Cover Letter and Résumé Requirements (DUE June 1st)
Disclaimer: You will have a résumé and cover letter to do. Many of you are thinking, “no problem, I did this in another class”; or you might be thinking, “I already have a résumé that got me a job.” Please don’t ignore the discussion and guidelines I have for résumés and cover letters. I’ll be commenting on these not as the hiring manager but as an English professor who wants to read that you have consider the appropriate attributes about yourself to describe to a potential employer.
Create cover letters and résumés that reflect a job you want or aspire towards. The most useful cover letters and résumés are not directed just towards the ideal audience, but with the ideal purpose–showing you’re the ideal candidate.
Convince the audience that you’re the ideal candidate for the position by making an argument for your being hired that’s backed up with your experience.
Please look at the following résumé examples and critique them based on your readings for today:
Here’s a link to Peter Profit’s cover letter.
- What’s the purpose of a cover letter?
- What’s the purpose of a résumé?
- How does one show he or she is the ideal candidate?
In case I haven’t said it enough, you should aim to show, not tell in your cover letters and, where possible, in your résumés.
Let’s focus on résumé duties and Block letter format briefly (on p. 317–4th ed.; p. 349–3rd ed.; or p. 307–2nd ed. in Tebeaux & Dragga).
Don’t forget about the “Technology Journal.” I have five prompts for you to write about this term. This week’s prompt is up, so please jump on Canvas and take a look.
Also, don’t forget that you have two different prompts each week. Along with your Technology Journal prompts, you’ll need to respond to the Weekly Discussion Posts. This week’s weekly discussion post was to “interview” yourself and post your response on Canvas. That one doesn’t have to be 250 words, but all others–including this week’s Technology Journal post–must be at least 250 words.
Lessons on Plain Language Coming Up
Next week we’ll be talking about more sentence-level, prose concerns. The goal of the lessons will be on understanding what is meant by “efficient prose” and “plain language.” In order to get us going, please have the Revising Prose document read. Originally, I was going to put this on Canvas, but it’s just as easy to do it here.
A Brief Story
Long ago in the last century I was working in litigation support as a document analyst. I got upgraded to a CD burner for the first month of the second summer I worked at this job because I knew how to burn CDs. While my buddies were getting carpel tunnel entering data (a rather tedious job), I was surfing the net while creating CDs that would go to the client, the prosecution, and us. A friend of mine at the job remarked, “a monkey could do your job.”
Well, anyway, I got promoted again, so they needed someone to take over. We hired a monkey, and I wrote up a manual and then trained him…this was the beginning of my career as a teacher.
I put together a webpage that lists jobs and job descriptions in technical writing. Most are in IT companies, but some are in other areas. This selection was just a google search (done a while ago), so I have no statistical basis for claiming that it is representative of the total population of technical writing jobs. However, based on my observations over the last decade, I think two jobs stand out as exemplary Tech Writing jobs:
Consider opening these in different tabs, so you can more easily compare them.
The entire list is here, and I have another shorter page here. I keep meaning to add to these, but I don’t get many job lists coming my way…I hope that’s not a sign of the times. I’ll try to add to these in the future.
Notice the contractual/temporary vs salaried/permanent positions. Also, notice the skills required for the positions. The list is for reference and class discussion, so don’t worry about job details showing up on an exam or quiz.
Keep up with the reading. There’s no webpage for Monday, 5/31 because it’s Memorial Day. Your Weekly Discussion and Technology Journal Posts will be on Canvas by Monday. Keep up with the syllabus readings. You’ll have to have read Ch. 4 and 7 in Tebeaux and Dragga by Tuesday. We’ll also be starting our prose revision lessons, so find time to read this short piece on Revising Prose (pdf).
Your Cover Letters and Résumés, which are portfolio assignments, are
due on Tuesday (6/01).