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Before you write anything, you should think through the situation and work out a strategy—that is, how you will explain or justify your decision. Relevant Concepts:Planning Your Communication Strategy Using a Problem-Solving Approach (Chapter 1)Preparing a persuasive/sales cover message for the job search advertisementGaining attention, selecting the appropriate content, organizing for conviction, and driving for actionAssignment Background: Problem-Solving Case/ScenarioGraduation is fast approaching, and you are now ready to sell your working ability in the job market. Besides canvassing likely firms with the help of prospecting messages and diligently following up family contacts, you have decided to look into anything that appears especially good in the ads of newspapers, online sources, and magazines. The latest available issues of large city publications and online services yield the jobs listed below.The Cover MessageThe print cover message is much like the sales message (Chapter 7)—you illustrate a need and sell a product (you) to fill the need. Gaining attention in the opening is important because the busy executive has other things to do. You need to use what works best in each case.Selecting content should be guided by the job requirements. Of course, if you are strong in an area you know is important to any employer, be sure to emphasize those strengths.Since you are responding to an advertisement, you can address the needs mentioned directly and precisely.Organizing for conviction means choosing an organizational plan that emphasizes your strengths. You may use a reverse chronological, functional or skills, or accomplishments plan. Conviction is also enhanced by careful word choice and reader-viewpoint language.Driving for action in the close entails being clear and direct in letting the reader know what action you expect next. Normally, you request an interview, more information, or even an application.Email cover messages take different forms depending on the document type it introduces. The primary job is to highlight the applicant’s strengths and get the reader to review the resume.Assignment Instructions: Read the instructions on attached Chapter 11 – Problem-solving Case carefully before you prepare your cover message for one of the job advertisements listed.Concentrate on the ad describing the job you would like most or could do best—and then write a cover message that will get you that job. Your message will first have to survive the filtering that eliminates dozens (sometimes hundreds) of applicants who lack the expected qualifications. Toward the end you will be getting into strong competition in which small details give you the superiority that will get you an interview.Study your chosen ad for what it says and even more for what it implies. Weigh your own preparation even more thoroughly than you weigh the ad. You may imagine far enough ahead to assume completion of all the courses that are planned for your degree. You may build up your case a bit beyond what you have. Sort the qualifications for the job, organize them strategically, and then present them in a cover letter.Once you have chosen a job, study your chosen ad for what it says and even more for what it implies. Highlight the experience, education, and/or qualifications required for the job to help you organize your application documents.Prepare your cover message as the advertisement requires. If the ad asks for an email – prepare it in memo format since memo’s and emails look similar. If a letter is requested, please prepare it using one of the letter formats you learned this semester.Use as much of your real information as possible – such as your degree major, relevant experience, etc. – as if you are REALLY applying for the job. (Real personal contact information is not necessary.)This is the Grading Rubric Persuasive Cover Message – Job SearchCriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDocument Format/Design10.0 to >7.0 ptsProficientFormatted correctly using appropriate format for delivery (formal letter or email/memo); includes all the appropriate message parts7.0 to >5.0 ptsCompetentTwo to three formatting issues5.0 to >0 ptsNeeds ImprovementThree or more formatting issues10.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization-Indirect Plan-Open Paragraph15.0 to >10.0 ptsProficientOpens with words that GAIN ATTENTION; AND, sets up your strategy using words to set up your appeal (logical, emotional,character-based)10.0 to >5.0 ptsCompetentBegins directly OR Does not begin with words that GAIN ATTENTION; OR does not use neutral words to set up strategy5.0 to >0 ptsNeeds ImprovementBegins directly AND Does not begin with words that GAIN ATTENTION; AND does not use neutral words to set up strategy15.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization-Indirect Plan-Body Paragraph25.0 to >24.0 ptsProficientPresents the persuasive strategy using persuasive language and the “you viewpoint”; AND, presents points convincingly using appropriate words for effect; AND, makes the request clearly without any negative words24.0 to >22.5 ptsCompetentDoes not meet one or more of the message plan requirements:does not presents the persuasive strategy using persuasive language and the “you viewpoint”; AND/OR, does not presents points convincingly using appropriate words for effect; AND/OR, does not make the request clearly without any negative words22.5 to >0 ptsNeeds ImprovementDoes not present the persuasive strategy using persuasive language and the “you viewpoint”; AND, does not present points convincingly using appropriate words for effect; AND, does not make the request clearly without any negative words25.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization-Indirect Plan-Closing Paragraph15.0 to >10.0 ptsProficientEnds with an adapted goodwill comment; AND, with words that recall the appeal; and/or, gives end date for action10.0 to >5.0 ptsCompetentDoes not end with an adapted goodwill comment; AND/OR, does not end with words that recall the appeal5.0 to >0 ptsNeeds ImprovementDoes not end with an adapted goodwill comment; AND, does not end with words that recall the appeal15.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAppropriate Writing Style/Grammar10.0 to >7.0 ptsProficient0 to 9 writing style/grammar mistakes; Sentence/Paragraph structure; word choice; positive tone; correct grammar7.0 to >5.0 ptsCompetent10 to 15 writing style/grammar mistakes5.0 to >0 ptsNeeds ImprovementMore than 15 writing style/grammar mistakes10.0 ptsTotal Points: 75.0
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Chapter 11 – Communicating in the Job Search
Problem-Solving Case
Graduation is fast approaching, and you are now ready to sell your working ability in the job
market. Besides canvassing likely firms with the help of prospecting messages and diligently
following up family contacts, you have decided to look into anything that appears especially
good in the ads of newspapers, online sources, and magazines. The latest available issues of
large city publications and online services yield the jobs listed below.
Concentrate on the ad describing the job you would like most or could do best—and then write a
cover message that will get you that job. Your message will first have to survive the filtering that
eliminates dozens (sometimes hundreds) of applicants who lack the expected qualifications.
Toward the end you will be getting into strong competition in which small details give you the
superiority that will get you an interview.
Study your chosen ad for what it says and even more for what it implies. Weigh your own
preparation even more thoroughly than you weigh the ad. You may imagine far enough ahead to
assume completion of all the courses that are planned for your degree. You may build up your
case a bit beyond what you have. Sort the qualifications for the job, organize them strategically,
and then present them in a cover letter.
A. Office manager. Currently seeking an
office manager with initiative and flexibility for
work in a fast-paced environment. Must have
an outgoing personality and excellent
communication skills and be a team player.
Must be a “power user” of Word and Excel and
have excellent Internet search skills.
Knowledge of PowerPoint a plus. Some
overtime expected during crunch periods.
Send application materials to Chris Eveland at
ceveland@qconline.com.
B. Assistant webmaster. Outstanding
information technology, organizational, and
interpersonal skills are needed for work on a
company portal. Mastery of HTML and PHP,
experience with website design including
graphic design, and knowledge of client/ server
technology are vital. Candidates should be
able to communicate with international
audiences.
Candidates also must possess excellent
writing skills and the ability to effectively
Chapter 11: Communicating in the Job Search
manage multiple projects while interfacing with
company employees. A bachelor’s degree with
a background in information systems,
marketing, or communications is required.
Please send résumé to Megan Adami in
Human Resources, 7165 North Main Street,
(your city), or fax it to 1-888-444-5047, or email
it to megan_adami@ cnet.com.
C. Management trainee. Named by Fortune
magazine as one of the best places to work,
this constantly expanding international
company uses shared decision making and
clear career paths so that employees can be
productive and well rewarded. The challenging
management training program requires
candidates with good communications skills
and high energy levels to be successful.
Applicants must be computer literate and
possess good interpersonal skills. Fax résumé
to Don Zatyko at 1-888-399-2569.
D. Staff accountant—payroll specialist. We
are looking for an accountant who desires to
grow and move up the ladder. One should be
1
motivated and willing to work in a fast-paced,
multitasking environment. An associate’s
degree in accounting or finance is required.
Additionally, the ideal candidate will be detailoriented and able to meet deadlines. The job
involves coordinating transfers of time worked
data from time collection systems to payroll
systems. Must have extended knowledge of
Excel to compute withholdings and deductions,
and must stay up-to-date on multiple state laws
regarding payroll. Excellent compensation
package and benefits. Apply to Carolynn
Workman, accounting director, at
carolynn_workman@adelphia.net.
E. Staff accountant. Successful candidate
should have a BS in accounting and be
proficient in QuickBooks and/or Excel. Would
be responsible for performing account analysis
for corporate accounts, assisting in
consolidation of subsidiaries, and assisting in
the preparation of annual and quarterly
financial statements and financial reports for
certain subsidiaries. Experience in the local
environment of small business is desirable. If
you are concerned with order, quality, and
accuracy, please contact us by mail at
Administrative Partner, Winship and Acord,
P.C., 3013 Stonybrook Drive, (your city), or by
email at CWA@msn.com, or by fax at 1-217399-2569.
F. Network specialist. We seek someone
who can help deliver reliable, secure, and
integrated networks. Must be able to bring
together data and voice, WAN and LAN, fiber
optics and wireless. Opportunity to learn
newest technologies. Must have network
certification such as MCP, MCSE, CNA, or
CNE as well as a college degree or the
equivalent experience. Requires excellent
interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Experience with multiplatform computing is
preferred. Will be expected to develop
Chapter 11: Communicating in the Job Search
technical documentation and help establish
network policies, procedures, and standards to
ensure conformance with information systems
and client objectives and strategy. Qualified
applicants should send application documents
to Robert Edwards at redwards@tyt.com.
G. Technology analyst/consultant. A fastgrowing, highly regarded information
technology assessment/consulting firm has a
position for someone with expertise in client/
server technology and Access. Must have
excellent written communication and
interpersonal skills. Vendor or user
organization experience is highly desirable.
Position is in the Bay Area. Send or fax your
résumé to director of human resources at 500
Airport Road, Suite 100, (your city), or 415579-1022.
H. Financial analyst. An eastern-based
investment firm is seeking an analyst to help
with the evaluation of potential private equity
investments and marketing of an existing and a
new leveraged buyout fund. Should have a
bachelor’s degree from a good school and
some experience in banking. Ideal candidates
will have strong analytical capabilities and
excellent computer skills, particularly
spreadsheet, statistics, and database. Please
email your résumé to andrewwinston@fidelity.com.
I. Trade show exhibits coordinator.
Position reports to the national sales manager
and requires an individual who can work
independently as well as part of a team.
Professional telephone and computer skills are
essential. Coordinator will maintain exhibitor
contact databases, serve as an internal liaison
to accounting and as an external liaison to
vendors, and assist the on-site floor managers
with various exhibitor-related responsibilities.
Also must create exhibitor and attendee pre2
and post-show surveys, collect data, and
compile results. Trade show, association, or
convention services experience is a plus.
Some limited travel is expected. Send your
résumé to lmiller@aol.com.
J. Sales representative. Major
pharmaceutical company is expanding and
looking for a sales representative in your area.
Ideal candidate will have a successful record of
sales experience, preferably in a business-tobusiness environment. Candidate must be well
versed in science and willing to continually
learn about new products. Good knowledge of
your area is highly desirable. Send your
résumé to Jane_Adami@pfizer.com.
K. Internet programmer. Seeking a
professional individual with experience in
complex HTML/DHTML, strong web
development, and a thorough understanding of
ajax and PHP. Will design, write, modify, test,
and maintain programs and scripts for a suite
of server applications. Must be comfortable in
a UNIX environment and possess some
competency in SQL. Any experience with data
warehousing would be a plus. Additionally, a
qualified candidate should be a team player
and self-motivated and possess excellent
speaking and writing skills. Send all application
documents to
James.Andrews@menshealth.com.
L. Marketing professional. An international,
rapidly growing consumer and trade publisher
is seeking a self-motivated individual to help us
reach our goal of doubling revenues by the
year 2015. Ideal candidate will be an
innovative, results-oriented professional willing
to take the challenge of developing new
markets in Central and South America. Should
be good at packaging and repackaging
information products for a large and expanding
customer base. We are looking for those with
Chapter 11: Communicating in the Job Search
some experience, creative writing talent,
leadership skills, good communication skills,
and strong interpersonal skills. Sell yourself
through your cover message and résumé.
Send a rich media text to Thomas McLaughlin,
corporate vice president, Blackhawk Publishing
at tjmclaughlin@blackhawk.com.
M. Executive administrative assistant. Vice
president of a Fortune 500 manufacturing
company seeks a highly competent,
personable, organized, and dependable
executive assistant. College degree desired.
Must have excellent communication skills and
thorough command of Internet navigation as
well as word processing and presentation
programs. In addition to basic business
knowledge in accounting, economics,
computer systems, finance, marketing, and
management, an understanding of
manufacturing in a global market would be
desirable. Apply to director of human
resources, P.O. Box 3733, (your city).
N. Graphic artist. An employee-owned
systems integration firm has an immediate
need for a graphic artist. A bachelor’s degree
or an associate’s degree with some experience
desired. Must be proficient in PhotoShop and
Illustrator, preferably in a Windows
environment. Will prepare presentation and
curriculum support graphics for government
customer. Knowledge of project management
software is a plus. Must have a work portfolio.
Send résumé to the attention of KML, P.O. Box
900, (your city).
O. MIS specialist. A local medical clinic is
seeking an individual to manage a multisite,
multiplatform computer system. Will be
responsible for troubleshooting and
coordinating problems in a Windows Vista
environment and writing reports for
management. A background in the
3
healthcare/medical field combined with a good
knowledge of computing is highly desirable.
Send résumé to (your city’s name) Community
Clinic,1113 Henderson, (your city), or fax to
888-316-1026.
P. Financial manager. Multispecialty medical
group (60 doctors) needs dedicated
professional to work in providing financial
planning and control in a growing organization.
Join a team of financial specialists who bear
responsibility for budgeting, general
accounting, reimbursement, billing processes,
and external reporting. Also responsible for
development of long and short-range financial
goals and evaluation of their impact on
strategic objectives and service mission.
Degree in accounting/finance. Technical and
team skills needed. Competitive salary and
benefits package. Send letter and résumé to
Mount Renault Medical Group, Box 14871,
New York, NY 00146.
Q. Accountant. A major real estate developer
and property management company seeks an
accountant. Must have a bachelor’s degree in
accounting. Will assist in financial reporting,
tax preparation, cash flow projections, and
year-end audit work and paper preparation.
Mastery of Excel is required as are good
communication skills. Some work experience
in accounting is desirable; internship
experience in an accounting or real estate
environment is also desirable. Send your
résumé and cover letter to TPL, P.O. Box 613,
(your city) or email it to tpl@hotmail.com.
R. Accounting majors. Multinational
consumer electronics firm seeks entry-level
accountant for work in its controller’s division.
This person must be knowledgeable in
financial and managerial accounting, internal
auditing, budgeting, and capital investments. A
multinational orientation, degree in accounting,
Chapter 11: Communicating in the Job Search
and progress toward completion of CPA or
CMA are a plus. Good communication skills
(written and oral) and computer applications
are required. Interested applicants should send
letter and résumé to
hrdirector@circuitcity.com.
S. Bank examiner. Federal Reserve Bank
(nearest to your location) seeks careeroriented individuals. Persons hired will conduct
on-site examinations of foreign banks
operating in the U.S. in their lending activities,
derivative products, bank operations, and
financial information. Applicants must possess
a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or
economics. Evidence of cross-cultural
sensitivity and foreign language proficiency is
preferred. Travel 30–50 percent of the time.
Excellent oral/written skills and U.S. citizenship
required. Apply with letter, résumé, and
reference sheets to Federal Reserve Board,
Human Resources Department, (your region).
T. Proposal writer. Global leader in hightechnology asset management needs
individual to prepare proposals for clients.
Person selected must be a team player, thrive
on high-tech challenges in fast-paced
environment, and possess a state-of-the-art
solution orientation. Excellent writing skills
essential, along with BBA degree and
experience with various hardware/software
technologies. Job includes coordinating
appropriate persons to define solutions and
preparing program plans with cost estimation
for clients. Send letter, résumé, and writing
sample to Department SAS, (your city).
U. Assistant to operations manager. Proven
leader in the insurance industry seeks a highly
motivated assistant to the operations manager
of regional service center. Technical skills
include proficiency in Internet use and
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access,
4
and other database applications. College
training preferred with good people skills.
Person selected must be able to develop and
maintain effective working relationships with
internal and external customers. Apply to HR
Department, Box 7438, (your city) or email to
hrdirector@statefarm.com.
V. Environmental safety and health
assistant. World leader in battery
manufacturing is looking for an individual to
work in safety and health area of production
plant and distribution center. The successful
candidate will need to have a business or
environmental engineering degree and
possess excellent organizational and people
skills. Job duties involve administering
health/safety programs, conducting training,
and working with governmental agencies and
regulatory personnel. Excellent opportunity for
results-oriented individual seeking to work for a
safe, attractive, and sanitary environment.
Send cover message and résumé to Box SH,
(your city).
W. Account executive for display
advertising. State business journal invites
applications for career-oriented individuals.
Qualified candidates must be college
graduates (business preferred) and have work
background to demonstrate reliability and
commitment. Job scope involves selling
display advertising in creative ways for
specialized business print and online
publications. Applicants should be of high
energy, aggressive, and creative. Send
applications to Drawer HBD, (your city), or
salesmgr@busjrnl.com.
management knowledge. Perform economic
analyses on current and proposed projects;
assist in development of budgets; evaluate
budget to actual performance; prepare monthly
reports. Demonstrated knowledge of strategic
planning, valuation techniques, accounting
principles, and economic forecasts. Must
communicate well orally and in writing. Email
letter, résumé, and references to
applications@alc.com.
Y. SEO Blogger. New website is seeking a
writer/intern for its search engine optimization
(SEO) blog. This new site, which has free SEO
tools, is attracting a growing worldwide
interest. We are seeking two writers for three
to five posts per week. Must have a
background in SEO and be abreast of the field
in order to write on current topics.
Telecommuting is OK. Please send samples of
your work or links to it along with your SEO
credentials to jobs@nonbot.com.
Z. Corporate trainer. Exciting opportunity is
available for a professional with strong
presentation skills, good organizational skills,
and excellent written and oral communication
skills. Successful trainer will be able to
effectively communicate technical information
to both technical and nontechnical users.
Should be able to design classroom training
modules and measure their effectiveness.
Good time management and use of Outlook
are required. Some travel to clients’ sites may
be required. Application documents including a
sample PowerPoint presentation should be
sent to Sharon Garbett, President, Sedona
Training, P.O. Box 1308, Moline, Illinois 61266.
X. Financial consultant. Large
communications services company needs
qualified person to provide communicationbased utility automation consulting to electric
utilities. Must have comprehensive financial
Chapter 11: Communicating in the Job Search
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