Assignment: Resume and Cover Letter (Weaver, 2000)

Resume and Cover Letter Assignment that integrates a copy of the job advertisement, a resume, a cover letter, and a research memo. 

  • Copy of job advertisement: 2 pts.
  • Resume: 15 pts.
  • Cover letter: 10 pts.
  • Research memo: 2 pts.
  • Peer review draft (stapled): 1 pt.
  • Total: 30 pts.

Job Search
Find an ad for a job you qualify for and would actually like to have. Your argument will be more convincing if you believe it. Look in newspaper classifieds, on-line job search services or any other available source. Here are some places to start:

  • Monster.com http://www.monster.com
  • CareerPath (has a section on company profiles) http://www.careerpath.com
  • America’s Job Bank http://www.ajb.dni.us/
  • Heart Recruitment http://www.career.com
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management: (very detailed job descriptions) http://www.usajobs.opm.gov
  • Job Hunter’s Bible (lots of job search advice and links) http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/

Research Memo
Research the company and the position. Use the company’s web site if it has one, job fair materials, the US Office of Personnel Management web site (see above) or anything else you can find. If you know someone who works at the company, ask them about the company culture and history. This is how you find out about your audience, your reader. You need to know who you are writing to/for.

Write me a brief (no more than 1 page) memo detailing the results of your research. Where did you find your information? What did you learn about the company you are applying to?

Resume

  • Write and design a resume tailored to this position. Use Anderson, pp. 30-36, class notes and the evaluation guide as guidelines.

Cover Letter

  • Write a cover letter highlighting information in your resume that is particularly relevant to this position and this company. Use your class notes and the evaluation guide as guidelines.

 

Resume Evaluation Guide
These are the criteria I will use when I grade your resume. They are arranged, generally, in descending order of importance and value.

Content

  • There are NO spelling, grammar, punctuation or other errors. (This is an all or nothing. Although multiple errors will worsen your impression, one is bad enough.)
  • Information is arranged logically (most important to least important, reverse chronological).
  • Information is relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Information is in lists, not narratives.
  • There is no negative information.
  • Verbs are dynamic.
  • Lists reflect parallel structure (verb tense, verbs vs. nominalizations).

References

  • Are on a separate page that also has your name on it;
  • Include full contact information, title and organization; and
  • Are professional or academic (not personal).

Design

  • Information is chunked (grouped) in blocks (education, experience, software, etc.).
  • White space is adequate and spacing is consistent.
  • Alignment is consistent.
  • Font attributes (bold, italic, all-caps, sans-serif font, etc.) are used appropriately and consistently.
  • Resume is no more than two pages.
  • Both paper and printing are of high quality (no toner smudges, coffee stains, etc.).

 

Cover Letter Evaluation Guide
These are the criteria I will use when I grade your cover letter. They are arranged, generally, in descending order of importance and value.

Content

  • Contains NO spelling, grammar, punctuation or other errors. (This is an all or nothing. Although multiple errors will worsen your impression, one is bad enough.)
  • Presents an effective argument that you deserve an interview for this position.
  • Is confident and sincere in tone.
  • Presents a brief narrative of your qualifications for and interest in the job you are applying for.
  • Contains facts, not opinions.
  • Highlights and elaborates on relevant items in your resume.
  • Refers to the source of information (job advertisement) specifically.
  • Indicates that your resume is enclosed and that you are available for an interview.
  • Politely indicates your expectation of a response.
  • Thanks reader for his/her time.

Design

  • Uses standard business letter format.
  • Paragraphs are not too long and focus on only one idea.
  • White space is adequate and spacing is consistent.
  • Font attributes (bold, italic, all-caps, sans-serif font, etc.) are used appropriately and consistently.
  • Letter is no more than one page.
  • Both paper and printing are of high quality (no toner smudges, coffee stains, etc.).