020) article.  I will also provide a link to a profile picture generator.  Learners can share their LinkedIn profile links with others, as well as discuss ways they have optimized their LinkedIn pages. 

Assessment:  Learners take a quick quiz after the new content presentation to help cement the knowledge they’ve learned thus far, as well as their final quiz after the optional discussion forum lesson.  The required optimized resume must be submitted with a score of at least 50 percent from ResyMatch.  Once achieved, learners will export the result to a PDF file and submit it as their assessment.

Instructional Resources or Materials Used:  Job posting of the student’s choosing, previously completed resume.  Optional materials: 20 Steps to a Better LinkedIn Profile in 2020.

Physical resources Required:  Use of a desktop or laptop computer, Internet access, use of a printer (if wanting to print out resources), a registered account on BrightBel.com, a registered account on CultivatedCulture.com, Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader, and MS Word or other word processing program.

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