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Try College 101

Unit 13: Your Career After College   The time to think about what you will do after college is now! You may have already given this considerable thought in Unit 1, but the final unit of this course will give you some practical guidelines for preparing the specific tools and elements of a successful job search, as well as the knowledge you need to organize yourself for your entire career, not just your first job.

Unit 13 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 18.75 hours:

☐    Subunit 13.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 13.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 13.3: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 13.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 13.5: 3.25 hours

☐    Subunit 13.6: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 13.7: 4.5 hours
 
☐    Unit 13 Assessment: 2 hours

Unit13 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - differentiate between a job and a career; - illustrate how to get organized for career development; - complete a well-organized, effective résumé; - write a cover letter; and - explain how to prepare for a job interview.

13.1 Finding a Career   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12: Taking Control of Your Future” Link: College Success“Take Control of Your Future” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the Chapter 12 introduction as well as sections 12.1 and 12.2 to help you consider your future goals, learn about what careers are best suited to your personality type, and explore other important factors that may affect your career decision. Make sure to complete Exercise 2, titled “What’s My Type?” as well as the checkpoint exercises. 
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 2 hours.
 

Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a
[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

13.2 Choosing Your Major   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.3: Choosing Your Major” Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.3: Choosing Your Major” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section to learn about the significance of choosing your college major. This is a short but truly helpful reading that can take some of the mystery out of what area you choose to study. While important, the major you choose does not necessarily limit your career choices significantly. This reading will help you identify what information you need to select a major that is appropriate for you and tips on making your major selection process easier. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

13.3 Getting the Right Stuff   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.4: Getting the Right Stuff” Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.4: Getting the Right Stuff” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section to explore the benefits of a four-year college education, understand the difference between work-based skills and transferrable skills, and learn how to gain skills and experience through jobs, internships, and volunteering. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.
 
This material also covers the topics outlined in subunits 13.3.1-13.3.3 below.

 Reading this section and completing the exercises should take
approximately 2 hours.    
    
 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

13.3.1 The Transfer Ticket   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading the section under the heading titled “The Transfer Ticket” to learn about how to successfully transfer from a two-year program or community college into a four-year program.

13.3.2 Skilled Labor   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3 above. Read the section titled “Skilled Labor” to review the difference between work-based skills that will be specific to a career or job and transferable skills that are relatable to almost any job. After you have re-read the passage, complete Exercise 3, titled “Transferable Skills Inventory,” to self-assess your own transferable skills. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on your transferable skills and completing Exercise 3.

13.3.3 Are You Ready for a Test Drive?   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3 above. Re-read the section titled “Are You Ready for a Test Drive?” to review the differences between volunteering, interning, and securing a paid job experience. In your notebook, identify opportunities that are appropriate for you and how to create a written agreement with your employer that outlines the goals your internship or work experience. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on this topic and writing in your notebook.

13.4 Thinking About Your Career Now   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.5: Career Development Starts Now” Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.5: Career Development Starts Now” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. This short section covers some very important elements of an effective effort at career development. Remember what you learned at the beginning of this course about the importance of setting goals. Your career should be no exception! Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading. 
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

13.5 Résumés and Cover Letters   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.7: Resumes and Cover Letters” Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.7: Resumes and Cover Letters” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section to get a good picture of the purpose of a résumé and cover letter and to learn how to write them. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises except for item 3. You will create your own résumé and cover letter in subunit 13.7. For now, keep in mind that it is a great idea to have a draft of a résumé and a cover letter that you can easily update as needed for job applications; but also remember that you should plan to make significant alterations to your drafts for each job application, in order to tailor both your résumé and your cover letter to a company’s specific needs.
 
This material also covers the topics outlined in subunits 13.5.1 through 13.5.5 below. 
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

13.5.1 The Purpose of a Résumé   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the bullet points that explain the generally accepted principles of résumé building. Consider what your own purposes for your résumé will be as you consider your personal skills and job interests.

13.5.2 The Elements of a Résumé   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading the section that outlines the contents of all three résumé elements: the header, the objective, and the résumé body. Brainstorm how you will organize these components in your own résumé.

13.5.3 Summarizing Your Work Experience   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading the bullet point titled “Résumé Body,” and then review the “101 Action Verbs” that follow it. Think about how you can state your best accomplishments using these verbs.

13.5.4 Formatting Your Resume   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “The Finishing Touches.” It is usually better to keep formatting as simple as possible. In today’s electronic age, many résumés are read by machines before they are read by human eyes – so fancy formatting could compromise your résumé or even eliminate you from consideration before a person ever reads your résumé!

13.5.5 Cover Letters   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Cover Letters.” Be sure to understand the purpose of the letter, as well as the important elements that should always be included in the letter. Keep in mind that a cover letter should be adapted to the specific job being applied for and geared toward the specific company being applied to. This knowledge will help you avoid producing a general cover letter that might go unnoticed.

  • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letter Workshop” Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letter Workshop” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Fead the headings on the webpage titled “What Is the Purpose of the Cover Letter?” and “Learning about the Job.” Some of this information will serve as a review of information you have already seen in your course readings so far.
     
    Next, click on the light orange tab on the left side of the page, titled “What To Include,” and read the information under the headings titled “How To Relate your Experience to the Job Advertisement,” “Deciding which Qualifications To Include,” and “Afraid of Not Meeting the Requirements?”
     
    Finally, click on the light orange tab on the left side of the page titled “Formatting and Organization,” and read the information under the headings titled “Formatting Your Cover Letter,” “Organizing Your Cover Letter,” “Addressing Your Cover Letter,” “The Introduction,” “The Argument,” “The Closing,” and “Before You Send the Cover Letter.” Be sure to carefully review the cover letter example provided at the bottom of this webpage.
     
    Note that, although these resources echo the information you have read in the College Success textbook, these points are organized differently and often go into much greater detail than the textbook. You may want to bookmark this webpage, as it may prove very useful to you in your long-term college experience.
     
    Reading this resource should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

13.6 The Job Interview   - Lecture: YouTube: Howdiniguru’s “Interview Video”

Link: YouTube: Howdiniguru’s [“Interview
Video”](http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=epcc9X1aS7o#!) (YouTube)  
    
 Instructions: Watch this video on job interviews for an overview of
the interview process. Take notes on this process and how it may
apply to job interviews in your personal career track.  
    
 Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 15
minutes.  
  

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.8: Interviewing for Success” Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.8: Interviewing for Success” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read this section to learn tips on how to conduct yourself during an interview. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises. Take your time in preparing for the interviews and mock interviews assigned, completing the interviews, and reflecting on the experience.
     
    Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

13.7 Create Your Own Résumé and Cover Letter   - Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “The Interactive Résumé” Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “The Interactive Résumé” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Open this interactive document and click on each of the sections to review the purpose of each element of a résumé. Be sure to click on and read all of the following sections: “Contact Information,” “Objective,” “Experience,” “Education,” and “Honors and Activities.”
 
Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Activity: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Sample Resumes” Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Sample Resumes” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Use the Purdue Owl Sample Resumes to develop your own resume, based on the information you have learned in this unit.  You may find that the other resume resources listed along the left side of the webpage are also helpful. Once you have developed a rough draft of your resume, it is very important that you ask several knowledgeable people to review it for you, such as a career counselor, a supervisor at your current job, or a person with experience in business.  You should spend approximately 2 hours completing this assignment.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Activity: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter” Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above and use the Purdue Owl Resources to create a cover letter for a job posting you are interested in.  Work through all five light orange tabs on the left side of the page, entitled, “Cover Letter Headings,”  “Addressing Cover Letters,” “Cover Letter Introductions,” Cover Letter Body Paragraphs,” and Cover Letter Closings.”
     
    As you read through each tab, create that section of your own letter, using information about the actual company and job you are interested in. Just like your resume, it is a good idea to have a knowledgeable person review your first few cover letters, until you have mastered this skill.

    This assignment should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Activity: Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Resume/CV and Cover Letter” and VisualCV, Inc.’s “Create Your VisualCV” Link: Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Resume/CV and Cover Letter” (PDF) and VisualCV, Inc.’s “Create Your VisualCV” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: There are many additional ways to present your resume and qualifications on the job market.  Once you have created a resume and cover letter on paper that you feel presents your personal information well, you may decide to also format them in alternative ways.  Remember that traditional companies and hiring departments may prefer a standard document-based resume over a web-based or other interactive software based resume.
     
    If you are interested in an interactive resume, you may read the assignment instructions to use the online software to complete a Virtual CV.  Then, write a basic cover letter to go with it.

    This should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the VisualCV, Inc. website.

Unit 13 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Career Plan” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Career Plan” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Now that you have completed the exercises and assignments for this unit, you should have drafts of a résumé and cover letter ready for polishing. Read this article, which will guide you through the process of finalizing your résumé and cover letter and creating your professional profile. If you feel comfortable sharing your work, consider posting your portfolio or a link to your professional profile page on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.

 Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

Final Exam   - Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation's Try College 101 Final Exam Link: The Saylor Foundation's Try College 101 Final Exam

 Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School
account in order to access this exam.  If you do not yet have an
account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after
clicking the link.