Textbook: Chapter 7 – How to Get a Job
Written Assignment (5 parts): Personal Analysis, Announcement, Company Paragraph, Application Letter, Résumé
Due: October 17, 2020
Searching for a job is one of the most important tasks you will do in your life, probably more than once. An initial preparation of an application package (resume, application letter, sometimes an application form) may take 8 hours or longer. In advance you will want to contact people, generally three or more, who are willing to be your professional references, and obtain their phone numbers and email addresses. As a courtesy, send them a copy of your résumé and let them know what types of jobs you are seeking.
For more information about looking for employment, your textbook is a good source and explains networking, portfolios, job-posting sites, interviewing, and follow-up. Another book for job hunters is What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles.
In this assignment, we will concentrate on the written aspects of the job search.
Samples of your work may appear online or you may take them with you to an interview. If you have sent samples and want them back, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with the application.
Make sure you begin with contact information: name, address, email address, phone number, personal website or portfolio site (if available). Preferably use an email address that is not hotmail (although Beth Pryor’s email in your book has a hotmail address) or a cutesy names, such as TheFabulousOne or TooTiredToWork. Make sure your Facebook does not have you in a photo with a lampshade on your head or strutting new underwear. Also have someone call the phone number on your résumé to make sure it is accurate.
Your textbook is particularly good about showing comparisons among types of résumés along with corresponding application letters. The best news about résumés is that you can write in fragments or use bulleted lists. Traditionally résumés are one page. The following table will help you find different samples in the chapter.
Applicant Printed Résumé Digital Résumé Application Letter
Anthony H. Jones Figure 7.4 page 258 Chronological Figure 7.10 page 274 Chronological Figure 7.14 page 283
Maria Lopez Figure 7.5 page 259 Chronological Figure7.15 page 285
Anna C. Cassetti Figure 7.6 page 262 Chronological
Anna C. Cassetti Figure 7.8 page 268 Skills
Dora Cooper Bolger Figure 7.7 page 267 Skills Figure 7.11 page 275 Skills 7.16 page 286
Sandy Meagher Figure 7.9 page 270 Skills
Beth Pryor Figure 7.12 page 277 Chronological Figure 7.13 page 278 Chronological
Chronological résumé: Actually information is written in reverse chronological order with the most recent work experience and education being first. You will include dates of employment, company name, location, and position along with responsibilities. For education, you will include schools where you received certificates or degrees, location, major, date of degree or anticipated graduation date, GPA of 3.0 or higher, and senior paper or project, if applicable; relevant courses may be included.
Functional/skills résumé: Your skills are the focus of this résumé, such as financial management, supervision, communication, computer, public relations, sales, and the like (see page 265 for more headings). Generally three or five skills are listed with corresponding activities and should align with the advertisement or announcement. Employment and education will come after the skills and only list basic information. The functional/skills résumé is good choice for those moving into higher level positions, hourly employment to contract work, or volunteer activities to paid employment.
Conventional vs. digital (scannable/electronic) résumé: Both résumés contain the same information. The conventional résumé (or pdf) can be more ornate (Figure 7.4 on page 258, Figure 7.8 on page 268, or Figure 7.12 on page 277) with boldface, bullets, italics, and underlines. Its text uses action verbs (see Table 7.3 on page 256). The digital résumé is often scanned into a database, so applications be sorted and saved by categories. Its font is plain, and the text uses nouns (see Figure 7.10, Figure 7.11, and Figure 7.13 on pages 274, 275, and 278, respectively). Page 279 show the comparison between vocabulary used in conventional résumés and digital résumés . When using postal mail to send an application package, use a flat envelope or express mail envelope rather than put tri-folded documents in a #10 envelope, which is only 4 1/8″ x 9 1/2″.
When you are both working and going to school, a good word to use is concurrent, such as Employment (concurrent with attendance at the University of Houston Clear Lake) or Part-time Employment (concurrent with full-time employment). This shows that you can balance activities, are ambitious, and can succeed.
Also do not be afraid to use data in your résumé and application letter. Look at Anna Cassetti’s résumés on pages 262 and 268, where she sold $3 million in residential property and then supervised six full-time and two part-time employees. Dora Cooper Bolger’s information on pages 276, 275, and 286 shows her volunteer and civic work, where she delivered 24 presentations, collected $225,000 in fundraising, and organized a neighborhood carpool with 17 drivers and 70 children for 7 years. Work experience does not have to be all paid work or full-time work. It can be an internship. It can be volunteer work. It can be part-time work. It can be summer or seasonal work.
Choose headings that fit your situation. You will not use all the headings below, but they are a way to start your personal analysis and organize the information on your résumé.
career objective (optional)
languages (translation, conversational)
An application letter is a sales letter about you. It makes a connection between your knowledge, skills, abilities, and personality with the responsibilities of the position. Figure 7.15 (paragraph 2) on page 285 connects the applicant’s skills with the job responsibilities.
Application letters have the same parts as other letters. Your application letter is a transmittal or cover letter since it goes with the résumé. Applications are generally a page in length. Do not use letterhead from your current company to apply to another business. Although your book encourages you to use a person’s name in the greeting, Dear Human Resources is acceptable.
The body of the application letter is like an essay. It is generally four to six paragraphs long. The first paragraph identifies the job for which you are applying and establishes a thesis statement in the first paragraph. For example, my recent internship, education, and travel correlate with the position requirements. You will start the second paragraph with your internship, in the third paragraph describe the completed degrees and/or courses you have taken, and then explain in the fourth paragraph how your recent study abroad program included cities where the employer had regional offices. In your concluding paragraph(s), you may let the potential employer know that you are available for an interview and thank the company for considering you for the position. See pages 283, 285, and 286.
This assignment has five parts.
1. Personal analysis (5 points): Make a list of at least 20 skills, job responsibilities, personal characteristics, education, certificates, credentials, jobs, volunteer experience, memberships in organizations, and professional activities that would qualify you for an internship, promotion, or job in your field.
2. Announcement (5 points): Look for a job advertisement, internal posting, internship, or scholarship. Identify four words in the announcement that match your primary personality style, such as flexible or punctual. Identify at least four responsibilities or qualifications of the position, such as end-of-the-month accounting, payroll, or supervision.
3. Company paragraph (10 points): Find out about the company by answering some of the questions below in a paragraph of about 100 words. Document your source(s); often you will find company details in the announcement itself. Although the textbook concentrates on company knowledge at the time of the interview, it is equally important to know about the company when writing the application letter, so you can make connections between your experience and the job.
What is the primary mission of the company? Is this a Fortune 500 company?
Where is the main office located? Is the company local, regional, national, or international?
What is the environment of the company – formal or casual?
How many people are employed?
Are there benefits that support daycare, family schedules, flexible hours, or working remotely?
4. Application letter (40 points).
5. Résumé (40 points).
Submit all five parts in a file in Blackboard.
The following link is to an article about how often people change jobs:
The following link is to Fortune 500 companies:
Textbook: Chapter 7 – How to Get a Job