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Transcript of Employment Messages
Résumés, CVs, and other Lists of Lists....
a typical cover letter...
...with typical problems.
a revised cover letter...
... that will get noticed.
A "standard" résumé...
... aka the "chronological" résumé.
the "targeted" résumé...
the "skills-based" résumé...
A revised chronological résumé...
... aka the "profile" résumé.
What goes on a résumé?
Honors & Awards
Strong elaborations are the key to effective résumés
Buzzwords are often associated with specific industries, but they may also connotate certain qualities. They may be used to substantiate “soft” skills.
the client-oriented "résumé"...
the Curriculum Vitae...
aka the C.V. or Vita...
the Personal Statement...
aka Intent Letter or Entrance Essay...
First interviews are used to
screen weak applicants. Many
companies use phone interviews
Later interviews are used to
Giving a strong interview
requires some work
Types of interview questions...
evaluate the potential
of a candidate....
analyze past experiences
What do you expect of
There are 193 black guppies in a fish bowl and 28 red ones. How many fish do you have to take out to make the percentage of black fish 73%?
How do you expect the derivatives
market to behave next year?
Suppose that one of your team asked
you to cover for them because they had a personal problem with a client. What would you do?
What did you do at
Johnson & Johnson?
What was your most significant accomplishment as an undergraduate that wasn't scholastic or work related?
Tell me about a time you
failed at something.
How do you feel your education has prepared you for this position?
Why did you leave this position?
Tell me about
your worst boss.
During the Interview...
Eye contact &
good answer is easier
than you think...
Different types of questions
seek different kinds of answers....
the poor man's personality test...
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
What's your greatest
What flavor of ice cream are you?
Mood Setting Questions
How was your flight?
Did you have difficulty
finding the office?
How are you?
Any questions before
used to put the applicant at
interviewer with a
The Interview from Hell
Sorry... what did you say?
How many steps did you
climb to get to my office?
Tell me something
funny right NOW!
You got a C in Calculus. Why the F#@$^ would I want
to hire you?
the strangest compliment
the Follow-Up Letter...
.... aka the Thank You letter
Phrasing should emphasize accomplishments and synchronicities, not responsibilities
Phrasing should be precise
Phrasing should be conventional and concrete
An elaboration may be replaced with a simple list
Minimized losses while maximizing profits to set a company earnings record
Achieved July 2014 company earnings record through a 30% reduction in losses
Moved wheelchair-bound patients to daily activities
Ate meals with and talked to patients
Provided care, transportation, and meal assistance to invalid clients
Previous responsibilities included managing large datasets, organized data upkeep, avoiding data corruption, and database design in MySQL, SQL, and Oracle Database
Worked in a jet propulsion laboratory
Tested high pressure combustion liquid rocket fuels designed for industry contracts
Managing large datasets, organized data upkeep, avoiding data corruption, and database design
MySQL, SQL, Oracle Database
This example illustrates many common résumé problems:
1. Lack of consistent layout and font variety prevents the résumé from being skimmable.
2. Reverse chronological order and employment focus de-emphasizes key details.
3. The content lacks a sense of cohesion or targeting to a specific position.
DIVISION OF EXPERIENCE
This résumé uses a short introductory summary to introduce the candidate and organizes materials to emphasize professional experience and de-emphasize distractions. Additionally, it uses font and white space to increase the skimmability of materials.
fonts should be 10-12pt (titles may be larger). Bold, (Small)Caps, and Underlining emphasize; italics de-emphasize. Serif fonts are better for blocks of content but Sans Serif fonts are cleaner.
White space should be used to frame related materials; horizontal rules may also be used to create divisions. Always indent bulleted lists.
Rather than emphasizing work history, this résumé organizes elaborations from work, school, activities, and other experiences into skill categories. Generally, this style uses one to two professional skill categories, followed by a communication/leadership category and a computer skill category concludes.
Regardless of style, if time is a component in a list, reverse chronological order should be employed. If time is not a component of a list, the most relevant and/or impressive list item should lead the list.
Applicants who do not have a significant number of professional experiences and/or extracurricular activities may bolster a résumé by adding categories for major class and group projects and papers (emphasizing) design, research, and presentation of materials.
RELEVANT ACHIEVEMENT AND SYNCHRONICITIES
REFLECTION OF POSTING
RELEVANT SKILLS NOT
The targeted résumé groups elaborations into two principle categories: an abilities section that directly parallels the posting, and an achievements list that allows the applicant to showcase his/her best materials. Additional materials are provided in subsequent lists.
Many posts list soft skills as requirements; when an applicant responds, it is important to substantiate soft skills through direct and specific experiences and accomplishments.
Whenever possible, the language of a posting should be replicated in the response. Paralleling the jargon, terminology, and phrasing on an original post can have a powerful impact on a reviewer.
Entrepreneurs and others who work directly with the customers and clients often develop a client-oriented résumé. Such a document can take a number of forms (e.g. a pamphlet, flier, webpage) and often uses a variety of different presentation methods.
In contrast to the résumé, the CV documents at length
relevant materials. A CV is generally multiple pages, and often mixes formatted paragraphs with lists. Traditionally, it follows the basic organizational style of one of the résumé formats, but with additional categories for research, writing, teaching, and special projects.
Skimmers and Readers
Unlike a résumé which is designed to be skimmed quickly, a CV is designed to be read. Elaborations are often more specific and in depth, and often take the form of formatted paragraphs.
White Space, Revisited
In addition to improving the readability of materials by framing related items, white space can be used to increase the apparent value of materials.
An effective cover letter will be direct and targeted to the specific position. The opening will catch a reader's interest. The body will use direct topic sentence and offer evidence from experiences rather than merely summarizing the résumé. The closing will provide contact information and push for an interview.
Setting the Tone through Hooks
COLON OR SEMICOLON
TARGETED TOPIC SENTENCE
This example illustrates many common cover letter problems:
1. The cover letter contains obvious errors and shows poor focus and attention to detail.
2. The cover letter summarizes résumé content rather than telling a reader how it should be read and noting key points.
3. The argument structure is weak, and does not use firm topic sentences to introduce content.
Cover Letter Effect
A cover document (including the cover letter) answers the question the document cannot answer for itself. In this case, it has the ability to explain the résumé and guide its reading. Two-thirds of reviewers will read a cover letter even if none is requested.
The personal statement is analogous to the cover letter in the sense that it introduces the CV to a reader and draws attention to key details. It also demonstrates an applicant's ability to use written communication. A successful personal statement has three parts:
1. The personal statement will discuss where the applicant is
, drawing attention to key accomplishments. Often, this goal is accomplished through an introductory narrative.
2. The personal statement will discuss where the applicant is
, discussing how the applicant intends to use the position to meet specific goals.
3. The personal statement will discuss
why the applicant chose the specific program:
how the goals and opportunities offered by the program align with the applicant's own goals.
A Follow-Up letter is an occasional document in professional circles that allows two individuals to (re)connect. It is advantageous for several reasons.
1. If properly executed, it allows an applicant to remind a reviewer of key details at precisely the time these factors are slipping from a reviewer's memory. Ideally, a follow-up letter should be sent by snail mail directly after the interview.
2. Reviewers report that writing follow-up letters is both a) the one thing that applicants can do to boost their efficacy after the interview process, and b) a step applicants frequently neglect.
1) What the word indicates (is defined as).
2) We (as users of English) agree on the meaning.
3) Some users/contexts may alter the denotation of words (ex. slang, jargon, etc.).
4) Changes over time.
1) The “feeling” of a word, usually measured in positive, negative, or neutral.
2) Certain words have the same denotation, but radically different connotations (ex. kill, murder, assassinate, execute).
3) Used in context, these words create very different tones (“The State executed the 4) prisoner” as opposed to “The State murdered the prisoner”).
5) “Spin-doctoring” is the creation of new terms with new connotations (ex. “downsizing”).
6) Connotation is actually the associations that the word has, rather than an intrinsic quality of the word.
1) The (educational) level of a word, usually measured as higher or lower.
2) Words derived from Latin, specialized jargons, foreign phrases, and poetic statements tend to have higher registers than words derived from German, slang, profanity, and clichés; register level changes over time.
3) The middle register is completely dependent on situation
4) When a word higher or lower than the middle register is used, a “register shift” occurs and is emphasized.
5) “Comfort zones” reflect registers we are confident communicating at.
marriage paragraph will follow the structure of composition: it will make a relevant assertion, supply meaningful evidence, and demonstrate the applicability to the position.
marriage paragraph will use evidence that highlights synchronicities and accomplishments, and apply these materials in a forward-looking manner.
I am a Senior in Marketing at Penn State and am a hard worker and have strong leadership ability. I believe this will make me a good fit to represent Brash Pharmaceuticals. I had two internships and was also Recruitment Chair of the student Marketing Association my senior year when we recruited more new members than any previous year. I did this while maintaining a strong GPA.
Through dedication and leadership, I have gained the experiences that make me a strong candidate to represent Brash Pharmaceuticals. As a senior at the Pennsylvania State University, I headed a committee in the student Marketing Association while maintaining a strong GPA and spearheaded a record-setting recruitment drive. My efforts were successful due to skills that I acquired through education and internships that I look forward to applying at your company.
I completed two internships, led the most successful recruitment drive in student Marketing Association history, and earned my Pennsylvania State University degree with a strong GPA. These accomplishments demonstrate the dedication and leadership I will bring to Brash Pharmaceuticals, and I look forward to discussing in an interview how I can grow the company’s brand in the future.
Text is more a list of qualifications than an organized paragraph.
Since paragraph lacks a clear structure, it cannot "prove" anything substantive.
Paragraph uses a clear topic sentence, supporting, evidence, and draws a meaningful conclusion.
As the applicant's qualifications now support the assertion in the topic sentence, there is a reason and importance to their presentation.
Paragraph presents evidence first, pairing assertion and application at the paragraph's end.
This form of organization is sometimes called "climactic" organization, as distinct form the "emphatic" form presented above.