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Due: 6 April by 11:59pm Points: 30 Weight: 18% Readings -Chapter 15 Summary of Responsibilities -Mail job ad (Task One), cover letter (Task Two), and résumé (Task Three) in a sealed large envelope to the following address by 5pm on Wednesday, April 10th: Daniel Richards Department of English University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CPR 107 Tampa, FL 33620-5550
-Complete LinkedIn proﬁle (Task Four) by Saturday, April 6th at 11:59pm. -Complete Module 6 Quiz (now 10 points) by Saturday, April 6th at 11:59pm. Detailed Description of Responsibilities Perhaps the most important, most immediately practical words you will heed this semester appear on page 398: “Getting hired always involves writing.” Obtaining the undergraduate or graduate degree and accruing the necessary volunteer or internship experience is not sufﬁcient in our intensely competitive job markets. What employers are looking for, and what will set you apart from the hundreds or thousands of other applicants, is your ability to communicate. Plain and simple. And the ﬁrst glimpse that any employer has of your ability to communicate is through reading your résumé and cover letter. It is not unrealistic to assume that your future employer echoes the sentiment shared in the meme to the right.
In light of this, I would be remiss if I didn’t have you spend an ample amount of time on developing your employment documents in the context of a professional and technical writing course. All of the concepts and practices you have learned thus far apply to employment documents (i.e., cover letter and résumé) as well: document design, effective sentences, and readability to name a few. This module asks you to think critically about how you craft your employment documents, which you should see as extensions or at least presentations of yourself. This assignment asks you to create your cover letters and résumés as if even the slightest capitalization error or ﬂaw in design greatly impacts your chances at obtaining employment. Oh wait, it already does. Really. Some people believe that employers (should) discard those résumés with consistent grammatical errors in them because this implies that the applicant is not detailed-oriented, which is of course a key characteristic of a good employee regardless of ﬁeld or discipline. Task One: Find a Job Ad The ﬁrst thing expected of you in the module on applying for jobs is to, well, ﬁnd one. What makes this project so useful is that I will actually be assessing your ability to tailor your employment documents to a speciﬁc job ad. It is not sufﬁcient to just craft a general cover letter and résumé and broadly disseminate the documents to a wide variety of employers. This is not sufﬁcient because employers are looking for candidates who have researched the job ad and the company and a candidate who takes time to really think about how their experiences align with the requirements for the opening. First things ﬁrst: ﬁnd a job ad that is appropriate for your ﬁeld and level of experience. This is crucial to completing the project successfully. Anyone can ﬁnd a job ad; what takes more time and skill is ﬁnding a job ad that matches your qualiﬁcations and area of expertise. Use one of the following sites (or any other method included on page 403) to ﬁnd a job ad that is pertinent for your current life situation: Indeed.com; Monster.com; or Glassdoor.com. Be sure to choose a job ad that is appropriate for where you are right now—that is, a job that you could take next week. Here are the criteria for the job ad: • it is relevant to your level of expertise • it is relevant to your background and experience • it has substantial text explaining in detail the responsibilities and requirements of the job (this is important, as you will see in the following task descriptions) • it was found on a reliable website or other source.
Task Two: Cover Letter Before you go into detail about crafting a point-form narrative for your working life, you need to ﬁrst write a cover letter that explains in detail why would are the best ﬁt (or at least a good ﬁt) for the position opening. Chapter 15 goes into details about the elements that should be included in the typical cover letter: • introduction • education paragraph • employment paragraph • conclusion What I am looking for speciﬁcally in the cover letter, aside from these four elements, is a concerted effort to tailor your cover letter to the speciﬁc job ad you found in task one. This means, for example, using the language used in the cover letter, emphasizing qualities you have that they are looking for, and also generally framing how your experiences lend themselves well to the requirements of the position. This is why it is crucial that you choose a job ad that offers much in the way of detailed explanation of the position. The more they write, they more you can tailor. Task Three: Résumé As mentioned above, it is useful to think of your résumé as a well-crafted narrative describing your life—a story of you, if you will, in point form. Which working experiences do you include? What words to you choose? What information do you exclude? All these questions are ultimately answered when placed in relation to the type of job you are looking for. If you are looking for a job that requires the handling of money, then you should include that experience as a crew member of McDonald’s; if not, and you are applying for a desk job in human resources, then you might want to exclude your work in the service industry. These are rhetorical choices that are all related to portraying yourself in the best possible way to get the position applied for. Like the cover letter, chapter 15 delves into great detail on how to best construct a résumé. For task three, you must construct a chronological résumé that abides by all the advice and templates provided for you. In particular, I will be assessing your résumé with the following criteria in mind: • professional design (i.e., alignment, proximity, size and [white]spacing, etc.) • grammar and punctuation (must be impeccable) • decisions about content choices (i.e., relevance)
• description of entries (i.e., relevance, active language, parallel structure). • type-font usage • headings, subheadings, and sections Delivery Instructions for Tasks One, Two, and Three It has been my experience that one does not really grasp the design of their document unless it is printed out on actual paper and presented in hard document form. You might think your résumé is well-designed when you see it on your computer screen, but you might think differently when you see it in 8-1/2” x 11” paper. I also want you to get in the habit of being able to properly submit a professional résumé via traditional mail. As such, this module (with the exception of task four) must be submitted in hard copy. Here are the instructions: • Buy a manilla envelope that ﬁts 8-1/2” x 11” paper without requiring folding of papers. • Place a print out of the job ad, your résumé, and your cover letter in that order in the envelope (don’t include your job ad when you actually apply for jobs; I just need the document for assessment purposes). • Paper clips are not necessary when there are so few pages. • Properly address the envelope. There is of course no need to put your own personal address for privacy reasons. Do put the following address in the middle of the envelope, printed neatly and in blue or black ink: Daniel Richards Department of English University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CPR 107 Tampa, FL 33620-5550
• In terms of delivery, you have two options. You can place sufﬁcient postage (two stamps should sufﬁce) on the envelope and mail it from home. Or, if you don’t want to spend money on postage or if you want extra time to work on the module, you can deliver your envelope (still with the address on it) to the English Department in Cooper Hall (on the third ﬂoor, just outside the elevators) personally. You can give it to the receptionist or place it in my mailbox by making two lefts once inside the department to reach the mail room. • Graded work can be picked up the following week in my ofﬁce (CPR 305).
Task Four: Social Media Proﬁle Of course, it is expected that all potential (and current) employers conduct informal or brief Internet searches with your name. It is of utmost importance that you have an impeccable reputation online, with no inappropriate images or content attached to your online identities (i.e., Facebook, blogs, etc.). In addition to avoiding the negative is creating a positive. LinkedIn is a professional social media site that aims to connect and network working professionals in similar working ﬁelds or circles. Your task is to create an online proﬁle on this website, using the content populating your résumé and transferring it online to your LinkedIn proﬁle. Make sure to ﬁll in your entire proﬁle, including work experience, education, and contact information. Once this is completed, send a request to me, Daniel Richards, so I can view your page and give you the appropriate marks for the task. To do so, visit my public proﬁle on Linked In and click on the “Connect” button. View my proﬁle below: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-richards/19/30b/6a4
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