Part of my capstone project at UMass Boston, I partnered with Heading Home, a homeless agency in Boston and revised their training guide and conducted a resume writing train-the-trainer workshop.
Heading Home is a non-profit organization providing emergency, transitional, and permanent housing and support services to low-income homeless families and individuals in Boston and surrounding communities. The Economic Mobility Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts is engaged in offering critical skills to help improve economic mobility and access to employment for clients. The Economic Mobility Center’s Resume Building Workshop required assistance with revising their training guide and presentation material.
A needs assessment revealed the skill, knowledge, educational level and employment experience of Heading Home’s client base. Additionally, I assessed the expertise, comfort level and teaching experience of the trainers, specifically with building resumes. Furthermore, I reviewed Heading Home’s previous resume workshop guide and interviewed the program manager and the trainers to discuss their current state and the desired goals. The previous version of the training guide and presentation were outdated. Moreover, the graphics and text in the training guide were an exact match to the graphics and text in the PowerPoint presentations. This format limited the trainers from providing contextual information which restricted the point of view from the client audience. Click here to learn more about Heading Home.
To test the learner’s basic writing skills and thought processes, William Horton’s Absorb, Do, Connect learning activity was applied. The presentation-lecture style permitted learners to absorb the information.
I designed resume templates so learners could practice writing sections of their resume so learners could do with what they’ve learned. Finally, the connect activity allowed learners to discuss, share, and apply their knowledge. Additional supplementary material included, templates, action verbs, and sample resumes in three distinct formats: chronological, functional and combination.
To learn more about the Absorb, Do, Connect model and William Horton click here. 90-workshop.
A brand new design and relevant graphics were added to the PowerPoint presentation and modifications were made to the training guide including, content and footnotes.
I wrote and designed sample resume Headings, Profiles, Areas of Expertise, and Employment sections. Additional elements of the design phase involved trainers testing their knowledge in small group settings and receiving feedback.
Absorb, Do, Connect model: Horton, William. (2006). Click image for more information about this model.
Microsoft PowerPoint and Word were used to develop content and materials for the resume building workshop. Media incorporated included graphics, images, audio visual, and text. The evaluation used was the Kirkpatrick Model: Four Levels of Learning Evaluation.
Click image to learn more about the Kirkpatrick Model or go to: https://www.kirkpatrickpartners.com/
Level 1: Reaction
Trainers reacted positively to the revised resume building workshop. They were fully engaged throughout each training by asking questions, sharing stories, and expressed their satisfaction on the visual appeal of the updated PowerPoint presentation and sample resumes and materials.
Level 2: Learning
Trainers were participatory and committed throughout the entire process. They quickly grasped the new concepts and discussed the value and impact the revised resume building workshop and materials will have on their clients' employment opportunities. All of the trainers expressed confidence in their ability to tailor their knowledge to the new techniques shared in the workshop. The interviews I conducted with each trainer revealed a change in behavior regarding new approaches they would implement in the training.
Level 3: Behavior
The trainers described how they could demonstrate new resume writing concepts to a client. For example, the resume profile section could be listed in a variety of formats, such as, paragraph, bullet list, and table. Depending on the client's target position and other factors, trainers expressed they were better equipped to provide a variety options and rational when presented with questions about format, layout, and font choice.
Trainers at Heading Home will roll-out the new resume building workshop in July 2018.
A formative evaluation on client outcomes will be conducted once several workshops are complete.
Level 4: Results
I will conduct a focus group to measure the effectiveness of the updated resume building workshop to assess and evaluate results, success, concerns, quality of materials from client perspective, and improvements. The evaluation will take place once several workshops have concluded.