RA Pro-D in a Bag: Transferable Skills For A Future Career (30 mins)

The “Pro-D in a Bag” series provides all the details you’ll need to create a professional development opportunity for your staff around a given topic. Each facilitation guide outlines free and open source videos to watch, articles to read, quizzes and inventories to complete, and suggested questions for discussion and activities. You can facilitate this as a professional development session or integrate it into a staff meeting. It’s professional development “in a bag.”

We offer 3 tracks of our “Pro-D in a Bag” series:

  1. Pro Staff Pro-D in a Bag (for Professional Staff)
  2. RA Pro-D in a Bag (for Student Staff)
  3. Roompact Pro-D in a Bag (highlighting software features for users)

Topic: Transferable Skills For A Future Career (30 mins)

This Pro-D in a Bag is designed to help student staff realize that the skills they learn in the RA role can be transferred into future jobs and careers. It is intended to get them thinking about how to articulate these skills to future potential employers and demonstrate it on their resumes.

Time: 30 minutes
Audience: RAs/Student Staff Members
– Identify transferable skills learned in the RA role.
– Write resume bullet points articulating their skills learned in the RA role.
– Articulate these transferable skills in a concise manner.

Before the session:

1. Read

Have your staff read the following:

2. Optional Read

You may also want to share the following with your staff to review:

Suggested Facilitation:

Begin the session by asking the staff to brainstorm the transferable skills they think they gain out of their role. You may wish to have them write these on post-it notes and post to a wall, or capture them on a whiteboard, or on a piece of flipchart paper.

  • What skills are the most important to employers?
  • Does it matter what type of job you want in the future? Will some skills matter more to some employers than others?
  • Do some of the skills we listed also entail additional skills? Perhaps there are multiple represented in one listed skill.

Next, ask RAs to select one of the skills and individually write one bullet point they could list on their resume. Bullet points should be one line, so no more than about 15 words. After giving them a few minutes to write, have them share out their bullet points with the group.

  • How did different people articulate the same bullet point but in different language?
  • What did you like about some of the sample bullet points? How could they be improved?
  • What might make an employer take notice?

Collect these bullet points and add them to an electronic document and share it with the staff afterwards.

Have your staff member turn to a partner and practice talking about their transferable skills as if they were in an interview setting. Approximately 2 minutes for each parter: “I noted on your resume that you were an RA, what skills did you gain and how might they be applicable to this job?” After completing this experience, process this with the group.

  • What were you hoping to convey to your interviewer? Do you think you were successful?
  • Is there an answer you were particularly proud of?
  • Did you struggle with anything in your answer?
  • How might you prepare for interviews in the future? What do you need to reflect on?

To conclude the session, share resources for the Career Center on campus and how they can help RAs (and their residents) with resumes and preparing for job interviews.

Additional Resources To Dive Deeper:

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