Career Day Guide

E&l Toolset Icons Career Day
Fact Sheet

Career Day Fact Sheet

What is a Career Day?

A Career Day is a highly structured Career Awareness activity in which business partners from a variety of companies come together at a school to share information about their company, their job, and the education and skills that are required for success in their career.

Designed to meet specific learning objectives, a Career Day helps students/learners connect what they’re learning in school with the workplace. They listen to speakers or navigate the event independently, seeking information about the industry and the career options it provides. They also learn about the education required for entry into the industry and the participating business’s role in the local economy.

Career Days are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based experiences provided to all students/learners engaged in career-related programs or course of study in Earn & Learn partner schools and organizations.

Career Days Are Designed To:

  • Expose students/learners to a variety of careers and jobs by connecting them with business partners.
  • Provide a realistic picture of the workplace.
  • Help students/learners make the connection between school and the workplace.
  • Inform career planning.

Career Days Are Structured To:

  • Allow students/learners to listen, receive information and ask questions.
  • Enable students/learners to begin identifying areas of career interest.
  • Elevate student/learner comfort level in interacting with adult professionals and demonstrate their communication skills.

Career Days Are Supported By:

  • Classroom preparation, including research on the industry and participating businesses.
  • Employer orientation and support.
  • Opportunities to reflect upon the experience verbally and in writing.

Career Days Are Connected To:

  • Individual career development/training plans.
  • A continuum of future work-based learning activities that build over time.
  • The student’s or learner’s next steps.
Career Day Format Options
  1. Presentation Only: Two, 40-minute panel sessions with 30 to 40 students/learners participating in each session.
  2. Presentation+Small Groups: One, 40-minute panel session with 80-100 students, followed by small groups for follow up and an interactive activity.
  3. Networking Booths: Career Day booth format where students/learners visit booths staffed by employers and network.
  4. Speaker Series: Guest speaker series where industry representatives rotate and visit different classrooms.
  5. Virtual: An interactive – online career day where employers visit a virtual classroom.
Support Materials
WBL Connector Checklist

WBL Connectors Career Day Checklist

Quick tips for Work-Based Learning Connectors to ensure a successful career day.

Before The Career Day:

  • Design the Career Day, Choose the date and format, identify goals for the day, create an action plan and schedule any planning meetings.
  • Prepare Teachers and Faculty. Share and review the Teacher/Faculty Tip Sheet.
  • Have Teachers and Faculty create learning objectives and work with students/learners to prepare for the day.
  • Keep staff well informed and publicize the event at staff meetings and in school announcements. Create a Career Day flyer and post on the web and around the school.
  • Provide the employers with an information packet about the school, including the format and schedule for the day.
  • Confirm employer attendance and determine presentation needs. Let them know where to park and share any visitor procedures they need to follow.
  • Support and prepare the employers. Share some questions to expect and encourage them to create an engaging and interactive presentation—using visuals and props.

During The Career Day:

  • Be the point person and troubleshooter on Career Day. Be prepared to address technology issues and have a back-up plan in case of speaker cancellations.
  • Distribute a schedule of events for the day to all parties.
  • Arrange for the employers to be met and escorted to the activity. (This is a great activity for one or two students/learners who have been trained as “school ambassadors.”)
  • Distribute and collect feedback surveys.

After The Career Day:

  • Document the Career Day. Review all feedback surveys and summarize results. Debrief the day and make recommendations for improvements.
  • Help students/learners update their career development plans and think about any next steps they would like to take to further their career goals.
  • Work with Teachers and Faculty to coordinate “go deeper” activities and connect Career Day to the classroom.
  • Send thank-you notes to guest speakers and businesses that participated.
  • Take pictures from Career Day and provide them to the companies for their websites or newsletters. Ensure you have signed releases for all photos.
  • Publicize the Career Day and the businesses in attendance by placing a story in the local newspaper or posting on the school or agency webpage.
  • Consider other potential public relations benefits and opportunities.

This includes Earn & Learn work-based learning connectors and others who facilitate, arrange and support work-based learning activities for students or other learners.

Sample Timeline
  • Beginning of the school year: Brainstorm business partners who could participate. Find a location.
  • Two months in advance: Invite business partners to participate. Secure date, time and location.
  • One month in advance: Meet with planning committee to review logistics and facility needs. Confirm participation of speakers.
  • One week in advance: Send planning brief to speakers with agenda for the day, logistics, event information and questions to expect.
  • On Career Day: Welcome presenters and manage event flow and agenda.
  • After Career Day: Send thank-you notes to all presenters and ensure Student/Learner reflection activities take place.
Tips For Success
  • Conduct Effective Planning
  • Prepare for Success
  • Identify Learning Objectives
  • Create Authentic and Engaging Experiences
  • Connect to Careers
  • Support Student/Learner Growth
  • Ensure Activities are Safe and Legal
  • Provide Ongoing Support
  • Provide for Reflection, Presentation and Feedback
  • Connect to the Student/Learner Next Step
  • Assess and Document the Experience
Tools & Documents

Career Day Downloads

Student/Learner Preparation

After they’ve determined areas of interest, have students/learners compare their own list of potential careers with the list of career day presenters, and generate a list of questions for the visitors.

Student/Learner Reflection

Student/Learner reflection allows students/learners to analyze their experiences and prompts thinking about education and career decisions based on the experience. Reflection exercises encourage analysis and thinking about the connection between school and work.