The employment interview is the method employers use to decide whether or not to offer a candidate a position. Typically the candidate talks to one or more people, either singly or in groups, who have the authority to offer a position – to obligate the company contractually. Since the interview is critically important, you need to perform effectively. To interview successfully, you need to prepare well, use social tact, perform gracefully, ask questions, and understand the job offer (Stewart and Cash 188-192). Prepare Well To prepare well, you must investigate the company and analyze how you can contribute to it. You can investigate the company in many ways. After you are invited to an interview, ask your contact person for some company literature. Spend time in your library reference room to find information use annual reports, descriptions in Moody’s, items from Facts on File, FdS Index, Wall Street Journal Index, or Corporate Report Fact Bank. After you have analyzed the company, analyze what you have to offer; analyze how you can fit into the company. Answer these questions: What contributions can you make to the company? How do-your specific skills and strengths fit into its activities or philosophy?
How can you further your career goals with this company? The more you prepare, the better you will be able to provide clear examples that illustrate how you satisfy the company’s needs.

Use Social fact

To use social tact means to act professionally and in an appropriate manner. Acting too lightly or too intensely are both incorrect. First impressions are extremely important; many interviewers make up their minds early in ‘he interview. Follow a few common sense guidelines:

• .Shake hands firmly.
• Dress professionally, as you would on the job.
• Arrive on time.
• Use proper grammar and enunciation. .
• Watch your body language – sit appropriately, don’t give the impression of lounging. .
• Find out and use the interviewers’ names.

Perform Well

Performing well in the interview means to answer the questions directly and clearly. Interviewers want to know about your skills, rm;:,dy from your work experience but also from your academic experience. Since this information is essential for them, be prepared to ‘discuss it. You must be willing to talk about yourself and your achievements; if you respond honestly to questions, your answers will not seem like bragging. So-called stress interviews, in which the interviewer tries to insult you and rattle your composure are rare. For a successful interview, follow these guidelines:

• Be yourself. The worst thing is to get a job because people thought you were a kind of person that you’re not. If you lose a job because
of who you honestly are, you’re better off.
• Answer questions freely; don’t withhold facts.
• Answer the question asked.
• Be honest – if you don’t know the answer, say so.
• If you don’t understand a question, ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify it.
• Be sincerely interested in the company; your sincere interest can overcome’ other deficiencies in your candidacy.
• In your answers, include facts about your experience to show how you will fit into the company.

Ask Questions

You have the right to ask questions at an interview. After all, it’s your life. If no one has-explained the following items to you, you should ask about them:

• methods of on-the-job training
• your job responsibilities
• types of support available – from secretarial to facilities to pursuit of more education
• possibility and probability of promotion
• policies about relocating, including whether you get a promotion when you relocate and whether refusing to relocate will hurt chances
for promotion

• salary and fringe benefits – you should know at least a salary range and whether or not you receive medical benefits

If an interviewer is reluctant to answer these questions, you might be dealing with a group that has personnel difficulties. This reluctance could be a negative factor in your decision. The Offer Usually a company will offer the position – with a salary and starting date – either at the end of the interview or within a few days. You have the right to request a reasonable amount of time to consider the offer. If you get another offer from a second company at a higher salary, you have the right to inform the first company and to ask it they ~an meet the salary. Usually you accept the offer verbally and sign a contract within a few days. It’s a pleasant moment, and as Emerson told Whitman, “the beginning of a great career.”


After an interview with a particularly appealing firm, you can take one more step to distinguish yourself from the competition. Write a follow-up letter. It takes only a few minutes to thank the interviewer and express your continued interest in the job:

Tr,ank you for the interview yesterday. Our di~cL.3sionof Cranston’s growing Fluid Dynamics Division was very informative. and I am eager to contribute to that division. . I look forward to hearing from you.


Well-prepared ,esumes and letters of application help you get an interview after an ittterview, the employer may offer you a job. To write these two documentseffectively, good writers analyze their audience. Readers spend only about one minute on the initial review of an application, looking specifically for the applicant who will fill their needs. Job seekers must research their job area by reading books like the Diciionarv of Occupational Titles, assess their strengths by listing skills and concepts they have mastered, investigate firms by reading in the library, and speak of other professionals in their field. Resumes have two forms – traditional, which emphasizes job duties, and [unciional, which emphasizes skills. Good resumes use white space, margins, and heads to emphasize important information and to make the  ocument easy to read. The letter of application has three parts: an introduction (for applying for the positionj.. a body (for relating applicant skills employer needs), and a conclusion (for requesting an interview). At the interview, applicants must use social tact, dressing and speaking well; they must also answer questions clearly and honestly, ask questions about the position, and, above all, be themselves.


Two sample application letters follow. The first is long, explaining how the writer’s experience fits the needs listed in the ad. The second is short, listing the Writer’s qualifications.

page no. 24 25


1. Evaluate the wording of each of the following letter openings. Rewrite them if necessary.

a. I was reading the Job Vacancy list published the the University I attend when I came across your request for a hotel manager. In May 19XX I will be graduating h’)m the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a degree in Hotel Management. I would like to take this opportunity to apply for the hotel manager position that you “re offering with your company.

b Hello, my name is Joan Foss and I am a graduating senior in college. In reply to . seeing your ad in the Denver Post I wish to apply for the position of operations manager, I wish to apply for the position of operations manager. I wish to develop knowledge in areas such as directing existing communication systems and consultinq to offer clients effectiveness and adequacy of a chosen system. ” Evaluate the following closings. Rewrite any that you feel are inappropriate. Which one do you think is most appropriate, and why?

a. I would like to interview your company. I will be in Des Moines visiting some friends, one of whom worked for your company about six years ago. I will be there March 13-21. .I would like to interview then. ,

b. Thank you for your attention of this request. I would be most gratified to receive

c: ,y kind of a response from you and will be more than happy to appear for a personal interview any time that it is convenient for you.
c I am free for an appointment at a week’s notice. My number is (715) 555-5555. Thanks for your time. I anticipate ycur reply.
d. May I drive to Brookfield to talk to you~ I can arrange my schedule to be available for an interview on any afternoon but Thursday and Friday.

3. Which of the two following paragraphs do you think is more effective? The position applied for is an operations manager.

a. I will be grad~ting in May 19XX with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology, with a concentration in Industrial Transportation and Communication. Enclosed you will find my personal resume. which details both my college education and my work experience. In addition to the work experience listed. I have a considerable amount of computer experience. working currently with three separate computer systems, and I feel this would be advantageous to your firm.

b. I have worked in industry for the past four years. My current job as a Production and Machine Operator, which I work summers and breaks, has provided me with experience in inventory control. distribution, machining, assembling, shipping, payroll, record-keepinq, and operating various types of machine tool equipment. Along with my work experience, my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology has prqvided a broad background in the area of industrial transportation. Some of the specific classes I have taken that deal with industrialtransportation and communication are Packaging, Materials Handling, Industrial Distribution, Inventory and Production Control, and Industrial Marketing Management.

4. Decide which of the following two paragraphs you think is most effective, and why.

a. I will be graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in May 19XX with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology, including an emphasis in Packaging Engineering. While attending the university, I have learned many things that pertain to package development and consumer satisfaction.

b. One course in particular has given me the practical experiencethat you are looking for. In Materials and Processes, a senior level course, I was required to design, develop, and test a package that would successfully transport the product to its destination and meet the needs of the consumers that purchase the product.

5. For each job that you have had make a list of all the tasks you accomplished and your responsibilities. Also make a list of all the skills you needed to perform those tasks. Then make a third list of the classes you have taken, and of projects you have completed, that have developed those skills.

6. Find an ad for a position you might apply for. On the left side of a sheet of paper, list every word in the ad that suggests a skill the company is seeking. To the right, make a corresponding list of the skills and the experiences you have that fulfil those needs. Then proceed to writing assignment No.2 below.




Write your resume following one of the two formats described in this chapter.

Find an ad for a position in your field of interest. Use newspaper help wanted ads or a listing from your school’s placement service. Based on the ad, decide-which of your skills and experiences you should discuss to convince tile firm that you are the person for the job. Then write a letter of application applying for the job.


Dictionary of Occupational Titles. 4th ed. Washington: U.S. Dept. of Labor, 1977.
Harcourt, Jules, and A. C. “Buddy” Krizar. “A Comparison of Resume Content

Preferences of Fortune 500 Personnel Administrators and Business Communication
Instructors. journal of Business Communications 26.2 (1989): 177-190.

Stewart, Charles J., and William B. Cash, Jr. Interviewing Principles and Practices.
Dubuque IA: Brown, 1982.



Your letter of application should be written with care. In this letter, you apply for a job, explain your qualifications, and ask for an interview. You also prove whether or not you can write clearly. Many employers are affected not just by what you say but also by how you say it. To make a good impression, follow these guidelines:

• Type the letter on 8112-by Ll-inch paper.

• Use white, 20-pound, 100 percent cotton-rag paper Use black ink.

• Use one of the letter formats explained in Chapter 18.

• Sign your name in black or blue ink.

• Proofread the letter carefully. Crammar and spelling mistakes are irritating at best and cause for instant rejection at worst.

• Mail the letter, folded twice  in a business envelope.
Parts of the Letter of Application

A letter of application has three parts  the introductory application, the explanatory body, and the request conclusion. Introductory Application The application paragraph should be short and to the point. Inform the reader that you are applying for a specific position. If it was advertised somewhere, mention where you saw the ad. If someone recommended that you write to the company, mention that person’s name (of course, only use the name if it is someone the reader knows personally or has heard of). You do not need to give your name in this section, nor mention your year in school.


I would like to apply for the position of Material Evaluation Technologist, advertised in the Sunday, March 1, Richmond
Tribune. Apply  tell source


Dr. Fred Stewart has informed me that you are seeking applicants for a quality engineer position. I would like to apply for the position. Apply; tell source Body The explanatory body is the heart of the letter. In it you explain, in terms relevant to the reader, why you are qualified for the job. This section should be one to three paragraphs long. Its goal is to make your strengths and skills as pertinent to the reader’s needs as possible. Choose which details to place in this section according to the employer’s needs. If you are responding to an ad, show how you have the skills to meet the requirements listed in it. If the employer mentions “a knowledge of reading electrical schematics,” list details that illustrate your ability to read a schematic. If the employer asks for experience in COBOL programming, point out that you had a course in it and explain what you did t in the course.

If you are not responding to an ad, choose details that show that you have the qualifications normally expected of an entry-level candidate. Your research in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Occupational Outlook Handbook will help you here. Mention how a project on a part-time job or in a class familiarized you with the basic concerns of the company.


I am majoring in Industrial Technology, concentrating in Degree data Product Development. I will graduate in May 1986 with a B.S. In my courses, I have concentrated heavily on all aspects of design and development from the initial idea to the finished product.

In rfly mechanical design class, I made an in-depth study of shaft design. I have designed shafts with various applied loads and torques, calculating stresses, bending moments, and deflection. I have also had experience with power transmission. In a mechanical power transmission class, I selected components for drive systems. These components inclttled electrical motors, gear reducers, couplings, shafting, clutches, and bearings. I also have a basic understanding of pneumatic and hydraulic systems .. My work experience last summer at the Grist Mill Company has made me familiar fttith the operation of various types of packaging machines. I was a quality control technician, responsible for the proper functioning of these machines.


I have just completed a cooperative/intern program at the Dayton-Hudson DepartmentStore where my overall responsibility entailed managing the Christmas-Trim-the-Home department. My duties included assisting with the setup and organization of the Christmas shop, and interviewing, hiring, training, and scheduling of employees. I have also gained confidin my professionalabilities by conducting department meetings and corresponding with upper management. This May I will graduate from the University of Wisconsin- Stout with a major in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business Administration. One of my major accomplishments in college was being appointed show director for the Promotions Fashion Show. I was responsible-for overseeing the duties of the students; the skills necessary for this job included leading and motivating fellow students. Specificduties involved selecting appropriate models and merchandise, arranging the location and setup of the show, and publicizing the event

Interview Request In the final section, ask for an plain how you can be reached. The best method is to ask a question “Could with you to discuss-this position Also explain when you are available. If you need two days notice, say so. If you can’t possibly get free’ on a Monday, mention that. Most employers will work around such restrictions if they can. If no one is at the phone at your house or dorm in the mornings, tell the reader to call in the afternoons. A busy employer would rather know that than waste time calling in the monring. Thank your reader for his or her time and consideration. Readers appreciate the gesture; it is courteous and it indicates that you understand that the reader has to make an effort to fulfill your request.


Could I meet with you to discuss the opening? You may contact me durin~~he evening at (715) 555-5555. Thank you for your time, anct;llook forward to meeting you in the near future.


Please consider my qualifications when you fill this position. I am very interested in meeting with you to discuss these matters. Would it be possible to arrange an interview in the near Mwe? If so, please call me at my home after 5:00 P.M. any evening. Thank you for your consideration. I am . looking forward to hearing from you. .

You will find two sample application letters used as models at the end this chapter. The first is long, explaining how the writer’s experience fits the rieeds listed in the ad. The second is short, listing the writer’s qualifications.



The resume must be easy to read. An employer who is reading sixty resumes in an hour will spend no more than a minute on yours. Even if there are fewer to read, most readers will not scrutinize your resume closely on the first reading. They might later, but on the first reading they are looking for the essential information, which theymust be able to find. To make your resume readable, use highlight strajegies: heads, boldface, underlining, margins, and white space. Essentially follow an outline format. Use these guidelines:  Indicate the main divisions at the far left margins. Usually boldface heads announceghe major sections of the resume. Although the heads can be follOwed by colons, they do not have to be: the design

• indicates that the material that follows explains the head.

• Boldface important words such as job titles or names of majors; use und~lining sparingly.

• Single-space entries; double-space above and below; the resulting white space makes the document easier to read.

• Treat items in each section the same way. All the job titles, for example, should be in the same relative space, with the same  size.

• Print resumes on good-quality paper; use black ink on white y_. Shades of brown, beige, and off-white are often used  brightly
paper which has little effect on employers, and photocopies poorly resulting .

• Make your resume easy to reaconlrolling the margins and type size. Be sure to leave enough margin on the left. If the page is singlespaced, and if all the sections start at the far left margin, your resume will be very hard to read.

• Use 9- or 10 point type if you are using a word processor.




After you have analyzed your field, your strengths, and prospective companies, write your resume. Since the resume contains all relevant information, you should write it before the letter. Your letter can then highlight or expand on this information. If you have the resume you will find it easier to adapt the letter to the needs of a specific employer. Your resume is a one-page document that summarizes your skills, experiences, and qualifications for a position in your field. To be a strong applicant, you must write your resume with great care, selecting the most pertinent information and a readable {W’1*lat.You can present your resume in one of two formats: traditional or functional.

Objective The career objective sta-es the type ‘of position you are seeking – usually an entry-level position. If you wish to add anything more, name a position you would like to have in four or five years. To word the objective effectively, ask professionals in your job area. Avoid cliches such as “Energetic accountant wishes to employ fine-tuned skills in challenging position with determined, aggressive growth company.” The following are well-written, basic objectives: Entry-level managerial position in large retail chain. Systems analyst with opportunity for advancement. Position in research and development in microchip electronics. Personal Data The personal data consist of name, address, place to contact for credentials, willingness to relocate, hobbies, and interests. The first four are essential in a resume, but the last two are optional. List your current address and phone number. Tell employers how to acquire credentials and letters of reference. If you have letters in a placement file at yourscollege placement service, list the appropriate address and phone numbers. If you do not  a file indicate that you can provide names upon .request. Check with all the people ~forehand to make sure they will agree to act as references.

Because of laws passed in recent years, you do not need to reveal YOllr birth date, height, weight, health, or marital status. You may do so if you wish. – for instance, many college students give their birth date since age discrimination is rarely practiced on people in their twenties.can give information on hobbies and interests. They reveal something about you as a person, and they are topics at a surprising number of interviews. Education The education section includes pertinent information about your degree. List your college or university, major, minor, concentration, years attended, and grade point average (if good). If you attended more than one school, present them in reverse chronological order, the most recent at the top. You can also list relevant courses (many employers like to see technical writing in the list), honors and awards, extracurricular activities, and descriptions of practicums, coops, internships, and special “professional encounters,” such as extended field trips. You do not need to include your high school on the list. Two sample sections follow.

page no 7

Work Experience The work experience section includes the positions you have held that are relevant to your field of interest. List your jobs in reverse chronological order – most recent first. In some cases you might -alter the arrangement based on the importance of the experience: for example, if you first held a relevant eight-month internship and then took a job as a dishwasher when you returned to school, list the internship first. List all full-time jobs and relevant part-time ones – as far back as the summer after your senior year in high school. You do not need to include every part-time job, just significant ones (but be prepared to give complete names and dates).

Your work experience should be presented in “entries” one for each job. Each entry should have four items: job title, job- description, name of company,. dates of employment. These four items can be arranged in a· number of ways, as the examples below show. However, the Job description is the most important part of the entry. Here you describe what your duties have been, the projects you have worked on, and the machines and processes you. have used. Write the job description in the past tense, using words such as managed, directed, or developed. Arrange the items in the description in order of importance. Put the ‘important skills first, even if you didn’t perform them as often as the others. Emphasize what you think are the most important parts of the job description: To emphasize the time you worked, place the dates to the left. To emphasize your title, place that to the left. The description itself is always to the right. The examples below illustrate how to arrange the four elements to achieve different emphases.

page no 9

Order of Entries on the Page In the traditional resume, the top of any section is the most important position. Place the most important information there. Place your name, address, and career objective at the top of the page. In general, the education section is next, followed by the work section. But if you have had a relevant internship or significant full-time experience, put the work section first  traditional resume.

If your work experience is strong, you might not need a list of courses.
If education is your strong point, you might want to list your courses, or even describe the contents and projects of the courses.

The Functional Resume

The functional resume is arranged by skills and strengths. This kind of resume presents the applicant to the employer in the same way that the employer looks at the applicant: Are the relevant skills present? This style, in particular, allows students whose work experience is not relevant to their job area to stress skills learned in classes. The functional resume has these sections:

• objective
• personal data
• education
• list of employers with dates and addresses
• skills
• objective  tell your immediate occupational goal.
• personal data  include your name, address, and the address of
your placement service.
• education list your university, major, date of graduation, minors, G.P.A.

In the functional resume, the following sections are handled just as in the traditional resume: he work and skills sections are different: the work section is shorter,  skill scan be presented in a Capabilities list or in categories. Work Section For the work section, give the job title, company, and tales for each position you’ve held. You do not  however, have to present a job description. In the Sample Skills List below, notice that the writer just lists the jobs. The skills section presents the job descriptions in a different form.

Capabilities List An effective method of presenting your skills is to list all your capabilities and then follow them with a list of experiences. The capabilities are skills that will help you perform the position named in your objective. You can list just one or two words, or you can write a brief description. In the following example, the writer shows clearly in a skills list that she can handle the demands of writing a manual. Notice that the sequence of the list follows the process of actually producing the manual and demonstrates that she already knows how to perform the task. Use present tense verbs in this section.


• Gather, select, and write information in a clear effective manner.

• Analyze writing projects and make decisions about content, format, organization, and style.

• Set performance objectives to clarify the purpose of a technical . manual and each of its parts .

•. Create understandable, step-by-step instructions for specific readers to perform specific tasks.

• Collaborate with subject-matter experts in an effective way.

• Developed plan sheets and flow charts to gather information.

• Design.and layout written material for manuals, brochures,

The experience section then lists all the relevant projects that the author has worked on or completed at different jobs. In the following examine, notice that the writer lists all the kinds of documents she has written and related skills, such as “proofread copy,” that support the writing projects. Use past tense verbs in this section.


• Wrote and designed a technical operation manual for a pneumatic piston filler.

· consumers.
• Developed a promotional brochure for a career conference.

• Gathered information and wrote articles for News and Arts section of a weekly newspaper.

• Proofread copy and created headlines for a weekly newspaper.

1986 MRM Elgin, Mennonite, WI
Student Technical Writer

1985-86 Barlow Foods, Rochester, MN
Home Economist Intern

1986 Career Planning and Placement Office
Mennonite, WI

Student Writer .
1985-86 Estonian Newspaper, Mennonite, WI

News/Arts Reporter
1985-86 Estonian Newspaper, Mennonite, WI

Skills Categories To arrange skills in categories, present all your capabilities and experience after a relevant topic heading. For instance, you might have subheads for management, research, evaluation, and team membership. Write a paragraph about how you obtained these skills and what   of expertise you have. Below the categories, you should list jobs, Here is the capabilities section listed above presented as  The experience section would not change, and would follow the categories.

Project Management.  developed brochures and manuals for clients, learning how to set up schedules, review budgets, interview experts, write clear text, and design effective pages. I have proofread copy and seen the documents through all stages of the printing and production process. I have done this in industrial and free-lance situations so I feel I can use the process well. Research. I have gathered information by interviewing clients, observing processes, operating machines (such as disassembling the  and using the library. I have learned how to pursue a question so that I get the correct facts.

Client Interaction. I have worked with clients to develop manuals and brochures. I understand how to interview clients, how to let them review my work, and how to interact with them so that they pick the best design to convey their meaning. Types of Professional Documents. I have written a technician operator manual for a pneumatic piston filler, an educational food brochure on food preservation for consumers a promotional brochure for a career conference.




To plan your resume and cover letter, you need to assess your field, your own strengths, and the needs of your prospective employers.  hat are the basic activities in this field? What skills do I need to perform them? What are the basic working conditions, salary ranges, and long range outlooks for the areas in which I am interested?

These answers will enable you to assess the various strengths of your own background and to discover how you may be useful to an employer. To find this information, talk to professionals, visit you college placement office, and use your library. To meet professionals, you can ask to interview them about their field. You can also attend career conferences, join a student chapter of a professional organization, or become a student member of an organization. Most professional organizations are happy to help student members find jobs. Your college’s placement service probably has much career and employer information available. Most placement services give advice on all kinds of topics – from whom to contact to what to wear to an interview.

In your library you can find books that describe career areas. Two helpful books the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the Occupational Outlook (OOH), both issued by the Department of Labor. The of Occupational Titles presents brief but comprehensive discussions of positions in industry, listing the necessary job skills for these positions. You can use this information to judge the relevance of your own experience and course work when considering a specific job. Here, for instance, is the entry for manufacturing engineer: . 012.167-ENGINEER (profess. & kin.) Directs and coordinates manufacturing processes in industrial plant: Determines space requirements for various functions and plans or improves production methods including layout, production flow, tooling and production equipment, material, fabrication, assembly methods. and manpower requirements. Communicates with planning and design staffs concerning product design and tooling to assure efficient production methods. Estimates production times and determines  staffing for production schedules. Applies production schedules, and problems to facilitate decision-making .

The Occupational Outlook Handbook  essays on career areas. Besides summarizing necessary job skills, these essays contain information on salary ranges, working conditions, and employment outlook. This type of essay can help you in an interview. For instance, you may be asked, “What is your salary range?” or “What do you think you’re worth?” If you have the appropriate figures in your head, you can confidently name a range in line with industry standards.

Assess Your Strengths

After yop have analyzed the field, you need to analyze yourself. Review all your work experience – summer, part-time, internship, full-time –
your college courses, and your extracurricular activities to determine what might fill specific needs in your field. Take this analysis seriously. Spend time at it. Talk to other people about yourself. Make long lists. Put down every skill and strength you can think of; at this stage, don’t exclude any experiences because they seem trivial. Many applicants have essentially the same educational background so you must try t.-. think of qualifications that distinguish you from your competitors. Here are some questions to help you analyze yourself (based in part on Harcourt and Krizar 181):

1. What work experience have you had that relates to your field? What were job  What projects ware you involved in?
Machinery or evaluation procedures did you work with?

2. what special aptitudes and ‘skills  you have? Do you know advanced testing methods? Complicated software?

3. What special projects have you completed in your major field? List processes, machines, systems that you dealt with.

4. Whatt honors and awards have you received? Do you -have any special college achievements?

5. What is your grade point average?

6. Have you earned your college expenses? t

7. What was your minor? What sequence of useful courses have you, completed? A sequence of three or more courses in, for example, writing, psychology, or communication might have given you knowledge or skills that your competitors do not possess.

8. Arc you willing to relocate?

9. Arc you a member of a professional organization? Are you an officer? What projects have you participated in as a member?

10. Can you communicate in a second language? Many of today’s firms do business internationally. •

11. Do you have military experience? While in the military, did you attend J school that applies to your major field? If so, identify the school.

Assess the Needs of Employers

After deciding what skills to emphasize, you can promote them in such more effectively if you are aware of the market. You cannot use the “you” approach to its full potential unless you know how your skills might benefit each prospective employer. In addition, if you can show that you have taken the trouble to investigate a company, you distinguish yourself from your competition.

You can find out about firms from school placement offices (where company literature and the College Placement Annual are available), from professional journals, and from professors. Most libraries have collections of annual reports; reading them will give you information that you can apply to your job search. Books such as Dun’s Employment Opportunities Directory: the Career Guide list employers alphabetically, geographically, and by industry classification. This convenient book lists the name of the person to contact for employment information and gives an overview of the company as well as its career opportunities, training and development programs, locations, and benefits.




Before writing a resume and letter of application, you must  your goals and your  for these critical documents Understanding Your Goals Your resume and letter of application have two goals: to get an interview and to indicate the skills you will bring to the company. The letter and resume open the way to an interview, and if you can present your strengths and experiences convincingly in these key documents, the employers will ask you for an interview. To be convincing, you must explain writing what you can do for the reader; you must show how your strengths meet the firm’s needs.

The letter and resume also provide topics for discussion at an interview. It is not uncommon for an interv iewer to say something like, “You say in your resume that you worked with material requirements planning. Would you explain to us what you did Understanding Your Audience The audio for your resume and letter could be any of a number of people in an organization, from the personnel manager to a division manager.  could be just one person or a committee. Whoever they are, they will approach the letter with a limited amount of time and with expectations about writing skills and professional presentation. The Reader’s. Time Employers read letters and resumes quickly. A manager might have one hundred resumes and letters to review. If the manager spent an hour on each one, it would take 2 112 weeeks to read th-rn all. Managers do not have that kind of time. It is much more likely ‘nat, on the initial reading, the manager will spend 30 seconds to 3 minutes on each application, quickly sorting the applications into “yes” and “no” piles.

Skill Expectations Managers look for data that show how the applicant will satisfy the company’s needs. The data, according to two researchers, should include “the college graduate’s previous achievements; special aptitudes skills and work-related learning, contributions, and achievements” (Harcourt and Krizar 183). Suppose, for instance, that applicants are responding to an ad specifying need experience in materials resource planning.The manager will reject any applications that do not give evidence of such a skill.

Professional Expectations Managers read to discover your ability to write clearly, to handle detail, and to act professionally. Clean, neat documents written in clear, correct English demonstrate all three of these. Bad grammar, unclear sentences, spelling mistakes, typographical errors, erasures, and poor-quality paper will probably offend a manager.


Job Application Materials

Job Application Materials


Resumes and letters of application are essential types of writing for college studer ts and for anyone changing positions. This chapter will explain the process that will help you produce an effective resume and letter, You need to understand your goals and your audience, to plan the contents of the resume and letter, to present each in an effective form, and to perform effectively at an interview.