The aim of the lesson plan (above) was to provide employees the knowledge and skills to draft a quality CV. Typically, employees are not familiar with how the recruitment process works, and are even less versed in drafting a CV. Many have not felt the need to apply for new roles in the past due to the security and comfort of the roles at that time. This was also confirmed from the output of the CV Workshop Pre-Assessment that were sent out and returned. The organisation has recognised this and has created a learning programme to support the individuals. Lesson Plans 1 & 2 (above) are two half day sessions that give employees an understanding of the importance of the CV and how to create a quality draft. This is followed by the individuals’ line managers. A further two day covers interview techniques to complete the programme. Designing and delivering the session was all about the preparation. It was important to understand the audience and make it meaningful for them – showing “what was in it for them”. Understanding the concept of andragogy was an important factor in determining whether the sessions would be successful – would the individuals behave like prisoners, passengers or participants? Would they have barriers to learning: negativity in motivation and application? Individuals actually behaved liked participants which actually made the session more enjoyable. None of them (as captured in the pre-assessment forms) had any recent experience of writing a CV, which made the session more relevant for them.
The size of the room was sufficient to accommodate the number of delegates, and it made the breakout session more intimate. The facilities were sufficient to display the PowerPoint pack as well as accommodating use of flipchart paper for the breakout session. They were asked to ensure mobile phones were switched off to prevent interruptions which break flow & concentration. Creating a positive environment in preparation and anticipation of prisoners, passengers or participants was essential. I set the scene by acknowledging and showing empathy that I understood that this is a difficult time for all of the delegates but that I was there to give them the tools and techniques to help them build a quality CV, which would ultimately help in finding a new role. I outlined what the aims and objectives were and how this session fit in with the remaining programme, to give individuals assurances that they were in professional hands.
I underlined my credibility in delivering the session, having worked in recruitment in the past, as well as having recruited heavily as a line manager, therefore being well versed in knowing what a good CV looks like, having read and reviewed many over the years. I explained that we’d cover off, as a group, what was currently known about writing CVs and by the end, the group would be able to differentiate between a good and poor CV, so they could visualise what the outcome would be. I introduced a breakout session – an activity to get them actively thinking and collaborating with each other, so they felt part of the solution and in control of their own destiny. This also worked well as an icebreaker. I’ve gave them guidelines and techniques to use, and provided supporting material (CV Workshop hand-outs, Action Verbs hand-outs and a CV template) so they could use as references and tools after the session. Open questions were used to check understanding. Feedback was sought in two forms – formative (CV Workshop Pre-Assessment) and summative (evaluation forms, open questions and ‘homework’ to draft a CV).
The pre-assessment was used to tailor the session, effectively being very explicit or “spelling out” each point of writing a CV. Questions were asked as feedback throughout to ensure delegates fully understood each point. Good responses were recognised and acknowledged, and corrective feedback was provided for incorrect responses. To improve my performance, I have reviewed the feedback and will introduce a working example of what a good CV looks like. I will get each of the delegates to reiterate and share the key learning they would take away at the end of the session to help reinforce in their minds what they have learned and make it real for them. I will also make a bit more use of the room – “owning it” by walking around to show authority and more importantly, observing more closely (e.g. at the breakout session).