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SMART Goals, Resumes and Cover Letters




9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Higher Education and Job Readiness Workshop I
SMART Goals & Resumes
By – W.I.S.E.
Primary Subject – Other
Grade Level – 9-12


    These are job readiness and college preparation workshops and handouts created by the Carnegie Mellon chapter of Women in Science and Engineering (W.I.S.E.) for presentation at local high schools. This first workshop presented below is on defining SMART goals, resumes and cover letters

Overview of Workshops:

  1. Defining SMART Goals/Resumes/Cover Letters (below)
    • Part I – Defining SMART Goals
    • Part II – Resumes & Cover Letters
      • Top Six Tips for Writing a Resume
      • Sample Resume
      • Sample Cover Letter


      • True/False Resume Game
  2. Interviewing Skills Training

      • Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
      • Ten Questions to Ask Interviewer
      • Warning Signs: 25 Attributes That Interviewers Don’t Like To See
      • Appearance and Proper Interview Attire Worksheet


      • Stress Balls
  3. Higher Education
    • Part I – Preparing and Paying for Higher Education
      • Can I Upgrade You: College Preparation Presentation
      • Financial Aid Presentation
        • Test Your Financial Aid Knowledge
        • The Human Barometer
        • Free Money Activity
    • Part II – Higher Education: College Lifestyle 101

W.I.S.E. Workshop #1

Defining SMART Goals/Resumes/Cover Letters:

      Part I – Total Time: 40 Minutes

      1. Defining SMART Goals (5 minutes)
        1. Define S.M.A.R.T. goals for students
          1. S-Specific
          2. M-Measurable
          3. A-Ambitious
          4. R-Realistic
          5. T-Time sensitive
      2. Inspiration through Quotes (8-10 minutes)
        1. Inform students that there are lists of quotes around the room coming from artists, musicians, politicians, leaders, etc.
        2. Tell students to stand next to or near the quote that most inspires them. What quote reminds them of themselves or gets them thinking.
        3. Once students have chosen a quote within their group they should discuss why they chose this quote and how it relates to their lives. Encourage students to look at these quotes as ways to inspire them to change their future and achieve their dreams.
        4. Have one person report from each group and share with the class some of the things discussed
      3. Inspiration through Careers (8-10 minutes)
        1. Inform students that there are a lists of jobs/careers around the room.
        2. Tell students to stand next to or near the quote that most inspires them. What career or job is their dream job and something they could see themselves doing in the future?
        3. Once the students have chosen a quote within their group they should discuss why they chose this career/job and how it relates to their lives. Encourage students to look at these jobs/careers as realistic if they work hard. What personal skills does the student have to contribute to this job?
        4. Encourage students to talk to the class about their choice in a career and the skills they feel they bring to the table.
      4. Develop your Goals for the Future (10 minutes)
        1. Now that the students have picked a quote they feel they identify with and a career. Encourage them to write 2-3 S.M.A.R.T. goals that relates to their future. What steps can a student take to meet these goals and how can they get there.
        2. Assist students in this step.
        3. Encourage students to keep these goals with them and be inspired by this for their future.

      Break: 10 Minutes
      Part II – Total Time: 40 Minutes

    1. Introduction to “What is a resume?” (15-20 minutes)
      1. Ask students how many of them have had a job before or currently? How many people have seen a resume before? Do you know what is included in a resume?
      2. Pass out worksheets containing information on resume tips, blank resume sheets, copy of wrong resume, and sample cover letter.
      3. Go over the resume tips: utilize the chalk board and clearly lay out rules for writing a resume
        1. Contact Information
        2. Objective
        3. Experience
        4. Education
        5. Relevant Skills
      4. Play Resume Games
        1. True vs. False of resume
        2. “What’s wrong with this resume?”
    2. Create your own Resume ( 10 minutes)
      1. Each student will get a copy of a blank resume sheet and they will have to think of all the relevant experiences that they have had. Fill in the resume workshop accordingly. Two presenters should to help students fill out sheet and brainstorm about things they have done.
    3. Introduction to Cover Letters (10 minutes)
      1. Presenter tells students to refer to packet and look at a sample cover letter. Explain what a cover letter is and talk about how to write one.
      2. Open the floor to any questions related to the workshop and last minute questions.

Handouts for Workshop I

How to Write a Resume

  1. Contact Information:
    • Contact information should include your name, address, telephone number, and an appropriate e-mail address; vs.
  2. Objective:
    • The objective of the resume is where you can express the purpose of the overall resume; what job you are looking for
    • Short and sweet; concise, not overly detailed
    • Example: To obtain a job in the field of customer service that will allow me to utilize my skills and experience
  3. Experience:
    • Section of the resume where you can write all the experiences and work that you have done that will contribute to your candidacy of the job
    • Does not have to be limited to work experience; this section can include volunteer experience and community service
    • Be detailed and descriptive
    • Use action words such as: worked, responsible, actively, accomplished, achieved, trained, developed, etc.
    • Make sure experiences are in chronological order with the most recent being first
  4. Education:
    • Section used to display all education information including high schools, universities, and vocational trainings
    • Can also be used to highlight certificates and other training programs completed
  5. Relevant Skills:
    • Section used to display additional skills for applicant not in other sections of the resume
    • Can include but not limited too, computer skills, training skills: CPR, First Aid, Safety, etc.
    • Can also include characteristics and qualities about an applicant such as personal skills
  6. References:
    • Usually state “available upon request” meaning if an employer would like a reference from you, they will ask, and you will provide

Top 6 Tips for Writing a Resume

      1. Between 1-2 pages long

      2. Use Action Words

      3. Formatting

      4. Pay Attention to tenses

      5. Proofread

    6. BE HONEST

John Smith
123 First Avenue
New York, NY 12345
(212) 555-8538


    To obtain a position working in an environment that will allow me to grow professionally


      YMCA Brooklyn, NY

      After School Volunteer 9/2008 – Present

      • Volunteer in afternoon program local YMCA
      • Responsible for facilitating basketball games between after school participants
      • Planned local field trips and activities for participants
      • Monitored students until parents came

      McDonalds Brooklyn, NY

    Cashier 5/2007 – 8/2008

    • Responsible for welcoming customers into friendly environment
    • Rang up customers orders and provided their food
    • Maintained appearance of restaurant by mopping, sweeping, and cleaning floors
    • Worked well in fast paced environment


      Brooklyn High School Brooklyn, NY

    High School Diploma 2008

Relevant Skills

  • Trained in CPR and First-Aid
  • Works quickly and efficiently
  • Communicates well with other
  • Fluent in Spanish
  • Knowledgeable about Microsoft Word and the Internet


    Available upon request

John Smith
123 First Avenue
New York, NY 12345
(212) 555-8538

March 17, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

          Enclosed is an updated copy of my resume summarizing my work experience and various skills throughout the years. I would appreciate it if you could review my resume for the position within your establishment.

          As you can see from my resume I am a very reliable and dependable individual who is seeking to secure a position that would allow me to grow and advance my skills. I’m a team player who is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that a task is completed in a timely manner. I have a lot of experience working with many professionals and through these interactions I have acquired a diverse set of skills.

          I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my credentials with you at a mutually convenient time. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully yours,

John Smith

Enclosure: Resume

True/False Resume Game

  • Your resume will be read carefully and thoroughly – FALSE
    (30-45 sec. – sometime a resume is screened by a computer software system)
  • The purpose of a resume is to generate interest and an interview – TRUE
  • If you want a really good resume, have it prepared by a resume service – FALSE
  • I should make up degrees and awards on my resume, no body will know – FALSE
  • You should bring multiple copies of your resume to an interview -T RUE
  • It is good to have a different resume/tailored resume for various jobs – TRUE
  • A resume can be as many pages as you want – FALSE
  • The more the better – FALSE

E-Mail W.I.S.E. !

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