“Many job seekers don’t know where to look after the year we’ve just had. If you count yourself among this crowd, here’s how to get back into the market, even if you’re feeling rusty.” C.Cowles, The New York Times, April 24, 2021
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: How to Get Back Into the Job Market, By Charlotte Cowles, The New York Times,April 24, 2021
“Airlines are canceling flights because they don’t have enough pilots to fly them. Restaurants are posting open positions on their Instagram feeds. Even the local grocery store has a “hiring” sign out front. Welcome to spring 2021: After a year of being battered by the pandemic, the economy is finally showing signs of a strong, steady recovery, and jobs are popping up like crocuses. Employers added almost a million positions in March alone, according to the Labor Department… But with this hiring frenzy comes a new conundrum: How can the still-staggering number of unemployed Americans (about 9.7 million, per the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or more if you’re counting those who are underemployed) find their way to the right positions?
If you count yourself among this crowd, here’s how to bridge the disconnect and get back into the job market, even if you’re feeling rusty…Brush upon your digital communication skills. If you haven’t spent the past year in Zoom meetings, you didn’t exactly miss out, but you still need to be able to present yourself as savvy and professional onscreen…Look online — and not just on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is by far the biggest job-searching tool, and you’ll want to make sure your profile is up-to-date and well tended… Talk to an employment agency, recruiter, or headhunter. Many job seekers think that they have to pay recruiters to find them jobs. But it’s actually the opposite — employers hire recruiters to find qualified candidates…Broaden your horizons. The transition to, and acceptance of, remote work has enabled employers to cast a wider net when they search for talent — and so should you, in looking for jobs.”
Related Article: “Boston employers are embarking on a grand experiment, by shifting their offices to a hybrid model. As they plan to bring workers back to the office starting this summer, white-collar employers in the Boston area are entering a world in which remote work becomes more the norm than the exception.” By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe
Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 60 minutes.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about ‘Finding jobs in 2021.’ Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- After a year of being battered by the pandemic, the economy is finally showing signs of recovery.
- Jobs are popping up like crocuses.
- Across our industry, everyone is prioritizing hiring.
- Taco Bell helped by converting parking lots into drive-through job fairs last week.
- To find 5,000 new employees in one day is definitely unprecedented.
- There are more jobs than there are available candidates.
- With this hiring frenzy comes a new conundrum.
- You need to brush up on your digital communication skills.
- Interested people should talk to an employment agency, recruiter, or headhunter.
- It is important for you to broaden your horizons when looking for work.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Airlines are canceling flight because they don’t have enough pilots to fly them.
- Restaurants are posting open positions on their Instagram feeds.
- Even the local grocery store has a “hiring” sign out front.
- Across the industry, everyone are prioritizing hiring.
- It’s frustrating when candidates have been looking for work and can’t find it.
- The main problem is that many job seekers don’t know where to look.
- If you’re looking by work, it can be helpful to share that with your own online network.
- A friend or connection might be able to refer you to a job opening.
- This could also be a good time to make a career transition.
Identify The Speakers
Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.
- “We’re constantly looking for new ways to market our jobs.”
- “Across our industry, everyone is prioritizing hiring.”
- “People who’ve been out of the work force should practice setting up Zooms with their friends or family, so that they feel comfortable on video.”
- “The market for job candidates in the technology space is crazy right now.”
- “It takes practice to be able to shake off nerves when you’re going through the process.”
- “It’s frustrating when we hear job candidates say they’ve been looking for work and can’t find it.”
- “And no matter what field you’re in, there’s probably a recruiter who’s looking to staff it right now.”
- III. Post Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing
Directions: Have students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.
- According to the article what is the main problem people are having finding work in 2021?
- Why should people searching for jobs practice their digital communication skills?
- Give examples of social platforms.
- What is the purpose of LinkedIn?
- Why is it important to talk to your former employers from the past five years?
- Explain the difference between contract work and long-term work.
- Write down three new ideas that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you would like to know that the article did not mention.