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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Job hunting 101

Credit: LA Johnson/NPR

Job hunting is a class at Skidmore, a liberal arts college in upstate New York, reports NPR’s Elissa Nadworny.

Paul Calhoun, a business professor, worked with theatre professors to create Presenting the Brand Called Me.

Over the 13 weeks, there’s some role-playing with improv — “Talk for a minute about anything — go!” There are dance classes, and a slew of guest speakers who talk about cover letters, resumes and personal branding. By the end of the course, students leave with a polished “STAR” story — the short story you craft about yourself and your abilities that’s designed to help land you a job. “People don’t remember when you tell them you’re good at something,” Calhoun explains, “they remember when you tell them a story that proves you’re good at something.”

Dante Delemos, the first in his family to go to college, crafted a story about determination that landed him a finance internship in Manhattan.

Tytianna McClenningham learned how to write a resume in a class called Tenacity at  Ballou Senior High School in Washington, D.C. The class also advises students to create professional-sounding email addresses for themselves.

Say goodbye to “Bubblegum123.” “You can’t email your future boss with some really odd email name,” she explains. And there’s email etiquette, too. “I didn’t even think it was important to use a subject in an email,” McClenningham says. “But now I know.” The Tenacity curriculum is filled with lots of useful tips, from how to dress professionally to how to code-switch under pressure. But McClenningham says the biggest thing she learned was confidence.

She landed a summer internship and will start college in the fall.

College seniors shared their job-hunting stories with U.S. News in May. By mid-summer, one of the five, a marketing major had started her professional career. “The rest are tinkering with their strategies for making connections and strengthening applications.”

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