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Business Communications at Work

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Jen Frances

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Business Communications at Work

T.E.C.H. Business Communications at Work Chapter 17: Starting the employment process Develop a self-appraisal inventory
Prepare a résumé
Complete an employment application
Develop a portfolio Self- appraisal Inventory Facts,
and others Fill
forms Foundation
for your
résumé Collects all the assets
you possess that
will be of interest
to the employer What is a résumé? It is a concise document that summarizes your
background while still providing enough details
to give employers the information they need to
asses your qualifications. Career objective
or summary Heading Additional Expertise
(Optional) Résumé Styles Advantages Disadvantages Chronological Functional or Skills Combination Appeal to traditional
Conservative profession
Emphasize steady
Be written easily Identifying best
Inappropriate for those
making a career change
Reveal employment gaps
Undesired emphasis in
job areas that lack importance
Reveal lack of experience Emphasize skills
De-emphasize a spotty
employment record
Emphasize professional
Organize information by
descendant order of
importance Omits work history
Does not highlight prestigious
Is perceived as too general Combines the concise approach
of the functional and the logical
progression of the chronological
Emphasizes relevant skills and
Is good for career changers
De-emphasizes gaps in
employment May end up being a longer
Presents a challenge in
determining how to organize
the information Résumé Do's Résumé Don'ts 1. Customize
2. Consider words carefully
3. Maximize Readability
4. Evaluate
5. Review from the potential
employer's perspective Do not include:
The word Résumé at the top of it
The word I
Salary Information
Reasons for leaving jobs
A personal section
An unprofessional-sounding e-mail address
Do not lie Complete an employment application Chapter 14: Creating Press Releases,
and Letters to Public Officials Guidelines for writing a press release
Guidelines for writing a newsletter
Importance of writing letters to a lawmaker
Legislative letter
Service letter
Writing a letter to the editor Writing a Press Release 1. Set realistic goals
2. Identify an interest angle
3. Determine who should receive your press release
4. Avoid highly technical language and detail Release Statement Headline Date Line Lead Paragraph Text Conclusion Newsletters It is the most effective, since it is a cross
between a letter and a newspaper,
and less expensive document used
to reach your market. Newsletter Do's Newsletter Don'ts Write to express
Avoid clichés
Make the tittle an attention grabber
Keep your articles concise
Use at lest one graphic per page
Check on your readers Don't waste space writing "fun" articles
Don't use generic filler material
Don't use an unreadable typeface
Don't be wordy
Don't forget to document your facts • Easier to create and is commonly created using word-processing software.

• Can be used easily to customize the template with a wide range of graphics, colors, rules (lines), borders, columns, fonts and type sizes.

• Distribution and position of items such as pictures and words can be easily changed in a computer by selecting the desired sections before or after writing; mainly used to suit the preferences of the writer. Newsletter Templates Writing to Public Officials and the Media It is a way to participate in the political system and be sure your voice is heard. Organizations such as companies can be affected by local, national or international events; this topic can be of help for that kind of situation. Lawmakers send questionnaires through regular newsletters. However, the best way to express yourself to them is through a written letter. One letter may not be enough to change the laws, but the opinions of many will. Take into consideration the position of the official -whether it is a federal, state, county, city, or local- and the topic of the letter before writing and sending it.
If you have a public aid question, send it to a state official.
If it’s about Social Security, someone of federal level.
If it’s about owning lands, a local official should suffice.
Their contact information can be found on internet and libraries. Guidelines to create a good
letter to a Lawmaker Include your contact information like telephone numbers and the available time which you can be contacted. Make sure to include these in the letter’s heading.

Address the lawmaker properly depending on their title and salute them properly.

The subject line must be specific; example: a legislative bill, identify it by its number and name. There are many bills in the government.

Limit to one subject and try to fit it in one page. If you need more pages, then add a fact sheet presented in a bullet list format.

Use your own words and do not add someone else’s signature. This letter is your own after all.

Explain why and how. Why is this good or bad and how will it affect you or your company, also give personal examples and observations. Add some annexed facts from articles from newspapers or magazines.

Be courteous, rational and straight to the point. Don’t lick his boots, but neither let your emotions take over your judgment.

Sign the letter. Anonymous letters are disposed of right away. Don’t send the same letter to different officials, take your time writing and individual letter form them. It’s easy task with word processing.

Write it and send the letter in time. Don’t send it after the bill has passed…send it before.

Send the message through internet or fax. Conventional mail is slow because of anthrax testing. Types of written letters to a Lawmaker Legislative Letters
These deal with legislation and laws affecting everyone Service Letters
A request for help regarding a procedure or paper work such as Social Security or Veteran’s Benefits. A direct approach is recommended. Send these to the lawmaker’s local or district office in his/her home state. These offices handle most of this kind of letter. Editor Letters
Used to share conviction, knowledge, concerns, or fix published erroneous information. Also, you can request the media to publish a letter since people tend to accept anything printed or broadcasted. Guidelines for these letters Contact the radio or television station, or editorial for their guidelines to write your letter. If there’s none, then limit your letter to 200 – 300 words. A long letter will be edited by their personnel for length, accuracy and good taste.
Give your letter a professional format and appearance.
If your letter is a response to an event, send it before the popularity of the news is lost.
Identify yourself. Give your letter your complete contact information. Name, address, telephone number, etc., and sign it. Some newspapers and magazines will withhold this information if requested, but letters must always be signed for credibility. Anonymous letters are rarely published. Heading Developing a Portfolio

A professional portfolio is a collection of your work that serves as evidence that you possess skills that are relevant to the world of work. What is a professional portfolio?

Portfolios boost self-esteem as a visual representation of accomplishments and goals reached. What purposes do portfolios serve? • Examples of your writing
• A copy of your resume
• Examples of special projects you have done What should a professional portfolio include? Samples of the work you’ve completed in your communication and software-application courses
• A statement of your personal philosophy that relates to the career field • A list of your skills
• A description of experiences and accomplishments that do not fit into your resume
• Certificates and awards you have received • Letters of commendation and recommendation
• Newspaper articles that recognize achievements or promotions
• Programs from events you planned or participated in • Samples of documents you wrote and prepared, including letters, memos, reports, brochures, newsletters, or proposals
• Professional and personal goals
• Your official college transcript Your portfolio should be contained in a professional- looking, loose-leaf portfolio binder. Each page should be inserted into a nonglare plastic page cover for protection and professional appearance. Include an attractive title page and a table of contents at the beginning of the portfolio. Remember!!
Good presentation of your portfolio has great importance as the resume. It is a way to describe you as a person and as a worker. So keep a good presentation with your professional portfolio. Chapter 6: Using Technology to Improve Communication

Technology impacts our lives and each advancement in technology changes the way we live constantly. Computers have changed the way we communicate to the extent of increased speed of communications. This change have made us rely constantly on voice mail, e-mail, videoconferencing, chat rooms, teleconferencing, etc., as means of communication. This chapter focuses on the use of technology in business. Technology in Business Computers

Businesses use computers to create, store and manipulate data. It also lets them process information virtually at any time, in any place. With the use of software applications workers are no longer attached physically to the office. This facilitates the access of information to carry out multiple business applications in the field, which results in complete business mobility. Fax Machines

Fax Machines are used to send and receive documents from a variety of places when a digital copy isn’t available. When sending faxes it is important to analyze the document and the person to which the document is being sent to. However, if the document is confidential, you will want to confirm with the receiver whether the document should be faxed. Before faxing the document, be sure to ask the recipient about a good time to send it. Then, notify the recipient as to what time the fax will be sent. Limit your faxes to three or four pages. Always include a cover sheet with your fax. The cover sheet should contain the following information:

- Recipient’s name, department, company, fax number
- Sender’s name, department, company, fax number, and telephone number
-The date sent
- The number of pages in the fax(including the cover sheet)
- A phone number to call for any problems in receiving the fax


Scanners allows you to preserve digitally your original hard copy documents(text, pictures, etc.), and then save it to a computer for further manipulation. Scanner also allow for copying documents that a business receives and needs to be kept for future reference. Personal Digital Assistants

PDAs are used to store, retrieve, display and communicate information like appointments, phone numbers, addresses and notes, which are easily accessible.

Voice Mail

Voice mail removes the necessity of repeatedly trying to contact someone by phone because a message can be left for the person to return the call when he/she receives the message. There are two parts of effective use of voice mail; recording a greeting and leaving an effective voice mail:

- When recording a greeting, make sure it includes your name and your company name. Request that the caller leave his/her name, number and a brief description of the purpose of the call. - When leaving a message on voice mail, be sure that your message is brief, precise, and organized. State your phone number at both the beginning and end of the message. Software

Business-related applications such as Microsoft office have been and continue to be of significant help for individuals to be more effective in their communication. A successful business person needs to be able to use a word processing software package to create a variety of documents. The ability to cut and paste and add or delete text to a document saves time and improves the quality of the document.

Spreadsheet software allows the user to organize numerical information into sections of rows and columns. This application provides tracking data as inventory items and pricing. Spreadsheets offer the user the ability to calculate and to chart data.

Database software provides storage for collected information as records in individual tables. The software allows the data to be accessed, retrieved and manipulated easily. It also helps in keeping track of large numbers of items or people. Presentation applications such as PowerPoint, allows users to create presentations that illustrate information and concepts. This software produces a document that consists of slides with texts, pictures, graphs, etc. that are put together to create a presentation. Presentation software combines features from other software, such as word processors, so that the information can be presented in different formats. It certainly extends a businessperson’s ability to communicate even more effectively.

Personal Information applications include various tools for communication. These software involves note pads, address books and calendars. They usually incorporate e-mail into their packaged software. This enables workers to be organized and stay connected with their peers when they’re not in the office. Personal information software can often be synchronized with a PDA. This allows individuals to take their contacts , note pads and appointment books with them.

Online meeting software enables individuals to meet with anyone, anywhere, anytime. This software allows for face-to-face conversations, online meetings, video and audio conferencing, real- time conversation via text, streamlines Web conferencing, shared workplace. Voice recognition software allows a spoken word to be transferred directly into a printed document. The software captures and translates the words because it is integrated with word processing software that produces the printed document. This software is beneficial to businesses, such as medical and legal fields, that require large amounts of notes for their records. Technology for improving your writing Using Software Features and Tools

Spelling and grammar checkers helps writers further check spelling by flagging potential spelling errors and listing possible corrections. Today’s grammar checkers can highlight sentence fragments, punctuation errors, subject and verb agreement problems, etc. The words highlighted by the software are only potential errors and may or may not be wrong.

The thesaurus helps you by offering synonyms when you try to find a “right” word. It gives space for you to improve your vocabulary.

Outlining features in software allow you to organize your ideas into a sequence. Making an outline helps you organize your writing so your thoughts can be more fluent. Brainstorming is a great way of generating ideas on a subject. Most word processing software offer an outlining feature as part of the program to help you organize your ideas quickly. Taking Responsibility for Errors Editing the message

Editing requires looking at a written communication critically to see if revising the content or the way it is written will improve it. Avoiding errors in written communications is a matter of knowing the rules of correct grammar and developing editing skills.
Follow these procedures to edit your message:
- Pay attention to details. Check spelling of names, references to dates, etc.
- Read the message for meaning.
- Check tone and style.

Proofreading the Message

Proofreading requires checking the final copy to make sure it is free from any errors. The best way to proofread is to analyze every detail of every part of your document. To proofread a document carefully, use the following procedures:
- Spell check the document.
- Proofread the document on the screen from beginning to end.
- Use the View, Zoom or Print Preview feature to check placement of elements on the page.
- Run the grammar checker if it is a separate feature in your processing software.
- Print the document and proofread the hard copy.
- Check for grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation. Check for numbers such as street address and ZIP codes, when appropriate.
- Look for confusion of similar words, such as to, too, two; quite, quiet, etc.
- Watch for transposition of letters within a word such as from for form.
- Check for transposition of words in phrases, such as it if is for if it is.
- Check for omission of words, of phrases, of spaces between words, and of one of a pair of commas, dashes, quotation marks or parentheses.

Technology for Communicating Electronically

Technology for Communicating Electronically

A vast amount of information in on the Internet, and it increase each passing day. Whether it be an event that has affected the economy or whether it be a ZIP code that you need to find or even a phone book for any city, it’s on the Internet. You have to critically analyze the information you find on the Internet because not all information found on it is accurate or factual.

E-mail has become one of the most used features of the Internet. It changes the way messages are delivered. Messages sent via e-mail are considered to be less formal or professional. But, when it comes to business, it is extremely important to pay attention to the tone of your message as well as to the selection of your words. Be sure to avoid offensive words or phrases against company policy. Avoid humor that may be misinterpreted as sarcasm.

Discussing general information and sending announcements are all appropriate for e-mail. When it comes to serious situations or a diplomatic situation, it’s best to avoid e-mail.

E-mail is effective when used to exchange ideas, to place orders or requests, to provide precise information, to leave messages when people are not available by phone, to keep in touch with coworkers and customers, to do routine tasks, to communicate informally on routine matters.

E-mail should not be used to avoid confrontation or uncomfortable situations, to make negative comments, to discipline an individual, to send long and complex information, to reveal confidential information without authorization, to discuss personal, confidential or sensitive issues, to respond to someone when you are angry or upset. Deciding When to Use E-Mail Understanding the Elements of E-Mails

There are different formats for e-mails since they vary by organization.
The following is a common format for all e-mail: Make sure the address of the e-mail to whom you are writing is correct. The cc feature allows you to send a copy of the e-mail to other individuals. With the bc feature other recipients won’t know you sent a copy to another individual. Send only to those who need the information.

The subject line should be clear, informative, precise and should identify the purpose of the e-mail. If the subject line is left in blank, they may not open it immediately.

Since the e-mail is not an informal communication, you don’t need to have a formal greeting. Depending on the receiver and the situation, you can choose a formal greeting.

Paragraphs should be three to four lines. The paragraphs should also be at double space between them. A long, single spaced message is difficult to read.

The body of the message resembles the format for the memo. Each e-mail should consist of one topic and limited to one screen in length.

A formal closing is not required for e-mails, but you should double space after the last line of the paragraph and add in your name.

A signature block should be included at the end of the e-mail. This includes your name, title, company, phone number, fax number and e-mail address. Developing E-Mail Messages

E-mail messages in business should be kept short and to the point. For longer communications, you may want to create an attachment and only add a short description of the attachment in the e-mail. It is wise to put the most important information at the beginning of the e-mail. By putting the most important information at the top, you help ensure that they will read the most important part.

A flame is an e-mail version of a verbal attack. It can be a reply to an e-mail that you have sent and was not received with approval. If you respond with a flame of your own, then you and the recipient could engage in a flame war, which are continuous insults through e-mail. It is best not to respond to a flame by e-mail.

E-mail is a rapid form of communication, so abbreviations are often used. It is best to keep their use to a minimum. Abbreviations like FYI(for your information), WRT(with respect to), and BTW(by the way) may be acceptable. Avoid the use of facial symbols like emoticons. Emoticons are inappropriate in business writing and should not be used. Understanding That E-Mail is Not Confidential

The ease of forwarding e-mails increases the possibility of their being forwarded without the knowledge of the sender. Do not put in e-mail anything that you would not want printed in tomorrow’s paper, say to someone’s face, want your employee or family to see, want in your personnel file. Do not forward other people’s e-mails, or any portion of their e-mail without their permission.

Understanding E-Mail Policies

Employee use of e-mail and Web sites may be monitored by their supervisors. Employees are not to engage in spamming or sending the same message continuously. Creating and forwarding chain letters and junk e-mails are also inappropriate within business environment.

Responding to E-Mails

Responding to e-mails within 24 hours is considered acceptable. Emergency e-mails should be responded to quickly. If an e-mail requires you to do research on a matter, let the sender know that you will need time before responding and indicate when to anticipate a response. Keep the same line of thinking within the same thread. If you want to introduce a new thought, you can start a new message. Managing Your E-Mails

E-mails are considered to be a huge time waster and they affect productivity. Employees could spend their entire day opening e-mails and not have time for other duties because of the volume of e-mails. It is important to develop a system that manages e-mails.

Using E-Mail Features

E-Mail allows you to attach documents or files along with your message. By adding attachments, you’re able to send any type of files and digital images. Sending attachments can also reduce traditional mailing and shipment costs. The recipient should be notified when you’re sending an attachment. People these days hesitate to open attachments because they risk getting a virus.

Through the use of mailboxes , you can organize your incoming and outgoing mail into different files. You can make a message, then store it in your Outbox and send it whenever you’re ready. Through the use of a filter you can automate the way you receive your massages through the mailbox. You could set up a filter that sends any e-mail with a specific subject directly to the trash. You could also set up a filter that sends a copy to a certain individual, regarding an impending meeting or operation. As you receive more mail, filters will help you organize your messages efficiently.

An address book allows you to keep a list of the e-mail addresses of your contacts. This saves time as you don’t have to type out the address of each individual every time you want to send a message. The address book also contains a mailing list, which is a group of e-mail recipients that you send the same message at once. Class Activity
Pop Quiz

-What’s a Press Release? And what do we use it for?
-What’s a Newsletter and what do we use it for?
-How many types of letter can be written and sent to lawmakers?
-What’s a editor letter and what do we use it for?
-What is a Resume?
-Name the style of resumes presented. Chapter 11: Persuasive Message Purpose: In a persuasive letter, the writer expresses an opinion about a relevant issue. People write persuasive letters to convince others to think a certain way and/or take part of their plans without the whole reason given to them. Persuasive letters Guidelines to a persuasive request:

Begin with an appeal that will interest the reader; for a successful opening paragraphs its best to go with either an approach that benefits the reader in any way possible or state that is part of his responsibilities as a human being.
Follow through with the reason for the request and always emphasizes the benefits that the reader will gain.
State the request in definite and specific terms, such as what you want and how and when are they supposed to reply.
Stimulate action with closing remarks stating that the reader’s participation will be easy and satisfying.
Reflect an optimistic outlook and a positive tone to your reader’s response. Purpose: a sales letter is a piece of direct mail which is designed to persuade the reader to purchase a particular product in a more cheaper manner, a sales letter typically sells a single product or product line, and further tends to be mainly textual as opposed to graphics-based advertisement. Since the advent of the internet, the sales letter has become an integral part of internet marketing, and typically takes the form of an email or webpage. Sales letter must always be written depending on the receiver whether is to an individual person or a dealer. Sale Letters How to write a successful sales letter

First you should gather as much information as possible on both your costumers and the product you are selling.
Follow the formula for sales presentation known as A.I.D.A. (Approach, interest, desire and action).
Make sure you know your costumer so you may enquire his full attention.
State a question as to why he may need your product.
Then follow with a full answer to the impose question and most importantly one that supports your believes on the product and why does the customer needs it. Different types of sales letters

Sales letters to individuals is the first and most common of use; these letters are specific and direct to a single or a small group of people, they emphasize on the needs of these people and the beneficial outcome of them buying your product regardless of the price.
Sales letters to dealers is the other type, this are directed to the middleman between your product and your costumers. For this type of letter is better to take a more informative approach both in the functions of your product and the benefits this person will gain from selling your product. Different types of sales letters
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