First, you must review the Job Search Dossier Instructions for a detailed description of this assignment and it’s requirements.
Your Job Search Dossier will consist of seven documents, created individually using MS Word or similar software, but then combined to create your final dossier. After you have created, revised, and scrupulously edited all your documents, copy them onto one master document and save it as a pdf. This will serve as your dossier.
As with all writing assignments in this course, use the standards of good writing style, grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling for all documents. Do a neat professional-looking job of producing these documents: neat margins and appropriate type styles and sizes.
List of Required Documents:
- Personal Assessment
- Lexicon of Job-related Terminology
- Job or Internship Posting
- Application Letter
- Request for Reference
- Follow-up/Thank You Note
Job Search Instructions:
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 – Personal Assessment: After visiting the “Employability Skills” and the “Job Skills Checklist” websites, open a Word document and create a table listing those attributes you possess in one column and examples/evidence for those skills in another. In a third column, note the skills you wish to cultivate. You will return to this document once you have located a job posting.
Step 2 – Lexicon of Job-related Terminology: After rooting around on “My Next Move” website, open another Word.doc and create a new table, listing those core competencies and responsibilities for the position or positions in which you are interested. This document will provide the language and terminology you need to fashion both your résumé and your application letter.
Step 3 – Job or Internship Posting: Locate a job or internship for which you are qualified. Paste the entire posting into a Word Document. Once you have determined that you meet the required qualifications, for example, three years’ experience in a field, certain licensing, or minimum lifting restrictions, then thoroughly analyze the remaining details of the post for the preferred qualifications and nature of the job responsibilities. Using the highlight feature in Word, mark within this document those qualities desired by the firm or company.
Now return to your original personal assessment document and highlight those qualities or attributes desired by the firm. You should see a close correlation between your documents: those aspects the company has listed and those you identified yourself as possessing. If, during this process, you discover that you do not meet at least 90% of the potential employer’s requirements, scrap the job posting and look for another—one more in keeping with your list of personal qualities.
Step 4 – Application Letter: Write an application letter for this job—detailed instructions below.
Step 5 – Résumé: Write a résumé specific to this job—detailed instructions below.
Step 6 – Request for Reference: Write a brief letter or email to an individual asking if s/he would provide you with a letter of reference or recommendation.
Step 7 – Follow-up/Thank You Note: Write a brief follow-up note to the hiring manager, as though you had already been interviewed.
Step 8 – Job Search Dossier: Finally, compile all these documents into one PDF file. Remember to follow the protocols detailed in the next section
Letter of Application:
Assignment: Write a brief, factual letter applying for a specific job or internship for which you are currently qualified. Discuss your qualifications, relate them to the audience’s needs, and request an interview.
Audience: Write for the person who will be the primary reviewer of your application.
Goal: To use facts to show that you are a qualified applicant for a specific job opening.
The letter of application documents that you have applied for a specific job, summarizes your best qualifications, introduces your résumé, and asks for an interview. Put yourself in the place of a reader who has to review and evaluate many applications. For such a reader, the best letter states the applicant’s qualifications directly and is one typed page.
The Letter: The first paragraph names the position you wish to apply for and states that you are writing to apply. Say where you heard about the job.
Paragraph two states your qualifications. Provide specific information about yourself that can be documented, such as work experience or duties, courses you’ve taken, or your grades. Avoid generalities and conclusions. Don’t describe your attitude, your potential, or your personal qualities. Stick to the facts of your experience and education. Don’t worry about overlapping information that appears on both your résumé and your application letter; your reader may not necessarily read both.
Your closing paragraph should state the times and places you prefer for an interview. If the job requires you to be ready for work by a specific date, state when you will be available. End your letter simply and directly.
Style and Tone: Write in a simple, factual way, as if you were writing about someone else, not yourself. Don’t try to impress with flattery or hype, and don’t explain the ways in which employment will benefit you or in which you will benefit the employer. This kind of self-promotion doesn’t reflect a serious attitude. Instead, limit yourself to the facts about your experience and qualifications. These are far more powerfully persuasive about your attitude and ability.
Format and Neatness: Your single-spaced application letter is
Application Letter. Application letters will be evaluated on these criteria:
- How effectively you make a case for yourself as the right person for the job.
- How well you format and organize the information within the application letter.
- Whether the overall language and tone of the letter are appropriate or agreeable.
- How neat and professional-looking the letter is (paper, typing, erasures, margins, etc.).
- How concise the letter is (try to keep it to one page,
- Whether a standard letter format is used (standard spacing, margins, and indentation).
Goal: To provide a quick, specific, and well-documented overview of your qualifications.
A résumé is an easy-to-skim overview of an applicant’s work experience, training, and credentials. The three essential elements in a résumé are factual information, useful organization, and readable format.
Factual Information: To prepare a good résumé, list all the events in your life you consider related to the job opening, arranging events by groups. Consider education, on-the-job training, work history, volunteer work, honors and awards, and professional memberships. Provide a date and a context for each entry. Use parallel format for each section. Use reverse chronological order; put the most recent events first, not last.
Your finished résumé should list only items directly related to the job you wish to apply for. The information you select must be factual, showing your work-related knowledge, skills, and abilities. Never put the date of composition on your résumé. This automatically makes your résumé outdated.
Useful Organization: When you have selected the information, group it, arranging the entries in each group with the most recent information first. Some helpful and typical résumé headings are Education, Work Experience, and Honors.
Leave out strictly personal information about marital status, age, gender, religious preference, or your ethnic heritage. Photographs are not included. A stated career goal is optional. If you include one, however, make it specific, not vague or wordy. State the goal in terms of the immediate opening you want, not your ultimate career goals.
If you use more than one page, use the space well to design for readability and to provide useful, work-related information.
Résumé. Résumés will be evaluated on these criteria:
- How effectively your résumé is designed. (You are not required to use a specific format for your résumé; use whatever best presents your background and strong points.)
- How consistently you handle details such as capitalization, spacing, indentation, and so forth.
- How well the résumé highlights your best qualifications.
- How “skimmable” your résumé is: good use of white space and consistent formatting.
- How well your résumé provides specific details about you but remains brief.
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