For this assignment, you will create two documents:
- A Job Application Letter
- A Résumé
You will need to research job leads to find an actual job announcement that advertises a position for which you are qualified. Search national job sites like Monster.com, Indeed.com, Careerbuilder.com, and USAJobs.gov.
Research the Company or Organization. You must research the company or organization that advertised the job announcement. You can research the company in a variety of ways. For instance, you can find the company’s Website if one is available; or you may obtain a copy of the company’s annual report; or, if you know someone who works for that company, you can network with employees of the company
The goal here is for you to become more informed about the company in general—its product line, its past and current successes, and its plans for future development. Ideally, you should use some of this information to your advantage in your application letter. The best application letters not only demonstrate how you are well qualified, but also show how you can make specific contributions to the company. Remember that the chief aim of an application letter is to help you get an interview. Your letter should persuade the reader that you are the best applicant for the position.
Requirements for the Application Letter
Review the information on application letters in Chapter 9 and write a job application letter with an effective introduction, body, and conclusion. The job-application letter, which is the first thing the reader sees, expands upon a few of the points made in the résumé. The typical letter has at least three parts, and your letter should have all of them:
- Introduction. The first paragraph establishes why you are writing to your reader. State that you are looking for a particular position and explain why you would like to work at that particular company. You should also identify the source where you find the job opening information. Forecast the body of the letter by stating your major qualifications for the job.
- Body. The body of the letter develops each qualification (education and experience) with specific evidence. The goal is to show that you know what the employer needs and that you meet the requirements. You may organize this section around your education, around your training and experience, or around what the job or the company requires.
- Conclusion. You should end the letter politely and include a reference to the enclosed résumé, a request for an interview, and your phone number and e-mail address.
Your letter must meet all of the formatting requirements of a good business letter. It should use block format (see page 180). If possible, write no more than one page. The letter should contain all of the elements covered in the chapter about letters.
- Heading (sender’s address)
- Inside address (full address, including title, for the person who is addressed)
- Body text (introduction, body, conclusion)
- Complimentary closing (“Sincerely,” or “Sincerely yours,”)
- Typed name
- Enclosure notation (“Encl. Résumé”)
Requirements for the Résumé
The purpose of the résumé is to describe your qualifications for work. Review the information on résumés in the textbook carefully and then design and write a professional résumé.
You should create either a functional or reverse chronological résumé tailored for the specific job opening. If you have limited job experience, a gap in experience or are changing careers, you must create a functional résumé. If you have mid-level experience and beyond, you must create a chronological résumé.
A functional résumé should be no longer than one page, and a chronological résumé with over 15-20 years of experience can be two pages, and both must contain all of the following elements:
- Heading (full name, address, phone, and email address)
- Education (schools, majors, minors, and dates of graduation; omit high school education unless it is a specialized high school)
- Work Experience (employer’s name, the position you old, and a list or description of duties and responsibilities for each position)
- Certifications (optional)
- Interests and Activities (optional)
DO NOT write an objective statement or include “References Available Upon Request” (Employers assume your objective–to get a job–and also indicate if they want references)
Your style should be formal. You need not use complete sentences, but you should use a concise, active style and show consistency in expression from section to section. When making lists, be sure to use the parallel structure (They should match one another in tense and form).
- Failure to use a functional format when you have limited experience, a gap in employment, or are changing careers will result in 10-point deduction
- You can use specialized descriptive 2-3 word phrases or single words in your documents (copy/pasting an external source’s sentences, sentence fragments, job descriptions will result in the assignment turned over to the Office of Student Conduct for an academic integrity violation)
- Copyedit, copyedit, and copyedit again–read your work out loud, verbally to hear errors. Have a friend find errors.