Redesigning Resumes

By Gwynne Richards, January 29, 2010

Grade Level

  • Middle School


  • City of Neighborhoods

Subject Area

  • Language Arts
  • Technology

Lesson Time

280 minutes for classroom activities


In many urban areas these days, getting into a good high school has become as competitive and complex as getting into a good college or getting a good job. Just as a well-written resumé may catch the eye of a potential employer, a well-written resumé may catch the eye of an admissions director. However, the traditional resumé is not designed to meet the needs of an eighth grader looking to get into the high school of his or her choice. Who better to redesign a resumé than the students who will use them?

National Standards


Students will be able to:

  • identify and apply the steps in the design process
  • identify the common elements of traditional resumés
  • compare and contrast the roles of a high school student and the role of an employee
  • using a word processor, design a resumé to be used by an eighth grader applying for high school
  • give a PowerPoint presentation
  • accurately complete a resumé


computers with internet access

  • Microsoft Office or other presentation software
sample resumés found at


  • paper
  • pens


  • admissions director: the person at a given school that recruits, screens, and admits students
  • client: a person or organization to whom goods or services are provided/sold
  • design: to devise, plan, or create something for a particular purpose
  • prospective: expected to do or become something; possible; likely
  • redesign: to change or revise the design of something
  • resumé: a summary of one’s relevant experience used to inform a potential employer, boss, etc.


Session 1:

1. In small groups, students to answer the following anticipatory questions:

  • Why do people design new things?
  • Why would something need to be redesigned?

2. Discuss the groups’ ideas in a class discussion and agree upon the meanings and purposes of the concepts of design and redesign.

3. In those same small groups, students to brainstorm what they know about resumés (purpose, information included, etc.) and share ideas during a class discussion.

4. After clarifying their general uses, introduce students to the idea of designing a resumé that they could use when applying to high school.

5. Assign students to work in teams of three to four students and have them brainstorm for what kinds of things high schools need to know about students who are applying for admission.

6. At this time, introduce the idea of the client in relationship to a resumé so that students understand that the client is the admissions director at the high school in the same way that the manager/human resources director/company owner is the client in a business. The resumé provides the client with relevant information about he prospective employee/student.

7. Teams should record the ideas generated for use later in the process.

Session 2:

1. In the computer lab, students should pair up with their team members so that they can work together to view sample resumés using those found at The goal of each team is to view and note characteristics of a variety of resumés.

2. By the end of their research, teams should hav e recorded a list of the kinds of information commonly found on traditional resumés.

Session 3:

1. Teams should work together to note the similarities and differences in the kinds of information found in actual resumés, and the kind of information high schools would need about potential students.

2. As teacher circulates to assist and guide teams, he or she should inform students that in this stage of the process, they are defining the problem.

3. Then each team is to design a format for a student resumé that incorporates relevant information needed for high school application and also maintains the recognized features of resumés.

4. Again, as teacher circulates to assist and guide teams, he or she should inform students that in this stage of the process, they are generating solutions.

Sessions 4 & 5:

1. Back in the computer lab, students to work in teams to produce their team’s redesigned resumé using desktop publishing/word processing software and to prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation that will document the investigation process and their findings, their redesigned resumé, and the rational for its design.

Session 6:

1. Allow for one class period for students to finalize the slides, rehearse the presentations, and revise/edit their resumés.

Session 7:

1. Teams to give their PowerPoint presentations while other students take notes on the strengths of each redesigned resumé.

2. Then each student in the class is to select one of the resumés to complete.


Students to complete the resumé of their choice for the high school to which they are applying. Students will be assessed on correct use of conventions and accuracy of completion. (See attached Appendix.)

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