Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Prepare Students for Success in the World with a 1-Page Proposal

Although school should prepare students for success in today’s careers, in many classrooms students are being prepared for yesterday’s job search. If they’re lucky, their school may take a break from test-prep and help students create a paper-based, one dimensional resume, but for many jobs that is an outdated form of displaying accomplishments and does nothing to set students apart from the rest as I wrote about in the story of this frustrated and jobless college grad.

Armond McFadden is another student anxious to find work that taps into his talent for photography, videography, and knowledge of buses. Unfortunately, as is the case in most schools today, there’s no place for real-world skills in test-prep factory schools. Today's system, which forces students to waste their time developing their memorization and regurgitation talents, leaves no child prepared for the successful pursuit of a 21st century career.  

Instead, teachers should begin helping their students develop a digital footprint that will attract the attention of potential employers. This might include a website, blog, About.Me page, Video site, Flickr site and more.  To package this information, teachers can provide their students with a competitive edge by helping them write what one company is calling a One-Page Proposal and it’s designed to produce a product that promotes the kind of discussion employers are looking for. The proposal gives students the opportunity to have a conversation with someone face-to-face about a real idea and allows job seekers to bypass the dry questions a resume elicits, and discuss something of substance.

Here is How The Product Works

  • Compresses your ideas, values and goals into one easy-to-read page.
  • Gives you all the tools you need to Write a 1-Page Job Proposal.
  • Helps you Discover which industry, company, person and idea are best for your skills and interests.
  • Directs the Research process which lays down the groundwork for your proposal.
  • Shows you how to Deliver your proposal to the key decision makers.

Here is How It Can Help

  • Proposes how you would address the challenges of the job.
  • Creates a "picture" of you in the role.
  • Enhances your appeal to recruiters and businesses.
  • Gives you a head start in your interviews.
  • Makes you stand out from the competition.

Here is A Sample 1-Page Proposal

Click the thumbnail to see the proposal.
As students work to develop their proposal, teachers can provide students support by giving feedback on ease of comprehension and ability to persuade. Teachers can also provide time for students to engage in videotaped practice interviews so they can self assess to see where they stumble or where their speaking skills need improvement. 

In today’s job market a succinct and well-conveyed expression of your experiences and ideas is necessary.  Supporting our students in creating the digital footprint and proposal that will get them the experience they need is a great start toward preparing students for success in the world.  

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