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EDSS612 Career Assessment, Theory and Job Search

Unit rationale, description and aim

At a time of rapid ongoing change as a result of globalisation, internationalisation and developing information communication technologies, the role of a career counsellor is ever more important. Career counsellors enable people across the lifespan to develop skills needed for adapting to change and making career decisions and transitions. In this unit, within the Career Development specialisation, students will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to issues in the workplace that affect the individual and society ranging from work/life balance to skills shortages that affect the economy. Students will examine human resource practice including resume preparation, interviews and personality/vocational testing as well as impact of employability and enterprise skills on preparation for employment and the workplace. Emphasis will be given to reforms in the national training framework with particular reference to vocational education in schools. Students will need to invite an individual to participate in a vocational interest assessment session for their first assessment task.

The aim of this unit is for students to examine issues that affect people, society and the economy in particular human resources practices.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify demographic, social, global, economic and organisational factors impacting upon the Australian economy and the labour market (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.2H, 1.3H, 1.5L, 1.6H, 2.2L, 3.3L, 3.4L, 3.5H, 3.6H, 3.7L, 4.1L, 5.1H, 5.2H, 5.3H, 5.4H, 6.2H, 6.4H, 7.1H)

LO2 - Analyse classic and contemporary career theory (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.2H, 1.3H, 1.5L, 1.6H, 2.2L, 3.3L, 3.4L, 3.5H, 3.6H, 3.7L, 4.1L, 5.1H, 5.2H, 5.3H, 5.4H, 6.2H, 6.4H, 7.1H)

LO3 - Implement, score and interpret career tests (GA4, GA5; APST 1.2H, 1.3H, 1.5L, 1.6H, 2.2L, 3.3L, 3.4L, 3.5H, 3.6H, 3.7L, 4.1L, 5.1H, 5.2H, 5.3H, 5.4H, 6.2H, 6.4H, 7.1H)

LO4 - Construct a personal, professional quality resume which identifies generic employability skills (GA5, GA6,, GA9; APST 1.2H, 1.3H, 1.5L, 1.6H, 2.2L, 3.3L, 3.4L, 3.5H, 3.6H, 3.7L, 4.1L, 5.1H, 5.2H, 5.3H, 5.4H, 6.2H, 6.4H, 7.1H).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards:

1.2       Understand how students learn (Highly Accomplished)

1.3    Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds (Highly Accomplished)

1.5    Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities (Lead)

1.6    Strategies to support full participation of students with disability (Highly Accomplished)

2.2    Content selection and organisation (Lead)

3.3    Use teaching strategies (Lead)

3.4    Select and use resources (Lead)

3.5    Use effective classroom communication (Highly Accomplished)

3.6    Evaluate and improve teaching programs (Highly Accomplished)

3.7    Engage parents/carers in the educative process (Lead)

4.1    Support student participation (Lead)

5.1    Assess student learning (Highly Accomplished)

5.2       Provide feedback to students on their learning (Highly Accomplished)

5.3       Make consistent and comparable judgements (Highly Accomplished)

5.4       Interpret student data (Highly Accomplished)

6.2    Engage in professional learning and improve practice (Highly Accomplished)

6.4    Apply professional learning and improve student learning (Highly Accomplished)

7.1    Meet professional ethics and responsibilities (Highly Accomplished).


Topics will include: 

  • an overview of labour market analysis information, tools and techniques 
  • an introduction and critical review of classic and contemporary career theories 
  • career assessment including criteria for test selection and how to administer, score and interpret two career tests 
  • job search skills and resume writing

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in offered in multimode and uses an active learning approach to support students in the development of knowledge and skills related to human resource practice. Students have the opportunity to attend synchronous online webinars to participate in the construction and synthesis of this knowledge. Such an approach allows flexibility for students are largely engaged in full-time work. 

Where required by cohorts, part or all of the unit could be delivered face-to-face with students engaging in lectures and workshops as well as students accessing digital resources and activities available through the LEO site. 

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, workshops, and assignments etc.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, postgraduate students need to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks. The assessment strategy used allows students to demonstrate their knowledge related to career assessment, theory and job search.  

The first task (30%) is an extended writing task focusing on an evidence based approach to job- hunting; the second task (20%) requires student adapt their resume according to specific requirements; the third task (50%) focuses on how theory is applied to practice in the area of career development with a particular focus on vocational inventories.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task1 


Write a brief essay outlining an evidenced-based approach to job hunting (providing practical job application assistance)


LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9

Assessment Task 2 


Adapt your resume using the recommended guidelines (providing practical job application assistance)


LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9,

Assessment Task 3 

Extended Writing Task 

Critically evaluate the notion of “matching” clients to careers on the basis of their vocational interests as measured using vocational interest inventories 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9

Representative texts and references

Bright, J., Earl, J., & Winter, D. (2015). How to write a Brilliant CV (5th ed.). Harlow, England; New York: Pearson. 

David, S., Clutterbuck, D., & Megginson, D. (Eds). (2015). Beyond goals. London: Gower/Taylor & Francis. 

McMahon, M., & Watson, M (Eds). (2017). Career assessment: Qualitative approaches. Sense: Rotterdam. 

Patton, W., & McMahon, M. (2014). Career development and systems theory: Connecting theory and practice (2nd ed.). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

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