Finding Employment  

This module provides information on choosing a career, selecting an American or British company that matches students' interests, preparing written materials for the job search, and preparing interview questions. Click below on the top that interests you or scroll down the page to peruse what's here.

Getting to know oneself/class introductions Researching Industries and Companies
Preparing and Editing Written Materials Preparing and Participating in Interviews


ACTIVITY 1: Getting to Know Oneself/Class Introductions

This activity can be done early in the semester as a tool to help students introduce themselves to their classmates.

1) If you have students who are undecided on a career, send them to one (or more) of the following web sites where they can take short tests to help them become aware of their abilities and interests.

Interest Finder Quiz
The Career Key

2) Have them make note of the adjectives that best describe them. These will come in handy for identifying their strengths and weaknessess--very useful when they prepare cover letters, resumes, and interview questions.

3) Assign this activity as homework (or have them do it in the computer lab). Students will write a short letter to the group via email introducing themselves and reporting their test results.
To assess their writing ability at the beginning of the semester, you could ask them to compose a short essay, timed, reporting the results of the test and whether or not they view them as accurate.

ACTIVITY 2: Researching Industries and Companies

1) In class, have students brainstorm (in small groups) about what the ideal company, from an employee's perspective would resemble. Have the whole class discuss group findings.

2) Ask students to research a company they might like to work for by following these links.
These databases supply free information on companies in the U.S. and Great Britain:

America's Employers Company Database that can be searched by location, industry, or name.
CollegeGrad's Employer Information Database.
CollegGrad's Best of the Web Employer Links.
Biz/Ed's Top 100 Companies in Britain. Links to their web sites.

3) Tell them they will be preparing a resume and supporting documents to submit to the company (in theory, that is). They should make notes that will prove useful later, especially once they have obtained an interview (which they all will--see ACTIVITY 4).

ACTIVITY 3: Preparing & Editing Written Materials

Send students to the Purdue Writing Lab, a resume workshop, how tos for writing memos and report abstracts OR print some worksheets for resume how tos off this site for use in class. The Purdue Writing Lab contains tips on resume/cover letter mechanics and content.

Have them compose a resume. Group students in pairs and have them peer edit their resumes. Do the same for cover letters.

**TIP: Visit the Management Module and click on the Recruitment link (in the table) for an exercise on attributes companies look for in prospective employees. Understanding the job search process from a management perspective might give students insights into how to prepare better materials.

CollegeGrad's Guide to Resumes. Sample resumes, lists of buzzwords, and much more!
Brigham Young U's Reading/Writing Center Letters of Application and Follow-up.
CollegeGrad's Guide to Cover Letters Samples of the best/worst. Cover letter checklist.
CollegeGrad's Reference Letters Samples of good letters of reference for the job search.

ACTIVITY 4: Preparing & Participating in Interviews

As an introductory exercise, have students role play in class. See Resume Role Play for the lesson plan from Dave's ESL cafe. I suggest putting the names of different jobs in a hat and letting students choose something at random to see how well they can "wing" an interview.
Ask students to take the Kaplan Mock Job Interview in the computer lab or outside class. They should make notes on which questions/answers were surprising, which were obvious, and why. This is a good starting point for discussing cultural differences. How would an interview be run in their own countries? Would the same types of questions be asked? Would they elicit the same types of responses?

Have students visit this site for 50 Interview Questions OR send them these questions over email. Tell them they will have to interview a classmate, and be interviewed. Ask them to think about which questions they would like to ask as an interviewer and how they would answer as a job candidate.

Assign students a partner to whom they will send their resume. They should prepare to ask questions based on their partner's resume and to answer questions based on theirs. Hold 10-15 minute interviews in class.

To go to another page, click a topic below:

Basics of Business English Back Home 
Finding Employment Creating a Company
Management The Stock Market

Back to Top