resume writing 11

Project One: Professional Application Materials

Introduction: One of the most important aspects of technical writing involves your ability to represent yourself to others. The need for such communication skills typically reveals itself first in the effort to secure gainful employment, and resumes and cover letters are unique genres that must reflect your identity while adhering to the conventions and expectations of readers. Thus, for your first formal project in this course, you will be required to create a resume and cover letter targeting a specific position or opportunity (e.g. grad school, fellowship, award).

Getting Started: You should begin by doing some research to find a few different openings/positions/opportunities for which you could realistically consider applying. Please take special note of the word realistically, because for an assignment like this, it is much easier to create a document geared toward an actual position you may have the qualifications for than something that you will not be ready to do for several more years. Most applications have minimum requirements that you have to meet in order to be considered for the position.

Depending on what you have determined to be a realistic “next step” for you professionally, you will want to create a new resume/or curriculum vitae that will be appropriate for this particular position. What do you know of the culture, values, beliefs and practices of the field and specific organization to which you are applying? You might want to look at mission statements and focus on the job expectations and duties for the position.

Similarly, in crafting an appropriate cover letter, you’ll need not only to follow the superstructure of a letter appropriately, but you’ll certainly want to incorporate many of the rhetorical moves we’ve been discussing throughout our course lectures and in your discussion sections about how to be persuasive and how to connect to the audience. Again, what do you know of the culture, values, beliefs and practices of the overall field and the specific organization to which you are applying? What activity, recent achievement, value, or goal with respect to the organization can you praise in your opening, and how will this praise frame what you want to say about yourself? What have you been able to find out about the specific requirements of the position (or can you reasonably deduce about the skills that might be required in such work), and how can you demonstrate that you have these qualifications in a way that will be appreciated by your readers? You want to connect you to the organization throughout the cover letter.

Putting It Together: Once you have gathered as much information as you can, you will begin drafting your documents. To do this well, you will want to apply everything we have been discussing in terms of document design (i.e., alignment, proximity, repetition, contrast) as well as much of the argumentative/persuasive skills we have been discussing. Resumes and cover letters use different conventions, which means the audience approaches these genres with different expectations, so remember that as you are making your documents.

For Unit I, you will submit: (1) the job advertisement, (2) your resume, (3) your cover letter, and (4) a courtesy email to the contact(s) listed on the ad or to HR.

Draft copy and Final copy

Field — Construction Management

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