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Fundamental Career Development Tools

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SKL 101 - Fundamental Career Development Tools - Winter 2021

Academic Credit Value:
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Elizabeth Montes
Course Dates:
02/08/2021 - 03/14/2021

Required Course Materials:
All course contents are in the course website in Avenue2Learn.
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:

With so many communication mediums available, it is important to know how to use them effectively. Whether communicating with a supervisor or approaching a new contact at a networking event, you want to present your best professional self, so you are remembered for the right reasons. This course will help students understand how to interact in a variety of situations, and to know what is expected of them. The course will cover online and in-person communication based on situations that students will likely encounter as part of their job search and career advancement. 

This is a non-credit professional development course. However, you should complete successfully the evaluations to demonstrate achievement of the course learning outcomes to obtain the Certificate of Attendance. 

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will: 

- Write emails following professional conventions for communication
- Use online tools, such as LinkedIn or email, to request informational interviews from referrals or cold contacts
- Conduct a career conversation with a mentor or supervisor, to gather information related to career advancement or job searching

Course Evaluation
Discussions (50%)
One discussion per module. Each discussion represents 10% towards course completion. Total of 5 discussion questions.
For each module, you are expected to answer all questions in the discussion forums and comment constructively to peers’ posts. Passing score is 50%.
Each discussion will be open for one week only

Quizzes (50%)
One quiz per module. Each quiz represents 10% towards course completion. Total of 5 quizzes.
For each module, you have unlimited attempts until you reach your highest mark or answer correctly at least 50% of the questions.
Each quiz will remain open until the course end date.
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in Fundamental Career Development Tools and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice.
Assignment Submission:
Late Coursework:

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):

In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (/cce-policies#Dropping). 
Grading Scale:

Course Schedule:



Module Learning Outcomes

1. Writing Professional Emails

Email Conventions

Write emails following professional conventions for communication in the workplace and job searching activities to make positive impressions.

2. Online Communication



Apply the basic principles of netiquette in a variety of scenarios you may encounter when communicating on LinkedIn or by email.

3. Networking Conversations

Networking Conversations

Critically analyze networking scenarios to apply appropriate strategies for the purpose of expanding and strengthening your professional network through in-person events.

4. Networking One-on-One


Informational Interviews and Career Conversations

Conduct an informational interview or career conversation with a contact, to gather information related to career advancement or job searching.

5. Making Connections for Career Interviews

Identifying Contacts for Informational Interviews

Select appropriate techniques to identify and contact other professionals when requesting informational interviews.