The purpose of this is to give students a feel for what a "good" job application looks like.
I use the collected applications from previous classes for this.
Step 1: You be the Boss: I tell the students: you are the boss of [insert name of local "cool" store here]. You have current openings for a sales clerk and a stocker. Here are your applicants [handing each a stack of completed applications]. You are a very busy person, and don't have a lot of time to decide who you are going to hire. [I give them slightly less time than applications ie. 15 applications get 10 minutes. Whiel they are trying to read the applications, I walk around and interrupt them: "you are very busy, you have a situation out front that requires your attention, so on...anything to give them a feels for just how little time an employer has to look over an application.
I write the answers to the following 2 steps on the board
Step 2: Critiquing the applications: I ask each student to tell me who they would hire. I ask they what they (the employer) was looking for, and what makes that applicant stand out to them as the best option. we then go around and look at who they wouldn't hire and why.
Step 3: Review: we then go through all the applications pointing out what is good and bad about each.
Step 4: Filling out the application: I hand students blank applications to fill out, for the same position they were just hiring for (I keep them for the next class). I remind them of the things they said made a good application, and the things they didn't like. I don't correct them, as such...just remind them to look at the board and see if there is anything they think they may want to change. I also point out that future classes will be using thier applications...that generally makes them look over their application another time.
I have found that most of my students have no clue before class what an employer is looking for, but after class they remember how they felt trying to wade through the mistakes, less than useful information, and tend to do a much better job filling out their own applications.