Guidelines for Trainers

Guidelines for Preparing a Career Guide Manual


The Ministry of Education has introduced Deliverology and designed seven goals to enhance the employability skill of students and fresh graduates and make them ready for the job market. However, there are several strategies that are targeted to accomplish the mission. Supporting students to help them see their clear career path on the program their studying was identified under the strategies of career services. Therefore, this guideline is organized with the hope that it will simplify the work of the counselors in universities to organize career guide manual for students.

   The followings are the steps to be followed to organize the career guide manual.

Step 1. Understand the subject matter

It may seem self-evident, but a well-rounded understanding of the subject matter is the key to writing any manual. It’s important to widely read on issues surrounding the topic. Come up with satisfactory answers to the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) & the 2 Hs (How and How Much). Review career guide manuals published by other institutions and find out ways in which they are similar and the ways in which they differ. When doing this, it’s important to keep in the forefront of our minds the contextual realities of Ethiopia. Points to consider include:

• The purpose and rationale of a career guide manual to give insight on why the manual is organized for that specific program

• The content of a career guide manual (Background, nature of work, requirements, qualifications, salary, career trajectories etc.)

• The most effective layout of a career guide manual

• Consider the needs of the prospective users from a user standpoint and how best the manual can meet them

• Potential partners in preparing a career guide manual

• Think about schedule and budget (budget may require gathering survey, telephone and transportation cost and publication)

Step 2. Collect and analyze the data needed for the manual

Obtain and gather information for the making of your manual. Carry out all the necessary surveys. Interview pertinent specialists and experts in the field that can contribute to the content of the manual. Contact relevant institutions that can aid you in securing the data needed for the manual. Some of the information you would need to prepare a career guide include:

• Nature of the different jobs available for each study

• Personal and skill qualifications for each job

• Education and training requirements for each job

• Licensing requirements (if any) for each job

• Work environment of each job

• Income ranges for the different jobs

• Job outlook for each field

• Professional bodies (if any) for each discipline


3. Classify and organize the information for the manual

In the process of making the manual, organize the information in order of priority. Break it down in a logical sequence and make an outline of the manual. Use this as your template for your table of contents. Once you have defined the logical sections, review them to make sure everything is covered. Then, write the details for each topic in the manual. Also, arrange the content in a coherent manner. Referring the graduates profile that has been developed in your respective universities under the curriculum or referring the career guide prototype will support.

4. Design the manual

• Make it accessible to users with special needs. Adding descriptive graphics and imagery aids the understanding of readers

• The design should match with the content of the manual. Headings and sub-headings should reflect the body of text they represent. Any graphics used should enhance the message of the manual

• Create an index of the manual for quick browsing

• Make it look professional

Please refer the prototype for more detail information

5. Write the manual

• Write it with the users’ perspective and situation in mind;

• Use appropriate expressions;

• Avoid vague expressions;

• Be clear and concise;

• Make sure you don’t use terms, descriptions or graphics that portray discrimination against any race, religion, gender, disability, creed etc.;

• Avoid using industry jargon;

• Put references, tell your reader where you got your information;

• Make it simple and easy-to-read.


6. Get feedback

Let a few selected stakeholders such as students/ academic deans peruse the first draft of the manual. Then examine their feedback and consider how you, based on the feedback you received, can enrich the manual. Aside from seasoned experts and professionals, make sure laymen can understand your drafted manual. You can test this by conducting a small feedback session with selected participants or by organizing a sampling size focused group discussion with maximum 10 students.


7. Revise your manual

After gathering the responses to the first draft and assessing their relevance, finalize the manual. You should also correct any errors that were found on the first draft regarding data, grammar or sentence construction. Note also that you will need to periodically revise and update the manual as it is a living document. It is advised the career manual to be revised every 2-3 years to cover changes in the different fields of study and the labor market.


8. Publish and distribute the final manual

After doing appropriate checks and revisions, publish the manual. Now you can distribute the manual to partners and clients. For Ministry of Education and career center offices in the universities.