Kristie Matthews, Mickie Phillips, Jake Sharp, Tomi Thompson
Tennessee
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Project:
  This is the second of two activities on filling out job applications. The activities are: 1. Personal Information Card for Job Search 2. The Job Application - From Both Viewpoints

Subjects:
  Employability, Life skills, Writing skills

Learner Level:
  Intermediate

Time Frame:
  Several class sessions

Learning Grouping:
  Individual, small group, whole class

Setting:
  These activities were conducted in Adult Education and Families First classes in a classroom setting. Classes were conducted Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. There were 10 learners in class.

Email:
  Not available

Program:
  Scott County Adult Education/Families First

Type of Program:
  ABE

Student Population Served:
  Basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9)

 
The job application - From both viewpoints

Several completed job applications, filled in with varying amounts of care and completeness, are distributed to the learner. Learners examine these applications from the standpoint of the employer trying to decide which applicants to call for an interview. Once learners have enough experience to differentiate among applicants based on their applications, they use their portable personal information cards (prepared in the previous learning activity) to complete their own applications. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:
Learners will discriminate among hypothetical job applicants based on the strengths and weaknesses of their applications. Learners will utilize this heightened awareness of the importance of clarity, completeness, and neatness when filling out sample job application forms.

Primary Skill:
Convey ideas in writing

Secondary Skills:
Observe critically

Learner Needs & Goals:
It was observed through class and in-house application activities that learners did not always know how to fill out an application completely or correctly.

Learning Activity Description:

  1. Before implementing the activity:
    1. A bank of job applications from local employers and other sources should be compiled.

    2. Create examples of correctly and incorrectly filled out applications. Suggestions: applications with spelling mistakes, missing or incorrect information, etc.

    3. Begin creating handouts outlining why professional job applications are important and steps and tips for application completion.
  2. The first activity consists of learners completing blank applications as a pre-test. This will also be used as a resource for additional steps and tips to be added to the handouts.

  3. The next session will begin on a separate day. Distribute handouts on filling out job applications correctly. Allow time for discussion and questions.

  4. The class is then divided into at least two groups. Distribute pens and/or markers.

  5. Instruct the groups to take on the role of a human resource department, responsible for reviewing job applications. The groups are encouraged to critique the applications, make corrections or point out errors, etc.

  6. Examples of "good" and "bad" applications are then distributed to the groups.

  7. Set a short time frame for this activity to reinforce that an organization does not have time to waste reviewing "bad" applications.

  8. As a group, they should come to a consensus on the "person" to call in for an interview.

  9. During discussion ask the group if they formed opinions of the applicants, reasons why applications were chosen, not chosen, good points, etc. Reinforce the idea that the job application is viewed not only for information but also as a reflection of the applicant's work habits.

  10. The final step is to again have learners fill out a job application. Use this as a post-test. Discuss results with each learner.

Materials and Resources:

  1. Samples of correctly filled out applications
  2. Samples of incorrectly filled out applications
  3. Blank applications
  4. Pens and/or markers
  5. Handouts with steps and tips for filling out applications correctly

Assessment:
Learners will complete a blank job application upon completion of this activity. Learner should be able to produce an application that is correct and complete.

Reflection:
The most valuable aspect of this lesson was changing the group's viewpoint from applicant to employer. The next time this activity is conducted, we would like to have the groups create a fictional name for their "company", assign roles such as secretary, interviewer, and manager. This will allow the learners to be more involved, creative, and understand how many individuals in a company will possibly view their applications and make assessments of what type of worker they will be.

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