Overdressed, Overconfident, Overloud, Job Hunting, 1924

Historical Context
The 1920s was a time of prosperity in the United States.  World War I had just ended.  During the war, Americans had been asked to sacrifice for the good of their country.  Now that the war was over, the attitude of self-sacrifice gave way to a quest for individual success.  It was during the economic boom of the "Roaring Twenties" that this document on job hunting was published.  A young person reading this document in 1924 had no idea that only five years later, the stock market would collapse, and jobs would become much more difficult to come by during the Great Depression that followed.
Essential Question
How does industrialization change a society?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and evaluate the impact of industrialization on workers.
[click to enlarge]
Bill is overdressed, overconfident, overloud. He won’t get the job., New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_X_25350
Document Description
A page from a 1924 educational publication on job hunting.
  1. What is Bill doing wrong in the photograph?
  2. Which of the ten "Tips for Job Hunting" is he not following?
  3. Which of the tips is he correctly following?
  4. Do you think the advice underneath this photograph is still relevant today?
  5. If this picture were taken today instead of in 1924, how would the people and the office look different?
Historical Challenge
In 1924 Congress passed a constitutional amendment related to jobs. What was that amendment, and why isn't it part of the United States Constitution today?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a list of ten tips on how to get a job in today’s world.
  1. Blocksma, Mary. Ticket to the Twenties: A Time Traveler's Guide. Boston: Little, Brown, 1993. ISBN: 0316099740
  2. Craats, Rennay. History of the 1920s. Mankato, MN: Weigl Publishers, 2001. Vol. 3 of 20th Century USA. ISBN: 1930954093
  3. Feinstein, Stephen. The 1920s: From Prohibition to Charles Lindbergh. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2001. ISBN: 0766016102
  4. Hanson, Erica. The 1920s. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1999. ISBN: 1560065524
  5. O'Neal, Michael. American in the 1920s. New York: Facts on File, 2006. ISBN: 0816056374
  6. Pietrusza, David. The Roaring Twenties. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1998. ISBN: 0316099740