Type of Activity:
❑ Peer Mentoring
Relevant pillar: Career and employment
Relevant competence(s): Communication competences, Social and civic competence , Sense of initiative & entrepreneurship
Duration: 7 hours that can be divided into 2 sessions over 2 days
Participants have no knowledge about what a CV and/or a job interview is.
This is addressed through the overall philosophy of the workshop which is designed/adapted in a child-friendly way and addresses basic subjects in a simple, comprehensive and engaging way.
Participants speak different languages.
The LCP will make sure that there will be translation and will encourage peer translation.
Participants may be hesitant to express themselves.
The LCP will make sure that the workshop takes place in a familiar and safe space for participants.
Setting “Ground rules” (10-15 minutes)
Invite participants to brainstorm on the rules of the workshop. Ask them to think about the environment where they learn the best and the types of people they are keen to learn together. Write down on the flip-chart all their suggestions (i.e. mutual respect, equality, confidentiality, active listening, punctuality etc.) and hang the “Ground rules” on a wall in a visible place in the room that you can refer to is when it is needed.
Icebreaking Activity – “My name with a gesture’’ (15 minutes)
Participants gather in a circle and every one when his/her turn come (clockwise ) has to say his/her name and then do a gesture or a facial expression or body move which S/he feels represents his/her name.
(If participants already know each other, the facilitator/mentor can ask participants to call a mood of the participants at that right moment and that they should do a gesture/an expression/or move to reflect the mood).
After the Icebreaker present briefly the Agenda of the workshop and the objectives you wish participants reach at the end of this workshop.
Tell them that they will learn about constructing their CVs, Job interviews, The Three Ps: Prepare, Practice, and Perform and they will learn how to develop their stories.
“Create your CV” (3 hours)
Start the discussion with the participants around the following questions:
- Why do we need a CV?
- Who will read my CV? Under which circumstances etc.?
- Why do we need to update our CV?
- Why it is important to have a CV ready even without any previous experience or significant educational achievements?
Write down the answers and the main outcomes of the discussion on a flip-chart so that they are visible throughout the entire workshop and you can often refer it to participants.
THEORY (1,5 hour)
1. Make sure you know when to use a CV
Be prepared in advance to explain to participants “What is a CV?” and “What is the difference between a CV and a resume?”
2. Pick the best CV format
Explain to participants about the formats of the CV: that it is possible to find the sample templates of CVs that would be easier to complete. Explain that often in the EU the special format of Europass CV is requested. Explain that it is important to choose clear, legible fonts, to be consistent with the CV layout, to keep CV brief and relevant (not more than 2 pages), if it is not asked in the job announcement – it is not needed to include their photos on the CV.
3. Add contact information the right way
Underline that contact information should be inserted on the very top of the CV.
4. List relevant work experience & key achievements
Explain that it is important to list relevant work experience and the main tasks and responsibilities during that experience from the most recent one. If they have none or just a few work experience, advise them to list all, including volunteering, internships and informal jobs.
5. Build your CV education section correctly
Tell to include all educational experience, from the most recent one.
6. Put relevant skills that fit the job opening
Explain that they have to include all relevant skills that are in line with the job announcement. In general, they should include all digital, language, communication, social skills.
7. Include additional CV sections if needed
Tell them that they might include additional sections such as courses attended, projects, etc. to support their profile and demonstrate their capacities.
8. Complement CV with a cover letter
Explain that often it is required to prepare a cover letter (motivational letter) to accompany a CV. Talk about the main parts and structure of the cover letter.
At each step, you have to explain the main points that participants shall follow. Provide them with examples and answer all questions. You can use online tools like Resume Builder Online (see https://zety.com/) to visualise the learning.
Underline that in job search the CV is a passport, therefore it has to be very well done and regularly updated. Remind them to include all relevant information, all workshops, courses, projects they have attended. This definitely gives an added value!
PRACTICE the 3 P (1,5 hour)
Prepare: After the presentation of the theoretical part inform participants that they will practice all the steps they learned. If there are enough PCs/laptops, then let each of the participants use one. If not, split the participants in pairs and they will have to work together on both CVs. If there are no PCs or laptops, then you can adapt the activity, print the templates for the CV and let participants to prepare their CVs on a paper in writing.
Practice: Allow enough time to participants to compose their CV. Consult them to help with technical issues and if needed explain fields and details that participants have not understood. Make sure that participants follow the steps sequentially. In pairs ask the participants to present their CV to each other and offer feedback.
Perform: At the end of this activity, ask participants to present their CVs. Encourage them to make comments on the CVs of their peers on how they can improve them.
(You can conclude the workshop here and to continue the next part in the next day. Remember to summarize the learning and ask for participants’ feedback.)
“Get ready for the interview” (3 hours)
(If you start this part on the next day, remember to remind participants of what they have learnt earlier and before starting to do a warm-up activity.)
1. Types of interviews and general structure
Start by explaining to participants that there are different types of interviews, such as Individual interviews; Group interviews; Phone interviews; Video conference interviews, etc. Briefly explain each type that can be relevant to children and youth in care.
Present to participants the typical structure of an interview:
- The Introduction
- The Interviewer Background
- The Discussion
- Ask Questions
- The Closure
2. Typical interview questions
Explain the purpose of each of the below presented questions and explain the style and impact of different possible answers by giving specific examples:
- Tell me about yourself
- Why are you interested in this position/ organization?
- What attracted you to this field?
- Tell me about your work experience
- What qualifies you for this position?
- What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five, ten years?
(Role Play) After the presentation split participants into pairs. Ask them in their pairs to choose a profession. Then assign roles: interviewer and interviewee or invite participants to decide for themselves. Then ask the interviewers to ask the above questions and the interviewees to answer. The interviewers shall write down their impressions from the answers they receive. When all pairs have completed, ask them to present their answers and discuss in the plenary.
3. The 3 ‘’Ps’’: Prepare, Practice, Perform
Explain to participants about the important steps needed to go through to prepare before the interview:
- Complete a Self-Assessment on personal strengths, career interests, career goals, work experiences, and special skills & competencies.
- Research the job, the organization, and where and why you fit with a certain area.
- Determine location of interview – or prepare for a phone interview.
- Dress properly.
- Develop 5 stories that show evidence of your most marketable and relevant skills/competencies.
- Develop list of references to leave with the interviewer, if asked.
- Prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
Explain in detail and with relevant examples each of the above to the participants.
4. During the interview
Present the main tips about the behaviour that is appreciated during the interview and provide examples to reflect on each of those:
- Be alert, friendly, and courteous.
- Maintain good eye contact.
- Be positive about yourself.
- Be confident, but not cocky.
- Act natural and be yourself.
- Use specific examples or stories to illustrate your skills.
- Be honest.
- Send the right behavioural signals.
- Communicate carefully.
- Participate, don’t dominate.
- Be enthusiastic.
- Sell yourself and your strengths.
- Make a good first impression.
- Make a good last impression.
- Enthusiasm makes a lasting
- Telling a vivid story will make you stand out!
- Don’t let them doubt your interest in the position
5. Perform after the interview
Explain to participants that after the interview it’s good practice to learn from the experience. It is important to reflect on the performance and learn from mistakes to apply it to the next interview experience. Suggest them to send a “Thank You” note to the interviewer (E-mail is acceptable; however written note stands out!). Tell them to be patient and don’t wait too long for the reply. Sometimes it can happen that they will never get a reply.
6. Develop your story
Explain that stories form the basis of how we think, organise and remember information. A good story with specific, yet diverse examples of your skills and competencies, will prepare participants to answer any form of the most common job interview questions – including THE MOST COMMON… “Tell me about yourself” to any behavioural-based question. A good story leaves a lasting impression and it is the best way to market skills & competencies to a potential employer.
(Experiential/Role play) Tell participants that now they will go through all the stages of the preparation, practice and performance at a simulation of a job interview.
In advance prepare some job announcements taken from the newspapers and cut them for the participants to choose from. Ask all participants to choose a job. Then remind the basic steps of preparation, practice, building of story etc. until the moment of the interview. Provide participants with a template with all the steps on which participants will have to plan their course towards the job interview.
Encourage participants to take notes while preparing for the interview. In the phase of practice, ask them to stay alone in a silent place and practice. Following the plenary session, undertake the role of the interviewer and interview all the candidates.
At the end of all interviews invite participants to discuss their impression from each interview and provide further suggestions. Remind participants that practice is the most important thing!
At the end, motivate all participants to come into a circle and ask them one by one to share what they have learnt and bringing with them out of this workshop; what they think they will definitely use in the future; what was not very interesting and what they still would like to know more about.