Are you planning to host a career day or planning for a career week for your school? It is a great experience to have students think beyond the four walls of their classroom, and it brings the real world into the classroom and helps students begin to think about their futures.
Out of all of the events I have planned, career day was one of my favourites.
I have outlined the general steps for teachers who want to host a career day below and the process my school followed.
How To Host A Career Day
Career Day Planning Steps
It’s easy to host a career day when you have the steps laid out for you. Here are the steps I follow when I host a career day:
- Create a career day planning committee.
- Think about the purpose of this event, e.g. community building, career awareness, curriculum-real-life connections.
- Decide which grades will take part. I teach at a Kindergarten to Grade 8, so we decided that Grades 4 through 8 would participate.
- Where will the event be held? What day will the event occur? If you have a space to host the event on one day, then you may consider hosting the event all on one day. We decided to host it over several days to not have to cancel gym classes.
- Send a digital or paper survey to the school and staff community asking for volunteer presenters. Set a deadline for submissions. We put parameters around the types of careers we wanted to present – the careers needed to align with our grade-level Social Studies, Health, or Science curriculum. We wanted students to see a direct link between what they learn in the classroom and real life.
- Gather the committee together to review the career day presenter submissions. Sort the presenters into categories. Divide up who will contact each presenter. We divided it up by grade level. Each teacher volunteered to contact five presenters via email.
- Once you have finalized which presenters are available to present, create a presentation schedule and send out formal invitations with details to the presenters (15 minutes for presentations, 10 minutes for presentations, 5 minutes for questions) and 5 minutes for transitions between sessions. We had the presenters set up in classrooms, and the classes rotated through each presentation. This was easier for the presenters, so they did not have to travel from room to room with all their items.
- Send along possible sample questions they can discuss. Also, encourage them to bring tangible items and/or photos related to their careers to show the students.
- Plan out a thank you gift for the presenters. We gifted the presenters with a school-branded coffee mug. There are a lot of great, cost-effective DIY thank-you ideas on Pinterest.
- Select students in each session to formally welcome and thank each presenter.
- Set up a refreshments area for the presenters to get coffee, tea, juice, or cookies and a place for them to store their outdoor apparel.
Host A Career Day – Virtually!
If your school cannot put on a full in-person career day, modify the event to be virtual. Use Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom to host your career day speakers via video chat. You might be able to get more students to see each presentation as the feedback might be able to be broadcast into multiple classrooms at once, depending on the tech setup. You need to think outside the box to host a career day virtually – but it can happen!
Career Day Presenter Sample Questions
When you host a career day, ask the presenters to align their presentations to the sample questions you provide to ensure the presentation is focused and relevant to your students.
- What is your job title?
- What are the duties and responsibilities of your job?
- How many hours per day or week do you work? Do you work shifts?
- Can you tell me about your background and how you got into this field?
- What do you like the most/least about your work?
- What education or training is needed for this occupation?
- What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in this job?
- Is there a steady demand for workers in this field? How much job security is there?
- What should people do to get started in this career? (i.e. experience, training, education)
- How might this job change in the future?
After you host a career day, try this Career Research Project
Career education is very important. Don’t stop the education once you host a career day!
Help your students think purposely about their futures with this Career Exploration and Research Project. Students will get excited about career research by taking an online career quiz and then brainstorming possible career choices. Then, they will follow a guided assignment process – brainstorming, research, career poster creation, and oral presentation with scheduled check-ins throughout the process to ensure project completion.
What teachers are saying:
“This is probably one of the best resources I have ever purchased! This project was perfect for my 7th graders to keep them engaged and help them to feel successful in research. Research can be a BEAR, and this made it SO MUCH FUN! So thankful I came across this!” – Caroline B.
“WOW! This unit, like the others from this seller, moved the students along with built in scaffolds and purpose. It was also easy to leave for a sub.” – Rebecca C.
Cover Letter and Resume Writing Unit Career Lessons
Are you looking to effectively teach your middle schoolers cover letter and resume writing? After you host a career day, try out this engaging approach: Students step into the shoes of hiring managers, gaining writing skills while making informed hiring choices. They’ll assess various applications, gaining insights, before crafting their own materials. These lessons are designed for all learners with QR codes, group activities, and a dynamic hiring simulation, ensuring active participation throughout the unit.
- Introduction – Job Vocabulary QR Code Activity & Examining Cover Letters and Resumes
- Lesson 1 – How to Write a Cover Letter
- Lesson 2 – How to Write a Resume
- Lesson 3 – How to Write a Brag Sheet
What teachers are saying:
“Very thorough unit! This resource had everything I needed to teach the skills for resume writing and job searches. Thank you!” – Jennifer P.
“As with all of your resources, this one was easy to use, required very little prep on my part and the students were very engaged in the lessons. It is well laid out and follows a plan that is logical. We have enjoyed using this.” – Christine K.
After you host a career day, both of these assignments are a fantastic follow-up.
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